Mindfulness of breath is a simple practice that can transform our lives.
In this article, the great meditation master Thich Nhat Hanh teaches five mindfulness exercises to help you live with happiness and joy.
3) Serenity Prayer
The Serenity Prayer offers us simple, humble, timeless truths. I first came across the serenity prayer in Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse Five” back in high school, yet it’s most widely canonised within the 12 step / Alcoholics Anonymous program. It reminds us that acceptance is an active pursuit, that courage is required in order to make changes to ourselves, our habits, our lives, and that ultimately these possibilities are in our own hands
Created in the 1970s, the iconic, significant and rich Mother Peace Tarot is a deck of tarot cards inspired by the Goddess Movement and second-wave feminism. This deck has just invited itself in to my world in a myriad of ways. I’m beginning and loving to explore it’s depths and symbolism. You can try picking form the deck here. If you do purchase this deck, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you also get this book “Motherpeace: A Way to the Goddess Through Myth, Art, and Tarot” to more fully understand and appreciate.
“For over a decade, Motherpeace has been an inspiration and oracle for women all over the world. Motherpeace recovers the positive, nurturing peace-oriented values of pre-patriarchal times, and brilliantly combines art, history, mythology, folklore, philosophy, and comparative religion with an informed spiritual and feminist perspective.
Vicki Noble challenges us to celebrate our ancient peaceful heritage and to reclaim our right as a people to a life without war. The book is a vision of hope and transformation, made even more powerful by the vibrant pictorial images of the seventy-eight Motherpeace tarot cards.
Motherpeace shows how traditional myths and symbols can provide ideas and images for understanding the meaning and power of the Goddess for women and men today
Walking endlessly through the streets of San Francisco, training my intuition to respond to the “full body yes” that has space to arise in these moments of flow, led me to the gift of discovering this incredible musician, vocalist and producer. I instantly fell in love with the ephemeral beauty of her creations. This is my favourite song so far. . Hope you like it!.
Here are your fresh Love & Inspirations for the week ahead:
1) Quote I’m pondering:
“The greatest danger in yoga, that by routine, is becoming mechanical and regimented. I find that the beauty of a mind-body discipline, such as yoga or qigong, is that it’s an endless process of discovery and surprise. This is often overlooked by students, driven by gain and strength and flexibility. I think that yoga, rather than a path leading to mastery, is an invitation to evoke mystery and a powerful, subtle, and unnameable energy that roams inside. A dedicated practice is like a rite of passage that guides one to sense, feel, and remember that which inevitably resists identification. I can testify that the further I travel into the inner processes of the body and mind, the more I realize I don’t know.” – Tias Little, Yoga of the Subtle Body
1. Recognize that the other person is you. 2. There is a way through every block. 3. When the time is on you, start, and the pressure will be off. 4. Understand through compassion or you will misunderstand the times. 5. Vibrate the Cosmos. The Cosmos shall clear the path.
This week I had the opportunity to attend some Kundalini Yoga classes and it got my curious. Unlike your typical Vinyasa Flow type Yoga practice, Kundalini is much more a breath and energy centered practice. I started to do a bit of research and came across Yogi Bhajan – Master of Kundalini Yoga and spiritual teacher to thousands – five principles which he called the Five Sutras, to help us navigate this time of transition that is being called the Age of Aquarius – the age of information, of growth and connection, of breaking down hierarchies.
A few years ago, my heart broke into a million pieces and I lost my voice for a 1.5 years. As is often the case with life, my challenge has become my gift, and helping people to find their voice and connect to their song is becoming more and more a main passion and offering of mine. At that time I tried everything – ginger tea, salt water gargles, ninjaiom, medicated honey, steams, silent retreats….The thing I feel that works best for me, aside from working through the emotions and heartbreak, when I get that slight tingle in the throat are these Organic Licorice Root based teas. Yummm!
Ancient wisdom and perspectives, and practical contemporary take-aways for healing, shared here in-depth by Alberto Villoldo, a classically trained medical anthropologist, who has studied shamanic healing for more than twenty years.
