Tag Archives: Inspiration

Dancing In Stillness, Welcoming Spring!

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Photo by Stephanie T. Photography

I haven’t posted since the winter solstice. How interesting the first time I’ve been inspired to write again is the first day of spring! I’ve been spending all my time and energy gestating what will be my most beautiful creation, the little love warrior I’ve been dancing into being.

I’m 39 weeks pregnant today, and I’ve been feeling heavy. Mostly physically, but occasionally mentally and spiritually as well. Growing a person is energetically demanding and incredibly grounding. It feels a little too grounding for me at times. Having to slow down (way, way down) and surrender to stillness is a challenge for my fiery nature. I find myself occasionally getting frustrated with my bodies need for so much rest. I usually use activity, especially dance, to move through my emotions and balance my mood.  I was able to dance, move and work with more grace and ease than I expected to, right up until I finished teaching mid February but now seems like the distant past. This last month has been a process of accepting that in order to honor my body and take care of myself and the baby, I need to let go of the need I normally have to sweat it out.  I’m trying to remember I can get my dance on it other ways.

This morning, when I awoke and thought about the day ahead, time stretched out in a seemingly endless fashion before me. I’ve finished my to-do list, and the empty time seemed daunting. Then I found in my email inbox the first day of a new 21 day meditation experience with Deepak and Oprah called Shedding The Weight: Mind, Body and Spirit that I had signed up for a few weeks ago. Today’s meditation was called ‘Finding The Lightness In Your Life.’ It was amazing, beautiful and perfect timing as the The sun just moved into Aries and the wheel of the year has just turned to Spring. Personally, I really, really needed the reminder.

I don’t have a daily sitting meditation practice, but I’ve been meditating in some form for about 17 years and it never ceases to amaze me how beautiful it can be. I so often choose movement meditation over one sitting in stillness and I forget how good stillness can be. In today’s meditation, the mantra quickly fell away and I saw myself shedding the heavy, dense energy that had hardened around me over the last while. It cracked off in bits and pieces, revealing the brilliant light body underneath. I was reminded we are all the embodiment of conscious light, radiant stars that come to play and learn in this dense physical realm. I felt connected to all light everywhere in the universe and could feel myself as the rays of the sun shining down on the earth. As this light, I was pure love and compassion, and as I touched the faces of the beings on the planet, my heart overflowed with love for them all. I felt myself as every star in the multiverse, and the unending light of love flowing through every dimension. Back in my body, I could see the light of my daughter glowing within me, a soft golden glow, different in quality from my light, and I was once again reminded she’s coming here to teach me how to love in an even bigger way. I can’t wait to have my heart cracked open to experience these new dimensions of love and to dance with her in my arms.

I’ll be taking a hiatus from teaching until January 2017, but when I return, I will have so much more light and  love to share with you all. I can’t wait to dance with you again! Until then, if you want to get your hoop on, there are still classes happening with Infinity Hoopdance.

Wishing you all a Happy Spring!

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Photo by Stephanie T. Photography

 

 

 

Arriving In Sedona

I’m sitting on my bed at the Sugar Loaf Lodge in Sedona, battling my twin urges to go out and explore, or to go to sleep right now (it’s only 7pm here). I’m splitting the difference by staying in, and staying up for another hour or two.
Then I’ll be up with the sun so I can perhaps head out for an early morning hike before my life between lives hypnotherapy session tomorow.

“Your what?” You ask, feeling intrigued and perhaps slightly confused.

It’s exactly what it sounds like.

I’m sure you’ve heard of past-life regression. Well, this is the same thing, but also explores the realm in between lives where our spirits plan for  our next incarnation (as well as do some other spirit realm type things.)

I can’t friggin wait. I am so excited I don’t even know how to process it.

The technique is from Dr. Michael Newton, of The Newton Institute. 
He was a very skeptical hypnotherapist who accidently found himself regressing his past life patients into that between lives state, which he calls the spirit world or spirit realm.

He has written several fascinating books about his cases; Journey of Souls, Destiny of Souls and Memories of the Afterlife. All of them are full of fascinating information that sparked a deep remembrance within me.

Most people who go for a session are looking for their life purpose, or perhaps they have an issue in their lives they are really struggling with. I’m just going out of sheer curiosity and a deep desire to bring a deeper connection to spirit into my everyday life.

Through meditation, I’ve had a few spontaneous, direct experiences with this realm and each time I have felt an intense healing of my being and infusion of knowledge and understanding. The beauty of our immortal soul in it’s light body is so spectacularly breathtaking that it’s beyond words, and even beyond my full comprehension.

Needless to say, I’m sure much of it will be beyond words but I’ll try to share as much of the experience as I can with you all.

Much love from the Red Rock country!

 

 

 

 

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!’ http://wp.me/p32wA4-3x

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

Wasn’t Expecting So Much Awesome!

NASA , ESA and H.Richer(UBC)
NASA , ESA and H.Richer(UBC)

When I woke up this morning I was more than a little annoyed at myself for setting up this movement meditation challenge.

All I wanted to do was settle into my normal day off routine of drinking jasmine green tea and eating breakfast while catching up on whatever happened online while I was sleeping.

As I was turning on the music (Bass Yoga vol. 1 -by HumenNature) to start my half hour practice, I actually said to my husband “I think I’m gonna hate this!”

I was stiff, sore and wanted nothing more than to stay in bed and be lazy. It’s C-41 outside, and I could feel the cold seeping in from the windows. The living room was chilling and seemed unwelcoming.

