Anticipating

I thought I had it all figured out when it came to anticipating changes and challenges.

I chose the word vulnerability for 2023 and I thought I was done with being exposed emotionally, having to ask for help and all that other stuff that is so hard for me. Leaving 2023 behind, I was feeling pretty good about my progress in learning to be a little more exposed and willing to ask and receive help.

Little did I know that it was all just practice for the BIG time vulnerability.

For 2024, I opted to work on being okay regardless of what was going on. To be neutral in the midst of chaos and to not waiver when life gets challenging. I want to practice equanimity.

One week ago I had total hip replacement. I opted to go into the process solo knowing that I would be required to have a lot of help at home. My intention while at the hospital for three days was focusing on me. I felt pretty confident going home that I had myself ready. Preparing my house for time spent mostly on one level that has a bathroom and space for me to relax, ice and heal was key. Making sure I had snacks, books, pillows and all the things I felt I would need to limit the constant asking people to get things. I thought I was set.

In many ways I was and am set. Having done seven orthopedic surgeries in seven years prior to this one, I felt fairly confident in my ability to navigate pain, crutches and living in a tri-level house.

I had lots of things however that I did not anticipate. You can read all the articles on what to expect but until you are in it, there really isn’t a true frame of reference. And I will say again, hearing that 80 year olds have this procedure all the time and do great is so not helpful. Part of the gift of living a Yoga lifestyle is learning to truly practice not comparing yourself to anyone, including the 80 year olds that have been sedentary and usually already dependent on others and who will continue to be sedentary and dependent on others. Not the super active, busy changing lives, walking machine like me.

Anticipation is a great thing, until you miss a few things.

What I didn’t anticipate was the fracture in my femur that occurred during installation of my new hip joint. This meant my weight bearing status would be different and the need for that to heal, along with my new hip, would be harder and slower. Adding in the greatest fear ever of dislocation that can occur with one wrong move, I am on hyper alert when it comes to movement.

I also didn’t anticipate the helplessness that would come with the precautions of a total hip replacement. No bending or sitting part a 90 degree bend, no crossing the legs, no twisting the leg or hip internally. So that means pulling up your pants, putting on socks, shaving your legs, reaching for a blanket, dropping your phone, scratching an itch, lifting your leg onto the bed, and so much more. For someone who gets it all done effortlessly this is an abrupt stop to my life.

The simplest of things seem like an ordeal.

Then the WEDGE. The surgeon is very adamant about post-op precautions, especially with a fracture, and sleeping is the craziest thing ever. Between my legs is a large foam wedge that I have secured with four velcro straps to prevent any internal rotation. I also have my blood clot prevention pumpers pushing air in and out around my legs all night. Add in the compression socks that are so tight and itchy. All of this means that I am basically on my back, secured into one position for the night that I cannot get in or out by myself.

Talk about vulnerability.

Lying in bed while I am completely immobilized is the purest of vulnerability. What an opportunity to sit with equanimity and be neutral in the midst of emotional and physical restraint.

I also had no idea the volume of pain I would experience with this. I knew of course there would be pain but the deep, stabbing and burning pain around the joint is unreal. The fracture adds to the pain and the swelling has taken my once toned and slim leg back two decades when I weighed 80 pounds more. Looking down at my leg and seeing the size of my thigh is startling, but it is also temporary.

I know that this week has brought me so much in the form of grace and letting go. It has also invited me to receive like I have never received in my life.

For now, I am icing, walking, resting, and working on allowing the vulnerability to flood my daily experience while also accepting the equanimity that brings a steadiness to me.

Vulnerability Check In

Vulnerability is defined as uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.” It’s that unstable feeling we get when we step out of our comfort zone or do something that forces us to loosen control.

Brene Brown

When I began 2023 like every other year for the last nearly two decades, I chose a word as a theme or guiding direction that I wanted to bring into my life. It never fails that the word I choose for the year is perfectly suited for the path I take that year. Some years have been incredibly hard, like the year I chose the word peace. That was one of the most challenging years of my life. Go figure. I guess Spirit was asking me to find peace while enduring chaos.

For 2023, I chose the word vulnerability.

