my secret trick to slowing down

my secret trick to slowing down

A couple of weeks ago I sent out an email called The Fundamental Practice – which speaks to the art of slowing down. I’m curious if that newsletter resonated with you?  Have you been able to be a little more purposeful in these past several days about pausing and just being in the moment?

Maybe you find that difficult to do. Maybe it is your intention, but the next thing you know the whole day has flown by and each moment was jam packed. Happens to me all the time.

So I am going share a little secret that helps me. And you need just 3 things:

  • a moment of your time
  • a pen
  • several sticky notes

This is what you do, write the word BREATHE on a bunch of your sticky notes. Then I want you to put one on your computer, one on your bathroom mirror, one on your coffee machine, one in your car. Put one wherever you are regularly in your day.

And when you see this note, start to train yourself to take one conscious breath. 2 breaths. 3 breaths.

That is all it takes, 3 conscious breaths to slow down the sympathetic nervous system. In less than 20 seconds you can drop into a sense of calmness and presence. 

Try it and notice if your capacity to slow down, even just 5% more in your day starts to happen. Take some pictures of your sticky notes and post them on my Facebook page. I guarantee the effect will be nothing short of magic.

full moon in scorpio ~ fear releasing ritual

full moon in scorpio ~ fear releasing ritual

In two days, the Full Moon in Scorpio will descend upon us. With this passionate and emotional water sign in control, you’ll probably experience some really deep feelings. The scorpion is an independent and deep thinker who is unafraid to blaze their own trail. They will kill themselves before being killed by another. If that doesn’t spell fearlessness, I don’t know what does!

To help you make this most of this Full Moon, I have provided a simple ritual that will help get you past your own fears!

SCORPIO FULL MOON ~ FEAR RELEASING RITUAL

·        5 crystals of your choice
·        Smudge stick – I like sage for this one
·        Pen and paper
·        Incense or aromatherapy diffuser (optional)

Directions:

1. Begin your ritual by cleansing your space, self and crystals with your smudge stick. Recite a mantra or prayer of your choosing that speaks to how you are cleansing your space with light and loving energy.

2. Light your incense or put on your diffuser to set a relaxing ambiance and feel free to also put on some calming music.

3. Grab your pen and paper and at the top of the page write “My greatest fears are…” then begin writing whatever comes to mind. Dig deep and get it all out. No fear is too big or too small. Release it all out onto the paper.

4. Take some deep breaths and a moment to check in with yourself. Be ok with the thoughts and feelings that may have arisen and remember to be gentle with yourself.

5. Lay on the floor or bed in a comfortable position. Take your crystals and rub them with your hands to generate some heat and energy. Place the first crystal on your heart center, the second just below your belly button, the third over your third eye (middle of forehead) and keep the remaining two in your hands.

6. Close your eyes and take some deep breaths to settle your mind. Then bring your awareness to each crystal, one by one. Feel the crystal and see its energy in your minds eye, while thanking it for being a part of your healing.

7. Bring your attention to the crystal on your third eye and gently repeat (but you can also write your own): “I am opening. I am surrendering. I am accepting the flow of my life. I know I am always Divinely supported. I know I carry the wisdom inside. I know that I am always guided by myself and by the world around me. I am on the right track. I am on the right track. Everything is working out perfectly.”

8. Now move to your heart center and repeat (or use your own): “I surrender, I will no longer fight the change or circumstances of my life. I will accept wholeheartedly my life and all that makes me happy and uncomfortable and everything in between. I surrender to all of it and know that I am loved. I love myself. I love my life. I love the opportunities I have been given to transform.”

9. Finally, bring your awareness to you the crystal on your stomach and repeat (again, feel free to use your own): “I love myself; I love myself. I know I am strong. I know I can get through anything. I no longer have to pressure myself. I no longer have to be perfect for I am perfect just the way I am. I forgive myself. I accept myself just as I am and I know that I always have the power to create what I desire.”

10.  Rest in this position for a moment and when you are ready, get your pen and a new piece of paper and write down “My Third Eye Crystal wants me to know this…” and write whatever thoughts or feelings come to mind. You can also repeat this process for your Heart and Solar Plexus crystals too.

