Category Archives: Spirit

Living My Dream

My feet haven’t really touched the ground in the last two weeks.

Anytime anyone asks me how I’m doing, I grin (almost maniacal) at them and practically yell “Great! I’m AWESOME! Never better!!!” Then they back away slowly, wishing they hadn’t asked…  Since we’ve been in the middle of second winter here in Edmonton (hit with a blizzard on the first day of spring) a lot of people are getting pretty grouchy, and sick of the snow. My joy has been a little confusing to the winter haters in my life.

Not me though, I’m loving it! I frolicked in it. I may have also sneak-attacked my husband with a giant icicle.

It’s not because I love snow per se, but I’m loving the fact that in two weeks I’ll be flying to Bali, Indonesia (aka, paradise).

Not only do I get to escape our 3 feet of snow to spend a week in the tropics, but I get to do all my favorite things while I’m there too! This is no ordinary vacation.

I’m attending the Sacred Circularities Hoop Dance And Movement Meditation Retreat as a blogger, so I will be participating and then sharing my experiences everyday here with you!

Here is their description of the retreat from  http://www.sacredcircularities.com:

Healing and Transformative Movement through Hoop Dance, Trance Dance, Meditation, Nia, Yoga, Sacred Sound, Personal Empowerment Practice, Shamanic Dreaming, Theta Healing and More!

YES, YES and MORE YES to all of that!  This is the stuff that I live for, the stuff my dreams are made of!

Writing and dancing are my two favorite things, not to mention traveling nd explore new places (especially creative, sacred places).  To be able to fuse them together life this is such a wonderful opportunity! It actually came up right after the hoop workshop with Baxter (HoopPath: EarthQuaker), where we spent time shaking up our untruth, so  our Truth could rebuild our lives with more stability and beauty. Throughout that weekend, I felt like the energy was transformative, and I talked about how life changing it was, but I had no idea that the magic would work so quickly.

This website is dedicated to my own personal journey of transformation through dance, meditation and listening to my body’s wisdom and this year (my 30th) is dedicated to deepening my connection to my body, mind and spirit…. I had always been excited about turning 30. I felt intuitively I would be stepping into my own power. Little did I know how much fun I would have along the way.  Definitely living the dream!

1950562_orig

Feeling Better And Owning It

Ahhhhh….

I feel soooo much better! I’m still a little stuffed up, but in comparison to how I felt this weekend, I feel amazing!

It always shocks me when I get my energy and happiness back after being ill.

When I’m sick, I’m generally pretty sad and mopey. If I’m not actually sad, then I feel flat and blah where nothing really feels that that good. I’m a pretty terrible patient. I whine, I wallow, I probably drive my husband nuts. I also feel like this is how it’s going to be forever. I can hardly imagine having the energy to do anything other than the basics needed for my survival.

When that energetic fog inevitably lifts, as it did this morning, things are suddenly so much better it’s almost comical.

I suddenly feel like doing the dishes, cleaning the house, firing off a few emails that I’d been procrastinating on.

I did my movement meditation for the first time in a few days (I gave myself permission to do absolutely nothing on my two days off), and I danced for almost two hours! It was such a relief. Whenever I spend a few days being lazy (resting), I fear that I’ll stay that way forever. I always forget to honor the ebb and flow of energy and the cycles our bodies go through.

I started my movement with some slow off body hooping with a mini hoop. My body found some interesting ways of moving I had never experienced before. Then, once I dropped the hoop, my core began to undulate and I was carried away with my hip shimmies! They’ve been a little rusty since it’s been years since I trained in Belly dance, but today they just vibrated right out of me. I was able to move and dance and figure-eight  while shimmying effortlessly, like never before.

I could feel all this movement clearing out stagnant energy from my second chakra.

I suddenly felt sexy and confident, infused with a gorgeous, seductive and sultry energy.

I was the embodiment of Shakti, the divine feminine creative power.

As I moved I felt this gorgeous sensual power run through me. I could also feel this energy running through all of creation.

I suddenly understood this cosmic power is mine to play with, to use, to create with anytime and all the time!

In the past, I’ve played with this energy, then put it back in its box.

I think I always felt like I was borrowing the energy and I had to give it back.

Today I realized its my birthright.

Time to own my own power.

I felt my goddess nature in a way that finally felt right. It wasn’t intimidating. In fact, it felt freeing.

