Another 21 day meditation with Oprah and Deepak, another transcendent experience on the first couple days.This journey is called Manifesting True Success. I think I made it there on the first try.
Seriously guys, it couldn’t have been any crazier. I went on an intense trip, beyond any non-hypnosis meditations I’ve done. I was not quite prepared for the all the awesome, nor did I expect success to look quite like this:
Day one”s mantra was Sheevo Hum, I am Infinity.
Here are the words I wrote immediately after my first meditation, while I was still flying high in an incredibly altered state of consiousness:
As I settled into silently repeating the mantra in my mind, I was immediately transported to a dimension where was consciousness without boundary. I became more fully identified with the infinite than I ever have before. It was…. all that is.
I first felt my being as I have felt it before, as a conduit to direct, focus and channel energy throughout creation. Then, I felt myself as the source of that energy. It was in the shape of a Torus field, constantly replenishing itself.
Then, I felt my consciousnesses outside of creation, outside of time and physical/mental/causal dimensions. Outside of it all. I was, with my cosmic breath, exhaling all of the multi-verse into being, and collapsing it into itself on the inhalation. Each breath cycle was epoch and eons of time. Trillions and trillions of years inside, yet I was outside of time, and experience it all simultaneously. The rise and fall of countless, infinite civilizations happening in an instant. I felt myself divided into each soul having an experience outside myself, and then returning to merge into oneness.
Each soul, my child, my brother and sister, father and mother and own self, expanding and contracting in awareness and essence.
Infinity, I am.
We are all that which is.
The separation between you, I and all that is exists only within time and creation. Outside of time, it is all just me. Just you. Just one singular oneness from which all is birthed and all shall return.
Source is us. We are here to experience creation on a smaller scale, to play, to learn, to live, laugh, love, grow and cry. To separate and return. To experience just for experience’s sake. Infinite truly is all that is, and you are all of that, but it is love’s essence. The love of a mother for all that is.
I should meditate more often, but then again, it’s perfect that I don’t, because each time I return to the practice I becomes far more intense as I bring everything I have experienced into the moment with me.
It is all perfect.
I now know truly, who I am. Who we all are. I am so blessed and grateful to have seen through to this level. To have felt it viscerally. My love for all of creation multiplied an infinite number of times through this experience. Whew. How can I feel anything but love now that I have felt that consuming, abiding love of source (my source, our source).
Damn, that was great Oprah and Deepak. I should send y’all a card.
Today’s mediation was Ahem Prema, I am love. When I closed my eyes this time, I spend a few minutes enjoying a fuzzy warm love bubble that surrounded me, before I slipped again into infinite consciousness. I was once again outside of the multi-verse, breathing it in and out of existence, but this time as I inhaled, and everything in existence contracted and was drawn into me, it was the most gloriously beautiful, ecstatic feeling. I had always imagined the eventual contraction and collapse of the universe as a cold and sad thing, but it was just the opposite. It is a joyous return to oneness! Every piece of matter and mind that was separate felt the yearning and the pull towards source, as it rushed in faster and faster. As we ultimately became one the feeling of wholeness was beyond anything I could possibly ever describe. That pause between breaths is perfection and lasted an eternity.
When I exhaled and birthed all the universes into form once again, it was in an exhilarating rush outwards, towards expansion, exploration and freedom. The overriding feeling behind every breath, every moment was of perfect love. I wasn’t prepared for another mystical experience before my morning coffee, however, I’m always grateful to be blindsided by the light and love of all that is.
So thank you Deepak and Oprah, for creating the space for me to experience Infinite Love As I AM, as we all truly are. It’s definitely redefined the definition of true success for me.
Being nice holds the key to the highest dimensions in the universe. It’s how you raise your vibration, which seems to be everyone’s goal these days as we talk of the approaching ascension of humanity.
The funny thing is, it’s not about just being nice to others. In fact, that’s secondary to being nice to yourself.
I’m still working on being there 100%, but it has been one of my main goals as of late. That’s why my focus has been on radical self care, self love and loving kindness and compassion to one’s own self. My work as of late, my workshops, one on one sessions and retreats often have this focus, because honestly, I don’t think there’s anything more important in the world. I have learned through trial and error, and especially during my year of listening to my body that radical self care, and supporting the self care of other light workers is my mission on earth.
