The Rant of the Ego

"People aren't afraid of failure.

They are afraid of what people will think when they fail"

I read this quote yesterday

It hit me hard.

I realized, yes I am afraid

What will happen if people see me mess up?

I have made big decisions before

But nothing like opening Awake.

I witness the fear of the ego arise:

My mistakes will be public.

I may make a bad decision.

I may do something wrong.

Everyone willl see.

People may be angry or disappointed.

They may not like me.

I will be abandoned.

I will be ridiculed.

The rant of the ego can be viscious.

And it's all about "me, me, me"

Trying to stay safe and protected.

It makes me want to disappear, avoid and hide.

The ego craves security.

Wanting someone by my side whispering in my ear

"I love you, you are awesome" - even when I mess up.

A safe space to "land" so to speak.

But for now my path is to find that for myself.

To step into the arms of the divine within and without.

And to move forward in total trust.

"Live Free or Die Trying to be Safe"

A quote by my teacher that I love.

So right now I step forward.

Exposed fully.

My light.

My dark.

And remembering it's not about me.

For our higher calling is a calling of spirit, source, soul, love

Awake is meant to be built....

Bringing people together at these times is so important.

Creating concious rituals that are elevating.

Sacred community where one can come and feel safe.

Step into empowerment, freedom and love.

Where one can be encouraged, supported and uplifted.

I love the practices of yoga

I love building community

And I am so grateful for all of you that support this vision.

I am so grateful for all the teachers, staff and students.

Sending love and light out to all of you today!

Hari Om

Being Single

Being Single on Thanksgiving Day!

Such an exciting day yesterday.

Tears filled my eyes as I looked out at all the students that came to Awake.

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Out of my head and into my heart.

My souls purpose, my dharma being realized.

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Then giggles with my boys.

Driving fast over the rolling hills in Folsom.

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It reminded me of when I was a young girl.

Driving fast in my dad’s firetruck in San Francisco

Me in the back with tears of fear streaming down my face.

Him in the front in total joy, living on the edge.

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Then last night at the table with my boys and x-husband enjoying a meal.

No regrets and in deep gratitude.

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Then the sadness hit…hard.

No special someone to text, to go home to.

No one to hug me and tell me everything is going to be all right.

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It’s been a long time since I have felt that closeness with someone.

Where I was seen, heard and understood….where I felt safe

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I could have easily gone into a story around that.

Telling myself there was something wrong.

That I would always be alone.

That I was unloveable.

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But I stopped the story and allowed myself to be with the sadness.

To feel it

And to trust that it would pass.

And to know that it was just a moment - nothing was wrong

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You see, there are many moments of sadness,

Many moments of joy

And one isn’t better than the other

One isn’t right or wrong

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For me, being single at this moment in time is relevant.

And as much as I may want to fight it, fighting only creates more suffering.

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And isn’t that what yoga is all about?

Releasing suffering

And finding peace within

Being with what is - in total trust and acceptance

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So I drove home

The feeling passed

And as I dropped into bed

I was back into a place of ease.

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I know the feeling may come back

Craving an arm around me late at night

Craving someone to hold me

And make me feel safe

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But as my dad knew, there is joy in living on the edge

And as my teacher says "In this life you can either be free or die trying to be safe"

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So for now I am learning to hold myself

To embrace my journey fully!

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For everyone has a unique journey

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The key is to accept your journey fully

To not compare

To not judge

And to deeply honor where you are at

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Wishing you compassion, acceptance and love today! xo

THE GIFT OF QUIET

I’ve been quiet.

The mind has got me down.

I see it, desire to transcend it.

But it has me in its grips.

As I taught last night I could feel it release.

The mantras took over.

The breath took over.

The kriya took over.

All that was present was deep bliss.

Deep silence.

Deep peace.

And an inner knowing.

Meeting ourselves beyond thought is one of the greatest gifts of this practice.