I see now that I’ve always been afraid of this energy.

It crackles and sizzles with heat and oozes with sexuality. Sexuality, sensuality and eroticism are all integral parts of the creative divine feminine.

I suddenly felt no shame. No lingering doubt about the validity of sex as a tool for creation and manifestation.

It all clicked into place, and I danced and danced, feeling wild, free and beautiful.

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Love and Resistance

meditationdifferences

I was at a hot yoga vitality class on Monday and we were doing a bit of breath work to start. The teacher asked us to set an intention for our practice. As we inhaled we would focus on our intention, expanding it within our core, and contracting the energy as we released anything no longer serving us with our exhale.

I chose to breathe in love, which I visualize as a gold or white light. I began by  exhaling that which is not love but that seemed kind of long and clunky. After a few breaths, I began to release resistance to love on the exhale. Breathe in love, breathe out resistance to love. A few more breaths  I wound up shortening it to simply breathing out resistance.

I felt tension melt away from my body and I found myself relaxed completely. Once I had let go of all resistance, the pattern spontaneously changed to inhaling love and exhaling love. Once the resistance was gone, love was all that was left. It was beautiful. It’s a feeling of perfect peace, like being home.

Starting the practice was challenging in my bliss-ed out state, but I was able to bring myself back to the breathing pattern often. It was a fairly fast paced and innovative class which made it harder to focus on breath, but the added challenge made it more satisfying to eventually lay back in shivasana, and just breathe in love and breathe out love, dripping with sweat,  head swimming, blissed -out on pure love and buzzing on endorphins, what a rush.

Since it was so effective at yoga, I tried incorporating this meditation into my day whenever I feel myself resisting. It was typically a resistance to the present moment, which is an incredibly useless endeavor.

Resistance to whatever happens to be just creates tension, which is felt physically, mentally and emotionally as stress.

Releasing resistance creates acceptance. Acceptance allows us to be perfectly present. If you stop resisting the present moment, you find peace. That doesn’t mean that you sit back and never take action if things aren’t as you’d like them to be.  On the contrary, it’s a powerful tool for effecting change.

Accepting the present moment just as it is provides illumination of just exactly what ‘is’ in that moment. This knowledge is powerful. It puts us in direct contact with source energy, (which is the vibration of love) and allows us to work directly with it. Once you start working with this energy, everything becomes easier. Seriously, life just gets better.

Releasing resistance to love means that you stop holding on to anything that is holding you back. It might be a pattern of behavior, beliefs you hold, or perhaps it’s fear;  fear of failure, fear of success, fear of being hurt, fear of being wrong, fear of being right. Fear holds all of us back in so many ways…. But as I kept writing out the word fear, it seemed to lose all meaning.

Once you let go of whatever weighs you down, you become limitless! With no resistance, no fear, we are suddenly weightless and free! Love comes rushing in to fill the space once filled by resistance to love and then that’s all there is.

 

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
02.14.13

STRIKE, DANCE, RISE
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 http://www.onebillionrising.org, 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.

 

Do What You Love And The Rest Will Follow

Spiral Galaxy by rommudoh cc by 3.0
Spiral Galaxy by Rommudoh cc by 3.0

Every life story spirals inward…

This is the story of the circuitous route I’ve taken to be where I am at this present moment and why I’m exactly where I should be.

Growing up, I always assumed I would have a white collar career, probably in academia. So how did I wind up working as a waitress at the age of 30, and why is it exactly what I want to be doing?

I  knew I wanted to teach… I’ve always felt like I had a lot to share with the world, but I don’t have the patience for young kids or teenagers so I thought I would wind up as a professor. Since I was fascinated by pretty much everything, I wound up studying Social and Cultural Anthropology (the study of man). Anthropologists study anything and everything to do with mankind through a particularly reflexive and qualitative lens- often through direct participant observation. Modern Anthropologists take care to understand how their personal perspective influences the way they see the world.

About halfway through my undergrad, I realized that as much as I loved the idea of academic research, writing and teaching, the politics of academics were not for me. Being a professor was out but I did know that I really wanted to help people in some way and wanted to make a difference in the world.   I looked at doing my masters in Social Work, and to accrue the hours I needed to apply, I began to work at The Distress Center in Calgary, first as a crisis line volunteer, then as a supervisor, training volunteers to answer calls. The same month I collected enough hours to apply (450 hours), they changed the requirements to over 2000 hours in a related field, which is basically 2 years of full time employment, so I scrapped that idea. I wasn’t invested enough to devote that much time to it.

