Are you familiar with the 5 Languages of Love? It breaks down how we like to give and receive love into five categories. I have found it to be such a great tool in learning about myself and the people I am in relationship with. I scored top level on Personal Touch–followed by Words of Affection and Quality Time–and zero on Gifts. It makes sense, as I am much more interested in connection than things.
I have been thinking a lot about touch. I come from a family of touchers–there was a lot of hugging, hair-playing and hand-holding in my house. I am a toucher. If I am talking to you one-on-one, I am most likely touching you. When I became a teacher, I had to train myself not to touch, because not everyone is OK with it. It has always felt restrictive to me. The older I get and the more time I spend teaching, the more I allow it to enter the classroom, because I learned that students are attracted to teachers that are like them, which means I most likely attract touchers.
To touchers, not having touch can feel like malnutrition. It can lead to depression. It can feel like the body is constricted and tight. Read more
When I discovered the concept of “the shadow” back in college, it blew my mind wide open. It answered so many questions about who I am, what makes me tick, and what gets in my way. It has meant everything in my quest for true self-knowledge. It has given me access to a level of compassion and empathy that I would have never been able to know without it.
Sometimes when I bring it up in conversation people have this “deer-in-headlights” look on their face as if I am about to ask them to reveal the darkest parts of their being; but that is not how I see the shadow. I love and respect my shadow. It is where all of my power resides. Yes, it is often referred to as “the dark-side”, which gets misinterpreted as “bad” or “evil”. More accurately it relates to what has yet to be illuminated: our blind-spots. By understanding my Shadow I can see into my blind-spots with superhero-vision. Read more
The other day I heard an interview with Stephen Cope, author of The Great Work of Your Life. He was discussing the process of finding one’s true calling. As someone who has dedicated the last 14 years of my life to exploring my true calling, I found this topic interesting.
I left a well paid career in search of some part of myself I had no idea where or how to find. I was drawn to the idea of committing my life to work that would put me in service of others and the greater good. When I told my brother I was leaving my job and enrolling in school to do something, but I wasn’t quite sure what it was he said, “People go to college so that they can make the kind of money you make. Why would you waste your time?” Good point! For me it wasn’t about money, it was about finding my Purpose. I will tell you it wasn’t easy. Read more
Recently, I was listening to a podcast with a famous yoga teacher and he referred to the yoga practice as a mirror. I am sure I have heard this a million times in the last 17 years yoga has been in my life, but for some reason, on this particular moment in time, it landed with me.
Yoga teaches us to watch. We watch our mind, our energy, our body, our habits and all the different layers of ourselves. In that watching we might find that how we approach our yoga practice is very similar to how we approach other aspects of our lives. For example, is your tendency to check out and go through the motions just to get to the end? Perhaps your tendency is to push yourself to exhaustion, or do you rarely challenge yourself and only go for the easy stuff? Do you give yourself the space to play, or are your always striving for perfection? Do you close down to the teacher and resist their invitation, or do you rely solely on them and deny your own wisdom? Do you judge yourself/those around you the entire time? Do you attend only one style of class and reject the rest without ever giving them the chance? Read more
The First Sunday of Every Month.
–Hands-on healing massage.
–Live sound healing.
When I was 7 I had some new friends over for a playdate. We were in the garage playing school. I was in my favorite role as the teacher. I loved teaching about grammar and spelling–two of my favorite subjects. After my friends left, a family member said to me, ” You should try not to be so bossy or you won’t have any friends.” They didn’t say this to me to be mean, they really wanted me to have friends and be happy, but they heard me bossing people around and was fearful I would push them away.
Having just moved to San Francisco and not knowing a single soul, these new friends were really important to me. I didn’t want to be outcasted. I had already run into some bullies and finally I had some girls who were excited to hang out with me! So I took that part of me, that bossy, controlling girl that appeared that day and I blocked her. It wasn’t a conscious blocking, but she was done. I wanted no part of her.
The problem with this situation is that this bossy girl was a very unskillful, inexperienced and underdeveloped leader waiting to emerge and by me blocking her that day, I was also blocking her Becoming. Read more
Holy moly! It’s crazy out there! I don’t know about you, but I am constantly struggling with the desire to keep informed of what’s going on in the world and the need—for the sake of my health and wellbeing—to be away from it.
On one hand, I feel that if I am going to be an active participant in this society, I need to stay informed. On the other hand, the weight I feel from so many mixed emotions about all that is going on can be overwhelming on the spirit and draining on the body.
It’s times like this that my yoga practice is put to the test.
Seventeen years ago when I chose yoga in my life, I made an unspoken, conscious commitment to continue to strive to be awake. Now, that doesn’t mean I am always awake, sometimes I slip backwards and fall into that mindless abyss. Sometimes, that seems easier, safer. Then the yogi in me reminds me that is not who I am or who I want to be. Read more