It is from this space that we can truly listen, truly see and truly know the beauty of this life.

Integrating the moments on the mat into our everyday experience is a journey.

How do we keep yoga alive in all moments?

In the moments when we struggle with our kids.

In the moments when we are challenged in our relationships.

In the moments when we cannot understand why things are the way they are.

Can we find a sense of peace inside.

For years I controlled the external expereince as a way to fix the internal expereince.

And a part of me still wants to do that.

It seems easier somehow.

If I could just change my body, my relationships, my job situation my experience would shift.

But I now know better.

For changing those external circumstances only provides temporary “relief”.

The true “relief” is in the moments of silence.

Being with the self, the moment, no matter what.

And finding a way to be kind, compassionate, and soft.

Holding ourselves in all moments and realizing that in doing this we are held.

Releasing the battle and surrending into the arms of the divine.

What a gift!

Sending love,

The RECIPE

THERE IS NO RECIPE

There is no recipe for teaching

Just like there is no recipe for life.

When we follow a recipe it’s a bit safer

And it is relevant for a certain period of time

But there comes a point where we need to let go of the recipe

We need to listen in and have the courage to step out of the box

Step outside of your box today….only you know what that would be….and if you want to step outside of the box in your teaching or your life, join me for a TT, retreat or workshop

SLEEPLESS NIGHTS

I can’t sleep.

Now, I’ve been sleep deprived before.

But not because I couldn’t sleep

But because I made choices to do other things than sleep.

Getting up every night with my son who didn’t sleep though the night until age 6.

Working 12 hour days

Getting up at 4 am so I could fit my sadhana in

But right now I truly can’t sleep.

I want to, but my body won’t let me

It is full of energy.

I go to bed and wake up between 130 and 2 am every day.

I was fighting it, but I’ve surrendered

which for me means getting up and doing my sadhana and a bit of work

When I’m sleepy and ready to go back to bed

It’s time for the day to start

Driving kids to school, meetings etc

My body is tired

My jaw is tight

And yet there is an underying level of joy.

Is it that my body is carrying the worry for me?

The anxiety of the old

I think this may be it

Our bodies hold memory

They sometimes don’t want to let go

Even when we are in no real danger

My body has been in danger before

But right now there is no threat

But is it feeling fear, recognizing a shift and prepearing itself?

Is the new direct I am taking in my life scary for my body?

Does it feel unsafe?

Constricting and tightening to protect me?

Fight, flight, collapse and freeze.

This is the body’s response to trauma

And I think now my body may be confused.

Yes we are taking on a huge adventure.

Yes it is a bit scary and overhwelming.

But there is also so much excitement and joy to be had.

So I say this to my body.

I love you. You are safe. I will take care of you.

We may have to work a little harder right now,

there may be unknown things ahead

But know you are safe,

know I love you

and know that whatever happens I will catch you when you fall.

Sending love and be gentle with your body today :)

COMPETITION

A part of me still feels the need to compete.

To prove my self worth. 

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I wish it wasn’t there but it is. 

It’s stublte and sneaky.

Easy to ignore or pretend

But that’s not my way

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When sh## like this shows up I face it head on. 

See it for what it is

Instead of pushing it away or pretending it isn’t there

I step inside

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The journey has been to understand

To have compassion and to transcend

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There is no other way. 

At least for me. 

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My pattern has been this:

I either stand alone empowered and free

Or in relationship and forced to be small 

No room for me to be me

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I am learning another way. 

How to stay empowered in relationship

How to find my voice

To not have to scream, shout and prove, 

Or shrink and shrivel up

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But to stay steady in me when the other is there. 

Trusting that the other won't overpower

That I won't shrink

And that we can lift each other up. 

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Here's to uplifting one another...

Meditation

“Do you have a meditation practice?”

“Yes, on and off.”

“Well then, you don’t have a meditation practice.”

This was a conversation with my teacher 4 years ago. 

I took this to heart. 

