Category Archives: Challenges

Sweat Your Prayers, Dance For Peace


Last week, I attended a beautiful meditation for world peace on November 11th, 2015. Two days later the Western world was rocked when the terrorists attacked Paris (I only heard about the earlier Beirut attacks after that).

It was so difficult to wrap my mind around.  Violence in the Middle East always seems so far removed, but Paris…. I grew up learning all about France, in school, in countless movies and books, through the food I eat and the wine I drink. I have spent time there, and since I speak French, I feel a kinship with the place, in a way I don’t always feel with the far flung reaches of the globe where I’ve never been.

The news of the attacks hit me, and a whole lot of people I know hard. I cried, and wondered how it could happen, why and how could we stop it from happening again? What can we do? I became more educated about what has been happening in other areas of the world, the things our media doesn’t always report and my heart grew heavier still. Then people began reacting in fear,  with many condemning the people who need our compassion the most and my heart felt like it might break.

I refuse to let this harden my heart, or to change what I believe. I know that peace is possible, but we will never defeat darkness and hate with more of the same. Only light can drive out the darkness and only love can conquer fear and hate. This world needs more love, not less. More compassion, not less. More understanding of each others humanity, not alienation and xenephobia.

These terrorists use, well, terror because their hearts are hurting so badly that lashing out in anger is the only thing that might bring them some relief from the pain of their lives. How many of us can even comprehend suffering of that magnitude. Their pain is immense and must seem practically insurmountable.

I, and so many of the people around me are lucky enough to have lives filled with joy and love. Our basic needs are beyond met and we have the room in our lives for fun, and creative self expression. Heck, I get to dance for a living, and dancing is my living praying. It’s how I connect with all that is. It fills me up with so much love and joy that it just burst out of me.

I am lucky enough to be able to facilitate this joyful movement for others as well. In my Hoop Flow class last night, our theme was Dancing Your Essence. We were moving with the intention of expressing our unique light. We moved through several exercises, including Sway and some blindfolded hoopdance, and went into a 25 minute dance journey with a wide variety of music, allowing our bodies to move and interpret the tracks in whatever way authentically arose. We moved through melancholy, desperate, sad music into the hopeful, happy and joyful. You could feel the energy in the room shift, and the happier the music, the higher the vibration. People were grinning from ear to ear, myself included as I felt overwhelmed with gratitude for this kind of healing tool .

After a short rest, we concluded our dance journey with a song dedicated to world peace. With our intention, we filled up our hearts with so much love that it just couldn’t be contained, and then sent it out into the world around us. This was the track we danced to:

We can begin to change the world by starting with our own hearts. First emptying them out, through our movement, sweat and tears. Then filling them up with so much love and light that it just spills out of you. Then from that place of fullness, you can go out into the world to do your work. Obviously it isn’t enough to just pray and dance. There is work to do on the ground. This is how I start though. This is how I do my healing work for my own heart, filling it with love, music, movement, joy, compassion, community and gratitude. This is also part of my work out in the world. Helping others fill  up their hearts, filling up their cup so it’s overflowing with love, so they too can go out into the wider world and meet all those they meet with love as well, treating each person with dignity, respect and compassion.

It starts right here, and begins with you.  Paraphrasing the wise words of Gabrielle Roth, healing happens when you lovingly move through your pain, sweat your prayers and let go of the past. Once we have done this, our hearts are open, full of love and  we can work together to create peace on earth.



Reflections On The Apocalypse

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.

by Cadencia Photography

Honestly, I couldn’t be happier with what my apocalypse revealed.

Hitting The Midway Mark in No Sugar November!

Honestly? It’s been way easier than I expected. For me, at least.

My husband has had some twitchy moments.

He estimates his diet is usually made up of about 30% sugar, so he’s been feeling pretty hungry and cranky much of the time. He also just made the transition from working in a kitchen with access to snacks all the time, to packing a lunch. Without the ease of his go-to sandwich (there’s sugar in bread), finding things to pack has been a challenge.

I’ve actually been surprised  with my experience. It’s actually been quite easy!  Turns out, I really don’t eat a lot of sugar normally anyway!  I’ve cut out the few processed foods that were still in my diet, like the odd piece of gluten free bread, and I haven’t had my normal amount of chocolate, but other than that little has changed.

