Fire Walk with Me

Many years ago, when I first started meditating, I had quite a profound vision that still affects me to this day.

That evening as I was listening to the guidance of my instructor, I floated out of the room and out of my body, where I met two “light beings”. These beings were formless orbs of pure light who seemed to be waiting there for this particular point in time and space to meet with me to give me a message that would change the course of my life.

These beings, who I still refer to as my “real parents” or my “Star Family”, carried me up above the Earth and showed me that we are all connected, All One. Every action performed – no matter how big or how small – affects everything on Earth and beyond.

They also filled me with a sense of love and acceptance that I had never felt in my entire life. They reminded me that this Love is All That Is.

And then there was fire. A Great Wall of Fire filled my vision and quickly brought me back to this reality in a most disturbing way. WTH?

After class, I tried making some sense of this vision with my teacher. He assured me that nothing I witnessed could have happened because nothing like that had ever happened to him. (?!?) So I left there feeling very confused and almost ashamed about my experience – the same feeling I had after my near-death experience. Go figure…

And so I tried to forget.

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In 2010, I went to yoga teacher training in the Bahamas. At some point the Swami/teacher talked about a vision that Swami Vishnudevananda, the founder of our tradition, had. Swami Vishnu saw something very similar to my own vision where our world would go up in flames! Needless to say, my heart was pounding when I heard this similarity and I felt like, at that moment, it was incredibly apparent why I was “randomly” attracted to the Sivananda lineage.

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Fast forward to 2019. Pictures of the Arctic burning, the Amazon rainforest on fire, and so much FORGETTING that we are All One. I am alarmed and a bit hopeless.

Have we missed our window of opportunity to level up? Will this vision of a world on fire, instead of one taken out by water as in Noah’s day, come to fruition? Only time will tell and I pray for the best outcome possible for all of us.

Hari Om Tat Sat. Shanti Shanti Shanti

Trust Your Treads

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”!

Breathwork as a Pathway to Samadhi

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

What is Breathwork Therapy?

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?

Reflections on 2018

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?

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Retrain Your Brain While You Sleep

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.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month: My Story

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