How I Came to the Goddess

It’s been about 4 years of me actively seeking the feminine perspective in the Divine. Honestly, as has been my track record, I started looking in this direction because of excruciating physical pain. A little backstory: I broke 3/4 of my lower left leg while working as a ski patroller and had two surgeries: one titanium rod placed in my tibia and then another surgery to remove the screws that held it in place while it healed around the rod. This was in 2006 and 2007. The excruciating pain didn’t develop until about 8 years later. To combat the pain, I tried SO many therapies, traditional and non-traditional, but kept sensing that there was a deeper, more spiritual reason for the pain. I was part of a church at the time and tried all the prayers and “laying on of hands” and “soaking” practices and times that I could, but the pain got worse. It literally felt like my body was tightening and constricting, I would even use the word rebelling, against all that I was doing. I knew there had to be another way and the church wasn’t providing an answer or clue.

During this time, I began to actively teach Yin Yoga and found the slower, more meditative, contemplative, and inward focused style to be so healing for me; the pain in my body began to lessen and I could feel my body begin to loosen up. The word yin is Chinese and literally means: the passive female principle of the universe, characterized as female and sustaining and associated with earth, dark, and cold. The dark part of yin intrigued me and scared me. I had recently completed 3 years at a Christian Ministry School and darkness was always equated with evil, but I began to wonder if the darkness was where I actually needed to go…

I began to research and test this darkness and what I found was eye-opening. As with the Chinese, all other cultures equate darkness as feminine, the womb, night time, inward gazing, contemplation/meditation, the other half of the Divine. I had not heard any of this in my decade or so of Christian teaching! So, I cautiously began to explore this darkness, pushing boundaries, limits, and edges and continued to find healing for my leg as I confronted fears and began to find out for myself the difference between darkness that heals and darkness that is evil. (There is definitely a difference! I was thankful for my Christian training to build so solidly a foundation on the Divine to be able to test this limit and know that s/he had me, held me, and fully supported my childlike wonder and exploration and was Her/Himself the one providing the healing.)

This inward, dark, earthly journey lead me to many places: New York to study with Regena Thomashauer who operates the School of Womanly Arts, it lead me to co-lead a Goddess retreat in Greece to study more about her ways, and in late 2017, took me to India to study a modern culture that worships the feminine through tantra, temple worship, chanting, and yoga. All these things continued to lead me back to Her, to where She truly lives: inside.

What I’ve found is that so many modern religions shun things of the earth and elevate the “higher” perspective of the Divine. This “higher” perspective of the Divine is most often of the Divine masculine perspective and I think in large part because He is orderly, controlled, predictable, straightforward, and logical: it’s the mind and the brain. (For more about the differences between the Divine masculine and feminine check out my most popular blog: Are You a Sissy?)

I feel like I’ve gotten a 4-year degree on the Goddess: I’ve travelled, watched 100s of documentaries and movies, listened to podcasts and Youtube videos, read dozens and dozens of books and articles, taken hours of trainings and seminars and workshops focused on the goddess, had 1000s of hours conversations, and none of it fully satisfied, which is just Her style: she is constantly changing, drawing us closer, enticing us into her bosom, and awakening the scary places with not only compassion, love, kindness, and fun, but with a seductive like quality that I find irresistible. And this my friends, is the feminine, and, why I continue to be drawn to her. The pain in my leg is much less now, it still limits me in things, but I’m using it like a divining rod to lead me to the omnipotent Divine and all her/his magical and mysterious ways.

If you want to join my Goddess journey, I’m leading a weekly class called Goddess Fusion Flow and I’m planning another Goddess Retreat and workshops: all the details for those will be here when they are decided.

Jai Ma and namaste!

xxoo

The journey: yoga retreating

Life: so much easier when we figure out that it doesn’t have to all be be figured out and we embrace the journey as the destination. This past weekend was this practice for me, in depth.

My meditation this Monday morning was on the truth: “I can stand on my own two feet.” This weekend, I attended a yoga retreat and it was challenging. Challenging for me in many ways, none of which was (really) tied to the yoga asana. A friend and I were going to go together, but she had to cancel at the last minute because her boyfriend’s mom died, which is horrible and yucky anyway, but this also left me driving the 5.5 hours to Yosemite National Park alone, to a retreat with complete strangers. Usually, this is fine, I do things by myself all the time, but it hit me this weekend, and it hit me hard. Given the circumstances, I felt sad, upset, and irritated. Then my left leg, which has been hurting pretty substantially off and on for the past 3 years, gave me excruciating pain and limited my movement to a slow crawl, unless I took pain meds. The pain was so severe, I was physically exhausted and had to skip most of the yoga classes because I was in tears, drained to the point of unable to speak coherently, even with the pain medicine. 