I have made 4 batches of my secret weapon though, the things that are keeping Jeremy sane (along with Zevia pop).

Coconut Manna Cookies!

Nutiva Coconut Manna is basically the nectar of the gods. It’s creamed coconut in a jar.


The cookies I make are a variation on a recipe on the back of the jar:

1 part manna

1 part coconut oil (I use Nutiva as well)

1 part shredded coconut

1 part hemp seeds

Just mix together and drop onto some parchment or wax paper covered baking sheets.

Top with dried goji berries, almonds or raw cacao nibs (or whatever you like, those are just my fav).

The actual recipe calls for 1 part raw honey, but I’ve always omitted that one. They have a delectable sweetness as is.

They’re also hella-filling and full of amazing fiber, protein and loads of good fats. They’re amazing even for breakfast and keep you full for ages. They aren’t low calorie by any stretch, but they’re nutrition powerhouses, so I don’t really worry about it!

I’m going to need to make another batch tomorrow before work. The only issue with these cookies is that they really don’t last long in our household! I’m sure I’ll be making a few more before the end of this sugar free month.

Desire and Destiny- Another 21 Day Meditation Experience

Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey
Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey

So Hum.

Our first mantra in this 21 Day Meditation Experience with Deepak and Oprah.

While it might sound like a statement of boredom or existential ennui, this mantra was more like a rocket ship to inner space exploration.

I’ve used it before, as have millions of people for thousands of years, meaning that those two little words carry an incredible power within them.

It means, I am.

The centering though Deepak offered as an additional layer of focus was: I am my deepest desire.

Then he asked the question ‘Who are you?”

He offered us a moment to consider this before introducing the mantra, and the very first thing that popped into my head was ‘I am that which is love’.

As Deepak mentioned, there is no right or wrong answer to the question of your own personal identity, but I know it’s something many of us have struggled with. Sometimes we use the labels we have in our lives to answer. I know as a teenager I liked to use the Meridith Brooks song Bitch with the lyrics “I’m a bitch, I’m a lover, I’m a child, I’m a mother, I”m a sinner, I’m a saint, I do not feel ashamed!” I love the song because it sums up our unity with all that is within all the messy contradictions contained in a human life.

As I was listening to Deepak’s introduction, I had immediately started sinking into a meditative state. It was like my whole being just couldn’t wait for the meditation to begin. By the time we officially began, I was already deep into altered state of consciousness.

I’m not sure what meditation feels like for anyone else, but once I’ve dropped in, quieted and focused my mind, I feel electric currents of energy running through me. There is a feeling of pressure on my third eye and crown, and I feel warm, tingly, fuzzy and incredibly alive.

As I repeat the mantra, So Hum, gently, slowly, just speaking the words in my mind, I begin to feel I am the witness to what is occurring in my mind. My consciousness is not what is repeating the mantra, my mind is, and I am observing it, yet I am in control of it as well. I keenly feel the difference between my mind (which is the unique combination of my physical brain and my soul) and my eternal spirit.

With many years of experience working in these altered states of consciousness, I have a few tools to take the meditation deeper, to another level, fusing it with energy work and personal healing.

I began running energy though my body in a microcosmic orbit. At first I have to consciously move the energy with my breath at first, but then it takes on a life of it’s own and my concentration on it is no longer required. This practice is used in all kinds of energetic disciplines, like reiki, chi gong and tantra. This accumulates energy within the body, and I believes it cleanses and cleans out your physical form.

I can feel my consciousness expanding outside of my body, and my awareness is sitting about half a foot above my head. I can feel myself inhabiting my whole auric field, and I bring my focus to my light body. Since my LBL hypnotherapy, I can easily connect with my higher self  and feel the sparkly blue, purple and white energy that radiates from my core. Sitting in my light body, I feel tangibly connected to my whole self.   I know who I am. This human body is a part of me, as I am part of it, but it is not all of me. It does not define me or limit me. I am here, inhabiting it in order to have a human experience. In order to feel the joy, pain  and freedom of expression of being in a physical form on this plane, at this time, in this dimension.

