The new moon is always a potent time to plant the seeds of creation, and today the new moon happens to be in Virgo (with the Sun in Virgo as well). Double Virgo must be why I’ve been so incredibly productive today when it comes to checking things off my list, and getting practical, administrative business details dealt with. That’s usually not my favorite jam, but after a 3 hour dance rehearsal today (for my new job which I’ll tell you about soon), I sat down an my computer, turned on a Spotify working playlist (Spotify where have you been all my life?? Seriously, how did I just start using this?), and worked for hours on a bunch of loose ends I’ve been needing to tie up. I also created a new facebook page for this website and my workshops, which you can like here.
I had actually forgotten it was the new moon completely, but boy have I been tapped into the Virgo priestess energy. The Virgo priestess archetype honors the sacred in the mundane daily tasks that need to be done. She’s a pro at getting things organized. In fact, very little thrills many of my Virgo friends more than making lists and checking things off them. It goes deeper than just crossing off tasks. Way deeper. According to Kari Samuels, intuitive counselor and happiness coach:
With the sun and moon in earthy Virgo, this month is all about reinventing your lifestyle so you can create a life that is pleasing to your senses as well as your soul. This new moon is particularly powerful because we have a conjunction of Mars (passion) and Saturn (practicality) that comes only once every two years. When these two powerhouses come together you get a marriage of desire-fueled ambition with common-sense action. Together, they help you build your dreams from the ground up.
I’m in the middle of changing my lifestyle and my livelihood right now, so I am going to ride this energy as hard as I can. That new job I mentioned is a super exciting game changer for me. I’m going to be an artist in residence with Dani Altier Inc, offering gymnastics, acrobatics and dance residencies at elementary schools starting this fall!
If you had asked me even two years ago if I would be interested in working with kids the answer would have been a no. Ten years ago, it would have been a HELL no! My how things (and people) change!
It all came about in a magical way as well. My hours at the restaurant were dropping because of how slow it is in the summer and I told the universe to bring me some other income making opportunities where I could share my gifts with the world. Then a few days later, I ran into Dani with my hoops at the Art Walk. She was with some friends of one of my friends, having a dance party to the techno music playing in the park with this gorgeous little girl. I went over to say hi and wound up hoop dancing for this lovely year and half year old with the most amazing blue eyes. She was mesmerized and had a great time when I let her play with my hoops. This chance encounter seems even more magical when I learned Dani had been asking the universe to send an someone her way. Someone who could teach her units proficiently but didn’t have too much experience (so they would still need her). Her online job posting says “The right candidate is the rare mix of part Artist, part Educator and part Entertainer.
The universe definitely conspired to have us cross paths! It’s funny, even thought my hoops brought us together, this isn’t a hoop dance adventure.
It’s going to be an exciting new chapter in my life, and I can’t wait. We started with rehearsals today. It will be an interesting transition as I juggle staying on part time at the restaurant, with these new residencies and balancing my own workshops and healing practice, but I have the tools to stay on track. Working with the wheel of the year, the sun, the moon, and the elemental forces gives me the structure to take grounded, rhythmic steps to integrate all of these separate elements and dance my dreams into being.
I spent last week in a jaw-droppingly gorgeous part of the Kootenay mountains,halfway between Nelson and Revelstoke, in a little town called Argenta for the Medicine Hoop Retreat hosted by Jen ‘Cookie’ Cookson. We were basically in the middle of nowhere. I don’t think I’ve ever been somewhere quite so remote… I drove for hours without cell service out (which definitely makes it seem like the middle of the wilderness). After taking a Ferry, I turned onto a secondary highway which was a little more rustic (ie- twisty, turny high mountain dirt logging road) that I expected. It was so gorgeous it took my breath away (it wasn’t the heights or the fact that driving off the road would mean instant death, I swear!).
Fortunately it was early in the day and the weather was clear, so I just slowed down and enjoyed the view coming with all the hairpin switchback turns. The lake, the forest, the mountains with the clouds nestled gently into them, the wild flowers, the random waterfalls. It was unreal. I couldn’t even listen to music, all I could do on the drive was drink in the gorgeousness of the landscape.
When I reached my friend Cookie’s house (an adorable log cabin, next to fields with cows and bulls), she was shocked to see me. I made great time she said. Apparently, most people take the main highway, and it takes at least an extra hour (and it’s paved, and goes through some beautiful towns instead of the wilderness). I, however, trusted google maps, and honestly, I’m so happy I did. It was totally worth it.
I spent the day with Jen, who gave me the tour of the property, taking me through the forest, by the river and through the fields. It was so peaceful, yet invigorating. I hadn’t seen Jen since Bali last year, so there was a lot of catching up to do and hugs to be had. We talked about life, love, food and the retreat we were hosting that weekend while we wandered.