Here are your fresh Love & Inspirations for the week ahead:
“They who are steady in eating and in rest, and in their work, do their duty; they who, are steady in sleeping and waking, they will be able, training Yoga, to mitigate sufferings of their material lives…” – Bhagavad Gita 6:18
Navaratri is an auspicious time in the Vedic calendar dedicated to honouring and celebrating the goddess energy within us all, male and female.
I’ve had the privilege this past week of sharing goddess mantras with my soul sister Lindsey Wise for 2 powerful Navaratri Yoga classes here in California, with Emily Perry at Bhakti Fest ,and Hannah Muse for Ygoa Church Santa Cruz, and have been feeling so much the forca feminina within.
“Nava means nine in Sanskrit while Ratri means nights. This is a nine day celebration that is divided into three parts. The first three days are dedicated to the goddess Durga. Her warrior spirit cleanses, shifts, uproots, changes and transforms. Think of her as tilling the soil, prior to planting seeds.
The goddesses Durga, Saraswati and Lakshmi symbolize these parts of life and Nature, while also being parts of our own innate Self. The three of them together represent our wholeness, the trinity of life, alive in and around us. These three goddesses also connect to Shakti, the goddess who gives the spark of life to every being, to Nature, and to existence.
The next three days of celebration are dedicated to Lakshmi. Her abundance, nurturing, and wealth offer nourishment and support to us on all levels of life.
Finally, we have three days dedicated to goddess Saraswati. Saraswati gives us knowledge, understanding, wisdom, creativity and artistry. She is the rasayana (or healing balm) if you will to close these nine sacred days of festivities. Together, these three goddesses bring wholeness, renewal and the life giving offerings of Shakti.
It is at this time that we can connect to these three goddesses most easily—inside of us, and around us. Because of this, Navaratri is considered a very sacred and powerful time of year—one that influences our inner and outer experience of life for months to come.
To connect with the goddesses more closely, make special offerings on your altar for them during the nine days. You can also dedicate your actions and intentions to them for greater communication.
Have you tried this yet? It’s getting cold here in North America, so my friend suggested I try the Wim Hof breath. Everyone and there cousin seems to be getting into Wim Hof – the “ice man” and his method, so I decided to try it…
This video shares a really super simple practice, straight from the source – essentially it’s 30 x rounds of the fully belly-chest-head breathing, followed by an increasingly long retention.
What I discovered is that this particular Wif Hoff breathing method is simply a form of pranayama, which is one my main personal practices. There are more than 50 known types of pranayama techniques, all with multiple positive benefits. What I experienced right away in trying this practice, is what I often feel with my regular pranayama practice – stress relief, increased clarity, presence, concentration and well-being.
“Positive Psychology is the scientific study of human flourishing, and an applied approach to optimal functioning. It has also been defined as the study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals, communities and organisations to thrive (Gable & Haidt, 2005, Sheldon & King, 2001).
I’ve always been fascinated by the human being, our behaviours, thought patterns, how both genetics and life experiences manifest in how we interface with reality. I did my first University Bachelors degree in Psychology. At that time, we learned a lot about when things go wrong…abnormal psychology, the brain and how to treat “problems”.
Once I started getting deeper into Yoga, what became more relevant for me, what how I could use the wisdom, knowledge and understandings of science and psychology theory to thrive more in each arising present moment – essentially how to be more happy and awake.
We sing this mantra to the fierce aspect of the goddess, as we help to liberate ourselves from the ever-deep layers of the lower self, which can seem to come back more and more powerfully, especially when we thought we had already dealt with and integrated that aspect of our being.
Jay Shri Ma Kali Kali Ma Jay Shri Ma Jay Shri Ma Kali Kali Ma Jay Shri Ma Ananda Ma Durga Devi Jagadambe Shri Ma Ananda Ma Durga Devi Jagadambe Shri Ma
I’ve been a fairly consistent journal writer throughout my life, and often think of my relationship to pen on paper as my most trusted therapist. It feels really good, cathartic, insightful and space-making to get back into this as a daily practice. Join me!
Morning Pages, known as “the bedrock tool of a creative recovery” are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. *There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages*– they are not high art. They are not even “writing.”