I am what I am. An eternal being of light, who came from the divine source which is only love in order to be an individual unique expression to add to the beauty and complexity of all that is. I exist to learn, grow, play, experience and to love. I choose to be here, right now in order to do those things on Earth.

My deepest desire is to love and to serve using my talents and gifts. These are to help you remember who you are, and to support you on your mission. In order to do that, I want to help you take very good care of yourself, because you are also an amazing, radiant being of light here on a mission to love, learn and grow. I want you to know without a shadow of a doubt just how awesome you are. This is my destiny.

So Hum.

I have been repeating the mantra in my mind as my consciousness has been playing in layers of mysteries and understanding.

That is the beauty of meditation. It’s not just about focusing the mind, that’s just the first step which quiets the mind so you can hear your soul, feel the universe speak, see the spark of divinity that resides within you and know who you truly are.

Photo by Cadencia Photography

New Challenge: Kicking It Up A Notch

A video kicked my butt for about 6 minutes today. It involved sweating, moaning, groaning, gasping for air and flopping like a bowl of microwaved Jello on the floor after it was over.

Then I hit repeat and did it again (twice).

Why you ask?

Well, it’s been a long time since I challenged myself physically. I’ve gotten into the groove of my daily yoga/movement mediation practice  and I’ve definitely gained lots of strength and flexibility this year, but I’ve been feeling like kicking things up a notch lately (yes, this is an Emeril reference, BAM!)



I started incorporating more strength work into yoga about two weeks ago, and it’s been satisfying to feel the difference in my muscle tone already. I was pondering doing more, but between work, hoop dance, classes and the downtime I crave, I wasn’t sure where to fit it in. I contemplated going for a run, but the fact that winter is around the corner has deterred me. Not to mention, I’ve never been a huge fan or running. So what then? I don’t want to go to the gym. I know me. I won’t make time. I can barely make it out the door to a yoga class.

Then today, someone on my facebook posted a link to  a site called The DailyHiit,  full of free Hiit (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts. Thank you whoever you are (I didn’t go back to look).  They post videos for every day of the week.

The video that had me moaning and flopping today was a ‘Surprise Your Body’ Ab workout.

It was awesome. I’ve done some Hiit workouts before. I know they’re the most effective way of training, and I love the fact that you can be done and over with your work out in 12-20 minutes. I also love that you don’t need any equipment. They do have a few things you can use (and order from them) like a sandbag, weights or timer, but you can do the workouts without them.

So this is my new challenge. Adding some Hiit into my day, along with my 30 minutes of yoga.

I am so ready for this. I wouldn’t have been 6 months ago, but here I am. I want to feel stronger. I want to have more muscle definition again, and I want to break through this plateau I’ve had with my body for about a year. I’ve been in great shape before, (when I was in trampoline and tumbling), but that was years ago.  I used to have strangers stop me to remark on my leg muscles back then. I want that feeling of strength and mastery back.

I know the stronger my body feels, the more capable I feel. Also, muscles amp up your metabolism, so once I have more of them, I can eat more chocolate, yay!!!!

I don’t see the downside. I may tomorrow morning when I’m again moaning and groaning, gasping for air and feeling the burn, my face matching the color of this amazing 80’s workout My Little Pony.


By SeismicNewton ccby3.0
By SeismicNewton ccby3.0




Adventures With Superfoods!!!


On my way back from Astral Harvest Music Festival I wound up eating nothing but chocolate for lunch. A lot of chocolate, like… 3 bars of chocolate. It was my consolation prize after  waiting an hour for my  meal at the Boston Pizza in Slave Lake, and then sending it back because it was so nasty. It was supposed to be a simple burger, hold the bun, with a side salad. Nothing complicated, but for some reason said burger tasted like a microwaved breakfast sausage patty.  As I didn’t have time to replace the meal, I thought we’d just stop at 7-11 to grab something on the way, leading me to a big Cadbury’s Milk Chocolate bar (the other 2 came later on the drive).

