Monthly Archives: September 2013

Fall: Time to Celebrate How Far We’ve Come This Year!

With the fall equinox just a week behind us, it already feels like we’re deep into fall.  The equinox is one of my favorite times of the year, with a perfect balance of light and dark in the day. Now, the days are getting shorter,the leaves are turning and we’ve had to turn on the heat every night this week. Oh, also, we’ve already had many people bitching about the cold weather on facebook (what are you guys going to do when it snows?) ,

I’ve always loved fall. I love the colors, the back to school energy, the fact that Halloween (my favorite holiday) is right around the corner! I also love the return of scarves, my favorite clothing item!! My studies this year have given me an even greater appreciation of the turning of the seasons, and what they represent. The fall equinox is a harvest festival, when we get to reap the seeds we’ve sown throughout the year. It’s a fantastic time to take a minute to appreciate all the work you’ve done, and honor how far you’ve come.

I woke up the day after the Equinox with a very deep knowing that I am going to write a book about this year. It’s actually going to be my next project. I’ve always had the idea that I would write about this experience in the back of my mind but it didn’t occur to me that the prime time to do it will be right after I complete the year, while it’s fresh.

It’s an exciting feeling. When I think about it, I can feel this energy coursing through me. I’m sure it’s going to be a pain in the butt, but writing is a book is definitely on my bucket list. I was always just waiting till the time was right and I had something to say. Well, it’s been such a hell of a year so far, I have lots to talk about, and the year ain’t over yet. More adventures are just around the corner. But I’ve traveled all over the world, and deep into my inner landscape. I’m confident that I have some interesting stories to share. I also think it will be an amazing opportunity to really digest and appreciate the crazy amount of growth as a person I’ve had this year. Thinking back and reflecting on things isn’t my forte, so this will be an additional layer of growth for me personally. I’m sure the insights I’ve gained this year will be deepened through the process of recollecting and reflection.

Even though it’s not usually in my nature to stop and reflect, I’ve been guided through the process throughout these last few weeks in some of the classes I’m taking. It’s been incredible and exhilarating to look back at what I’ve done this last year seeing how I’ve grown and developed, and what I’ve learned.

I encourage you to take a few minutes to do the same today.

Look at where you were at  the beginning of the year. What have you accomplished? What have you learned? How have you grown? Take some time to pat yourself on the back for all the hard work you’ve put in! In fact, let me pat you on the back too. You’ve done a great job my friend. Even if you’ve had a rough time of it, you’re surviving, learning and most importantly, you’re still breathing, so you have the chance to integrate all you’ve learned as you go forward.

Earth school is tough. Just the fact that you’re here makes you a brave warrior soul, slogging it out in this dense energy in order to learn and grow for your soul’s evolution.

Let’s celebrate that together!

 Me Last year at Hawrelak park by Stephanie Toast
Me Last year at Hawrelak park by Stephanie Toast

Revelations in Downward Dog: Changing My Inner Narrative

I have had a regular morning movement practice for quite a few months now. Usually I just do some yoga, sometimes I’ll incorporate some dance, or hoop dance. I’ve noticed how much better I feel when I do this every day. My energy is up, my mood is better and my ability to handle frustration is WAY higher.  Sometimes though, like last week, I start slacking a bit.  I woke up too late to stretch  a couple times on busy days or I just didn’t put in enough time or effort and only did a few poses before I sat down with my tea at the computer. When I was stretching, I wasn’t really in the moment. I was listening to a Ted Talk or a book on tape. Basically I was being lazy and disengaged.

Unfortunately, that slacking for those two weeks or so really affected my body. I started to tighten up, especially after work or hoop class. My feet and hips started to hurt. My alignment was off and I was sore. Then I really didn’t want to stretch, it hurt! I was less flexible and it was discouraging, but I made myself go through a really thorough stretch a few days ago and like magic, my body felt so much better. I was melting away the fuzz!!

Today, there was still some lingering tightness (fuzz)  in the back of my legs especially, and I wasn’t really enjoying downward dog at all. I thought about skipping on to some other pose, forgetting sun salutations completely. I thought about how much it sucked that this hurt so bad. I thought about how annoying it was that my body felt fine two weeks ago and how stupid it was that slacking a bit could result in so much pain.