And committed to meditating every day. 

This changed my practice drasticly.

I used to go to the early morning class at the studio every day. 

When my kids were small I spent $400 a month on babysitters so I could do this. 

That’s how important it was to me - yup $400 a month to watch sleeping kids :) 

I didn’t have to do what my teacher said. 

He wouldn’t know

He wouldn’t care.

But I did. 

“If you aren’t meditating you shouldn’t be teaching” 

Again, he woulnd’t know if I was meditating

And he wouldn’t care. 

He was not attached. 

But I was. 

This was the point where I took full ownership of my practice. 

This was the point where I began to face myself in a whole new way. 

This was the point where I realized that the battle was with myself. 

And this was the point where I realized that the battle was a war. 

I used to blame others for what I felt. 

I used to blame circumstances for what I felt. 

But mostly, I blamed myself for what I felt. 

I knew I had self hatred, but I never realized how much. 

Facing ourselves is one of the most challenging things. 

And also one of the greatest gifts. 

I have had moments of deep pain, frustration and sadness on my cushion. 

I have also had moments of utter bliss. 

And those moments of bliss, transcending the mind and connecting to deep silence is what keeps me coming back. 

Yesterday I missed meditation for the first time in years. 

I didn’t beat myself up about it

But I noticed - frustration, irritation and an unsteadiness in myself. 

You don’t truly realize the impact of something until it’s gone. 

So this morning i woke up, did my sadhana - puja, meditaiton, and kriya. 

A huge exhale, and back into the gift of silence. 

Grateful for this gift, grateful for this life, and grateful for my teacher. 


Sending love….

DIVORCE

DIVORCE…

I got divorced when my kids were 2 & 3.

I never regretted it. 

When they were small I felt lonely.

Loneliest when I was with them. 

I looked out at other families and imagined their life was better.

Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t. 

I now don’t compare - I work on saying “in my own lane”. 

The most challenging part is that I would beat up on myself constantly.

Furious at myself for choosing the wrong person to marry. 

Furious that I chose to have two children. 

Imagining life would be easier with just one 

I now focus on what is rather than what could have been. 

My boys are now 13 & 14. 

I still don’t regret my decision. 

I now feel loneliest when I don’t have my boys, 

I am now grateful for the man I married. 

There is no drama and he is present for them-and me. 

Grateful for these gifts. 

I now know the beauty of honoring your truth. 

I sometimes wish there was someone to help

I sometimes still feel very alone in it all. 

But more often than not, I am grateful for the gift that being a single parent is.

I am grateful for all the lessons i have learned. 

And I am most grateful for the beauty that accepting my unique path has brought. 

Remember…you are never alone and that in sharing your journey, your struggles and your victories you will inspire others and eventually be able to let the story go - stepping more into the now! And the gift that brings! Sending love.

My Calling

As I practiced last night I arrived in a place of deep love and knowing...

Love for the Sattva Yoga practice, the kriyas especially and a knowing that they are meant to be shared...

This simple truth keeps me moving forward -despite obstacles, fears, doubt and worry...

I am being called to be bigger than I know myself to be - no more playing small or hiding...

I tremble as I write this for I like to be behind the curtain - the watcher looking out - no real risk of failure...

But its time, time to go on stage and take ownership of my calling.....

I write this for me, for you, and for us....as we elevate ourselves we elevate the other....

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My Jeans Don't Fit

My JEANS DON'T FIT ME anymore.
Yes it's true....
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For awhile I kept trying to make them fit. 
But they simply didn’t. 
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As much as a part of me wants to go back.
Try to fit, squeeze and force to make them work. 
I realized that I had no other choice
It was time to go out and buy some new digs. 
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My priorities have changed. 
My age has changed. 
My wisdom has changed. 
And my heart has changed. 
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So, I move forward
Walk with my head held high. 
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New Jeans,
New attitude
New way of being. 
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Others may not unerstand
They may see my new softenss as weak or less than
But in my heart I know who I am
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I wish I could say I have all the answers
But I don’t
For no one has answers for anyone else
We all have to arrive in our own truth. 
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Walk in the style of jeans that feel right for us. 
And own who we are...
Some will like your new digs and join in. 
Others won’t and will fall away as you walk down the street. 
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A loss perhaps
But also a gift because.....

