Catch Your Breath ~ Reflections

DomePic

This time last year I sat here in this very dome with nearly 40 people for a training with my beloved mentor, David Elliott. The training was Breathwork Healing – Level 3 (which is the level for guiding groups).

I sat there trembling and excited.

Me? Teach A Group?

And yet, I had already pre-booked my first group meditation offering for the following week so here I was…ready or not.

The year before that I would have crawled away and buried myself in a hole to keep myself “safe” and hidden. I had been a certified yoga teacher at that time for 5 years already but had been too afraid to teach.

Too afraid to be seen.

Too afraid to be heard.

So,

What Changed?

How Did I Get All The Way Here?

The answer is so simple but also the most profound.

It is this very practice I now share with others.

It is Breathwork Meditation.

The very tool I am sharing with others is the one that set me free

– And –

That is why it MUST be shared.

It is a tool that can connect you to your energy, your life force. It is the thread that connects you to the Divine…The Breath of LIFE. It can release years and lifetimes of fear, anxiety, passed down and made up belief systems, guilt, shame and regret.

It can connect you to new levels of compassion, self-awareness and LOVE.

It can change your life.

It certainly has changed mine.

As I write this I am here to lead my first retreat.

I laugh as this truth sinks in.

I smile in my heart and feel it radiate through my body and onto my face.

Miracles DO Happen.

They are meant to happen.

They are part of our evolution and growth and expansion into who we are meant to be.

We ARE Miracles.

Right before I left for the weekend, my breathwork sister Katie Mayeux posted a quote by our teacher David Elliott where he said, “Let Things Be Easy”.

Those words penetrated my heart and soul (thank you David and thank you Katie), and they came EXACTLY at the right moment.

Today as I lay here in this dome,

Creating Sacred space for a beautiful group of women,

I feel myself flowing into the most ultimate surrender.

I flow into EASE.

To the Divine.

To the unfolding of Love.

Love which is WAY bigger than I had ever imagined or felt worthy to receive

Before

BUT

Now I feel that I am worthy.

I know that I am.

Because LOVE Breathed LIFE Into Me

And I am here.

But I didn’t get here alone.

My first teacher and guide into this practice is Erin Telford.

Erin lovingly showed me the way, helped me feel safe, showed me the path.

She opened the gate to a whole new world and whole new relationship with myself.

She said, “The Most Important Relationship You Can Have Is The One With Yourself”,

and I now understand what that means.

Thank you to Erin Telford and to all of my breathwork sisters and brothers who have been on this journey with me.

Thank you to David Elliott, whose work literally changed my heart and soul and re-patterned the course of my life. I am forever grateful that The Reluctant Healer gave way to this incredible work that continues to bless so many.

You can be a part of it too.

A Love Note From The Gardener

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Come.

Breathe with Me.

Feel Your Life Sap

Stirring Within You.

 

Your Breath…

Don’t You Know?

It Is the Gateway that Opens

Your Inner Eyes to the Keys of Your Soul.

It is a Portal

Accessing

The Secret Garden

Hidden

Within the Walls

Of Your Human Experience.

 

Can You Feel That Current

Of Fresh Air

And Light

Flowing Through

Your Cracks?

 

Listen.

Feel.

 

Inhale

Inhale

Exhale

 

Walk Through the Vines of Fear

Hack Through the Overgrowth of Anger

Blast Through the Rock Walls of Pain

Uncover the Barriers

That Your Human Experience

Has Built Around You

To Protect

You.

They are

NOT

Protecting You.

They Are

Locking You Out.

 

Inhale

Inhale

Exhale

 

Let Your Breath Guide You to the Center

Where It is

Completely Still

And

Peaceful.

 

This is where I AM.

 

Sit Beside My Healing Waters.

Let them Wash Over You.

Experience the Flowering of Your Soul

And the Current of My Love Flowing Within Your Heart.

 

It Is Not The

Fountain Of Youth

You Have Been Searching For.

It

Is

The

Fountain Of Truth.

 

Breath Was Given

To YOU.

Life Was Given

To YOU.