11.  Take your “fear” piece of paper, look back over what you wrote and see if any new thoughts or feelings have risen. Now, rip the paper as a way to release your fears.

12.  To finish this ritual, discard the ripped paper. You may want to keep your “crystal” paper somewhere safe. If you have found the power of your crystals too intense, you may want to close things out by smudging yourself a final time.

I hope this ritual aids you during the Full Moon in Scorpio! Drop me a line and let me know if it helped curb some of the more intense emotions that many of us will probably be feeling. Until next time, beautiful friends!

the most fundamental practice

the most fundamental practice

Are you someone who is super busy, working, creating, being on and running from here to there? I’m guessing yes. In my world, time often feels like it is sped up and that there is so much to do all the time. Sound familiar?

But here is what I know. In order for you to truly connect with yourself and your essence, there has to be a willingness to slow down.

Slowing down is hard. We resist it. We often actually keep ourselves busy on purpose. Why?

In my experience, the reason we don’t like to slow down is that we actually start to feel things and recognize where we are out of balance. Where we are out of integrity. Where we are not in our centre,. Where we do things that don’t feel aligned. We start to feel the places where we experience shame. That we are disconnected from. That we judge.

It all comes up.

So that is why we keep busy – to escape feeling all of these things.

But as you and I both know, the reality is that if we don’t slow down, we can’t grow, we can’t evolve as a humans. We will never bloom into our full potential unless we are intentional about meet ourselves exactly where we are. And to do this, the basic fundamental practice is to slow down.

Right now, take a deep breath in and slowly exhale out. When you slow down your breathing, you relax the central nervous system and begin to change your brain wave state. You activate the parasympathetic nervous system which sends a message to your being that it is ok to rest. Ok to let go. Ok to open. Ok to receive. 

Take a few more deep breaths – right into your belly. What are you experiencing? Can you sense a willingness to drop in and feel more connected to the world? To surrender into this moment into something much greater than you and your busy-ness? How does that feel? The present moment is the only moment we can truly be alive. It is your presence that is the greatest gift to humanity – not what you do but who you are.

I hope you can feel it – the magnificence of you simply being. 

let your intentions flourish this Beltane

let your intentions flourish this Beltane

It’s May Day! Also known as Beltane, this Gaelic festival marks the halfway point between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. Originally celebrated to protect cattle, crops, and people; special bonfires were lit and said to have protective powers through their flames, smoke and ash. Like a mass smudging, people and their cattle would walk around the fire or sometimes leap over the flames and embers.

Modern versions of Beltane still include the bonfire to be a key part of the celebration but central themes tend to significantly focus on life, fertility and growth. Other customs include decorating the “May Bush” with bright yellow flowers of the season and dancing around the Maypole.

Beltane is a great time for bringing intentions to life! One thing you can do to celebrate this year is to create a wish box charm.

You’ll need:

·        A small cardboard box (shoe boxes are great)
·        Rose petals
·        Sunflower and/or poppy seeds
·        Paper
·        A piece of willow or birch bark, an acorn or leaves
·        Something that represents your wish/intention

Start by writing your wishes/intentions on a piece of paper, while doing so, visualize them manifesting into reality. You can get extra creative by decorating your box with symbols such as the triple moon, pentacles, hearts … or whatever you’re feeling.

Poke several holes in the lid, as this will help your plants to grow. Next, take your box and put some earth into it. Then add a layer of your paper wishes with the bark/acorn and “wish representation” and then cover with another layer of earth. Now mix your rose petals with your seeds and scatter them on the top. Cover with a final layer of earth and place the lid back onto the box.

The best time to plant your wish box is after a fresh rainfall, but if you’re experiencing a dry season, just make sure to give your planting area a good watering the night before. Dig a hole 2 inches deeper than your wish box and lower it carefully into the hole while concentrating on your intention. Imagine your wish growing with the flowers as they reach skyward. As you cover your box with earth, say: “Dream that lies within the earth awaken now. Hope that sleeps awaken now. The stars await as so do I. Grow true, grow strong, toward the sky.”

