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My Womb Pulses With Life

Another from my pregnancy journal. My husband and I found out that we were pregnant the morning that we left for our honeymoon – a 7 day rafting trip on the Salmon River with 14 of our friends. It was such a gift to get to spend those early days of knowing on water, in a beautiful natural place, with plenty of free time to daydream and let my mind wander. My connection with the Earth in those early days really set the tone for my entire pregnancy.

September 8, 2014

My womb pulses with life
I grow you with the assistance of the Sun and the Moon
Luna is full above me as I sit in this deep canyon next to a wild river
Wild, like the cells multiplying to create this new life blooming inside of me
Science knows so much about this process, but there is still so much mystery, and every now and then I can taste those ancient secrets
Every night I say a prayer, place my hand on my belly, and wish you health, strength and vitality
I love you so much already and I am doing everything I can to create a womb of love and health for your first home
This is such a special time and I feel so blessed to be able to cherish it dearly

If You Avoid It, It’s For You

Yoga is a vast universe. We all come to yoga for different reasons. We want to de-stress, get strong, soothe anxiety, heal an injury, etc. Then it hooks us.

There is an undeniable high and tranquility that, we sense, is our innate nature. And so we practice, again and again, diving into the facets that make us feel alive. And yet, there are so many aspects that we ignore. They may not be as pleasurable in the moment, but if we give them our full attention, that peace becomes where we live instead of being a place to arrive it.

I see it a lot in fitness-junkies, who love every minute of a physically challenging class, and then facing the stillness of savasana sends them right out the door. It’s fine to pick and choose, of course, and that’s part of the beauty of having so many options. Yoga can be whatever we want it to be. But know that whatever part of the practice you illuminate casts a shadow on what you ignore, and THAT is where your biggest lessons lie. That is the dry slice of the pie that you need to eat in order to look at all of yourself, be all of yourself and grow in beautiful ways you’ve never imagined.

Flexibility and flow come easily to me and I derive deep pleasure from diving into rhythm, improvisation and breath. But when I turn around and face discipline and strength in the eye? Gulp. Deep breath. Okay, let’s do this. I see where my limits are. I see where it bleeds out into my life. I have to face my subconscious beliefs about discipline and control. Yuck, but Yes!

There are two common, linked phrases among yogis: “If you avoid it, it’s for you” and “The pose begins when you want to leave it”. Part of the work of Asana is that it brings discomfort to our door. And sure, we can skirt around it by focusing on the person next to us or taking shortcuts, but no true development happens until you decide to be present and drink in this moment. Let yourself be here. Now. Face your shadow. It’s where your greatest magic and message are nesting, waiting for you to crack them open.

I Am Awakening

Listening to the whispers in the breeze and the stories rushing past my cold and happy river feet
I am awakening
My root has caught the eternal fire in my heart
I am grounded and alive

The winds of change blow all around me and I laugh as their possibilities play with my hair
I am free; to choose, to gaze, to walk, to wonder

Sown seeds have taken root beneath me and wherever I go, I am connected
Tapped in
Awake

Deep down, within, I know.

I know.

There Are Promising Lands

I’ve come to know that the promising land I’ve called home for years is one that I must now leave behind.

This land captivated me with its lushness, brilliance and expansive flowery meadows. While this land once was full of blooms, it has been in drought for some time. The promise of another Spring has led me to keep planting seeds of hope, and yet, I know I must leave this place and find a new meadow. In spite of occasional new sprouts, they are not enough to sustain.

This dying place is surrounded by frozen tundra, and while I believe I will make it through to lush springs once again, more beautiful and fertile than I’ve ever known, I have been paralyzed by my fear of this frozen wasteland that I must cross. Alone. No safety net. Tending my own fires. Facing new dangers and debts with my child on my hip.

But if I stay in this drought-stricken land, I will surely perish with optimism wavering.

I am strong. I am supported. I am aligned. I trust in the Universe.

And so I set off for unknown lands with a heart full of courage and my feet pointing forward.

It Must Be a Full Moon

It must be a Full Moon, because the fatigue in my eyes is no match for the stirring in my center
The night breeze lifts my hair and whispers “Create”
Bedtime was hours ago, and yet I feel infinite, timeless
I am the moment

A pull from my chest toward the messy kitchen that I felt too tired to clean just hours ago now calls me to scrub, wipe, clear, beautify
Nevermind that the kitchen floor could use sweeping; it’s now the perfect dance floor
And so I’ll surrender to Luna’s playful encouragement to twirl and spin and sway and squat

The mat I meant to roll up is inviting me to play in its space, sensually floating between layers of breath and deliciously explore all of my body’s collagenic grooves

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Clear Vision

The Capricorn Full Moon awoke me from my sleep and shook my shoulders
“What are you doing my dear child?! Don’t you see?”
Moonbeams electrified my veins and suddenly I realized that I had been so foolish, so armored, so afraid.
Only looking forward, I hadn’t seen the beautiful gift that laid at my feet
It wasn’t until this gift was deflated, dull, and making its turn toward more grateful waters that I could see it’s once-vibrant state
“Wait!” I yelled, reaching out and grasping at its sunken edges
“I want you! I need you! I appreciate you! I’m so sorry I couldn’t see.”
I don’t doubt that a wise, observant goddess dipped her finger into the cosmic cauldron and gave it a swirl, revealing to me the vast chasm between the truth and my perception.
And so, I am surrendered
, finally seeing, humbly naked, heart wide open.

Special Place Visualization

One of my favorite visualizations to guide students through during yoga nidra or savasana is one where we wade through the river of life, swimming past the rapids of bills, mother-in-laws, coworkers, and friends; we get out of the river and stumble upon a beautiful place.

This place can be anywhere – your bed, the Grand Canyon, a cafe in Paris, a jungle from your imagination – whatever feels most relaxing and comforting to you. I adore hearing what students’ special place is. A place where the quiet spaces of your mind can expand, your body can relax, and most importantly, where you feel safe.

We rest in this place, fully, soaking in the sounds and smells, looking around and even feeling the ground. We GO there.

My place is a wild meadow filled with lavender. Maybe it’s by the ocean, maybe there are deer grazing nearby. I go to this place everytime I offer this visualization, and when I’m having trouble falling asleep or quelling my anxiety. It’s automatic now.

Last night I was taking a walk and I passed a house with a beautiful garden, abundant with lavender. Despite being in the middle of town with my feet on the concrete and cars whizzing by, I was immediately transported to the meadow. Anchors lifted off my shoulders, a smile lifted the corners of my mouth, and my fast-paced walk suddenly transformed into a lovey, twirly stroll.

I can’t even verbalize all the ways that mindfulness enhances life. It’s not just the effects you feel shortly after doing it, it’s the pathway that’s formed in your mind. Going to that place over and over becomes as easy as walking to your front door, and suddenly, you’re at peace. Anywhere, anytime.