Every being in the cosmos is a beautiful, sparkly, radiant being made of light. We forget that sometimes while we’re down here in the mud. Remembering that our only real duty as humans is to shine our light, as brightly as we can has brought it all into focus… We get there through loving kindness, otherwise known as being nice. Nice doesn’t always sound like much, but trust me it’s the key to it all…
You don’t have to take my word for it though, here is an amazing video from Matt Khan, from True Divine Nature, who always takes whatever my soul is experiencing and describing it far more eloquently (and with less cursing, but just as much humor) as I would. Using metaphors of bank accounts and sailing ships, Matt breaks down how being nice to yourself gives you access to the keys to the universe (which is dressed up as the innocent child in your heart who happens to hold said key).
Here is more magic from the Love Revolution and the secret to raising your vibration in one simple step:
I can’t recommend watching this video and subscribing to his newsletter and facebook page enough. Matt is a master, constantly sharing the highest spiritual wisdom in down to earth, easy to understand ways. He is a Leader in the Love Revolution, and a guide to the first wave of ascension of humanity to the fifth dimension. His wisdom come directly from source, the highest realms and is really nothing but love speaking in human form.
All my love to you all, to your hearts and to mine.
Viva the Love revolution ❤
PS- If you’re interested in wanting to do something nice for yourself, and for your heart, you might want to check out our Radiant Soul Retreat. Attending is an act of radical self care, loving kindness and supreme niceness.
A few weeks ago I had been complaining to my husband that I was really starting to feel my lack of space and time for myself at home (and in general). Everything from the lack of space to the almost constant noise of traffic was starting to grate on me and I was having a bit of a meltdown (just a little one, but still). My husband being the amazing genius that he is, who knows what I need better than I know myself had the brilliant idea that I should go for a float.
I had been wanting to do it forever, he said and of course he was right. Plus how much more peace, quiet and privacy can you get than being in a sensory deprivation chamber.
I found one close to my work in the city (there are float spas popping up all over the place these days) and booked one for as soon as I was got back from a trip to visit family (it’s a great way to decompress after traveling). Now, the place I booked, Modern Gravity, is still setting up it’s commercial center, so I visited their demo tank which is in a renovated basement suite, but they’ll have what is sure to be an amazing set up by Kingsway Mall ready in January. Here are some pictures of the float suites they have on order:
Doesn’t that seem epic? The demo tank was a smaller version, a Samadhi tank like this:
Not quite as glamorous, but it still did the trick.
These float tanks, also known as sensory deprivation chambers, isolation tank, float chambers, REST chambers, etc, all have tons of epsom salts dissolved into the water (mine had 850 pounds), which makes it super buoyant, so you float right at the top of the water, with your ears underneath, but your face and the top of your body out of the water, as in the picture above.
They are dark, although there is a light in there you turn off when you are ready to help you get settled in. It’s also very quiet, especially with the ear plugs I used to keep water out of my ears. The temperature is supposed to be about the same as your skin so you feel the boundary between skin and water dissapear. I started to get cold, so I turned on the environmental comfort control, which warmed things up quickly.
Before I climbed in, I had showered and then put vaseline over any little cuts or nicks on my body to keep them from stinging in the salt. (There was a thorough orientation on what to expect before starting). Once I climbed in, naked as the day I was born, I lay down and immediately realized I had some skin irritation on the back of my legs I hadn’t known about. I tried to ignore it, since I didn’t want to get out, but it itched and burned to the point that I opened the hatch, sprayed my legs down with water, dried them and added more vaseline.
Climbing back in, all lubed up, I lay back and tried to center myself in the tank. If you don’t, you wind up drifting gently into the sides. Then you have to center yourself again, rather than just push away or you’ll just ping pong around in there.
It takes some getting used to, and the first third of the 90 minute session seemed like it was just getting it all figured out. My body kept relaxing to deeper and deeper states and my mind wandered.
I did some mantra work and sent out love and gratitude to every one in my life which relaxed me further. It was very pleasant, until I had to pee.
Grr. I popped my head out and saw that I still had 45 minutes left in the session, so I decided to towel off to head to the bathroom. Getting situated in the center of the tank was easier this time and I felt like I relaxed again far more quickly.
After awhile, I did lose all track of my body and it felt like I was floating in space. I was perfectly at peace, perfectly relaxed. This was the Theta brain wave state that I was going for (The pre-sleep/hypnosis/meditation state that feels so good). The only annoying part was having to breathe.
If I could have just stopped breathing and absorbed oxygen directly through my skin that would have been lovely, because it was just my breath that kept me from feeling like I was a disembodied entity. I let the pauses in between inhalations and exhalations extend as long as I could and it was in those brief breathless periods that I felt most relaxed.