Since we are nearly 3/4 the year through this year I thought I’d spend some time this afternoon thinking about where vulnerability has showed up in my journey this year. I chose the word vulnerability because I wanted to expose myself a bit more, let go of the controlled emotions and often staying in the comfort zone of life. I have a pretty ideal career and my life feels very well rounded and balanced, so rocking the boat a bit initially felt really daunting, but I knew I needed a nudge in the direction of being a little more open. My favorite teacher Brene Brown defines vulnerability as uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. Oh boy. The big question is why if my life is going nearly perfect would I want to invite those three things in?

So far this year I have had the following experiences that required vulnerability:

  • I opted out of a needed hip replacement and had to advocate for my health despite the encouragement of doctors and family. I had to tap into my inner truth and openly admit that I was terrified and the uncertainty was too great. Admitting the emotion fear is not something I do easily or often. This was huge for me to openly expose an emotion.
  • Once the hip surgery was put on hold, I stepped into uncertainty by going forward with a knee surgery that was intended to bring some pain relief and hopefully stabilize the hip. Turns out the knee scope was brutal and required me to ask for much needed help and be willing to receive it. Not easy for me.
  • In early spring I did something wild and totally outside my comfort zone. I bought a Jeep that I had been working towards for many years. May seem like a no big deal for some , but for this frugal girl it was a huge deal.
  • The risk came when one day I emailed an agency about the adaptive yoga I have been offering in assisted living setting for years. I didn’t need the extra contract but as an entrepreneur you never become passive or assume the contracts you have will always want you. The risk turned into a surprisingly instant contract, but it meant I would give up my beloved Fridays off to add another commute day. I wrestled with it for a weekend and decided to give it a try. My mindset was if I felt overwhelmed I would simple be brave and say that it was more than I could handle. Also, something I don’t do easily. Just three weeks into the month, I got asked to add 16 more homes with this new agency, which took my monthly number up to 46 assisted living group homes a month. Gulp. I said yes.
  • With all the new contracts, I knew right away I would need to actively seek to mentor other yoga teachers. This meant stepping out of the shadows and exposing myself online as a teacher who thinks outside of the Western view of yoga and be actively open with my opinion and be a tad more outspoken than I tend to be when it comes to yoga. I created an online forum that I lead to educate other yoga teachers on the method I have carefully designed for adults with neurological conditions and other disabilities and be extremely exposed when it comes to my confidence. Hiding in the shadows of my work has been comfortable.
  • Once the knee healed and I was back to my normal activity, my body decided that my foot needed to fail me and I am now dealing with an extremely inflamed and severely arthritic foot. Again, I am faced with dealing with pain while running a business and a very full life. This means asking for help, taking life a little easier when I can and giving my body so much grace.
  • One day in July I got a hair brained idea to teach a virtual 30 days of yoga series, beginning August 1. That meant I needed to get myself on a yoga mat everyday and commit to showing up for myself and others. As August 1st approached I was feeling more and more pressure, but it has actually turned out to be amazing. The messages I receive on a daily basis from new students and long time students has been so fulfilling. Plus, getting on my yoga mat (or a chair) everyday has been so great. What I initially felt to be so much added stress has actually turned into so much goodness.

The year is not over and I hope that I continue to grow into my quest to be more vulnerable. I am open to allowing myself to feel more emotions and to living with uncertainty. I have learned that each day is a chance to be present in love, laugh a little more and appreciate the emotions that arise. There are moments every day that ask me to open myself up a tiny bit more to others and to life.

What’s your word of the year? Have you done a check in?

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Twigs and Trash

In order to grow we must first remove what it is in the way.

For many years I have been teaching the concept that much like a garden we have outside, before we can plant anything and expect it to grow, we first have to remove all the old stuff, the trash and the things that are cluttering the soil. Today, as I was doing that exact literal thing in my backyard raking leaves and removing last years dead plants that were once so vibrant, I was reminded of the conversation I had this week with a group of men who have traumatic brain injures.