The next day, as we were waiting for the retreat participants to arrive, I decided to dislocate my pinky toe by slamming it onto her staircase landing. I popped it back in place and thought it might not be so bad… It didn’t really hurt (yet), but all I had to do was give it a minute. I rarely take over the counter medication, but I always travel with some pain killers, so when I realized that yes, it was going to be incredibly painful I popped some ibuprofen with a muscle relaxer and asked Jen to make some coffee so the caffeine would kick it ASAP.
Bless her, she made me some rocket fuel and set me up outside, under a gorgeous tree in a zero G lounge chair with coffee, ice for my foot and the book ‘The Dalai Lama’s Cat’. I sat there, under the blue sky, looking at the trees and the mountain with the hint of cloud dressing it up like a fluffy fascinator and I felt no pain. Just peace. I was so well taken care of. If I had to injure myself, this was an ok place to recuperate.
Two of our guests (friends Cookie made in Bali, my new friends) arrived after driving up from the States, and we spend the afternoon getting to know each other, exclaiming at how beautiful it was and then heading out to a farm to pick out some veggies for the weekend. Later that evening, when our party was complete (just five of us that evening), we sat down to an incredible, mostly raw vegan dinner we made together, (Ok, Cookie did most of the work, I just cooked the green beans with summer savory and coconut oil), drank some wine and talked until we all crashed.
We had planned on camping, but the retreat turned out to be intimate enough that we could all crash in Cookies home. The bonus of the sleepover was waking up to fresh coffee brewing and and homemade spelt bread toasted with coconut oil and almond butter as well as each other’s company.
It took us some time to get going in the morning, but that was beautiful and relaxing. Once the 6th member of our tribe arrive, our Sacred Dance instructor, Bernice Raabis, we headed to the Argenta Hall. Another log cabin, this one with a wide open hall for hooping and with a kitchen, eating area and a lounge area for couches. It was perfect.
After a short and sweet opening circle that created this beautiful energy of connection and intention, we started our movement practice with my Hooping with Wild Abandon workshop, which was hilarious. I thought it would be the perfect addition to a retreat focusing on sacred play. The intent behind this one is to play with movements that don’t need a lot of technical expertise or flight time. I want to give new (and experienced) hoopers some ways of playing with the hoop to music that are easy and fun, but also kind of badass. Spoiler alert, there’s a lot of pelvic thrusting involved. It was a great way to start the day and everyone was a great sport when it came to all the silliness. I think they had a good time.
After that we sat down to some lunch, more amazing deliciousness courtesy of Cookie and her magical sunflower seed pate. We digested our food by taking a walk outside, looking at some property for sale behind the hall. My toe was black and blue at this point, but it only hurt when I had shoes on, so I got to walk through the field and forest barefoot, feeling the softness of the dirt, grass and pine needles under my feet. So good to connect with the earth like that.
While we were out walking, Bernice was preparing the hall for our sacred dance journey into the shadow side of Sacred Play. We moved and danced together releasing and honoring the blocks that we had about play and opening into the joy of movement and play for it’s own sake. Her music was so perfect and evocative.
After all that dancing, we were so ready to go on the shamanic drum journey with Cookie. We were able to lay down on the mats and couches, journeying together, finding our animal allies and totems and then sharing our experiences with each other.
Spending the rest of the afternoon jamming and drinking tea, we wrapped up early and headed back to Cookies abode to chill and relax. Everyone it seemed was just as interested in spending time relaxing outside and getting to know each other as we were in hooping. It was like reconnecting with old friends, even though we had just met and we were never at a loss for words.
The next day, we changed locations, to the Meadow Creek Hall, due to the Argenta Hall being needed for a celebration of life for one of their community members who was finishing his Earth Walk. I was so happy we were able to juice up the space with all the gorgeous energy the day before, so they could send him off in style. The Meadow Creek Hall was even more perfect that the last one. A larger, brighter space, complete with a two lane bowling alley!
We opened with movement mediation I facilitated, where I offered a guided meditation to bring love, light, appreciation and healing into each part of the body, then created space for free form movement, dance, stretching and an exploration of whatever our bodies’ needed at the time. We drew energy from the Earth and the Cosmos and reveled in our movement, honoring our inner child and the way it wanted to dance.
Breathless afterwards, we shared our experiences and the feedback from everyone, hearing what the experience let them tap into moved me to tears. There is so much power and healing in moving in whatever ways our bodies crave, I love it so much and creating a safe space for people to do that is one of my favorite things in the world.