Because

YOU ARE LOVED

With

An Everlasting

LOVE.

 

Your Life was Created ON PURPOSE,

No Matter

WHAT

Lies You Have Been Told.

 

Your Birthright Is

To Radiate Divine Light,

To Experience Divine Love,

To Shine Like A Child Of The Divine.

Because

That

Is

What

You

Are.

 

My Child.

 

Come Back to The Garden.

It is Safe Here.

It is Your Home.

 

Breathe Your Life.

I Used To Be A Closet Dancer…

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I used to be a closet dancer.

I would feel the rhythm
In my bones
To the music,
Turn it
Up
In the kitchen,
And exorcise the darkness from my soul.
There were a few long years when
I squashed down my joy.
I stopped moving.
I held my breath.
Because somehow
after experiencing
a traumatic event
in my life,
the lie that I bought was that
if
I moved
or
breathed
I would die.
And so
I froze.
I held my breath.
I stopped moving.
Trauma can do this to us.
The hardness of life
Can do this to us.
It can steal our joy.
It can program our brains to
Believe things
That
Aren’t true
And keep us in the past,
And hold us back
from all of the
Amazing Things
We are meant to be doing NOW.
The past four years have been life changing.
And the shift
started
with
Breathwork.
Connecting
to my spirit
Through the breath,
was like sweeping out my house
Of all the stagnant,
Heavy
Baggage,
That I had picked up over my lifetime.
The trauma,
The sadness,
The anger,
The grief,
The fear…
It was all like scar tissue in my body and soul.
And
The Breath
Began to break it up.
I felt it Loosen.
I felt my wounds
Begin to Heal.
I started living more fully
And a little more
Out
In the Open.
And because I had done
Such an extensive
Inner house cleaning,
There was Space
For
ME
To experience
So Much Joy.
My Spirit Started Dancing.
My new mantra became:
Breathe. Move. Breathe. Move. Breathe.
If you are reading this and feeling like
You wish you could
Experience
This kind of freedom,
Just know I feel you.
I have been there….
For what felt like
Ever.
If you feel
Stuck,
Hidden,
Squashed,
Unmotivated,
Afraid
Empty…
Just take a deep breath
And feel
How you
Can
Expand.
At first
You can feel
Silly,
Stupid,
Self-critical,
Or overly self-aware.
Just breathe anyway.
To be in these bodies is a privilege,
Even when
Our bodies at times
May have failed us,
Or have fallen sick,
or been weakened.
They may not look the way we want them to
Or do the things they used to do…
But –
They still carry our spirits inside.
And because of this,
It’s only
Right
to honor them
By
moving
and
breathing
and
dancing
And allowing them to
explore space
in the way they were created to explore and express.
I have to be honest.
I’ve never made a New year’s resolution.
Not for any particular reason,
I just never felt compelled to do so.
I never picked a word.
I never set a goal.
But this year I did.
The word I chose was
RE-AWAKEN.
And as I set out to reawaken and explore
More of who I am
and what I’m here to learn
And share,
I’m very much aware that part of this reawakening
for me
means to dance
In the Open
And not just
in my kitchen anymore.
Are there ways you might be squashing your light?
Are you keeping yourself really small
and safe
and hidden
and calling this living?
I invite YOU
To Come,
Dance,
Move,
Breathe,
With Me This Summer.
Take some time
To Expand
Explore
And take up more Space.
Take time to Heal.
Catch Your Breath.
Breathe your life.
*Spaces are Limited and are Beginning to fill, so if you feel one is for you, please reserve your place today, by clicking here:
With joy and gratitude in my heart for YOU.
April*
🙏💜

The Next Level of Self-Care – How Mayan Abdominal Massage Brought Me Home to My Body

self care

I thought I knew what Self-Care was until I worked with Jillian Anderson, and let me tell you…I am Never lowering my standards AGAIN!