I teach this topic every March, regardless of who is in my classes because I think no matter who you are and what your life experience is, we all have something that is cluttering up our heart and therefore limiting the potential we have to grow. This might be something like fear, disappointment, regret, guilt, shame, resentment, anger or any other feeling and emotion that we have carried around for days or decades.

As I was guiding a meditation about visualizing a garden and seeing the old growth, the twigs and the trash, I asked them each to see a garden in their heart that may also have some things that could be getting in the way of growth.

I shared with my ‘frat house’ that they have fondly referred to themselves as, that I have some disappointment that is taking up space in my own heart. I carry it day after day, year after year and despite all my attempts to pull it out, it seems to have a root system that is deep and new shoots pop up and take over my heart at times.

As we had a discussion about this, they called me out on it and the wise man who developed a life changing brain tumor at age 23 gave me the best insight on how to manage all the little twigs and trash that take up space. He is turning 60 in a a few weeks and following his diagnosis while in his final year of college his life has been a series of assisted living settings and long term support. He lost his independence and so much more, and yet is so wise.

Are you ready for this? In my humbleness, I asked how does one remove all the “twigs and trash” from our hearts. I asked how do I remove the disappointment?

He shared that you can never fully rid of every twig or piece of trash that has landed in the garden, instead you have to learn to manage and grow around them.

Huh, I said.

Tell me more, I said.

He went on to say that the remnants of the the “twigs” and “trash” will likely always be there and sometimes they may stick out of the soil and poke you but our job is to plants things around them so the beauty takes over.

Again, I asked how.

The wise teacher said:

  • forgiveness
  • acceptance
  • gratitude

When we forgive ourselves and others we remove so much of the garbage that fills our heart. This removes resentment, bitterness, and what-if thinking. When we accept was IS we no longer grieve for what might have been which brings presence to growing today. And finally, when we focus on being grateful we see all that we have, not all that we do not have.

How’s that for insightful?

It’s not so much about removing the parts of our heart that impede growth, but rather moving them aside through forgiveness, acceptance and gratitude so that we make space for something far more amazing to grow.

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Word 2023 — Vulnerability

If we want to reclaim the essential emotional part of our lives and reignite our passion and purpose, we have to learn how to own and engage with our vulnerability and how to feel the emotions that come with it. – Brené Brown

It is not like I didn’t know this. I mean, I took a semester long course with Brené Brown and stepped into the world of Daring Greatly and succeeded on many levels. And it’s not like I have not practiced being vulnerable—I left a toxic relationship, quit my job to pursue my passion, bought a house knowing it is all on me and more. I nailed it and became super empowered in the process.

Vulnerability seemed to be a thing I thrive at. Give me a life altering challenge and I will without a doubt do well. But is that really all vulnerability is?

According to Brené vulnerability is uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure.

Huh.

For the last couple months I have been listening to these little soul taps to look under vulnerability. To take a closer look that isn’t about becoming a badass and destroying a challenge. There was a whispering of something softer and different.

And also incredibly scary. I denied those little whispers and wanted desperately to choose a word that was easier and likely something I am already good at.

Seems to me I am able to easily handle uncertainty and risk on some levels but emotional exposure—never.

Maybe it’s my tendency to lean towards Capricorn strength and tenacity while also being a fiery redhead that gives me an unstoppable approach to life’s challenges. I don’t think raising three kids successfully alone could have been achieved any other way, but this is deeper than action. This is way deeper.

Control has always been something that brings me safety. Controlling my environment and the people I let in. Controlling my business and finances with a sharp eye. Controlling my physical health despite lots of pain by working my body to its best health. Controlling my emotions by not putting myself into situations where I might cry (or laugh). Controlling what I need by never asking for help. Exhausting maybe?

Huh.

That all sounds like emotional exposure. Doing something anyway not knowing what the response or outcome might be. Sticking my neck out and hoping for the best.

Being seen.

This is about not just being seen for what I have overcome or what I do. It will require me to being willing to reveal parts of myself that are tucked safely deep down and to do what is uncomfortable and out of my comfort zone.

I did a little exercise in my journal over the last week and here is how I see it:

Vulnerability is—
Vulnerability feels like—
Vulnerability looks like—

Vulnerability is —failing, making a mistake, exposing myself publicly, crying, screwing up, feeling scolded, asking for help, not perfecting something, feeling needy or dependent on others, asking for what I need or want and feeling out of control.