As you can imagine, I didn’t feel that proud of my chocolate for dinner choice after the fact, but my body handled it like a champ. As a thank you for not rebelling against the sugar and dairy, I decided to treat it to a week of superfoods!  Although it’s been awhile since I’ve challenged myself in the nutrition department, my daily choices have been consistently healthier than they were at the start of the project. I’ve been making green smoothies, eating 95% whole foods and feeling pretty good about it, but there’s always room to kick it up a notch!

used under creative commons license
used under creative commons license

For the challenge, I decided to see if I could go a whole week only eating “superfoods”. My definition of superfood is basically just any food that is nutrient dense. The more vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, the better!
Over the course of the week, I’ve discovered that I already eat tons of amazing superfoods. I usually just also added in some junk so really my strategy was just to replace that 5-10% of my diet that was sub optimal with something SUPER!

I’ve been eating crap tons of things like walnuts, almonds, berries, veggies of all kinds, spinach, wild salmon, avocado, coconut oil, hummus, etc. I have expanded the definition of superfood to include Bacon.

cookbookman17 cc by 2.0
cookbookman17 cc by 2.0


Why? Because it’s super too. It’s a soul food

I’m pretty sure it has magical powers and I’m not just saying that because it’s cool to fetishize bacon right now.

Speaking of magic superfoods, I’ve also found a new breakfast powerhouse of awesome that I should share with you as well!

Overnight Oats! These have changed my life. I’m so happy to dig in that I’ve been rushing through yoga in the morning just to shove these in my face! Here are a few more examples from Kathy Eats Real Food and The Oatmeal Artist.

My personal recipe so far has been:

1/3 cup of rolled oats

2/3 cup of nut milk (I’ve used soy, almond and coconut so far)

1/2 serving of Vega chocolate all in one nutrition powder

2 tsp coconut flakes

handful of chopped walnuts

1 Tbs raw cacao powder

Mix together in tupperware , and let sit covered overnight in fridge.

In the morning, if I’m feeling fancy I’ll occasionally add some chopped banana or blueberries, but I usually don’t bother.
This high protein superfood packed breakfast bomb is making me so happy! It’s great for the mornings when a green smoothie just isn’t enough!

So the moral of the story is: You never know where a chocolate binge might lead you so go ahead and have that second bar. Without it, superfood week wouldn’t exist and you might not know about life-changing overnight oats!



Food for Thought: What legacy do you want to leave behind?

Circles of Love, Life and Beauty From artbyglorianna
Circles of Love, Life and Beauty From artbyglorianna

Today in the Creation Coach training, we were doing a wholeness integration which focused on the complete cycle of life, including death. We were asked to spend some time contemplating what we want to leave behind when we pass.

As I tuned into to my soul’s desires, I found that I want to leave a legacy of love, peace and playfulness.

I want, more than anything, to leave an energetic imprint on this earth that is so full of love and hope that it will be felt for generations. I want to leave behind a community of souls who live with intention, with joy and in balance with their inner and outer worlds.

I’m not sure exactly what shape this will take, but thinking of it brought me a sense of peace. It’s been awhile since I’ve done an exercise like this, but I always love how much perspective it gives to your priorities. If you know what you want to leave behind, you can focus your energy on projects that build that legacy.

I have so many things I would like to do, in business and in life. More things that I could accomplish in this life, so I might as well narrow down my projects to whatever will help me leave behind that legacy of love, health and happiness.

This was especially poignant to do at a time when Southern Alberta has flooded, and 175,000 people have been evacuated from their homes, including many of my friends and family.  So much property has been destroyed, but the atmosphere that I can see has been so hopeful, with so much love and solidarity expressed throughout the province and the world. Most people are offering up their homes and resources freely, with so much compassion for their neighbors! This is the energetic legacy that will be left behind from this flood. People banding together to help each other.


Please, take a few minutes today to send love and light to those affected by the flooding. If you’re feeling called to do so, you could donate your time to help if you’re close by, or money to the Red Cross to assist the rescue and clean up efforts. Then take a few minutes to consider what kind of legacy you’d want to leave behind after your passing. I’ll bet you’re not thinking of things and stuff. I know everyone reading this is more concerned about the difference they want to make on this beautiful, wild planet of ours.

One Billion Rising- Strike, Dance, Rise!

There is an amazing global movement called One Billion Rising that is using the transformational power of dance to change the world.

In their words…

One In Three Women On The Planet Will Be Raped Or Beaten In Her Lifetime.

One Billion Women Violated Is An Atrocity.

