Tonight I walked out to the barn to turn down the heat since an event I was supposed to hold the next day wasn’t going to happen. As I walked, I realized I was walking down our driveway with ease and without fear – without a flashlight in the dark pretty darn near the new moon – knowing it was covered in snow and ice in spots. Once I realized what I was doing, my truck-driving-farmer-fiancé’s voice came to me: “Trust Your Treads”.
Those simple words hold so much meaning, don’t they?
The first time he spoke them, he was driving quite fast through a snowstorm. I was nervous. And that’s what he said because he had years of experience “trusting his treads”.
I made it to the barn safe and sound because I didn’t really think about it. I was enjoying the crisp air, the clear starry sky, and the crunching of snow under my feet as the dog pranced along happily beside me. I was present, in the moment.
On the way back… a whole other story: I thought about it. I got nervous. The ‘what if’s’ got to me and I tensed up, losing my footing a couple of times.
It always amazes me how the mind can play tricks! So like my wise man says, you just gotta “TRUST YOUR TREADS”!
After conducting my last breathwork class, I realized that the #1 reason why I love breathwork is because it can give the practitioner a taste of samadhi in a very short time. Samadhi is, generally, a state that only seasoned meditators experience after many years of practice and a whole lot of grace. In Hinduism, this is the ultimate goal of yoga – the final stage of meditation – at which union with the divine is reached. For many of us, this state will only occur at death.
According to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, there are two main types of samadhi: “with seed” and “without seed”.
Continue reading Breathwork as a Pathway to Samadhi
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