Around the time I graduated, I was promoted at the dinner theatre where I worked throughout university from Box Office Manager to Operations Manager. It was amazing experience. I learned so much, including how much I love hosting and entertaining people, and making sure they have a great time, but it wasn’t what I wanted to do forever.

I thought travel writing would be an ideal way to use my degree and I had always had quite the wanderlust, so I started looking at booking an around the world trip. I wanted to go on adventures and blog about it, write travel articles and maybe a book one day. I spend a lot of time researching the logistics and lost myself in reading travel memoirs.

Around the same time,  I began having some incredibly deep and inspiring spiritual experiences… The awakening of my Kundalini energy at age 25 seemed to shift quite a few things around in my life and I remembered that my soul work was  in holistic healing. I didn’t see myself as a healer, so I figured I would work in administration and support… Funnily enough, I had made plans to found a holistic healing center at age 14 that I called Synergy Wellness, and then promptly forgot about it until then.

My interest in healing lead me to have some healing work done on myself. I began learning how to work with my intuition, and divine guidance. With this work, and some past life exploration  the fears that blocked me from wanted to actually be a healer myself were dissolved in light and I began to explore my options.

In October 2008, I decided to enroll in the Holistic Health Practitioner program at Grant MacEwan in Edmonton. It seemed like a fantastic coincidence that the intriguing fellow I had met that summer lived in Edmonton, and I had quite a few friends there as well. I was afraid that he would think I was moving there for him, even though we had just met… When I gave my notice to the theatre, my boss said I was moving to get married and have babies, not to go to school. I was so insulted I fumed for weeks. How dare he accuse me of moving to another city for a man? I really should apologize to him and let him know how right he was. After I moved to Edmonton, I realized the program wasn’t exactly what I was looking for and withdrew. I also realized the program was the universe’s way of moving me here far earlier than I would have otherwise.

I had taken a job as a server, thinking it would suit me well as a student. Then I realized serving was way more fun than managing a restaurant, so I didn’t look for other work. The money and hours suited me and I loved having so much free time to explore my new city… I was meeting so many amazing people and my relationship was going well. I felt a little stuck though… There were so many things I was interested in, I didn’t know where to focus.  I started to do my own research into different healing modalities. I learned about crystals, energy medicine, past lives and  I read voraciously about any topic that interested me. I considered taking so many  different training programs!  I thought very hard about becoming a hypnotherapist or life coach…  Then I discovered a fascination with pregnancy and birth and trained as a Doula… I loved the holistic approach, but realized the hours (on call 24/7) weren’t for me, even though I came to understand that supporting women through the birth process has an incredible impact on the physical, emotional and mental well being of the whole family!

I went on a soul adventure in Sedona and connected with my own ability to channel divine information and to share it… I came back inspired to write and began my first blog http://bringingyouohm.wordpress.com/ .

Then I broke my foot walking out my front door one February day. I was laid up for 2 months…. It was both the worst and the greatest thing that ever happened to me. There were so many lessons learned, which I have written about here:  http://wp.me/p12dXx-4v, but the two biggest ones were 1) I NEED to move and dance to be happy, and the other was I need sacredness in my life. Really, they’re two sides of the same coin, since movement  is my favorite way of connecting to the divine.

Once I discovered hoop dance, I had an excuse to dance all the time. The more it danced  it seemed, the better my life became. The more I danced, the happier I was. Every time I tuned into guidance from spirit, or my own self the message was he same. Keep dancing!!!

Eventually I realized this was my soul work; to dance and to facilitate dancing and connecting to spirit. It’ a holistic way of helping, healing and teaching just like I imagined.

So I kept on working as a server, where I’ve had the chance to practice spreading love and light in service to others while making as much money as I used to working only 25 hours a week. I’ve had the time I needed to learn about sacred movement and train as a conscious dance facilitator. Every thread of experience  and education I’ve had that seemed so unfocused is being woven together as I begin to develop classes and make plans to open a small studio (that wellness centre I dreamed of). I even plan to teach prenatal dance classes, weaving in more of my interests to the tapestry.

Everything is coming together in joyful movement, spinning all these separate ideas and experiences into one.

I’m so grateful for the words of wisdom shared by my parents when I was overwhelmed with choices in University.