It was incredible, but just as I was sinking even deeper, the music came on to let me know my time was up.
I had been prepared by a few people I spoke to that this would be the case. The first float is mostly spent figuring out the logistics and getting used to being in the tank, and you only get a taste of the real experience of floating.
That little taste got me hooked though. I felt amazing afterwards. Refreshed and renewed, like I had just had a great nap. After showering off my skin felt so soft and amazing and my body felt like I had just gotten a massage. All the minerals in the salts are so good for you. We’re usually deficient in most essential minerals like magnesium and this infuses it directly into your skin.
I was already planning my return visit before I left (I bought their awesome 3 float pack, where you basically get a free float). I can’t wait to dive in more deeply to see where my mind will take me! I still feel more relaxed and peaceful recalling the experience a week later. I highly recommend trying it out yourself, at Modern Gravity if you’re in Edmonton, or find a center near you!
It’s probably no secret at this point that I love to dance (with or without my hoops), but I especially love to dance in gorgeous, interesting places. I often find myself inspired by my surroundings, moving in new and different ways! Well, last night I was lucky enough to shoot some promo material at the gorgeous Art Gallery of Alberta!
Talk about inspiring surroundings!!!
I am booked to perform at the upcoming Refinery: Shadow Play at the Gallery on November 15th, and the program co-coordinator (who happens to be a friend of mine) offered some time rehearsing in the space. How could I say no to that? I had literally dreamed of dancing in the space before and it was a great chance to collaborate with a fellow artist, photographer and dancer, Nixie Olivia from Sprite Photography.
Nixie captured this great shot of me in front of the mural in Manning Hall, Jill Stanton’s Strange Dream, a fantastic wonderland cartoon landscape that starts out in black and white, with just splash of color in the center. Dancing with the piece, allowing it to inform my movement, felt like a conversation between us, which I think the artist intended. The notes on the mural say “This strange and evocative landscape draws viewers into the space, inspiring questions of how we look at our environment and how our environment can affect one’s subconscious.”
Having the chance to interact with, rather than just view the piece gave me a much more visceral experience of the art itself, that completely changed my appreciation for the work.
If you’d like to see what I mean and come dance with this ‘ dense, immersive and dreamlike forest vista’ with references to ‘dreams, hallucinations and altered states of consciousness’, tickets are still available for the AGA Refinery. If you can’t make it, you can still view the exhibition until December 31st, 2014 (and as it’s in the lobby, it’s free to see!!!)
Well, I’m back from my Arizona adventure, which seems to be turning into an annual pilgrimage to Sedona. My husband put it best when he said last September, you know you’ll never not go to Sedona!
It was over the top inspiring as usual. I feel a peace and contentment as soon as I see the desert. It feels like home out there.
It actually is home to a dear chunk of my family, so I’ve been visiting once every year or two my entire life, which probably helps with that feeling. Sacred Circularities in Sedona is the perfect excuse to travel down and visit them and then head out for a dance, mediation and personal renewal retreat in my heart’s home, the land of the red rock, where all the vortexes swirl.
I’ll share more about the retreat later, but for now here’s a clip of some hooping on Bell Rock. I shot 2 minutes of video on our hike, and this is what happened. You’ll notice I’m a little conservative. That’s because tossing the hoops would have been a very big problem 😉
Well, it’s my classy new job title. Sounds fancy, doesn’t it.
I’m so excited and honored to be working with the amazing, hilarious and inspiring Dani Altiere, at Dani Altiere Inc, providing performing arts residencies at Elementary schools around the city. We offer dance, drama and gymnastics residencies and my focus currently is on the gymnastics/acrobatics side of things. I started shadowing Dani this week and honestly, it was even more fun that I had imagined.
I’ve only worked with kids occasionally, so this is a whole new experience for me, but Dani is so gifted with them and they love her so much, I’m just trying to absorb all her wisdom and energy (as well as the rhymes and funny voices). I have a couple more weeks training with her and then I’ll be unleashed upon the children of Edmonton all on my own (teaching Dani’s fantastic curriculum, with her support, of course)
Movement arts like dance and gymnastics enriched my life so much as a kid, I’m beyond thrilled to be able to share that joy with the little people who appreciate it most. Seeing the looks on their faces when they managed to do a roll or a cartwheel for the first time, the hugs they gave me at the end of the week and their shouts that gymnastics is the best, and I should come back and be their gym teacher year round made getting up early and immersing myself into morning rush hour traffic totally, 100% worth it.