Vulnerability feels like—crushing sensation in chest, upset stomach, short breath, panic to flee, racing heart, avoidance.

Vulnerability looks like— finishing and publishing the book that has been written, asking for help, receiving help, communicating openly with others, asking to be on more podcasts, letting go of some of my high self standards (not failing), finding resolution and peace with pain, being okay with my emotions and letting my emotions be seen.

For 2023 I give myself permission to fail or to succeed. I give myself permission to not do it all alone. I give myself permission to reveal and unfold in a way that stays in alignment with my soul but also welcomes risk. I give myself permission to be seen.

Truly seen.

Emotionally exposed with risk and uncertainty.

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Competition

I recently shared my strengths according to Gallup Strengths Finder and am still digging into that theme a bit. I loved learning my too strengths, but I was also fascinated to learn my bottom ones also. Competition is the second to the bottom strength! This means competition is pretty irrelevant to me and my life.

Competition is very low in my skill set personally and professionally. That is not a good thing or a bad thing, it just reinforces my top strengths. I highly recommend taking the strengths finder test if your curious how it impacts your personal and business life.

I did some digging on competition and found some fascinating thing. Harvard business review says this about competition-

While it can sometimes be productive, too often it is actually destructive to your overall goals. That’s why people who don’t have as much of a heart to compete have advantages in life and the opportunity to be more successful.

Non competing individuals are more motivated than most of the people around them.

Here is why:

They aren’t as ego-driven.
People who compete often do so in large part to satisfy their egos. If you don’t have the heart to compete, then most likely you don’t have a big ego.

They’re less stressed.
Competition in life adds a lot of unneeded frustration. If you’re not obsessed with competing, you’re largely free of that stress. That frustration is an almost overwhelmingly negative influence on your sense of self.

They’re calmer.
A sense of calm comes over those who don’t endlessly think about how they’re going to get ahead in races of all kinds.

They wish success on others.
The person who doesn’t obsess about competition often wants others to find success as well as themselves. What’s so great about that is how success begets success.

They believe success can be shared.
Competitions are almost always win-lose situations. People who don’t want competition in their lives tend to believe in win-win scenarios. Instead of looking for ways they can outsmart their opponent, they search for methods to team up with them and overcome whatever obstacle that they face together instead of apart. By doing that, they double the chance for success.

They have inner peace.
Obsession is unhealthy, whereas peace is just around the corner once you remove competition from the equation. By focusing on improving yourself instead of beating others, you are well on your way to the inner peace everyone craves, even if some of them don’t know it.

I’m telling you, learning about your strengths can lead to so much understanding in your relationships and professional life. I am so grateful I know these things about myself because I am able to see that I am unique and while others around me may be fed by competition I don’t have to try to fit in. I can be me and I can support them as they are then. Cool, huh?

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An Old Friend

It has been awhile since a certain old friend of mine made a strong appearance in my life. Honestly, I can say that I have felt her presence for months. A decade ago she had stuck around for many years and then disappeared. Or maybe she just stepped into the shadows for a while. I always knew though that in a moment of vulnerability she could easily step back into my life.

This friend of mine is smart, as well as sneaky, in how she can slip into my life and easily take over. Her presence is big even though she has a tendency to come incognito and honestly, I didn’t really recognize her this time until the middle of the night whispers invited me to take off the blinders and see the truth.

My old friend has name and it is control with a middle name of addiction.

Last fall as I was starting to experience more physical pain than I liked. I also started walking far more than I normally do. My old friend convinced me that this was to manage pain. She told me that the more I walked the better I would feel. She was right. For months and months I walked further and further each day. Indeed the pain felt less. My mind felt clearer and I was more content. Being outside for a couple hours a day walking was balm to my pain.

At first my old friend cheered me on and celebrated with me the miles and miles I would walk. She was step by step with me and the conversations we had were about overcoming the physical pain and building confidence in my body while not letting the pain be the focus.

She told me instead to see and celebrate what my body could do.