It feels oh so good to take this journey in a pair of jeans that fit.
Rather than forcing yourself into a shape that no longer serves...
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Sending love and courage out to you

HAPPY All the time?

It’s not fair….

My body screams.
My mind screams.
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My heart is hurt
My heart is confused
My heart doesn’t understand.
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My adult self doesn’t want to be an adult.
My childlike self wants to take over.
And say…..It’s not fair. 
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The funny thing is, the “anger” is at no one in particular
And yet if I look closer, directed soley at the self. 
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It’s been awhile since I felt this way.
And yet it came up strong yesterday. 
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Not in a thought, an acition or a feeling. 
More of an energy in the body. 
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All I wanted was for it to go away.
To feel light and happy again. 

For isn’t that the “right” way to feel, especially if we are on the yogic path. 
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But I realize that’s its showing up to be seen, to be heard, to be understood and ultimately integrated.
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Recognizing that it isn’t “better than” when we are experiencing joy.
And it isn’t “less than” when we are experiencing pain or sadness.

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Both energies are equally valuable
Maybe not equally preferable, but equally valuable on our journey toward wholeness
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This is my greatest lesson lately.
To not reject the self when I am in a “less preferable” experience
To not fight it or make it bad or wrong. 
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Rather to love, love, love no matter what is arising on the surface.

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So no matter what you are feeling today I invite you to own it - yes, own it - no matter what it is and it is through that that you will come out the other side!!!

Sending love

Competition

I am No Longer Competing ✌️
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When we walk our own path we care less about the path of the other.
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I didn’t want to compete.
I didn’t want to compare.
And yet, as much as I tired to deny it, it was still there underneath the surface.
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Not with everyone of course~
Just a certain few that triggered that feeling inside.
It can be so subtle, can’t it?
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And yet it is never about the other person.
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As we make peace with ourselves, all of our relationships heal.
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I had an experience the other day that felt oh so good. That competitive/comparative feeling was gone.
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I wasn’t denying it, trying to make it go away~ it just simply wasn’t there.
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#breakthrough
As I stay committed to my path and dive deeper into my practice there is a gentle release of these feelings (& habits of the mind) that used to haunt me.
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Grateful ❤️ and sending love

The Lighter Side

Since I usually share the “dark-side” I thought I’d share some light!✨
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These were the words that came out like a stream on Friday....
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Yoga today included big belly laughs and singing at the top of my lungs.
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That is the possibility of yoga!
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Breaking through barriers where you give yourself permission to laugh and cry and realize that there’s really no difference.
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And all of it is necessary as we move toward that deep connection to ourselves, the other and the divine.
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I am in immense gratitude lately that this is my life.
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That I get to go on a bike ride near a beautiful lake in the morning, go to yoga class at noon and swim with my boys (and watch Dawson’s Creek 😁) in the later hours of the day. #trulyblessed
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As I move into this next venture I am determined to take care of myself and to not exhaust myself as I used to. 
To stay connected to Joy and ease. 
And when I witness the mind wanting to take me back to the struggle, i will take a huge exhale and allow myself to soften.
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Most of my life has been very different. Struggling, creating hardship and trying to achieve.
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But I’m not really about that anymore. I simply want to connect, to share, and to be. #deepgratitude 
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Sending love and wishing you all a beautiful Sunday!

Safety

If I did what was safe….