After some snacks, we made our way back to the hall to experience an 80’s music driven journey through the chakras led by the hoop shaman and healer, our host Cookie. This was quite the sensory experience. I grabbed a huge hoop and spent the first few songs body rocking and giving my lower chakras a hoop massage as Cookie guided us through some dance driven chakra clearing. It was so good. As we moved up the chakras’s I picked up progressively smaller hoops, interestingly, and once we were in the head, I found I was off body hooping exclusively. Very interesting how that happened. I couldn’t always tune in to what Cookie was saying, as I was transported by the music and dance into another realm of existence. I really didn’t want to stop, but by the end of the hour, I was spent, sweaty and so, so happy. I felt clear, and light and ready for a shower, but we just had a late lunch instead.
Eating on the incredibly comfortable couches sucked the energy right out of us, and we realized that we were all quite spent and decided we would wrap up the hooping part of the retreat and do some exploring of the land instead. Best. Idea. Ever! I’m so grateful we had such a small group so we could be flexible with the schedule and respond to everyone’s energy levels and desires. It was so perfect.
We headed out to Duncan Lake, this crystal clear mountain lake that was almost as smooth as glass. It was cool, but not cold. Just borderline for skinny dipping, especially since we didn’t have towels. There is something about being buck naked out in nature, in a forest valley, surrounded by the elements. I felt completely safe and unguarded, like I was being cradled in mother nature’s arms. That’s the feeling I had the whole time in the Kootenays. The Rocky’s are so tall, wild and exhilarating, with this masculine, exciting energy. The Koots felt softer, far more feminine and gentle.
The whole time I was there, I was planning my return trip (next summer, but for longer, there’s so much more to explore). We closed the retreat by having dinner at Drifter’s, the only local restaurant around. The food wasn’t quite like the amazing local, organic food we’d been chowing down on all weekend, but the cook did mention she infused Reiki love into each meal she cooked (after asking us if we were having a goddess weekend!).
Cookie surprised us all with gorgeous handmade accessories, hair pieces and eyelashes, each lovingly crafted to suit us personally. This woman is so full of love, compassion and talent, it blows my mind. I learn so much from being around her, and I felt the same way about each woman I came to know and love at the retreat. Saying goodbye was hard, but it really was just so long, until next time my friends, because I know we’ll all be back to play and dance under the stars (Oh my, did I mention the stars??? You can see the starry bowl, with more stars that I’ve ever seen in my life!). Next year, I know there will be more of us, and it will be different, and amazing in it’s own way, but this intimate little retreat, which was just as much connecting with the land and each other, as well as our hoops, was perfect in every way.
Matt Khan, my guru, inspiration and favorite champion of the Love Revolution has done it again.
He always manages to take concepts that I have been working on, working with and teaching, and take them to a whole ‘nother level. His most recent video on Emotional Oneness distills everything right down to the root it all.
Take the time to watch this video. It might be the most important thing you ever see. It basically boils down all the essential components to peace, joy and oneness in one hour long orgasm of awesome.
The main teaching is that emotional oneness (a precursor to the cosmic oneness that so many people on the spiritual journey are chasing) comes from a sacred union between the mind and the heart. If the heart and mind aren’t on the same page, he says you’re basically in the middle of a battlefield. The way to get reunite them is actually by deepening your relationship through your inner child, which is your soul’s innocence.
He goes through more of it in the video, explaining how you can reconnect and deepen your relationship to your inner child. He also explains how our shadow side is just our inner child acting out when we haven’t given it the attention it craves… He notes hilariously how it can turn every bit of spiritual wisdom you’ve ever learned against you so nothing separates you from it.
The crazy part of it is, your inner child, your innocence, is the guardian of your soul. Once you do this healing work and your inner child feels listened to and trusted, it starts to open up all the doorways to abundance and cosmic oneness that were closed to you before, which is the real secret to creation and manifestation.
All the inner child wants is honesty and self love. Oh, and to play. It needs to play, to express, be and be loved!!!
This is the what I’ve been working and saying for the last couple years, but I always couched it in terms of my body and my soul. I’ve done a little inner child work, but obviously not enough!!! The exercise we did together halfway through the video had tears streaming down my face and I felt something in me shift and I’m so grateful to have experienced this teaching. It really is the most important thing. The thing that will help everything else dance gracefully into place.
Matt is a master, who is here to guide us with revolutionary ideas about spirituality. He breaks down old paradigms and old ideas and replaces them with new, simple tools for the new energy and paradigm we’re in. It all starts with loving yourself, one ‘I love you’ to your heart at a time. It’s the love revolution!!!! Please join us!!!~
I had been feeling a little run down lately, so I tried to honor my body by spending more time resting and relaxing. This translated into a whole lot more time spent on my couch watching American Netflicks (which has a far superior selection to the Canadian one, btw).
I was still productive, even with the extra downtime factored in (I finished writing that first draft of my book and am about halfway through the second draft if that counts for anything), but I was still feeling heavy and less vibrant than I would like to be.