I’m so excited to be moving in this new direction professionally, sharing the joyful movement revolution with the beautiful crystal and rainbow kids that are here to show the world how to love. My heart is exploding with gratitude for this opportunity.
All I had to do was ask for it.
Seriously. I literally asked the universe for a new opportunity to share my gifts with the planet and two or three days later, this is what it came up with, when I ran in to Dani at the Art Walk. It’s amazing how gracefully it can all unfold when you open yourself up to receive all the awesome that is your birthright as a being of light, dancing through life.
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.
We will be honoring the divine feminine through movement meditation, dance, flow arts, shamanic journeys and all kinds of other fun activities. We’ll be connecting to the Earth as we camp outside, spin fire and dance under the stars. We’ll be nourishing our bodies with healthy, delicious food. We’ll be feeding our souls by taking some time to step out of our daily routine to dance, play and make new friends!
I’m excited beyond words to share the weekend with all of the beautiful beings who are going to be joining us.
This is a fantastic opportunity to really take some time for yourself to refresh your soul and fill up your cup before the end of summer.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn to hoop dance or use a flow wand, this is a perfect opportunity in a serenely supportive environment. We’ll also have multi-level classes conceptual classes designed for newbie hoopers and baddasses alike to grow and challenge themselves.
I’m stoked to share my Hooping With Wild Abandon workshop, as well as lead a movement meditation class. I’ll also be offering private hoop dance or energy healing sessions if you’re interested in a level up for your practice, and your life!
Today is the last day for Early Bird tickets, but we still have spots available and we would love to have you join us! Come to the Kooteney’s and play with us! I can’t wait to dance with you!
My journey towards a year of really listening to my body and practicing radical self care began with a bang on Dec 21, 2012, which just happened to coincide with the end of an age in the Mayan Calender, that infamous date you may remember, had been heralded as the apocalypse.
I was at an epic Christmas party that night, performing on stage then staying with some friends for dinner and drinks when I started to feel like something wasn’t quite right with my insides… I dragged my husband out of there, and sped home knowing that once things started, there would be no stopping until my entire body was emptied of whatever was offending it.
I barely made it home, and proceeded to spend the next few hours in a process of ‘enlightenment’… Without being graphic, just know that I certainly felt a lightness and a spaciousness at the end of the process.
As I lay on my bathroom floor, exhausted and wrung out, I felt completely safe, and oddly peaceful. It was quite unlike the last time I had experienced something of this nature, when I wound up taking a trip to the ER in an ambulance wearing an adult diaper, needing shots of Gravol and IV fluids. This time, I knew that as soon as I was cleaned out… I would be OK on my own.
The whole time this was happening, the symbolism of being cleaned out and purified was vividly in my mind and I meditated on the real meaning of the apocalypse on that day. I had been looking forward to Dec 21st, 2012 for sometime, as I felt it was a doorway in time we were passing through, after which things would change. I wasn’t worried it was the end of the world as so many alarmists predicted but rather, I had a feeling it was to be the end of the world as we know it. I’m not gonna lie, that R.E.M song was in my head the whole time. I later learned that the root of the Greek ‘apokalupsis’ , means revelation, or to uncover. All the new age-y spiritual texts I had been reading, as well as my own intuition told me it really was going to be the beginning of a new energy here on earth, into a new era of consciousness. What I didn’t realize was just how personal this journey would be.
I wound up purging from me physically, energetically and spiritually things that were no longer serving me that night and the process continued throughout the year. I felt so peaceful and light the next day, I didn’t want to mess up that feeling, so I became really careful about what I was putting in my body. The night of the party, I had eaten lots of things that I knew my body doesn’t really love: sugar, dairy, wheat, and some fish that tasted funny, but I didn’t spit out, cause I didn’t want to be rude. It was basically a disaster waiting to happen, and the revelation that came to me through that was that I needed to lighten up and listen to what my body was telling me.
I spend the week after that dramatic night really enjoying my new found attention to my body and it’s desires, so I decided to make a practice and a project out of it. I spent the year listening to my body and it had quite a lot to say. Looking back I clearly see the magic of the solstice as well as that whole Armageddon energy at work here. Whatever you put your attention on during the solstice is what will be created during your year. I didn’t sew these seeds of intention consciously, but the organic timing of nature and the universe was certainly working through me here.