They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritise and synchronise the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page…and then do three more pages tomorrow.”
What’s happening today is an incredible landmark planetary event: Over 4 million people have been protesting for #ClimateStrike#FridaysForFuture in163 countries, and counting…
I am experiencing a full body “YES!!!!” to this movement, and so grateful to everyone who is taking a stand, and to all those people like you and I who are becoming more and more open and curious about our own carbon footprint and personal responsibility, and what actual life changes we can adopt to help #bethechange.
This is an incredible opportunity for collective evolution to support the common dream.
6 ideas we can consider to support climate action:
1) Eat less Meat
2) Walk rather than drive
3) Avoid single-use plastics
4) Plant more trees 🌱
5) Make a stand – Share how important this is with local businesses and change-makers
6) Spend more time in wonder, awe, curiosity, and gratitude, remembering that we as individuals and as a collective and completely interconnect and interdependent
Hit Reply and Let me Know
Do you have other great ideas to take responsibility and support climate action?
? What is one thing you are willing to give up or change to help protect the future?
Empowering, inspiring, practical. Everything is Figuroutatable is simultaneously a mantra, a mindset and a life philosophy.
I am huge big fan of Marie Forleo and everything she creates. I often credit her for helping me find, and keep finding my way as an entrepreneur and motivated, inspired human.
I cannot remember the last time I underlined and highlighted so much in one book. She has so many great, memorable and incredible helpful one-liner philosophies, and I highly highly highly recommend this book or anyone, especially if you are at all feeling stuck in any area of your life.
Some of my fav and most practical one-liner highlights:
Start before you’re ready
Define your Dream
Progress over Perfection
Try it before you deny it
If it’s important enough you’ll make time for it, otherwise you’ll make an excuse
One of the absolute best and most complete personality systems and “user-manuals” I’ve ever had the opportunity to study is the Enneagram.
If you spend any length of time with me personally, eventually we are gonna start talking Enneagram, because I love it and think its the greatest thing ever.
Through discovering and learning to understand our “type” we can begin to know and understand ourselves, our core fears and motivations and how to bring ourselves into more self-awareness, balance, wellness and growth.
Rather than being yet another box or label to put ourselves into it, I feel that learning the Enneagram has helped me to, as my dear friend and Enneagram Expert Lubna Shareif describes, “step out of the box of who weare”.
Read Lubna’s article – Why Learn the Enneagram, here, and even set yourself up for a consultation to be able to begin navigating this masterful system.
and let me know what type feels resonant for you! I’m always curious and excited to learn more about my people!
Rootsy, soulful, hip-hoppy, folky, traditional somehow, yet totally new. I love the genre-bending tapestry of voices and creations of these beautiful sisters. I chose this song to share with you today, but I love pretty much everything I’ve heard from Rising Appalachia. Check ‘em out!
I knew she was sharing from a helpful and empowering place, so I gave it a try and haven’t looked back.
Scraping our tongues everyday, according to the ancient sister science to Yoga of Ayurveda, can help give you a better understanding of your overall oral and general health, as well as stimulate internal organs and improve digestion.
Here are your fresh Love & Inspirations for the week ahead:
“ I think it is essential sometimes to go into retreat, to stop everything that you have been doing, to stop your beliefs and experiences completely and look at them anew, not keep on repeating like machines whether you believe or don’t believe. You would let fresh air into your minds.” — Jiddu Krishnamurti
2) Bodhisattva Prayer for All Humanity
Bodhisattva Prayer for All Humanity – Shantideva, Indian Buddhist sage 700 A.D.
I love this prayer because it reminds me that we all carry within us the capacity to awaken, if we so choose, and that this awakening process is an ongoing, personal, continual and life-long journey. It also reminds me that what matters is how we show up in the world, how we respond to life and its challenges, and in the face of challenges, its reminds me that we can help each other and approach the challenge with love and compassion rather than fear and anger.
“May I be a guard for those who need protection,
a guide for those on the path,
a boat, a raft, a bridge for those who wish to cross the flood.