If you don’t have a garden, you can also plant this in a pot.

I’d love to hear how you and your loved ones celebrate Beltane. Send me a message and let me know about your yearly traditions!

bondage & sweetness

bondage & sweetness

Passover, the annual Jewish celebration of freedom, ends on Friday. The Passover story is of a people liberated from slavery more than 3,000 years ago. And while it is a time of celebration with family, it is also a time to question and contemplate what currently holds us personally in bondage.

Today I would like to share a few Passover questions (inspired by Rabbi S. Buxbaum) you might feel called to reflect upon. Regardless of your religion or spiritual beliefs, these questions can be a potent entry point for some deep personal exploration.

  • Has anything ever happened to you which seemed bitter at the time but later turned out to be sweet?
  • How have the hardships in your life helped you become a better person?
  • In your day-to-day life, do you really love what you do or are you more like a captive to aspects of your life (i.e., work)?
  • What is holding you back the most?
  • What are the gifts in your life that make it all worth it?
  • If you could fully express gratitude to someone in your past who really made a difference in your life, who would it be?

I’d also like to share a traditional Passover recipe with you, one of my favourite seder dishes since childhood, Charoset.  This sweet, fruity dish holds a special, symbolic place as its colour and texture are meant to recall the mortar that the Jews used to bond bricks while enslaved in Egypt. It also reminds us to always look for the sweetness in life.

Charoset is so simple to make and especially delicious the next day after the flavours have soaked into the apples. Mix all ingredients well in a bowl. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator overnight. Traditionally served with Mazos, but I like it just out of the bowl on its own. 

  • 3 firm apples chopped finely or shredded
  • 1 cup walnuts chopped
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)
  • 1 TBS honey
  • 6 chopped dates or a handful of raisins
  • 1/2 cup good red wine
  • 1 TBS lemon juice

Our life may be full of moments of real and perceived bondage. In those moments, may we all have the opportunity to pause, feel into the sweetness that life also gifts us and allow ourselves to be reminded of the lessons, consciousness and transformation that is waiting to be revealed. 

full moon in libra relationship ritual

full moon in libra relationship ritual

On Friday we are coming into another Full Moon in Libra ~ and this one seems so especially auspicious, I just had to provide you some insight.

This Full Moon in Libra will boost the intimacy in all of your relationships, and ask of you to deepen in trust, honesty, and authenticity through embodying it. The Full Moon of April 19th, 2019 will encourage us to repair suffering relationships and to give be more present for our loved ones. If you are in a relationship and have things that you need to talk about with your partner, now is the good time to do so.

Releasing and letting go during the Full Moon will give you a freeing energy. What a relief it is to send your intention to the universe completed and free of any blocks. Believe that it is in motion and the universe is doing what is for the good of your intention.

Here’s a Full Moon Ritual you can use to release YOUR patterns and beliefs in relationships that don’t serve, and reflect on how you can embody more trust, appreciation and gratitude in all of your relationships. I guarantee you can expect more abundance, love, and good energy simply through this ritual.

FULL MOON – DEEPENED CONNECTIONS RITUAL

You will need:

  • Candles & Incense
  • Altar Space
  • Pen & Paper
  • Smudge. Some suggestions include copal, sage, myrrh, tobacco
  • Crystal (one you feel comfortable releasing)
  • String/Thread, stick, and several rocks

1. Cleanse yourself, your altar/space, and chosen crystal with smudge along with lighting candles and incense.

2. Tie your thread/string around your stick, this becomes an emblem of yourself.

3. Now tie the same string around each individual rock that represents an important person in your immediate circle.

4. As you make the connection between yourself (the stick) and others (the rocks) reflect on your gratitude for that person in your life, the role they play, and the mirror they are for you. Feel into the energetic strength of that string, that connection.

  • Is it strong or weak?
  • Does it need more love or presence?
  • Have you been neglecting that connection?
  • Have you felt neglected by that connection?
  • Where could you better embody what you desire to experience in that connection?