I would still be married.
I would still be working Sac State.
I would still be working at UCSB.
I would have married someone different. 
I would have married younger. 
I wouldn’t have gone to graduate school. 
I wouldn’t have bought my house. 
I wouldn’t have sold my house. 
I wouldnt’ be giving up my psych license. 
I wouldn’t have traveled to India. 
I wouldn’t have opended a yoga studio. 
I wouldn’t be opening a yoga studio. 
I would be teaching in a completely different way. 
I wouldn't be posting this :) 
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The list goes on and on. 
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I look back on my life and there’s so many “safe” routes I could have taken. 
Part of me really wanted, and sometimes still wants, the external safety, stability and security. 
Something solid outside of myself that I can rely on. 
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I felt that arising last night as my jaw clenched and the old fears arose….

And yet the larger part of me knows it’s just an illusion.

That I have to accept who I am fully. 
That I have to take owenrship of my life. 
That the biggest stablity is the internal. 

Knowing the self
Trusting the self
And trusting that the divine that is always holding me….
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There is no right or wrong way to live.
No right or wrong way to be. 
The thing is, can we acccept oursleves and our path fully. 

One of things I remind myself of as I look out into the world is…
What is happening for me is relevant for my journey. 
What is happening for others is relevant for theirs. 

And can we have compassion for one another and support each other as walk our unique paths. 
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sending love and support to you today!!!

The Body Holds Memory

A few weeks ago when I was taking a TT students class she put us in Supta Baddha Konasana.

A pose where you lie on your back, heart center exposed.  

She also had us put a bolster under the back so that the whole upper body was lifted up.

The heart center opened even more!

 

Immediately my body reacted with fear. 

My mind wasn’t afriad,

But everything in my body wanted to come out of the pose. 

And curl up in the fetal position. 

 

I chose to stay, breathe and to get curious about what was going on. 

 

Tears came to my eyes as I realized my body didn’t like being so open, exposed. 

My heart wants to be.

My mind wants to be 

But my body is still afraid. 

 

It’s so fascinating how much our body holds. 

 

Last week when I announced the birth of AWAKE 

Again my body reacted.

I was so excited in my heart, my mind and my soul.

But again my body held tension - overwhelming pain in my neck-a tightness I couldn’t release. 

 

Again, I chose to stay, to get curious and LISTEN. 

 

Was it fear, anxiety, being too big, too out there, too much?

The reason doesn’t matter

What matters is the response

Just like when a freinds speaks to you…

 

It’s not really about fixing it or figuring it out - most of the time it’s just about being there, listening and caring. 

 

So as I learn to be in my body more and more. 

I realize how much our body holds for us.

How much memory it stores

And how it was only trying to protect us when it learned to tighten

 

As we practice, we release that memory

We move out of stuck patterning 

Awaken dormant energy 

And feel new things

 

So if you ever find yourself crying on your yoga mat let the tears flow

It means your releasing, healing and expanding

And when that happens your one step closer to FREEDOM

Letting go of the battle with the body,  the self, the mind

And allowing the heart to awaken and love, love, love……more completely, freely and without abandon! 

ANGER, our KIDS and the importance of BEING WITH

My son, like all of us, has many emotions

But they come out in two main ways

Pure joy and Intense anger

 

It has always been this way

Since he was very young

The anger piece has been a huge challenge for me, 

but also one of my greatest teachers

 

You see, I grew up surrounded by anger

And I hated it, didn’t know how to deal with it

So I ran away as quickly as I could when I saw it in myelf or the other. 

 

But shoving it down didn’t really work

It just showed up in destructive ways

Violent acts to the self mainly

 

But having my son forced me to look anger in the eyes

Forced me to find a way to be with it

And bring the thunder to the surface

 

So last night when my sons anger was rising

I held steady and stayed

 

In the past I would have checked out

Been angry that he was angry

And let the mind take over with questions such as….