I’m not sure if my year was technically up on Dec 22nd or if it will be January 1st, 2014, but it doesn’t matter because it turns out it wasn’t a short term project with a final date of completion. It was really more the start of a lifelong journey of conscious co-operation, communication and honesty with myself. It’s made my life so much better, in practically every way. I’m healthier, more peaceful and having more fun than I could have imagined by living in harmony with my body, mind and soul, connecting more deeply with my own inner wisdom every day. Sure it’s been kind of a pain in the butt sometimes, but the gifts that have come into my life have been so rewarding they’ve more than made up for whatever challenges I’ve faced.
Honestly, I couldn’t be happier with what my apocalypse revealed.
My Sacred Circularities experience in Sedona was so jam packed with amazing transformational experiences, I don’t think it can be properly conveyed with mere words. To give you a real sense of how I feel about it would require enthusiastic hand gestures, jumping up and down and a few funky dance moves thrown in. Maybe some fireworks and an orchestra playing in the background as well. So, as I share the experience with you, imagine a symphony accompanying my words and maybe a choir of angels, or castrato altar boys. Maybe some explosions too, just at the dramatic parts.
Ok, now I feel like maybe I’ve built it up too much. Instead of the symphony and chorus of heavenly host, imagine Djembe and Hang drums with African rhythms, Native American Flutes, sacred mantras sung in harmony, the crackle of a roaring bonfire and the whoosh of a fire hoop. Oh, and coyotes cackling in the not so far off distance. Also, imagine being in the Arizona desert in the fall, so the air is cool but the sun is warm, on acres of incredible desert terrain, surrounded by the stunning red rocks on land dedicated to meditation and spiritual enlightenment, surrounded by vistas like this:
The Mago retreat center is gorgeous! About half an hour from any other developments, down a red dirt forest service road, it feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere. As you drive in, the first thing you’re greeted with after the gate is a figure like this friendly Taoist master, who I keep thinking of as a wizard. Definitely sets the tone for the magical feeling you get from this land.
Everything about the retreat center exudes peace, serenity and healing. After checking into my casita, home for the next week, I wandered the grounds to find my bearings. I came across the swimming pool and a very epic tribute to another Taoist master. The weather was perfect and I was so happy to be there with a little time to myself to soak it all in before loosing myself in the upcoming spiritual shenanigans.
As I approached Earth Hall, our venue for the week, a giant globe popped up out of the desert, surrounded by statues of children playing. In a half circle around the kids were giant golden statues of spiritual masters; Jesus, Mary, Confucius, Chief Seattle, Mohammed, and a Taoist master, all beatifically looking down upon the children and the earth, holding space for all of our work this weekend.
Our first official event was a meet and greet which of course turned into a hoop jam. Just seconds into playing with my Synergy hoop I fell into the absolute bliss that I had been longing for. The swirling vortex energy coming from the earth had been calling me to dance in it for years.
After a delicious first meal together where we may or may not have honored the mindful speech posters peppering the dining hall, we returned to Earth hall for a Sacred Cacao opening ceremony. The energy within our circle was so vibrant and alive! Looking around at all the bright shining faces I knew some radical transcendence was going to transpire over the week. Our night was punctuated by the laughter of coyotes outside the hall, and many of us could feel the presence of something bigger than us descend into the room. Perhaps it was the Sacred Circularties oversoul, along with all our guides, ancestors, spirit animals, totems and friends, along with all the elementals, devas and nature spirits, the energy of the divine source, and all other beings of the highest vibration who were there to support our journey. We called it all in.
There were so many amazing classes, and moments after that I’ll have to just share a few highlights, but every class was worthwhile and appreciated. I loved starting my mornings with Qi Gong with Shelly White Light. The first session I went to was great, but it was the second day when we had a smaller, intimate group journey with the same warrior’s breath exercise that was really incredible for me. The emotion and energy that moved through the group brought us individually and collectively to tears. It felt like a deep lineage healing and clearing on behalf of all women, as well as a profoundly personal healing.
The dream workshops with Jane Carlton were also incredible for going deep, deep within yourself. The shamanic drum journeys were vivid and wild. First I journeyed into a wolf’s den with my spirit animal, where he accepted me into his pack, only to play a horrible prank on me (spirit has a wicked sense of humor). Then I wound up shifting my perspective to several other creatures’ points of view, from the wolf, to an ant walking between giant blades of grass, all the way down to an amoeba.
