Pranayama (control of prana or life force energy via the breath), is one of the 8 Limbs of Yoga, and as such has very ancient healing roots. However, the more modern version of therapeutic breathwork was born in the 1960s out of LSD research. When the government banned LSD, Stanislov Grof turned his attention to something that couldn’t be outlawed: breathing. Grof went on to trademark “Holotropic Breathwork“, a non-drug alternative to reaching altered states of consciousness.
Today, there are numerous styles of therapeutic breathwork. At the core, all breathwork therapy has benefits similar to other “psychedelic therapies” (such as Ayahuasca, magic mushrooms, and LSD) in that, as oxygen builds up in the blood, the breather experiences a mild sort of trip with the aim of promoting transcendental, ecstatic, religious or mystical peak experiences. Types of experiences usually fall into one or more of several categories: sensory, biographic, perinatal, and yogic sleep states.
Continue reading What is Breathwork Therapy?
Here’s a good article on a series of studies, that examined the importance of specific mindfulness skills in the creative process. https://www.mindful.org/does-meditation-boost-creativity/
You can also try playing this music in the background while you create. It really seems to get things flowing more freely for me!
I have to say that 2018 was one of the most difficult years I’ve had in some time. My depression and anxiety were at a level I haven’t experienced in over a decade!
And at every turn I was forced to ask, “Who Am I?” Who am I when I’m not being a ‘graphic designer’? Who am I without the identity of a ‘yoga instructor’? Who am I as I relate to my significant other and as an identity outside this relationship? Who am I as a mother? As a grandmother? As a friend? Who am I in relation to it All?
Continue reading Reflections on 2018
I’ve been using Kelly Howell’s Brain Sync meditations off and on for years now.
According to the Brain Sync website, the binaural beats they use in their recordings help to “balance right and left hemispheres to achieve remarkable mental states. Precision engineered sound waves tune your brain to ideal states of consciousness for meditation, learning, creativity, healing, sleep, goal achievement and behavior modification.”
During the first few months of testing this stuff out, I used the Secret Universal Mind meditation nightly. After some time, I began to hear myself thinking in ways just like Kelly Howell! For the lack of effort, I thought the result was very cool and it definitely re-patterned my thinking for the better.
These apps make it easy for you to find your zen anytime and anywhere.
Read reviews and get more recommendations here.
I am feeling called to share my story during Mental Health Awareness Month. I will try to keep it brief, even though I could go into great detail about a lot of things here!
Looking back, I think my mental health issues were set in motion around age 5 when I was separated from my grandmother, who I looked to as my primary caregiver up until that point. After that separation from my grandmother, I found myself being raised in an explosive household with an abusive alcoholic / drug addict stepfather and a very young mother who barely knew how to take care of herself, much less another tiny human. All of this early trauma set me up for a lot of issues surrounding safety, trust, anger turned inward, etc.
Continue reading May is Mental Health Awareness Month: My Story
This is the second article in the series, “The 12 Healing Tools“. These articles outline the things that I have found most useful in my journey to overcome childhood trauma and abuse, drug addiction, and debilitating depression.
By the mid-90s my drug days were coming to an end. I couldn’t handle the lifestyle. I was tired of chasing the white dragon every day. Tired of seeing my friends die. Tired of feeling like a total waste and hating myself for it. Just TIRED. Life was truly unmanageable as every waking hour was consumed by this substance. I wanted to finally be free from heroin and try to act and feel “normal”, though that was part of the reason why I started to use drugs in the first place – I always felt (and was told) I was ‘different’ and didn’t understand why.
Anyway… after several failed attempts at detox centers and 30-day rehabs, I was somehow admitted to Colonial House for a 90-day inpatient program.
Continue reading The 12 Steps
I write these words because I am 100% sure there are many more out there who have felt this way and/or are feeling this way right now. I want you to know that you are not alone. And there is a reason for everything that is happening in your life. Have faith, stay strong, keep seeking, and amazing things can happen.
As far back as I can remember, I felt like ‘reality’ wasn’t quite the way it seemed. And I especially knew that things were NOT the way those ‘grown ups’ in charge of me were telling me they were. It always felt like I was missing an important piece of the puzzle, like everybody was holding out on a key piece of information and I didn’t know why.
I remember things that my family tells me I shouldn’t remember – I was too young to remember they say. I feel like I came into life with a lot of memories. Memories that most of us want to forget when we embody, that blissful state of amnesia we choose to operate from most of our lives. But some of us ask to remember, NEED to remember – so we can do the work we came here to do. I am one of Those.
Continue reading A Burning Desire to Know the Truth of Reality
On this day when many have given their actual lives to fulfill their karmic destinies [read about Arjuna’s dharma as a warrior in the Bhagavad Gita], I decided I should start blogging about the things that have helped me overcome (or at least manage) some of the cards I’ve been dealt in this lifetime — as part of my service to humanity. Perhaps this small step will push me into writing that book so many astrologers and psychics have told me I’m destined to write! Lol
I will outline the ways that have helped me here and go into each of them in more detail in the following weeks. I will list them in the order in which they appeared in my life:
- A Burning Desire to Know the Truth of Reality
- The 12 Steps (or “Street Vedanta”)
- Service to Others
- Pranayama / Breathwork
- Self Love
- Energy Healing
- Human Design
STAY TUNED! This could be good… ;-P
In December 2014, I made my way across the country to start a new life ‘somewhere’ in New Mexico. All I knew was that I needed a place to heal, to rest, and rejuvenate. I had basically burned myself out giving too much: to my relationship, to my family, and to the yoga studio I was running from home. I was disillusioned by the yoga “scene”, by my yoga lineage, and I didn’t even want to think about teaching or doing any kind of healing work again any time soon. So when I found a place out in the middle of nowhere with a meditation cave on the property, I knew I was home. Nature always gave me comfort as far back as I could remember, so I knew being surrounded by Her would play a key part in this healing process. And I would have the time and space for my meditation practice, and to reflect, journal, and make art again.
“The grief you cry out from draws you toward union. Your pure sadness that wants help is the secret cup. Listen to the moan of a dog for its master. That whining is the connection. There are love-dogs no one knows the names of. Give your life to be one of them.” — Rumi
Continue reading Reflections on My Year in (relative) Solitude