They said ‘Do what what you love, and the rest will follow!’

Truth and wisdom right there folks, and that’s how I wound up right here, loving my life and living my dream.

Radical Self Love

I figured it was time to explain the subtitle of my blog, Radical Self Love.

Now, it’s not quite as kinky as might sound, but it definitely deviates from social norms.

It’s about loving one’s self completely and utterly, even as society inundates you with messages that you need to change. To be more, to have more, to do this or that. Radical Self Love rejects all the messages from the world that say you are not good enough!

Radical Self Love means knowing that you are enough.

You are perfect in your imperfections and you don’t have to be anyone other than who you are.

It doesn’t mean you stop trying or striving to learn and grow as a person. It simply accepts that wherever you are in your evolution is where you should be.

For me, it means I have to stop being so damned hard on myself. I have always held myself to a very high standard. A standard so close to perfection, I inevitably fall short again and again. Every time I did, I would condemn myself to angry and hateful admonishment. I said the most awful things to myself.  I would never, ever speak like that to another person. But I saved all my compassion and understanding for everyone who wasn’t me. I called myself a fat, lazy stupid bitch more times than I care to remember just for being human.
The whole time I was being awful to myself, I was growing in my spiritual understanding. I came to recognize that the source energy underneath everything is love. I could feel the radiant love it all and loved everything right back. I had countless transcendental experiences where the love swept over me and the illusions of separation dissolved. With this oneness came unbiased, undefined, unending love. I felt the love sweeping into the darkness, the shadow sides of life and I began to understand them to be an integral part of the experience we are choosing to have.

I also came to know the essence of God within me; the same light and love- the source energy that resides within all of us. I started to remember who I really was. A spiritual, eternal being having a human experience, the universe, experiencing itself.

But I still sometimes treated myself like garbage.

The idea of loving myself as completely as I love everyone else didn’t occur to me until recently. I thought that in order to be a good person, to grow and evolve my soul, I had to be hard on myself. No one else would be, so it was up to me. The unconditional love I had only extended outward. The love I saved for myself was conditional.

Eventually, I started to connect the dots. If we’re all one, and all is love, then I must be as worthy of the loving compassionate kindness as every other being in the universe.

So, I decided to love myself as hard as I could. To strip away all conditions and love myself anyway.

It was a radical thought.

I also realized that to love myself fully, utterly and completely, I have to honor myself as well. I have to listen to my body as well as my heart and soul. I can’t ignore all the guidance I receive. I have to respect myself enough to believe that the messages I get from my body and my intuition are correct and wise. The project I’m working on this year, to listen to myself and my inner wisdom has made it much easy to honestly love myself. There is no dissonance to overcome, no loving ‘in spite’ of something… It’s all one love.

swami stream cc by 2.0
swami stream cc by 2.0

Radical Self Love is a radiant love.

It is compassionate, understanding, forgiving, peaceful, respectful,  joyful and divine.

It is steady, ongoing, inexhaustible, patient, present and kind.

It means listening to all aspects of the Self- body, mind and soul.

Being gentle with yourself.

Trusting yourself and the universe to fully support you.

Surrounding yourself with people who love and support you and removing yourself from negativity.

It means taking  care of yourself with proper feeding, watering, sunlight, exercise, fresh air and whatever else your body asks for.

Nurturing your abilities, and allowing your creativity to flow.

It means you are enough. You are perfect, even in your imperfections.

It means remembering and celebrating your divine nature.

It means you are free.

Dear Human

by windpacer04, found on Deviantart
by windpacer04

Dear Human: You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. That is where you came from and where you’ll return. You came here to learn personal love. Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love. Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of… messing up. Often. You didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And then to rise again into remembering. But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love, in truth, doesn’t need ANY other adjectives. It doesn’t require modifiers. It doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks that you show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s Plenty.”

Courtney A. Walsh

I read this on facebook quite a few weeks ago. It was shared by one of my favorite pages ‘Be A Part Of The Shift 2012’. Of course, it was exactly what I needed to read at that moment. This was before I had committed to really listening to my body. I had been quite hard on myself for the few days leading up to reading it and the words moved me to tears.

It is a message I’ve heard over and over recently. I am enough. I am an imperfect being, but perfect in my imperfections. Just coming here, to what I call Earth school is a brave move, but I back here because I wanted to be here and I wanted to learn. I want the lessons that come from being in this messy world, with our imperfect bodies and our challenging lives. All we need to do is be here, and do our best to love as hard as we can, imperfectly.