This week I had the incredible honor of experiencing a Mayan Abdominal Massage.
Before I go into my experience, I first need to give you a little background.
In the past 4 years (since our daughter was born), my belly (that was once a predictably stronger area of my body), became a place of trauma, fear, and also shame. It felt like my own body had betrayed me and couldn’t be trusted. During my pregnancy it was discovered that I had fibroids, which were thought to be non-invasive and basically harmless. Boy, I wish that turned out to be true. After 51 hours of labor, I waved my white flag and had a C-section. 3 weeks later (when I was home with our new baby, thinking everything traumatic was behind me), I had a uterine hemorrhage and lost all of my blood. So…after multiple surgeries (including re-opening my unhealed C-section wound), blood transfusions and other procedures, I came through the other side. But….my belly became a place of terror for me. I was afraid to look at it, breathe into it,  or exercise. It literally became a living memory of all that I had gone through…except by living detached from this area of my body, I was giving it power to actually STILL be my present experience, if that makes sense? Just because we aren’t looking at something, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Often times when we finally do look, witness, and try to understand that which we fear or hide from, we discover a whole world of possibilities and growth, and new found strength.
Jillian and I have been discussing Mayan Abdominal Massage for months….and months ..and months…and how it could be a pivotal piece in my healing, but my fear dug it’s stubborn little heels into the ground and kept me back. I now know it was THE pivotal piece in my healing. My breathwork meditation practice has greatly brought healing to my heart and soul (and revealed where my fears were hiding in my body), and this abdominal massage was the Medicine to truly welcome myself back into my body.
And…I totally just cried typing that last sentence.
Because it is true.
And I am so grateful.
And every woman needs to do this!
Here is Why…
Imagine the warmth and comfort you had as a baby; swaddled in blankets, tucked in just right, being rocked, and swayed. This was the feeling I had from beginning to end. The comfort and support of feminine energy was so incredibly nurturing, attentive, and loving. Throughout the session, Jillian checked in to let me know that she was looking for different pulses, or checking my lymph, or other signs of tension or imbalance. Breathing was a key component to this work as well (which I loved). Jillian’s breath techniques lead me to do the same, many times without any other verbal communication. I felt completely safe and like my breath was giving my body consent to let go and accept the healing from this Earth-Angel’s hands. I recall observing my own body like I have never done before. As each area came into my awareness, I was reminded of a terrible car accident I had been in, or a time I suffered an injury while helping another person, or the beautiful child I had birthed. I had thanked God many times for helping me through these events..but in these moments I found myself thanking MY BODY for carrying me through, which is something I have only more recently begun to practice. We can often forget to thank our bodies, however they are the home for our souls and deserve to be honored and cared for just like we do our physical houses.
At one point during the treatment, I had a vision and I saw what looked like Jillian standing by me but she was all white. There were beams of white light pulsating down from above and inside of her and out through her hands as she worked on me. The light in her hands became a white dove (a sign of the Holy Spirit) and it spread it wings and flew off. Umm…what? Well, whatever, I don’t know, but I’m taking it because it added to the amazing experience.
By the time we began work on my lower abdomen (where all the trauma hung out), I was floating and felt like a limp noodle. I continued to follow Jillian’s guidance for the breath and felt my body opening and releasing tension I didn’t even know I had. When she placed her hands on my C-section scars, my mouth immediately began to tingle with what felt like electrical current. This is something I am familiar with when working with breathwork clients and I recognize it as energy being released. As soon as I felt it around my mouth, I knew in my heart that it was all of the unexpressed fear and sadness and anger I had squashed down inside my belly. I knew it was connected to this event and for the first time I realized how strong I actually was to have gone through this trauma…and suddenly felt pride and honor and SO MUCH LOVE for my body.
Besides the incredible spiritual aspects of this session (which I am eternally grateful for), the physical experience of this work is like nothing I have ever experienced. I went to massage therapy school, I have had many massages in my life, but this was not a massage. It was SO much more. It was mind, body, and spirit work and It was truly enlightening.
If I were a ship, lost in a raging storm at sea, Jillian was steadily and skillfully working the mast, and guiding my ship home.
If you are a woman, this is an absolute MUST on your Self-Care list, whether you are a mother or not! It not only will nurture and connect you to your body, but it will also connect you to your heart and spirit in ways these words can not describe.