 

“why do I have a son that’s angry

what am I doing wrong,

I don’t want to be here  

 

But I have learned to be with

And after the fury ended 

The truth came out

 

He told me how he was anxious all the time

Stressed out and worried about multiple things

And even when there was nothing to worry about, the worry persisted

 

Such a sweet moment of connection

To truly see him 

And what was underneath the surface

 

The more I can be with my own anger

The more I can be with his

And the gift in that is that it won’t go underground and he will be able to BE WITH in a healthy way. 

 

Having a Voice

I learned to be quiet

It was safer that way

I wouldn’t get in trouble

Wouldn’t be hurt.

 

Even as an adult

After all these years

I can feel it in my nervous system when I have a voice

A visceral fear arises

"Did I say something wrong?"

"Am I going to be annhilated?"

 

It doesn’t matter what my logical mind thinks

It’s in my body - fight or flight

And for me it’s been mainly flight

 

But that is the gift of practice

We witness the self and go beyod

Wounds of the soul run deep

But they dont have to rule us…

 

So as you come to your practice today

Allow yourself to breath, chant and move fully

Allow yourself to feel all of who you are

 

And trust that this coming home is what will heal you, empower you and liberate you 

 

The Gift of Teaching

As I taught the other day tears of deep love filled my eyes.

Gratitude for the teachings and the power they have to heal

 

I no longer take ownership of what I teach

I no longer allow my ego to think it’s me that’s doing it

It a process of surrendering and allowing the beauty of the moment to reveal itself

In a state of deep gratitude and love today for the honor of teaching

Fear and Love

I woke up with a jolt this morning at 4 a.m.
The anxiety gripping me
Intense fear, a visseral expereince
No reason in sight

In the past I wasn’t aware of this energy
I kept myself too busy
Too checked out
And I blamed the other for what was inside of me

As much as I still at times want to blame or push away
I allow myself to stay
To know that it will pass
And that nothing is wrong

So this morning, despite the fear, I got up and dove into practice
Puja, Breath, Meditation, Kriya and Movement
2 hours later there was arelease
An opening and a kowing that everything is okay

The mind plays crazy tricks on us
And the more we sit with the self the more we notice
It may seem at times that we are getting “worse”
But it is just a clearing out of what was already there

I know that on the other side of fear is love, compassion and grace
I’ve expereinced it multiple times
But in moments I forget
That is why we come together in community, sangha

To remind each other that we aren’t alone
That love is underneath the surface of everything
And to never abandon the self in moments such as these

Yoga is the path to liberation, freedom and self mastery
And that journey can sometimes feel like a battle
But if we stay the course we realize that it’s all a play
And if we surrender, we will be held.....

So, In this moment, on the other side of the fire I sit
Working on my 300 hr TT manual with such joy
A sense of humility and gratitude for this practice, the teachings, and this life.

Senidng you love and know that if you’re ever caught in the grips of fear
Come to your breath, know that you aren’t alone, and always reach out
For love is always there if you allow it to be

Victim No More

I’ve lived the role of a victim for a long time.

I knew it in my mind and worked to shift it

Yet, it was still stuck

A flavor of it in my nervous system

Very subtle, but still present.

Over the last few years everything was stripped away

Identity, relationships, professional roles

And I was forced to look deeper within

No one to blame

No one to scapegoat

Only me facing me

The more I allowed myself to dive into the body

The more I practiced Kriya

The more I meditated

The more that was revealed to me

Stuck patterning on a cellular level being dislodged, broken up

It’s difficult to describe in words

But I can say that from facing my shadow more light has been revealed

And I am learning to integrate and love all parts

And as I do that deeper states of compassion emerge

Deeper states of love, spontaneous moments of joy

No more dumbing down or being small

Apologizing for who I am

No more feeling like I have to stay quiet and pretend I am less than

For I am a light, I am love, I am divine grace!

And you are too!

Whatever you are going through

Just know that on the other side of the shadow is light

On the other side of pain is joy

On the other side of fear is love

So keep moving forward, keep opening, keep sharing

For you are a beautiful gift to this world!

And gifts are meant to be opened