Get Cozy: How to keep the darker days full of light

It's so important to put seasonal sadness in it's place, as it is something that happens to many people.  It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with you.  Allow your self to feel the feels and invite new ways of warmth and light into your life.  Community, nature and exercise are all natural endorphins, add a new class into your weekly schedule. Movement and sweating are my favorite ways to beat the blues or learn a new skill.  Read a book that inspires you, there are so many things out there to help you create more joy in your life, find what fills you up and learn about it.  Open up that writing journal. Writing is the best way to get out of your head, move through you emotions with ease and understand what they have to teach you.  It's really one of the only ways to truly get to know your mind.  Drink a warm beverage at night(instead of booze).  Alcohol is a depressant, not to mention a buffer for unwanted emotions.  When we cover up our feelings with false pleasures, we never get to figure out how to feel with ease and they usually come back bigger and badder the next round.  It's okay to be down, what's the worst that can happen? Plus tea is medicine and a warm mug between your hands feels so good. Go for a nature walk. I love to hike in every season.  It's the best way to stay grounded.  When we have too much distance from the natural world, I feel like it's easy to lose site of what's really important.  To me that is love and connection. Notice how the cool weather opens up the senses in a different way.  Jump in some puddles. Playing and having fun for funs sake is something we really loose out on as adults, we really take ourselves way too serious.  I've yet to meet a kid with seasonal sadness... Host a game night.  Another great way to get in touch with your innocents, make your house warm with laughter and a little healthy competition. Bake something.Filling the house with smells from a warm oven and a little fluffy comfort never hurt any one.  While your at it, bake two and share it with your neighbor.  Giving is the yolk of humanness and creates positive vibes for your mind.  Bust out the crock pot. Nothing soothes the soul like homemade soup.  Make art!  Whether it's music or painting, working your creativity muscles is the perfect way to stay positive. Also...pop some vitamin D and grab a few full spectrum light bulbs. If you need anyone to talk to, I'm here to help you stay motivated and connected to your goals!

Ritual Practice: The Hunter's Full Moon

La Luna… The moon is the closest celestial body to the earth, making the energetic impact it has on our internal and environmental rhythms very significant.  As humans we experience our life in cycles, and if you pay attention, the energetic implications of your emotional body corresponds with the moon’s phase is a way that is worth noting.  It may give you some insight into why you may have heightened emotions or more apathy during specific times of the month. For this reason, I think moon rituals, especially on the new and full moons are amazingly auspicious times for creating intentions and aligning your energetic body with that of our closest celestial sister, the moon.  This is all based primarily on my own personal observations and experience. Today I will talk about a Full Moon ritual as we are less than 24 hours away from the fullness of the Hunter’s Full Moon. If you wish to dive further into this subject based on the zodiac and astrology, I encourage you to do so. That subject matter however, is not my expertise.  I base much of my ritual practice on deep observation of my subtle bodies and how I respond to the natural world itself, the earth, moon and universal connection. Ritual is any ceremony you would like to perform that invokes a deep connection and sentiment to you. It is a sacred practice that does not need to mean anything special to anyone but yourself.  Ritual can be the long, hot bath your treat yourself to on Sunday’s with your special bath salts. I believe it is an act of self care that pays tribute to the truest part of our divine nature.

The Hunter’s Full moon, is a name given to this usually late October full moon based on Native American tradition.  It is the end of the harvest season, the leaves have fallen, the deep woods are more in view and the light of the full moon guides the hunters to find their game, plump and ready to be food for the long winter ahead.  With this imagery, let’s take a journey to our personal lives. The apex of the full moon is a time to reflect on the fullness of your life. What have you been working on these last several weeks and what is really shining for you with full exposure?  With this specific full moon, I think it is a great opportunity to reflect on the year as a whole. Now that the leaves have fallen and your inner workings are ripe and of their fullest potential, what will you take into the darker, quieter months to feed your soul, tend to your loved ones, express as a creative venture? It is an amazing opportunity to be fully present, nothing to hide behind, exposing that part of yourself that may not have been ready to shine forward.  But maybe now, there is nowhere to hide. Courage can not exist without fear. But it is the promise of transformation on the other side that makes courageous acts possible. Let the softness of the earth's floor and the lull of the hazy moon hold and guide you in to these last months of the year where you can put the finishing touches on the masterpiece that is your life.

A practice in moon bathing. No matter where you are in your journey, fully expressed or still trying to find that little push to get you to your next step, find a special, palm sized object that means something special to you. Under the light of the full moon, even if you can not see it, whisper your deepest desires of your greatest wish for transformation into this object, sit quietly and breathe deeply.  Let your sacred object rest in your hands on your lap and for as much time as you can, allow the radiance of the moon to enter into ever pore of your body. Permeating the skin, every cell and organ. Let it go deep into the tissues and bone.  Feel the moonlight from your being start to radiate out of your palms into your sacred object, your portal of deep intention. Be with this feeling, allow it to enliven your being and fill any place where you feel stiff, dull or void. Bring your attention back to your wish and know with all of your heart, that the power of your being infused with the power of this full moon has the wisdom to carry your dreams into reality.  Be still and radiate in the magnificence of all that you are. Know, that by tuning into finding more peace with the essence of who we truly are, we create more peace in the world. Remember, we are all born with the same internal potential, sometimes it just needs to be illuminated to hear that whisper of remembrance...of course it was you, it was always you.