5. Now, on a piece of paper, write down the desired outcomes you want in these relationships. Do you want to be a better partner to your spouse, do you desire to better support your family member, or provide a better sounding board to your best friend? Fold this paper and place it on your altar.

6. Finally, take a crystal and while holding it, allow everything you are ready to release from your relationships currently (such as old negative beliefs, people, or experiences) to be absorbed into the crystal. 

7. Once finished, take this crystal outside and giving the energy and thanks to Mama Gaia, bury the crystal in the ground and ask Gaia to take this energy from your life and transform it anew. 

8. And very importantly, release any expectations and place your trust in the fact that it is so!

I’d be honoured to hear more about your experience with this ritual – know that you can reach out anytime.

trouble sleeping?

trouble sleeping?

Some of you know that easy and restful sleep has been an ongoing challenge in my life – even since childhood.  While I have many practices in my sleep tool-kit, I’ve been delving more deeply into Chinese meridian theory as a way to prepare my body to release and let go more fully at bed time. 

On Monday I taught a Yin Yoga practice at Chinook Yoga that I created specifically for a good sleep and I would like to share it with you. Yin Yoga is a practice that helps to restore vital life force energy (known as Qi) in the body. In this sleep practice our poses apply gentle pressure along 2 major meridians – the Heart and the Gallbladder.

The Heart is known as the ‘Red Emperor’ and is the principle overseer of all mental and emotional activities, intelligent awareness and our long term memory. The Heart is said to judge our emotions which when experiencing imbalance can lead to insomnia and dream disturbed sleep.

The Gallbladder is called the ‘Court of Justice’ as this organ plays a central role in decision making. It also has a profound influence on the duration and quality of our sleep – meaning that an imbalance here can manifest in very early waking up and being unable to return to sleep.

This Yin Yoga sequence helps to restore balance and flow to the Heart and Gallbladder meridians so that we experience the ease required to fall asleep and stay asleep.

I’ve made a short video demonstrating the poses. Once you have watched the video, follow the guidelines below for the length of each pose. If you can’t fit everything in before bed, then choose 2-3 poses that incorporate both Heart and Gallbladder meridian work. Be sure to begin and end with the Healing Sounds as described.

Yin Yoga Sleep Sequence

Triple Warmer Healing Sound – 3 times
Foot Massage
Chest Opener with Blocks (Heart & Gallbladder) – 5 minutes
Twisted Roots (Heart & Gallbladder) – 4 minutes each side, 1 minute rest in between
Sleeping Swan (Gallbladder) – 4 minutes each side, 1 minute rest in between
Broken Wing (Heart) – 2-3 minutes each side, 1 minute rest in between
Healing Sounds: Heart, Gallbladder, Triple Warmer – 3 times each

I’d love to know about your experience with this practice, drop me a line anytime to connect and tell me more.

Sending sweet dreams your way my friend!

my birthday gift to you

my birthday gift to you

Today is a BIG day!! It’s the first day of Spring – the Vernal Equinox, which for us in the Northern Hemisphere is a huge deal. Finally the days are getting noticeably longer, the temperatures are warming, snow is melting and you can just feel that new growth vibe all around.

It is also a Full Moon, in Libra, the sign of balance. This particular Full Moon is about boosting the intimacy in all of your relationships, and asks you to deepen your trust, honesty, and authenticity. It is an auspicious time to repair suffering relationships and to be more present for our loved ones.

Tonight at sundown, the joyful Jewish holiday of Purim begins. Purim commemorates the salvation of the Jews in ancient Persia and is celebrated with costumes, sharing food, donations to the poor and lots of hamentaschen (triangle cookies filled with jam) and wine.

And….it is my birthday! Today I am celebrating another revolution around the sun. I’m pausing to acknowledge all the amazing gifts and blessings in my life – a healthy and capable body, a beloved partner that I adore, 3 extraordinary children who inspire me every day, loving and supportive friends, a yoga studio with devoted students, a career that embraces my dharma and engages my passions and devotions…and YOU! I am so grateful to you for being a part of my life.

