Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
~ Song of Myself, 51, Walt Whitman
Swear the Truth
The WHOLE Truth
I want to begin today by wholeheartedly exclaiming . . . I have so, so much I am grateful for!
It’s entirely true.
And, it’s not the entire story.
As people began arriving to my Monday morning class at Satya, there was a lot of lightheaded chatter about the Thanksgiving holiday . . . where everyone spent the day, how many people at the table, our favorite dish, etc. It was warm and uplifting.
When another woman entered the room, I continued with cheer: “How was your Thanksgiving?”
She shrugged her shoulders, raised an eyebrow, and emitted an exhausted groan. She was not smiling.
The shift throughout the room was palpable
She didn’t skip a beat and asked: “Oh, are we not being honest in here?”
I love her response and applaud her authenticity.
This moment was a simple, yet profound, reminder of something I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately: how jarring the juxtapositions in life can be.
At the top, I told you the sweet version of the story of cooking with my niece. The smiley photo verifies my joy, and it is the truth.
What’s missing is the fact that I really had a difficult time summoning the bandwidth and the energy to gather, and transport, all those ingredients. It felt difficult, and complicated, on top of everything else swirling in my life at that precise moment.
I struggled to pull everything together for this complex dish.
I enjoyed preparing and eating this delicious mushroom rice pilaf.
Both are entirely true.
For me, this simple example can be expanded to meet the complexities of living in today’s world. My day to day life, in so many ways, is lovely. And yet, I have
struggles that are very real. Expanding outwards, how can our day to day life be joyful when there is so much pain, suffering, insecurity, and destruction happening around us?
As we head into the busyness of the holiday season, let’s each remember to pause. Breathe. Give ourselves a moment to feel into how we are doing. To ground down and be supported by the earth. That way we can better rebound and rise.
Let’s set our hands on our heart, tuning into the frequency of our heart space, so we can better meet the moment from a place of coherence. Let’s rest. And allow ourselves to be renewed.
And let’s remember we don’t ever know what’s fully happening in another’s life. So, when in doubt, let’s lead with love. Go with grace. And err on the side of kindness.
Every single one of us contains multitudes.
So much gratitude for each one of you,
P.S. The Winter Solstice Yoga event is ON! Please join Teresa and I at the Saugatuck Yacht Club: Thursday, December 21 | 6:30 - 8:00 PM. We’ll move, breathe, meditate, and enjoy healing sounds . . . all in the gorgeous clubhouse @ SYC | 15 Park Street | Saugatuck. Registration Recommended
“If you think you are enlightened,
spend a week with your family.”
~ Ram Dass
Connections to Others | Compassion for Self
No matter how you are spending this day, I hope you can take a moment to truly pause and deepen into gratitude.
Turns out, practicing gratitude means just that . . . gratitude is something we need to practice. In other words, living a life of greater gratitude is a skill that each one of can develop.
Why does it matter if we live a life full of gratitude?
Repeatedly, research shows that feeling grateful has a positive impact on your mental health and quality of life. Its practice is also a way to love yourself more.
“If your compassion does not include yourself it is incomplete.”JACK KORNFIELD
For those of you who practice in person with me, you know I am a huge advocate of bringing our entire beings onto the mat. The parts of us that are joyful, and excited, and kind, and loving. And, the parts that are impatient, and exhausted, and distracted, and defeated.
It’s important the we allow ourselves to feel ALL the feelings. Not just try and float around in positivity. Awareness of how we’re truly feeling helps us better understand, and communicate, what we need.
Challenges and stress are part of daily life. That’s not going to change. But, what we can change is how we respond to, and move through, those moments.
If we can turn our attention, our energy, our focus, into what we’re grateful for, that helps shift us out of anxiety, fear, and struggle.
I love that smart people study these things! Science knows gratitude is good for the body in a multitude of ways. And, when we strengthen our gratitude muscle, we more easily connect to others, and we are gentler with ourselves.
Deep gratitude for each one of you, and remember . . .
when all else fails, try skipping! 😍
P.S. Registration is now open for the highly anticipated Winter Solstice Yoga event! Please join Teresa and I at the Saugatuck Yacht Club on my favorite night of the year: Thursday, December 21 | 6:30 - 8:00 PM. We’ll move, breathe, meditate, and enjoy healing sounds . . . all in the gorgeous clubhouse @ SYC | 15 Park Street | Saugatuck.
“As long as I’m alive, I will continue to try to understand more
because the work of the heart is never done.”
~ Muhammad Ali
Leveling Up Our Routines
Enhancing Our Self Care
Maybe some of it is the empathy I feel after spending time with the teachers at Holly High School?
Perhaps that in combination with my studio class this week when someone requested that we “release grief?”
It definitely is the horror and tragedy of the daily news.
There are a lot of challenges surrounding us, and I feel the heaviness of this time that we are in.