I decided to rededicate myself to my self care. There were a few places in which I had been slacking, namely stretching and meditating. I had an aha moment last night when I realized it had been months since I had done anything with my chakras.
I had cleared out a whole lot of other peoples (practically every energy healing session I do involves some chakra clearing), but I had left mine untouched for far too long.
I lay down and began using my hands and my intention to open, clear, recharge and rebalance each chakra in turn. The clearing part was illuminating. I had a lot of junk in each chakras’ trunk that had been floating around for so long that it was gumming some of them up entirely. I had vivid images of pulling out varying debris, some of it heavy and dense like metal and some of it gooey and sticky like microwaved plastic wrap.
When I would get to the end of the debris, there would be the physical sensation of a vacuum seal being broken, and a pop I could hear as the fresh air and energy rushed in. This was accompanied by a feeling of lightness and relief. Honestly, the closest thing I can liken it to is taking a big dump. That’s what I clearing out, really. Old energetic crap that was clogging up my system.
I feel physically lighter now, and far more present now. As I was clearing out my chakras, I was clearing out stuck emotions that I hadn’t quite processed. It’s an amazing short cut to running a clean, clear, emotional current.
You can clear your chakras in a million ways, either consciously or unconsciously: Through physical movement (dancing it out is one of my favorites), talking it out, doing past life or inner child work, mediation, visualization or energy work of any kind, but the quickest and easiest way is simply to use your intention.
You can simply focus on each chakra in turn, starting with the first, your root at the base of your spine, and ask it to open, clear and spin in the correct direction. You can just work your way up, until you’ve competed the 7th or crown chakra.
For something a little more epic, here is a half hour visual mediation, an illuminated chakra journey from Anodea Judith, author of the fabulous book, Wheels of Life, which I watched for the first time 7 years ago, with a dear departed friend. It was the first time I awakened my Kundalini energy in this body and it was an incredibly powerful and transformational experience and catalyst for a whole lot of awesome. It set my whole life on fire (in a very good way! )
Exciting news!!!! With perfect organic timing lining up with the wheel of the year: I finished the first draft of my (first) book!
The book in question is about my 2013 project, where I listened to every message from my body. It’s tentatively titled, Adventures in Radical Self Care.
It was an incredibly epic year, filled with all sorts of crazy unexpected adventures. I challenged myself in a whole bunch of ways and I traveled to sacred places. I learned so much about myself and I hooped. I hooped a lot. I blogged the whole time thankfully, so I was able to base the book loosely on the blog posts, which was a huge help during the writing process. Throughout the course of the year, I also became a Reiki Master, and started the journeys towards becoming a Natural Rhythms Creation Coach and a Priestess (which I finished in the first part of 2014). In those programs, I learned to work consciously with the wheel of the year and take organic, rhythmic steps towards manifesting and creating, working with the elemental forces of creation.
Last year, in the fall, I realized that the book I had always intended to write should be started in January, as soon as my year long project was over. I always wanted to write someday, and when I started the project, writing about it was in the back of my mind, but suddenly writing a book wasn’t something I would get around to someday. The time came to actually sit down at my desk and really become a writer. Shit was getting real! During the winter solstice last year, I set the intention to begin writing in the new year and consciously planted the seeds in my mind… I’ve been slowly working on it since then, at a pace that seemed lazy to me, but it was what naturally unfolded. Then, just this week, I wrote the conclusion and afterword. It just so happened to co-inside with the timing of the first harvest festivals Lughnasad (sometimes called Lammas)! How perfect is that? It’s usually celebrated at the beginning of August, but this year, the exact astrological point is August 7th. (The same time I met my husband 6 years ago, so it’s always been a great time for me.)
Lughnasad is the cross quarter point between the summer solstice and the fall equinox and a time when we are just starting to reap the bounty which we have sown and tended to throughout the year. We can start to taste the sweet fruit of whatever we planted. It feels so very perfect, and very human and divine to have this part of the project completed just now. I honestly am so excited that it all lined up so well, ’cause it really feels like I’ve internalized the lessons about timing that I’d been working with so closely. Thank you Lisa Michaels!!! (Best teacher, mentor and facilitator I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with!) She’s so generous with her time, knowledge and experience and I’m so grateful for all the wisdom she’s shared with me over the years.
So, that’s it, it’s really happening, I really did it. I wrote a book! Now it’s on to editing and revising. I’ll do the second draft myself and my sister has so graciously offered to edit as well. Then to find a publisher, or even publish it myself. But it’s really happening!!!!! Whoohooooo!!!
Happy Lughnasad to you all and happy August long weekend! I hope you’re starting to notice your intentional creations come into form!