My personal meditation today is a continuation of the truth’s I learned at this weekend’s yoga retreat and shows me again that we may think we have xyz skill or quality or belief all figured out, but that’s a lie. We are always on a journey of growth, healing, and enlightenment. If we don’t believe we are, we are severely deceived and self righteous. 
More often than not, it’s only when we get into uncomfortable (slightly or severely) positions, that we grow. Otherwise, we humans are smart, and there’s no reason to change!

Have you been on a yoga retreat? I’ll be going on another April 29 – May 1, 2016, but this time, I’m leading it. It’s a Hot Springs, Yin/Yang Yoga Retreat in Cedarville, CA

Just imagine: relaxing, recharging, and doing yoga at a luxurious resort, surrounded by high mountains, breathing in the crisp, fresh air, and soaking in your own private hot springs hot tub. 

Registration and full details are under the Special Events tab.

Growth is sometimes hard, but really, it’s not about me, anyway. My pain, is your gain, and this is true for all of us. The more that we grow and get outside our familiar surroundings, the more that we will change not only our own internal environment, but we will change the environment around us, and in this world.

Growth happens when we step outside the familiar and plus, it’s a whole lot of fun to getaway and meet new and like-minded people. I’d love to see you at the Hot Springs Yin/Yang Yoga Retreat in April. Let me know if you have any questions and namaste my friend, I bow to you. We are all in this together.

P.S. my leg doesn’t hurt much at all today. #worthit

xoxo

Are you a sissy?

I’ve been exploring femininity both in myself and in the yoga classes I teach and have found it to be profoundly enlightening.

I told my students in class today to embrace their “sissy side.” I said it to provoke. I said it to stir up (real) belief systems. And I ask this question of you now to get straight to the heart of the matter, breaking old thought patterns and bringing freedom. How does this make you feel? Are you a sissy?

If you are still reading, ask yourself what is a sissy, anyway? I know what school kids mean by it when they say it and that proves my point: there is a real attack and diminishing of feminine qualities in our world. (Why is a whole other story, so I’ll skip that for today.) What I want to invoke is an embrace of the Divine Feminine that each one of us has. Femininity is nurture, kindness, patience, gratitude, interdependence, emotion, meekness, sensitivity, quietness, grace, innocence, flirtatiousness, softness, acceptance, love. These are great qualities to possess! Ones that our world is desperate and hungry for! So, I ask again, will you embrace your “sissy side?”

In a world that idolizes masculine traits such as independence, aggression, tough skin, competition, strength, experience, activity, self confidence, harshness, rebellion; in a world where even women try to be more masculine in order to get by and make it (in singleness, in careers, in order to be seen at church, etc.), we all may need to embrace our “sissy side!” (There is a difference between being a sissy and embracing aspects of the metaphor, let’s get that straight.)

I want to be both strong and meek, confident and sensitive, aggressive and kind. We need both masculinity and femininity, we need the yin and the yang in our world and in order to have that, we need to first embrace it in ourselves.

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

Let me know how it goes!

Namaste.

Yin Yoga Practice

As a full-time Yoga Instructor I am always looking to expand my own knowledge and understanding to better serve and lead my clients and students. Today I came across this beautifully done 1  hour and 12 minute Mindful Yin Yoga practice lead by Jennifer Raye, a practitioner of traditional Chinese Medicine and Yoga Instructor out of British Columbia, Canada.

Wow. In her words: “May we bring the benefits of this practice out into the world so that we not only benefit but all those that we are in relationship with also benefit.”

I’d love to hear how this practice affected you.

Namaste.

Yin Yoga: rehabilitation

Yin Yoga: dragonfly on the wall pose

What is Yin Yoga?

Suitable for nearly all levels of students Yin Yoga directs the asana practice into the connective tissues, ligaments, and joints which are not exercised very much in an active (or yang) asana practice/workout. Yin Yoga can seem boring, passive, or easy but it can be quite challenging due to the long holding of poses (2-20 minutes) and the quiet depth we explore inside the body and mind. Joints and tissues become strengthened and rehabilitated. This style isn’t about changing and pushing ourselves like a yang class or regular exercise, instead, the yin style allows for a gentle and quiet power to arise facilitating a deep release of healing.

In our busy and modern lives we appreciate strength and the yang attitude of “go for it” but this often leaves no end to our desires and exhausts us. Yin Yoga brings both a physical cultivation of strong flexible joints and connective tissue, and a peaceful, thankful, and inward contentment through the longer holding of gentler poses. Joints and connective tissues are different from muscles and need to be exercised differently: they respond best to a slow, steady load. Yin Yoga will sometimes include some yang postures to counteract the aging process of upper-body muscle loss and lower-body immobility, so the challenge is both physical and mental in this anti-aging yoga class that allows for a gentle stretch and rehabilitation of body and mind.

If you’d like personal instruction, come join me for my group Yin Yoga class weekly at Balance Yoga Center.

Namaste beautiful one.

xoxo