May I be a lamp in the darkness,
a resting place for the weary,
a healing medicine for all who are sick,
a vase of plenty, a tree of miracles.
And for the boundless multitudes of living beings,
Understanding our own love language, and those of our loved ones, has for many, including myself, been a game changer.
I have a friend for example, whose husband came home every day from work, cooked her dinner, gave her a foot massage and yet they fought all the time because all she wanted was for him to ask her how she was, and about her day. They were simply speaking different love language.
The premise of Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages is simple. Each person gives and receives love in a certain language, and learning how to be more fluent in the love languages of yourself and your loved ones, can help you to better understand and express your needs thereby strengthening and enhancing your relationships.
The 5 Love Language are: Acts of Service,Physical Touch, Receiving Gifts, Quality time, and words of affirmation.
Are you going through a challenging moment? Feel triggered? Dark moon and new moon, can be especially challenging times of the cycle for some of us.
Self-compassion work is some of the most powerful way to access loving kindness towards ourself, and Dr. Kristin Neff offers us this incredible resource to help learn about self-compassion.
I experimented with this particular “sooth soften allow” meditation mentioned above this past week when some old emotions resurfaced, and I found it valuable. You may like to choose a different meditation to try. Let me know what you think!
One of the topics we share in depth on our 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training is Trauma-informed Yoga teaching practice. This area is starting to get a lot more attention in the Yoga world as we realise that it is highly common for people to experience the devastating and pervasive effects of trauma.
Trauma is a response to a deeply distressing or disturbing event, that can overwhelm an individual’s ability to cope, causing feelings of helplessness, a diminished sense of self and ability to feel the full range of emotions and experiences.
In this powerful, informative and well-researched book, one of the world’s experts on traumatic stress offers a bold new paradigm for treatment, moving away from standard talking and drug therapies and towards an alternative approach that heals mind, brain and body.
New moons are a naturally more reflective time. I like to take this nature given opportunity to slow down and take time to go inward. Pop on this playlist after a practice, or as your practice, and melt! Do you have a favourite savasana song? I’d LOVE to hear it!
In this short video, Russlee Brand gives a good and simple explanation on meditation – how we are not our thoughts and feelings – and mantra and how it works to focus the thinking mind – like giving a child a yo-yo, so that we are not identified and controlled by the mind, so that we can be in higher service.
I love practicing to music to help me get in the flow zone. I made this 13 track playlist a couple years ago, and it stands the test of time. Put it on for background music, a gentle dance, or get some sun salutation movement medicine happening!
I’m brewing some new playlists too, so let me know if there are any standout trax that you’d like to hear more.
“Devotion is my teacher…Before anything you are in life, put the word “devoted” in front of it. A devoted mother, a devoted sister, a devoted child…this way you know that everything you do in life in an offering, and everything that life brings to you is also an offering”.- Daniela Garza Rios
Sweet Bubbly and wise, Daniela Garza Rois, celebrated Mandala Yoga Teacher Trainer, AcroYogi, Vedanti, Bhakti, and teacher at Bali’s famous Yoga Barn, shares with us all about:
Her Yoga Journey: Her mom as her first big inspiration, how Yoga found her, and her passion for sharing her unique Teacher Trainings
What is Mandala Yoga and how she uses this practice to dance with life and connect with the rhythm of Flow
Words of wisdom for the single parent – How becoming a Single Mom, challenged not only her morning practice, but also helped her transform the traditional concept of what it means to have family, to recognise that family and support is all around
Obstacles as tool for Self-growth – Self with a capital “S” – The harder the teaching, the thicker the blessing.
Acro-Yoga as a way to experience and understand how the body moves, by feeling meridians and anatomical planes
Bhakti Yoga – and what it means to be in devotion
Dharma Yoga & the 20 Value of Values – Why it’s important to follow your life’s purpose
Sacred space, and the power of having an altar, and working with nature and the 5 elements to help connect with and transmute emotions
Vedic Studies – Non-Dualism and her passion for studying Vedanta – the sacred teachings of Yoga from the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Mahabharata – and the importance of having a experienced guide to unfold the teachings