One Billion Women Dancing Is A Revolution.

Join V-Day on

in your community &
Demand an
end to violence

People all over the world are rising up, using the alchemy of dance to affect change on a personal and global level. This is a joyful movement I am 100% behind.

Here is a video that shows the passion and intent behind the movement. This is pretty emotional and may be hard to watch, but please take the time to view it.

I’ve always known that dance is healing. It’s a form of energy medicine… Dance has freed my soul. Let it free the world!

Join us on Thursday and Dance in solidarity! You can find an event near you on their website, on facebook, or just dance where ever you are, where ever you happen to be. I will be extending my morning movement meditation and taking my hula hoops to work with me  as well as dancing in my car, walking down the street, basically as much as I can… If I have to be still my soul will still be dancing.


Challenge #3: Get Outside!

New challenge of the week:

I am going to take walk outside, alone and distraction free for at least 10 minutes a day. I walked for about 20 minutes today and it was glorious. So beautiful outside, with the snow sparkling in piles about 3 feet deep in some places. It was hovering around 0C, so no complaints on the temperatures at all.

The point of this challenge is to get some fresh air, and commune with nature, but also to spend time alone with a quiet mind so I can channel divine inspiration without any distractions. Like I had mentioned in an earlier post, most of my best ideas happen when I’m trying to fall asleep, or when I’m doing the dishes. It’s the only time my mind is really free. At the time of writing that post, I said I was ok with that, but I want to experiment and carve out more time alone with my thoughts and see what happens when I spend some time in the stillness of nature. I think it will help me to delve further into my work with the elements and the wheel of the year…. I love living somewhere with seasons. We just passed Imbolc, often called the beginning of spring, as it’s halfway between the winter solstice and spring equinox. It doesn’t feel anything like spring in Edmonton, but the days are getting longer and I feel so fertile with ideas it seems fitting that spring is close at hand!


Lessons From Movement Meditation Challenge (How This Challenge Changed My Life)

I challenged myself to do a movement mediation every morning for a week.

I had no idea when I accepted said challenge I would be taking on something so life changing and monumental! The second day of in, I wrote this post ‘I didn’t expect so much Awesome!’

Unlike the junk food challenge which ended exactly seven days after it began, this challenge is going to be extended indefinitely.

It transformed almost immediately from a challenge into a practice, and I can’t imagine starting my day without it already.

Every morning practice has been different. Sometimes I spend a lot of time just shimmying, stretching and breathing into any places in my body that are sore. Sometimes I wind up rolling around on the floor and there were a few times I wound up incorporating my hoop.

Whenever I am fully absorbed in the movement, in flow- my mind seems to quiet and open to messages from my inner wisdom and from the universe. I received a lot of affirmations and inspiration. There were also many messages about opening to and embracing the divine feminine. I spent a lot of time sending love and gratitude to my body when I was moving and stretching. I found that when I touched my skin as I danced, gently tracing my body with hands and genuinely appreciating the beauty of my spirit’s  earthly container I would fall deeper into a joyful and peaceful ecstatic meditation. It was the kind of blissful union of mind, body and spirit that breaks the heart open and spills love out through the world.

I did notice that it was much harder to have the transcendental meditative experience if anyone else was around. I’m a little too self-conscious and easily distracted.  I don’t have a private space yet, but I will in a few months, so it was easy to accept that on mornings when my stepdaughter or husband were around I was going to spend more time stretching and grounding into my body rather than dancing in ecstatic union with the divine. Either way, it was still a fantastic way to start the day!

Going to bed knowing I will have that time to myself in the morning to process whatever I need to process lets me sleep more easily. My body feels better, more open and less stiff. I spend a little time stretching now every day, instead of just thinking “I really should stretch later!”

I also find that I am far happier, more centered and grounded throughout the rest of the day. It’s not like this is shocking, I suppose I expected that, but actually feeling the difference it makes to my mood and to my stability is incredible. I also feel far more creative and excited about life! I am super grateful that I am finally in a place where I am ready to commit to having a daily joyful movement practice ’cause it really is so much awesome. What’s even more exciting is that I know I’m just scratching the surface, and that there will always be more to discover and ways to go deeper and deeper, with more to discover!534254_354664434622396_1395651147_n