In her incredibly manipulative way, soon the walks weren’t enough. She convinced me that I had to have more. My friend persuaded me to attach an outcome to a number of steps and if I wasn’t there, then I was shamed and begrudged for letting pain win. Years ago she had convinced me that if I could just walk a certain amount of steps a day I would be amazing and that anything less than that number was weakness. It took a real friend at a beautiful restaurant in Sedona to shed light on the fact that a silly number was stealing joy from my life. That day, I let my friend control go and she stayed away until last fall.

I have been teaching the yoga principles called yamas and niyamas this month. I realized in the quiet moments of the night that I was allowing this so called friend to blind me from ahimsa (non-harming) and asteya (non-stealing). In demanding my body to perform at a certain level each and every day, I was stealing joy from myself. My walks have become no longer about nature, quiet meditation, health or connection. Instead they became about speed, distance and numbers.

Control + Addiction = Stealing joy.

In doing this for months, I have also turned an eye to non-harming. Yes, walking is the best thing I can do for myself. It DOES reduce my pain greatly. It does clear my head and help my mood. But many of my recent walking has also become a space for shame, anxiety and unworthiness. The addiction to performance and outcomes has begun to overshadow the benefits. The panic that takes over when I am not close to the target increases my agitation and negative thoughts.

One the best feelings in the world is my ability to trust in my inner wisdom to acknowledge it, listen to it, share it and own it. This awareness is the antidote to control and addiction. It also helps to have the real and honest friends who rather than join the negativity and shame, just listen and give advice that is from the heart and from that space of truly seeing me.

This morning as I walked that old friend called control and addiction was thanked because I know that she shows up every once in a while to reel me back into living the authentic life I want to live.

She comes around occasionally to help me peel away another layer of self-worth and doubt to reveal an even clearer and brighter version of myself.

I will keep walking everyday to manage my pain and to bring me joy. I will no longer allow the numbers to steal my joy and harm my heart. Instead I will notice the birds, the changes of the season, the aliveness that is in and around me.

I told control and addiction thanks for the insights and until next time…

Intention to Faith

Personal development has been a hobby of mine for the last 15 years.  What has come from this hobby has been truly amazing and I am grateful for the wake up. 

Over the last decade and a half, I have dug deep into healthy living. This includes meditation, yoga, spirituality, soul-searching and the gut wrenching-digging-out-the-crap-of-old-beliefs-and-stories.  I can say with honesty that I have also struggled to maintain my momentum without finding myself overly critical.  Self-loathing and microscopic analysis of all that I need to “work on” can be consuming for a habit-forming personality type like myself.  In contrast, there has been plenty of times when I have also neatly stacked all the self-help, goddess inspiring, soul inspiring books and walked away to take a breather.

I am in the midst of another cycle where I am looking at my stuff and balancing it with the confidence and self-assurance that I am really okay.  In fact, I am beyond okay.  I am an empowered and magnificently flawed human that is willing to grow.

And like all growing spurts, there is usually some pain. The deep aches that wake you in the middle night.  The stretching of the mind, body and soul to embark on a new way of seeing the world, and specifically myself in the world.

While I balance what needs to be examined; work patterns, where I put my energy, habits that don’t serve my greatest good, words that hurt, etc., with the understanding what I hold my faith in–and that is, ALL experiences are opportunities to grow.

ALL.

This includes the sticky experiences that are challenging and the opposing joy filled experiences that are exhilarating.  I believe in the deepest of my very essence that every experience is a lesson. I also hold confidence that embedded in each ‘lesson’ is the calling to fall back into your faith.  Lay softy down in the knowing that all is well.  I do this by consciously handing over to God what is showing up with a trusting that in the end, I will be okay.  In truth, I am far better than okay and whatever is showing up in my life, is temporary and by bringing more of my intention to my faith the more fearless I do become.

Deliberate (Word 2022)

deliberate adjective; Done consciously and intentionally. Fully considered; not impulsive. Done or acting in a careful and unhurried way.