Regardless of the specifics for any one of us, the struggles are real.
While there are many pathways of active self-care, today I want each of us to pause.
And then, remember some of the simple ways to release, reboot, and be revitalized.
Reminder: we have to re-source ourselves in order to be a resource for others. It’s vital we take some moments to tune into how we’re doing. From there, we can determine steps forward from a place of enhanced calm and clarity.
I’m a big proponent of our self-care routines being just that . . . routine.
In other words, we want some things built into our daily lives that are relaxing, nourishing, and empowering. These things don’t need to be complicated, or difficult. In fact, I think routines are more likely to take root when they are delightful!
One way to up level your self-care is to piggy back on routines you already have established. What do you already do automatically each day?
Okay, great. You have ideas of things you do daily.
Some with very little thought and incredible regularity.
So, what can you add into those well-worn grooves that enhances your own well-being?
These are just a few examples of simple things.
Notice, they don’t cost anything.
And, when you build them into your existing routines, they can begin to happen automatically, effortlessly.
This is one way we can continue to support ourselves and to lift ourselves up.
My advice? Have fun with it!
Create what works for you and explore what you truly delight in.
So much gratitude for November sunshine and for each one of you, ☀️
P.S. Mark your calendars and be sure to join me! On Winter Solstice, Thursday, December 21, Teresa Van Eyk and I will be hosting a special yoga event at the Saugaqtuck Yacht Club: 6:30 - 8:00 P.M. Details and registration coming soon!
“Don’t count the days.
Make the days count.”
~ Muhammad Ali
Registration Closes Tomorrow!
Elevate Daily Life
Registration for Elevate Daily Life, the 40-day yoga challenge, ends tomorrow, Friday, November 10.
Your daily practice journey begins on Sunday, November 12.
If you have never done a 40-day practice before, I have to tell you . . . it’s transformative.
Yes, it can seem daunting. True, there are days when getting on the mat is difficult. When you do the exact same practice every day, (that’s correct, you get ONE practice video) you’ll definitely go through a whole range of responses. And that’s the point. 😉 (Reminder: the practice is only 20 minutes long, so you’ve got this!)
If you’re on the fence, have any questions, want to hear directly from me . . . send me an email, give me a call, or shoot me a text.
I’m super passionate about this process, and about this course, because I know its transformative power. Developing a daily practice has been the single best thing I have done for myself.
The webpage has lots of info
✨ Last chance to join me for Elevate Daily Life ✨
Want to have twice the fun? Sign up with a friend and receive a special discount 💕
With love and fire,
P.S. Thanks for being here. 🙏🏽 Stay tuned to future newsletters for an exciting announcement coming soon. You’ll be the first to know! 😍
“Starting each day, early morning for me, with practice
sets me up with a beautiful container.
The movement sparks energy and creativity.”
~ Rhoda Thurston Lewis
Some of you know I am a bit of a sponge; I LOVE learning.
And, if you love learning, it’s a beautiful time to be alive! While there are plenty of downsides to this age of technology, I appreciate having easy access to all kinds of information. Truly, I don’t know who some of these people are making YouTube videos teaching me how to replace the lights in my refrigerator?! But, THANK YOU! 😉
I also understand there’s a HUGE difference between quickly answering or solving something by looking it up online . . . and truly KNOWING something.
Believe me, I was pretty shocked (and a bit proud!) when I successfully changed the light panel in my fridge! However, I am not about to claim I know how to repair kitchen appliances. 😅
So, how do we go about truly learning something?
Learning something so that it is fully integrated into our body and our being?
This kind of learning, this knowing, is completely different for me. When I reach this point of integration, I know I have the learning within me. This means I can access it whenever it is needed. I don’t have to look it up, or struggle; the knowledge is there.
I think of this knowing as building my toolkit. I have the correct tool I need, whenever I need it.
Yoga has been a day by day dedication to building my toolkit. My toolkit helps me alleviate stress, lessen anxiety, and regulate emotions, The tools in my kit have also improved my sleep, increased my sense of calm, enhanced my clarity, cultivated deeper connections, and raised my levels of gratitude and joy.
When life gets messy, and complicated, I am SO grateful I have this knowing in my body and my being. It’s empowering to know I can reach into my toolkit and access what I need to help me through.
This is the why behind my daily practice.
The rewards are tangible. And oh-so-worthwhile.
I hope you will join me for your own 40-day, at home, yoga immersion.
Why not commit to the same short practice (approximately 20 minutes) every day and see what happens? You’ll also receive daily support from me via email and audio slide to deepen the experience and stay on track.
The webpage is packed with information
✨ Please join me & Elevate Daily Life ✨
We get started Sunday, November 12 and registration closes soon 😍
Sign up with a friend and receive a special discount 💕
Peace, light, and love,