Then suddenly I thought to myself, “You’re making this more difficult than it needs to be. In fact, you’re making it rather unpleasant!”So I switched around my inner narrative to “Man, this feels amazing. Stretching feels so good” I tried to really relax and let my breath carry away the resistance and tension in my legs. I kept repeating to myself affirmations about how good it felt, and drawing my attention to what parts did feel good and suddenly, it did!

By piddleville cc by 2.0
By piddleville cc by 2.0

Hanging in an upside down V with my butt up in the air, heels flat on the ground suddenly felt amazing! It was a good pain, just a gentle burning, the kind that fills you with endorphins (like eating spicy food or other slightly masochistic pleasures). I started to really enjoy myself!

Do bear in mind that this wasn’t actual pain I was experiencing. Just tightness and discomfort that needed to be stretched out. Actual pain in your body is a signal that something is wrong, and you need to honor that, and be gentle with your body.

The rest of my practice was wonderful. I started to really appreciate and enjoy the strength and flexibility in my body that was buried underneath that mental resistance. Surrendering completely to the moment, I felt my power and energy coursing through my body. This was in sharp contrast to how I felt a few minutes before hand as I dragged myself out of bed, wishing I could just sleep for another 10 hours.

It was just another beautiful reminder as to the power of my thoughts. They shape my reality completely. I should know this by now, but it’s so easy to forget. To get swept away, feeling powerless, when really, we have complete control of our reaction in every moment. The moment we switch our thinking from ‘This is hard! This sucks!’ to ‘This is awesome! I can do this, this feels great!” we invite in a sense of ease and grace that actually makes it awesome.

Virgo New Moon: Activating Priestess Energy

cc by 3.0 by Traveling the cosmos
cc by 3.0 Traveling the cosmos

Today is the tail end of the 3 day Virgo new moon window. The sun is also in Virgo right now giving us a double dose of this amazing earthy energy. It’s the perfect time to work on organizing the details in your life, which is great timing for everyone back to school, or back to work in September here.

The Virgo archetype is one celebrating dedicated sacred work. This is the priest/ess energy which is serves the world though honoring and understanding the natural rhythms of life, and all the details surrounding it. This energy is dedicated, organized and practical. There is a deep commitment to serving the world through their work.

This is unfamiliar energy to some of us. There has often been a deep separation between the sacred and the mundane in our culture. The Virgo  priest/ess energy imbues a sense of sacred within all those mundane, practical details of life. There is a deep sense reverence for everything that occurs in nature, and in the life cycle and a deep connection to the divine feminine mysteries.

This energy has been somewhat lost and misunderstood over the years, but we’re returning to it now. There is a deep awakening of this energy happening on the planet, and many people are feeling a deep desire to reclaim our connection to it.

For many years now, I’ve identified with this priestess archetype. Everything I’ve read of the priestesses honoring the divine feminine, worshiping and serving the Goddess has resonated with me deeply. I remember flashes of past lives where I served in temples and dedicated my life to this sacred work. I feel a deep connection to this divine feminine energy that leaves me with a sense of longing for more it in my life. I know when I work consciously with this energy I feel whole.

It’s with great excitement that I am choosing to bring more of this energy into my life. I’m activating the Priestess archetype within me by going through a ceremonial initiation called The Priestess Process with my dear teacher Lisa Michaels. Here she has written 10 blessings Received from Becoming  Priestess, to give you some idea of why I’m doing this.

We began the initiation process yesterday during this new moon window, and we will finish on Beltane (May 1st), and emerge as Priestesses. I am so thrilled to begin this journey of actively embodying this archetype within myself. Every woman I have met who has done this ceremonial energetic activation has this amazing energy running through her. It’s powerful and I can’t wait to experience it again (I know I’ve done this before, in many lives). I’m also so thrilled to be living in a time when it’s safe for women connect to their divine feminine power. It’s always been our birthright, but the pendulum of culture had swung far to the other side, celebrating the divine masculine mysteries almost exclusively.  I believe we’re spiritual whole only when we are able to unite our divine feminine and masculine aspects within ourselves, in a sacred marriage. Without both, we are incomplete beings.

If this is something that resonates with you, you still have time to join us (until Sept 27, 2013). We’d love to have you along for the journey for  The Priestess Process