The Joyful Movement Movement

In this Ted x talk, Theresa Rose exemplified what this blog and my life are all about. In 14 minutes she distills the very essence of how life changing and enriching joyful movement can be. She also hoops through the whole thing, as she explains how the hoop revolution is part of the joyful movement movement where a growing number of us are finding peace and happiness through playful movement. Not hard core exercise, but allowing our bodies to move freely and have fun in any way that brings us joy.

The happiest moments in my life have always been when I am joyfully moving. Skiing, tobogganing, running around and being silly, rolling down a hill, dancing under the stars at a festival, or just dancing where ever I am with my hoop. This joyful movement brings so many physical, mental and spiritual benefits it’s mind blowing. Since introducing more moments like this in my life by sustaining a hoop practice, my entire life has gotten better in innumerable ways, just like Theresa’s. I have more energy because I am physically active. I have more patience because I have that physical release and I have more joy because joy begets joy. I move joyfully every day, and that joy resonates so deep within my soul that it changes me. It makes me better, and inspires me to make the world a better place. My mission in life is to share this joyful movement with others through dancing, teaching, performing and writing.

Theresa calls joyful movement a cosmic alarm clock, waking us up to our own divinity. When we find flow in our movement, we are fully inhabiting the present moment with our bodies, minds and spirits in complete unison. She also says “In this spiraling, sacred container, we realize we are enough.” This realization is how we  awakening to our divinity, to our connection to everything. When we feel we are enough- that we are good enough, that we have enough, that this moment is enough- we find peace and joy. When I dance, I am enough… I am complete, and I live in joy.

The Wisdom Inside

By Cristina L.F - CC by 2.0
By Cristina L.F – CC by 2.0

Everything in the universe exists inside us.

We are bits of the universe experiencing ourselves.  I know, it’s pretty meta, but it’s true.

“The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.”  Said esteemed scientist Carl Sagan.

All the knowledge, wisdom and power is hidden within us. We have hidden it from ourselves so we can have this human experience and learn what it is like to be limited. But our limits are illusory and self inflicted.

We’re now at the point in our spiritual evolution that we can reclaim our divine heritage, as beings made from the same source energy as all of creation. We are limitless…

“All power is within you; you can do anything and everything. Believe in that, do not believe that you are weak; do not believe that you are half-crazy lunatics, as most of us do nowadays. You can do any thing and everything, without even the guidance of any one. Stand up and express the divinity within you.” -Swami Vivikananda

Over and over this message has been leaking it’s way into our culture, from Eastern Religions, Hollywood movies and science.
It won’t be long until it becomes accepted by the masses.

We’re on our way to knowing ourselves as the powerful, and eternal beings that we really are. The tough part is to get over the brainwashing we’ve had since birth, that we are limited beings. We’ve been ruled by our egos and through fear.

Once we start to connect deeply with the wisdom carried within us we will start to unlock our power. The knowledge is within our hearts, within our cells and within our spirits.

It’s happening globally at level of human consciousness, but this also happens on an individual level.

Take some time to sit quietly, where you will be undisturbed. Breathe deeply and let yourself relax. Clear your mind and ask your heart…. Are you more powerful than you would like to admit? Could you perhaps be more than who you appear to be? A being of light? A piece of the universal energy who has come into this form to experience this life to learn, grow, and explore ?

Your heart will tell you YES! If you don’t often listen to your body- to your heart, it may be faint at first but something deep within you will resonate with this message. You are more than a mere human being. So much more! Fear might have held you back from exploring this, but there is no need to be afraid anymore.  You are stronger and more powerful than you ever dreamed of. We aren’t capable of even conceptualizing the power that resides within our spirit.

I know this body isn’t my whole identity. I am residing in it, a visitor who has come for the experience. I wanted to be here, to learn and be within this physical form. I made the choice to live in this body for the duration of this trip to Earth because I wanted to learn from being in this body.

I am choosing to work with my body consciously, so I can unearth whatever wisdom it can share with me about being within in, on this physical plane. If we’re stuck together, might as well make the best of it. Right body? Absolutely! We have a lot to talk about!

Alice Popkorn- CC by 3.0
Alice Popkorn- CC by 3.0