Being Seen

Being Seen

What do you feel when you read those words?

Do you feel seen?

Do you feel like a deer in headlights or a performer in the spotlight?

Do you feel what people see isn’t even you? Do you feel misunderstood?

Do you want to be seen?

Do you want to hide?

Do you feel invisible when you try to be seen?

For some this is a place of joy, delight and self-expression, and for others it creates anxiety and fear.

What makes the difference and how can we find balance in the light so that we can all shine?

The answers are found when we take the time to be still, connect with spirit, and tune in to the natural rhythm of life within and around us. For me, this has been found in the practice of breathwork.
Do you see the girl sitting here in this photo? In a moment she is going to open her mouth, let words come out, look around the room, and teach a class!!! WHAT ON EARTH?!

Last week I taught my first private breath circle with a sweet group of people who have been on this breathwork journey with me. The moment I sent out the invitation my old friend fear rose up and tried to tell me I couldn’t do it and that I was silly and stupid for believing I had anything good to share. I was bombarded by the anxiety of being seen and feeling like I had zero words to say…just heart palpitations! But, then I laid down and did my own breathwork practice and the fear melted away. I was again reminded of why this is exactly the thing I needed to be doing because if there is any technique or tool to find a way out of that kind of fear and anxiety, then it needs to be shared!

As I entered the room to set up for my first circle, I felt extreme joy, peace, love and gratitude. Gratitude to God, to my mentors, for the ability to be able to share this practice with others, and also for my journey and commitment to this work within myself. I forgot all about the thoughts I had heard earlier and felt for the first time like I was standing in my shoes and like they fit me perfectly (like Cinderella), for the first time in my entire life. 

So why am I sharing this experience with you? One reason is that it is a way to continue the process of my healing by putting myself in a visible place, and hopefully by doing this it will also encourage you to do the same. There is hope for healing, change and growth and you are not alone. My writing this to you is proof that this is true!

When I was small I was so afraid of being seen that I didn’t want to go to school. I wanted to stay inside my safe cocoon of home and never come out. Somehow, I convinced my mom to homeschool me (I was the only one out of the 3 children to be homeschooled), until third grade. When I finally decided to step out into the world and go to public school, I was so afraid of being seen that I covered my face for 6 hours a day, leaving what looked like finger-shaped birthmarks all over my face. My fear was imprinted on my face for all to see.

I could sit here and tell you how much my life has changed and how magical and transformational this breathwork practice is, and all of that would be true, but what does it mean to you if you have not experienced it yourself? The truth is we all have fears. We all have desires to live full, happy, and meaningful lives. We all have things trapped inside the fibers of our bodies, being carried around like dead weight, holding us back or dragging us down and no one can unload that stuff for you. This breath practice is WORK. It calls you to action in your own life. It asks you to look and connect deeply within to the very core of who you are and to practice self care and self love in such a simply profound way. It asks you to show up for YOU. When you begin to show up for you, that is when healing can begin.

It is my hope and prayer that every living person experiences healing in their lives. There are many forms and different tools on the pathway to healing. Breathwork is one of them. This specific type of breathwork has quickly become one of the most powerful and immediate forms I have come to know and my joy becomes full circle when it is shared.

In a couple of weeks, I will be doing the 3rd Level of training with David Elliot and I am so excited. The week after that I have my first public breath circle scheduled at Prana Yoga on Friday, July 27th(7-9pm), and it is already half full. If you are reading this and something inside you feels tugged to give it a try, I encourage you to join us. For further information or to reserve your spot, please visit:  https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/asp/main_enroll.asp?fl=true&tabID=8

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Good Grief

Good Grief.

I hear the voice of Charlie Brown and all of his friends saying this over and over again in my memory. It’s funny but I think the words got lost somehow in my mind and took on some other sort of understanding, like saying, “oh boy”, or “gee-whilikers”, or maybe that was just “Wah, Wah”.

Anyway, recently I have come to a new appreciation for those words “Good Grief”, and let me to tell you what a relief it has been. Continue reading “Good Grief”