I stood barefoot in the center of the room, bundled up in sweats and a bunny hug, hood up- shielding me from the sun and the cold. I didn’t feel like moving at all, so  I closed my eyes and listened to the music, which opened with a soft and droning synth, and the sound of the ocean. It drew me into myself, and my breath deepened. The first long notes of the flute touched me  and I felt a deep yearning… A desire for comfort and connection. The melody lifted me away, out of that feeling and into something more like curiosity. I began to move, almost imperceptibly at first.

My attention was drawn to the cold stiffness in my hips, and I rocked them, swaying in a figure 8 pattern, holding my hands to my heart. The movements were smaller than I have ever made, it almost felt like I was merely imagining the movement, but heat started to gather in my muscles and they began to relax. The figure 8 my hips were drawing with their movement grew larger and my hands began to float upwards, rolling and twisting, gathering energy and bringing it back down to my core.

Everything felt deep, slow and easy. I had dreaded moving vigorously so early in my day and a flood of relief washed over me when I realized I didn’t have to. I could spend the whole time rocking gently side to side if I wanted. My movement meditation had no rules and once I surrendered my expectations of dancing and stretching, I could simply be present in my body and see how it guided me.

I spent quite a bit of time with these quiet, small movements; rolling my shoulders and chest with my feet planted firmly to the ground. As I warmed up, I moved more freely and played close to the ground as well as up on my toes, reaching for the sky.  I moved and swayed, stretched and dance. The pace of movement was languid and relaxed.  When I looked up at the time, I was amazed half an hour had already passed.  I considered continuing on but chose hop in the shower and reflect on the experience. Not to mention, I was getting hungry.

When I stopped I felt energized, grounded and at peace- completely ready to face my day. I was also incredibly excited to try it again tomorrow, because not only did it feel fantastic, but because I had so many flashes of insight-  Ideas that are going to guide this project and create new ones as well. The whole thing was inspiring, fun, joyful, uplifting and made my body feel amazing. I felt more present and aware than I ever do that early in the day. Those 30 minutes exceeded my expectations in every way and I’m so grateful and happy it actually brought a tear to my eye.

I’ve spent so much time knowing how important movement is to me personally, and years ago  I vowed to cultivate a daily practice, but hadn’t had the courage or discipline to start (or perhaps I just wasn’t ready). I knew intuitively it would be a powerful tool, but I was blown away by its potential today. This is a game changer.

It’s going to change me.

I’m not exactly sure how, but I can feel it coming.

I feel open and ready to receive all the wisdom and gifts this practice is going to bring, and I’m so excited. I never thought I’d be jazzed about getting up early, but I’m looking forward to tomorrow already. Just thinking about it has all the cells in my body literally radiating with joyful excitement. It’s a crazy buzz and this is going to be a crazy ride.

Love falling for the Sky by Ventry cc by 3.0
Love falling for the Sky by Ventry cc by 3.0

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.

Constant Inspiration

I love feeling inspired!  I’m sure we all do.

It feels good! It’s all  warm and tingly and exciting, and makes you feel like you can do  anything and everything (all at once)!
It kind of sounds like a mind altering chemical when I put it that way, but I suppose it is altering your brain chemistry to make you feel that way.

I find that warm, tingly exciting serotonin and dopamine enhancing inspiration everywhere; nature, music, books, my friends, my husband and most often from the internet, especially from facebook!

That’s right, facebook.

I know social media has been argued to be the downfall of modern society, but I love it! I love the chance to interact with people I may not see all the time, heck- even with people I’ve never met before. Every time I log on to facebook, my stream is full of inspiring images, quotes and status updates like the picture below. Reading these messages makes me  feel uplifted and renewed.

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It certainly wasn’t always like this. I remember when my news feed was full of people bitching and complaining about something or another, with some positive posts and groups intertwined with people I can only categorize as whiners. Then, a couple of years ago I posted a status update about a long work day I had (13.75 hours, no break, actively serving the whole time). A friend tried to turn it into a pissing contest by talking about all the long ass shifts they often pulled. They were actively trying to diminish and dismiss my experience.  I asked them to stop trying to make it a competition and I acknowledged that both were challenging in different ways. I was trying to respectfully shut down an argument, but the reply I received was basically “Too Bad, because  life wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows and I couldn’t direct all conversations to a more positive, supportive tone because life doesn’t work that way.”

I thought, “Challenge accepted!” and unfriended this person immediately.

My wall. My rules.

I want my time on facebook to be stress free, fun, inspiring, uplifting and educational.

I don’t mind being challenged, I don’t mind debating. I crave intellectually stimulating conversation that stays respectful. There’s no need to be argumentative and rude, demeaning or dismissive of another person’s experience. I want all my interactions to be positive, compassionate and mindful.

I also don’t want to be confronted with constant negativity. I’ve only unfriended that one person, but there are plenty of people I have hidden because of constant negativity. All  your status updates don’t have to be positive. We all need support from our friends when we are down, or when shit happens, but if you only ever have bad things to say, I don’t want to hear it. I’m sorry, I send you my love, and wish nothing but the best for you, but don’t need you dragging me down. Oprah, a pinnacle of positivity once said:

Surround yourself with people who are going to lift you higher.

I think that’s fantastic advice.

I spend a lot of time on facebook, and I want my experience to lift me up, to fill me with love, hope and excitement about what’s going on in the world because that’s the energy I want to share with the world! I want to lift others up.  Seeing constant inspiration gives me the energy to be inspiring and put that light and love back out into the world.

There are two ways of spreading light. One is to be the candle and one is to be the mirror that reflects it. -Edith Warton

images

This is an image of a single candle surrounded by mirrors! Amazing. I think personally, I want to be a disco ball candle; burning brightly myself, but also reflecting back the light of others in every direction.