On a second shamanic drum journey in a subsequent, more intimate workshop with Jane, we journeyed to find our healing pools. I found mine in a different, very exotic dimension. That was another journey with aspects shared by our small group, many of us seeing elements of each others’ dreams, like phosphor-luminescence, canopy beds and a representation of our divine masculine consort. So much fun to know you’re traveling as a pack in dream space.
The Theta Healing with Jocelyn Gordon was another profound group meditation journey. We connected up to divine source energy and came back down together, healing and downloading new programs of thought and belief systems to upgrade our lives. I’ve done many of these journeys alone, but I find the energy of the group really heightens the experience. After our journey, I could feel how we were all vibrating at a higher frequencies.
There were of course, many great hoop classes over the week. I learned some super badass new breaks from Ann Humphreys and appreciated core hooping all over again with Anah Reichenbach (Aka Hoopalicious). Anah also had us plank, do jumping lunges and dance as weirdly as we possibly could. Fantastic fun was had by all (except during the lunges, those were hard!) Rainbow Michael blew our minds equating Anti-spin to planetary movement and cosmic alignment. Jocelyn Gordon kicked our butts and reminded us that LIFE IS AWESOME! (Oh yes, it is!) in her HoopYogini classes and Julia Hartsell unlocked some amazing spiral movements in her sustained spinning workshop.
A major highlight of the week for me was playing with texture and possibilities in Beth Lavinder’s workshops. She equated hoop dance and movement to textures in fabric, saying when she watched someone hoop, she could feel the texture of their dance. Such a beautiful, apt metaphor that I completely understand as a very tactile person. Watching Beth dance feels like silky smooth satin, and dancing with Beth feels like magic.
There were a couple workshops that really combined spiritual and transformational aspects with active movement, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Julia Hartsell’s ecstatic spin jam was the first, and it was so easy to drop in and bliss out with her spectacular play list. Khan Wong’s two movement classes involved deeply witnessing a partner’s soul essence through movement and art. I feel as if you can’t help but fall in love with the person you witness when you see them move authentically. My partner (whom I was so deeply moved by and honored to witness) said we need to get the whole world to do this with each other. Imagine that… to see the authentic soul essence of a stranger would be to suddenly know them intimately. How different the world would be.
The Five Elements Ecstatic Dance and African dance classes with Malaika were so incredibly wonderful and powerful. In all of them she created such a community feel, inspired by African villages… We danced, sang, laughed and moved together as one tribe, one entity. I also had the privileged of booking a Lomi Lomi massage with her, a Hawaiian spiritually based body work modality that was one of the most wonderfully holistic healing experiences I’ve had to date.
There were also two amazing Yin yoga/sound healing classes lead by Rainbow Michael. The first was so relaxing, we were all puddles of blissfully resonant ooze at the end. There was a spin jam scheduled for afterwards, but I think we all just went to bed instead (at least my wonderful roommate and I did). The second class was just before the closing ceremony. Rainbow was careful not to melt us into puddles again, but the long, relaxing poses stretching all the fascia, ligaments and connective tissues in our bodies was the perfect way to end the retreat.
It wasn’t until the last full day that I wandered into the healing garden, but I’m sure it was perfectly timed. I may have spent too much time there if I had known about it earlier in the week. It’s a vortex site with a beautiful lake, with many a spot to sit and meditate and soak in the energy.
That might have been the most relaxing part of the week, although our trip out to Boyton Canyon and dinner at the Chocola Tree were right up there as well. Did I mention they provided a smoothie service to us in between classes? YUM! Then there was also the divine Hoop Kirtan experience and the ridiculously fun talent showcase where we saw talents of all kinds explode from our friends (SO MUCH TALENT!) I also can’t forget our full moon fire ceremony where we popped quite a few fire hooping cherries! I had the opportunity to briefly double fire hoop for the first time, to live drumming. It was indescribable to have the chance to play and dance under the full moon in ceremony with my Sacred Circularities tribe.
I want to give huge props and a million thank you’s to Jaguar Mary, the Divine Creatrix of Sacred Circularities.
The schedule was absolutely perfectly made and she was able to hold such a safe, peaceful container for all of us to shed our skins, open ourselves up, be transformed and taken to the next level. I can only begin to imagine the intricacies of throwing such an event, but she handles it all so gracefully. She also had a few wonderful, radiant volunteers who I thank deeply, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you’s also go out to every single person who was there. Thank you for being so profoundly authentic and willing to share your experience and transformation with us all. You each have a piece of my soul and I will hold space for all your hopes and dreams in my own heart.