So to thank you for being here, for reading my musings, for staying connected, for being part of a global shift of consciousness to make our world a better place for all beings everywhere, I want to offer you a small gift on this special day. I created this Spring Equinox meditation for just you. Take a moment to get comfortable, connect with your breath, drop in and nurture your Springtime intentions as we move into this season of renewal, beginnings and growth.

Thank you again for being here and I hope you enjoy this most special day.

the other f bomb

the other f bomb

“I forgive myself.”

Try saying these words out loud now. How does it feel when you say that?  What happens in your body? What happens in your mind?  Does a specific memory or event come forward?

Many of us find it hard to forgive. And especially hard to forgive ourselves. That has certainly been the case in my life.

When we experience conflict with another person, we usually decide whether or not to forgive them. But when it’s you who’s done the wronging, the result is often a sense of feeling paralyzed. Maybe you don’t believe you deserve forgiveness, or you don’t know how to self-forgive. Either way, you feel terrible.

Thich Nhat Hanh says that forgiveness will not be possible until compassion is born in our heart. Self-forgiveness is an act of true self compassion and is a gift that will brings peace and transformation into our hearts, and in turn touches the lives of those we come in contact with. Self forgiveness is one of the most precious gifts we can give to ourselves.

There are many practices that help a person begin the process of forgiveness. The practice that has been the most helpful in my life is Ho’oponopono – an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. It represents a fundamental belief that harmony in one’s relationships (both internal and external) begins by establishing harmony between one’s own body, mind and spirit. Ho’oponopono consists of four simple statements that represent Repentance, Forgiveness, Gratitude and Love.

I’m Sorry
Forgive Me
Thank You
I Love You

These statements recognize that our consciousness creates our reality and asks that we take total responsibility for our internal experience of life. By taking personal responsibility for our part and then healing the wounded places within ourselves, we can literally heal ourselves and our world.

And all we need to do is repeat these four statements like a mantra, out loud or in our heads. The power of the words is in the feeling it evokes within and in the willingness to trust the Universe to forgive and love.

I encourage you to give this powerful practice a real try. Whenever an opportunity for self-healing presents itself in your life, pause, close your eyes, take a deep breath and open to the place where the hurt resides within you. Say the 4 statements: I’m Sorry, Forgive Me, Thank You, I Love You. Commit to repeating these statements several times a day, every day for 30 days. And then send me a note and share your experience – I’d love to know what transformation happens for you.

PS. For more on the Ho’oponopono practice see the Wikipedia Page. I also very much recommend Alaya Denoyelles book, The Sovereignty of Love – Coming Home with Ho’oponopono.

a transmission for YOU from the GODDESS

a transmission for YOU from the GODDESS

There was a time in my life where I placed everyone and everything around me as more important than ME….

There was a time where I felt ashamed and stuck in guilt around feeling pleasure and in honouring my desires through my sexuality.

And there was a time where I felt isolated in my journey, yearning for a group of women who were in my life to support me.

AND this is where the power of Shakti comes in.

Feeling at ease and comfortable in your body, womb, heart, and sexuality is a foundation for how we can amplify the Goddess in the world…and it is the foundation of the work we’ll be diving into in the Embracing Shakti Temple opening March 1st.

AND as a mother of three children running a yoga studio, multiple online businesses, and nourishing a partnership with my incredible husband, finding the space to carve out time for my own self-care and exploration of my sensuality is no small task.

Shakti has been waiting for you to:​

✨ Know that you are love, divine and sacred

✨Listen and trust your intuition

✨FEEL YOU are truly worthy of what you desire

✨ AND Reclaim your magic, voice, and wisdom

We are being called to remember and awaken to this life force inside of us, by honouring it, listening to it, and celebrating it…with the support and witnessing of other women.

Sister, this is your sacred choice point. Join me in remembering your feminine wisdom, energy and innate power in community with other women, from the comfort of your own home.

Are you ready to embrace the most exquisite version of you?

By making a Conscious Commitment with yourself for as little as $33USD a month, this Temple will hold you accountable and give you the community and resources you need to return to your inherent shine, sensuality, liberation and voice.

Join me in the Saying YES to becoming a Sister of the Embracing Shakti Temple today!