For many years I have chosen a word for my year. I often say that to me this is like a thread that gets woven into the tapestry of our lives. Some years the thread may be glittery and bright, and other years the thread may be a little heavier and denser in its unique makeup. Either way as I look at the tapestry of my life, I can see easily the threads that have been woven together to create something beautiful. I love to look at my bookshelf in my office and see eighteen years worth of journals and planners that have become the themes throughout much if my adult life.

My word for 2022 is DELIBERATE. 

I love words and I love to look at definitions. The definition that sticks with me the most is done consciously and intentionally. If you know me at all, you might see a very determined woman who rarely says no. I don’t think this is because I am a huge people pleaser, although maybe my gut is telling me that at some point I need to check in with that. I think I say yes to everything because I like to be the person who isn’t always “too busy, too tired, too overwhelmed, too stressed, too much in pain, too whatever”. I refuse (probably in an unhealthy way) to allow life’s challenges to dictate what I do. However, I am realizing that saying yes too quickly often leads me to feel frustrated and overwhelmed because in my heart I would rather be doing something else.

I also chose this word because I have a desire to shift my quick decision making and tendency for my abrupt communication style to one that exhibits a more thoughtful approach. I have a quick thinking mind and sometimes I can blurt out something without thinking through how it will be heard. I am tenacious in all of my efforts and learning to be more deliberate and temper my fast moving mind may be of benefit for more. I also have a tendency to say yes to everything and everyone, leaving myself at the bottom of the list. I want to be mindful of how I spend my time and say yes to things that really feed me, rather than commit to something for the sake of simply saying yes. I want to do better about filling up the margins of my own life, rather than with feeling overwhelmed come across as a need to have an impulse to create boundaries around things. To me the recent popularity of having boundaries feels like a fence that keeps things and people away, whereas margins are up to the person deciding for their own life how to fill that space. So I get to choose what goes within the margins of my life and I am going to choose goodness and things that feel right in my heart. Through conscious and intentional living, I intend to be more deliberate with my choices. I am laser sharp when it comes to my business and my personal health, but there is definitely space to grow in my choices and become more intentional with other areas of my life.

The practical ways that I plan to implement and welcome in the concept of being more deliberate includes blocking every Friday off as a day where I will choose how I fill it. I have gone through my planner and highlighted a block around every Friday for the year. That is at least 52 chances for me to pause, to check in and then decide how I fill my day. Another practical way that I am moving towards being more deliberate is I am wearing an amazonite mala necklace and a bracelet as a reminder. Amazonite is a stone of peace, truth, harmony, and communication. It’s been called the “peacemaker stone” due to its communicative abilities and will be a gentle reminder for me to communicate clearly, calmly and with intention. Amazonite also empowers and strengthens any intention that may be set in it, so this morning I held it closely and told it what it is here to remind me of. Finally, amazonite reminds us that we are in control of our own destiny and our decisions will affect our outcome.

The non-practical ways that I plan to use this thread in my life is I am going to make the space to be very open by feeling less impulsive and becoming more unhurried and slower in my life. I am planning to let go of the concept of hard-driven goals and instead have a sweet little map that will guide me to unknown outcomes. This in a very round-a-bout way feels more intentional to me. Slowing down, considering the course I want my year to lead me, and being conscious and awake in my decisions.

So often when we choose a word we can be inviting in some big challenges and hurdles and I am preparing myself that those will come. When they do, I may want to slip back into the old and very familiar ways of living. I hope that because I am speaking my word to anyone willing to listen when they see that old impulsive, always-saying-yes person, they will take a gentle hand and guide me back to being in alignment with my intention to become more deliberate.

Are you ready for 2022? Join me in a life of intention and awareness! What is your word?

My Lantern

Although I feel like I have spent the last ten years or so doing tons of self-work and unpeeling of the layers and layers of ‘stuff’ that has accumulated in my life, I still love that I am willing to do deep soul work.

A few years ago was a definite year of courage and the willingness to listen to my inner voice.  As the dust began to settle from the major changes in my life, I took a month or so off from the heaviness that can come when you are in the labyrinth of self-improvement.  Establishing myself into my new home space and adjusting (again) was my focus. It felt so good to pause from the rigorous self development and instead just enjoy myself.

A course on courage.