Breathe, Relax, Feel, Watch, Allow

The amazing part of being human is our ability to step into the seat of witness consciousness. It is not something we are taught in school, or even by our parents, at least not in those terms. The opportunity to pay attention to our wandering thoughts and emotions that often times seem to take over, is one we fall short of taking advantage of most of the time. In my opinion, there are no emotions we have that are bad, they are part of our experience because they inform us about what is going on with how we are relating to our circumstances and our higher self. They should not be ignored, dismissed or put down. It is hard not to take our adverse emotions personally, but don’t! Your thoughts and emotions are tools, they are not the essence of your being. When we practice observation without judgment, we strengthen the muscle of pause.

The cornerstone of the Kriplau tradition of yoga I studied, is self-study. This technique I am about to teach you, is an amazing tool, meditation or mantra. Use it how ever you like to. In my “Dig Deeper” video, I guide you through the process as a meditation with additional cues.

Prompt: Next time you are experiencing anxiety, depressive feelings, self doubt, limiting beliefs or another emotion or thought that you would like to shift into something different, try this:

Find a quiet comfortable seat.

Take serval long, slow, deep breaths.

Repeat the five main key words to your self and take several breaths between each one.

It’s not enough to just to say the words but you need to shift your perspective to fully engage in each one. This will change your life if you use it.

BREATHE: notice the sensations of your breath, the rise and fall of the belly and chest, the stretching of the body. from the inside out.

RELAX: Lean back into the space behind you a little, soften any parts of the body you are holding, let go of tension.

FEEL: Notice sensations in the body and your senses.

WATCH: Tune into the witness consciousness. The ability to see your self just as you are right now.

ALLOW: As you deepen into that witness perspective, simply let your thoughts and emotions be what they are. They wash over you just like a wave and before you know it, it shifts.

When you first start this practice, go through the process several times. I suggest doing it as a morning meditation, that way it will become familiar to you when you need to call on it in a time where stuff maybe coming up, you will be able to access it more easily.

I am so excited to offer this tool to you. It is such a powerful way to take control of any situation you find your self in. Problems are only problems if we believe they are. With attention and action you can change the way you feel and think by paying attention. Keep up the good work and let me know if you would like to connect to gain some more insight and knowledge into this type of self inquiry. I would love to work with you.

How my movement practice and yoga has made me a more informed Mother

When I move my body in ways that encourage me to breathe deeper, my ability to respond to life’s blessings and challenges in the present moment becomes more available.  Breath awareness creates a tool for the mind to be in body time, which is always in present time.  When caring for a small child, the need to be present is of the utmost importance, not only for reasons of safety, but so you don’t miss a thing when it comes to the sweet curiosity and awe experienced as they explore their new world.  The ability to be present also creates for me, a greater ability to exhibit patience, and that is the essence of practice in my mind. Presence, leads to patience, is practice.   Infants do not yet have the words to communicate their needs to us. This forces us to listen deeper in different ways, with intuition, and also much of the time, requires us to breathe deeper, exhaling frustration and inhaling waves of unconditional love.  

My movement practices consists of long walks or hikes, high intensity interval training, and daily yoga, even if it is only for 2 minutes. You know what they say, a down dog a day! My son and I have created my once workout and meditation room, that is now his bedroom, into our sacred space.  I have put down play-mats to cover half of the room directly in front of where I place my yoga mat.  Since he was about three weeks old, he has watched me move in silly ways, listening to music, dancing and jumping.  During this time he also participates in his own exercising and movement, having a space for belly down time, now rolling and soon crawling.  We explore movement together as well.  I incorporate him into some of the yoga and exercise movements I do, as well as giving him massage and we often lay on the floor to read or play with toys in this space.  As long as his needs are met, this time creates contentment, exploration and laughter for both of us. Because this time gives me a sense of accomplishment, endorphins, and joy, it makes me a better Mother because I now have more energy, self-esteem and over all, more physical strength and flexibility to respond more efficiently to the ever changing activities it takes to care of my son.

I take great pride in my ability to get a movement practice in everyday and not have to leave the house or my baby. Don’t get me wrong, a yoga class at a studio with out interruption is awesome, but to have found a way to embrace my new life as a Mom and incorporate my movement practices into Emmet’s life, is a great sense of accomplishment.  We make sacrifices as care takers, but with ingenuity and compromise, I don’t believe we have to give up what makes us happy.  On the contrary, figuring out how to accomplish what fulfills us personally and leave the dishes for later, only benefits everyone. It is also a great influence and I know Emmet will become more curious about ways to move his body and hopefully it will become an important part in his life as he continues to grow.