Not soon after, I began an online course on Courage.  Brene Brown has been one of my favorite authors and speakers in the last few years and when the course was offered, I said a gigantic YES.  To be guided through courage, vulnerability and shame with a leading researcher and expert was an opportunity I was not going to pass on.

Knowing that I had spent the previous year in the ‘arena’, I was curious as to what I would find I would need to explore in the bravery realm, but willing I was to examine it.  Lesson one offered over one hundred values to identify just one that guides your way in life; everything from accountability to balance to faith to humility to love to optimism to spirituality to well-being.  Where do you hold your highest regard and when this value is not in place you know you are off your path? In my ego mind I wanted my chosen value to be something easy like compassion or kindness.  My soul said go deeper than that and asked what is it that I know for sure, when this is threatened, I am off my center?

Safety.

Safety?? Yea, like in the form of being judged, not being seen or understood for who I am, financial risks, being unorganized and chaotic, feeling unsure of decisions, having people in my life who are disrespectful or threatening, allowing fear to creep in, etc.

Safety.

I wear the armor to protect my safety.

So going into the ‘arena’ again, I had to be open to the rawness and vulnerability of the emotional exposure around this value of safety and to be willing to set the armor down.

The Lantern

Using the metaphor of a lantern, she explains that the flame that burns is the identified value. The glass that surrounds the flame illustrates the behaviors you display and people that you have in your life that protect that value.  The handle of the lantern symbolizes when you have set your value down and walked away allowing your ship to get off course.

My flame is safety. My glass (behaviors and people) that keep my flame protected include  boundaries, choices, self-respect, meditating, journaling, keeping a budget, being organized, people who support and honor me, a knowing and exploring of self.  When I have set this value down I am allowing fear to enter, I take risks, I allow people to speak or treat me in ways that hurt, I am not grounded and I worry irrationally.

Knowing that this value is held in such high regard to me, I can see why some life decisions I have made, and the experiences I have been offered, have caused me to feel such anguish. In addition to better understanding what it is that stokes my flame, I am way more armed with tolerance as to what makes me tick and then respond when the value is threatened.

Safety.

Indeed my highest value for my life is safety.  I know when it is threatened or I am off course because of the internal responses that I have that then lead to behaviors that diminish the flame.  It is so clear to me now.  While compassion or kindness may have been easier, I am so grateful for this new knowledge about myself and can move forward in my life with a strong flame and people and behaviors that will protect that part of me.

Essential Yoga–Energy of Spring

Spring adds new life and new beauty to all that is.

Spring is such a fantastic time to renew and rejuvenate our bodies. We can also look at our mind and clear out some of the thoughts we have that are getting in the way of our potential.

In this class we will use Yoga and intentionally applied essential oils to start that process. If you need essential oils samples to work with this class, please reach out to me.

For this online workshop you will need:

  • Quiet space to practice
  • A yoga mat or towel, block or pillow
  • Water in a glass or stainless bottle
  • Soft, comforting meditation type music (optional)
  • Essential Oils
  • Bare (feet)
  • Empty (belly)
  • Open (heart)

Essential Oils

PEPPERMINT & WILD ORANGE (AROMATIC/DIFFUSE):

PHYSICAL (PEPPERMINT): Supports healthy respiratory function –chosen to help us breathe freely to open up to let go–exhale what doesn’t serve us. Assists in lowering body temperature temporarily. Alleviates occasional stomach upset –relieves occasional gas and colic, relieves occasional acid indigestion. Freshens breath. Stimulating to the mind –wakes us up –makes us more aware.

EMOTIONAL: The Oil of the Buoyant Heart lifts our spirits and soul –gives us a break. Helps us feel free to move on and avoid get entangled in our difficulties. Energizing aroma allows us to see a bigger picture –increase our vision and tolerance for things that aren’t to our liking and make other choices. Helps us “stomach” any concerns. Used in our ENERGY theme today to encourage us to let go and move on with awareness and to help us make new choices and move on with renewed energy and awareness.

LIME (INTERNAL/DRINKING):

PHYSICAL: Included in our workshop, and taken internally as a gentle, internal cleanser for the body–delicious flavor in water and for antioxidant support. Supports a healthy immune function. Known to liftmood and relieve anxious feelingswith its stimulating aroma. Supports the healthy function of the lymphatic system –our system to remove excess water, proteins and toxins from the body. Supports a healthy respiratory system when diffused.

EMOTIONAL: The Oil of Zest for Life. Helps elevate those who are discouraged or grieving. Cleanses the heart of emotional toxins that have been repressed and stored.Dispels apathy and resignation, instilling hope, joy, courage and determination in the face of life’s challenges. Especially beneficial to those who are overly developed intellectually but need to further develop themselves emotionally. Encourages a balance between the heart and mind. Used in today’s workshop to lighten our mental load, release toxic thinking and physical concerns so we can move ahead, lighter, this spring.

CEDARWOOD

PHYSICAL: Relaxing to the body and mind, cedarwood is a calming oil. Dissipates anxious feelings. Letting go of “tightness” in the body to allow it to open to flow. Supports a healthy respiratory function to take in a deep breath. Promotes healthy, clear skin by supporting a balanced inflammatory response while soothing imperfections. (use caution with pregnancy)

EMOTIONAL: The Oil of Community. Helps us see we are not alone and that we have support. Good for those who tend to ignore potential help and become overly self-reliant. Brings people together to experience the value of community–bonds together families, friends, community. Inspires feeling of belonging –allowing us to both give & receive LOVE. Allows us to experience the joy of relationships. Used in today’s workshop to clean out stale thought patterns our bodies may be holding and relax so we can open up to new insights and connections of support in our world.

ROSEMARY

PHYSICAL: Supports a healthy respiratory function to take in a deep breath. Known as the Herb or Oil of “Remembrance” Helps us let go of mental fatigue so we can improve our recall and memory. Uplifting and exhilarating to awaken our minds to the spring season–especially if feeling a bit “foggy.” Energizes the heart and encourages blood flow in the body and to the brain. Helps us to open our conscious mind to take in our practice today.

EMOTIONAL: TheOil of Knowledge and Transition. Encourages us to look deeper within and excavate our true knowledge to discover our own answers. Supports a healthy ego –one that values itself and its purpose in this world. Helps us know we CAN learn new information and experiences and that although we may not see it yet –there is a grand plan for us, our destiny! Boosts our confidence and morale to have faith in our own potential. Used in today’s workshop to further clean out mental & emotional sluggishness on a deep level, opening our conscious mind to new thinking and optimism for our future

GERANIUM

PHYSICAL: The ultimate “balancing”oil that assist our body, mind & spirit to be well and healthy. (A little bit goes a long way aromatically. ) Assists with blood flow and circulation–a gentle oil used to calm nerves and lessen anxious feelings. Effective to use in supporting a healthy balance of skin sebum —balancing oily or drier skin and scalp. Supports a healthy circulatory system in the body –allowing the body to release and contract, release and contract in an effective way.

EMOTIONAL: The Oil of Love and Trust. Helps us restore our confidence in the goodness that surrounds us and in our world, to reestablish trust when trust has been broken by others. Reopens the heart –softening anger and helping heal emotional wounds. Instills unconditional love and trust with those who are stuck in the mind so they can begin focusing on their heart. Used in today’s workshop to help balance the life force within us, guiding us to release any anger or resentment or emotional wounds to encourage feelings of love and trust.

WILD ORANGE

PHYSICAL–Wild orange is a powerful cleanser and purifying agent for surfaces and for our bodies. Protects against seasonal and environmental threats –as it is high in antioxidants and supportive to the immune system. Uplifting aroma lifts the mind and body. Taken internally or applied topically, this oil can provide relief from occasional digestive discomfort.

EMOTIONAL— The Oil of Abundance. Helps reduces anxious feelings, and calm emotions. Inspires creativity, a positive mood and brings joy & peace, happiness and FUN into your day. Encourages creative thinking and fearlessness. Used in today’s workshop to both begin and end our practice by cleansing and releasing anything that no longer serves us, and opening us up to receive courage, creativity and peace. This oil encourages knowledge that the world is an abundant place that welcome us and the renewed energy we offer.

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