Find Peace (This Holiday Season)

Peace: It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.

I have a distinct memory of the first time that I was introduced to the quote above. I had just returned home from an extended stay at The Esalen Institute. At the time, I was sharing business space with a fellow PT and had an intimate yoga studio set-up. My business partner had printed the quote and shared with me that she’d been leaving it out for students to take if/as they felt called. I was stopped in my tracks with an “ah-ha moment.” I remember feeling as if I’d left the peace of a serene retreat center (think: total disconnect from the outside world) and was now facing the challenge of anchoring that same sense of peace in my “real life” at home.

Fast forward several years …

I haven’t written a blog post since just before the onset of Covid. Wow! Lots, and lots, and lots of life has unfolded. As many of you know, Covid shifted my professional reality a great deal. My shared studio space is a thing of the past. While there is some sadness for me about that, I know that I have been Divinely guided from one career opportunity to the next. My profession reality is not the only thing that has shifted. There have been quite a few changes in my personal life, too. Therein lies the present-day relevance of the above quote.

When teaching meditation, I often acknowledge the temptation to think:“How could I possibly make this work in my hectic life? To embody the mindfulness of a monk living in a cave; Or, a yogi studying at a remote retreat center.” And in fact, that is the challenge!

So, I’ll bet you’re curious about why I’m reflecting upon all of this now. Certainly, the holidays are one of the busier times of the calendar year for most. Myself included. However, that’s not the only reason why.

This Fall, I moved from the serenity of my 1,100 sq foot condo with my cat into a four-bedroom home with my partner and his two daughters. It has truly been adjustment for us all. For the first several weeks of the transition, our living room had two couches in it – back-to-back. On various occasions, I retreated to what I began to lovingly refer to as “the couch cave.” I would lie on the interior of the two couches with my cat. I found myself surrendering to breath, with the intention of it supporting me through loss of my own space and, at times, the overwhelm of the extra activity all around me in my new home. It wasn’t in the immediacy of the moments spent in the couch cave that I had another “ah-ha moment,” however it wasn’t very long before I began to realize … OMG! I am seeking a cave. To re-create the monk in a cave reality of which I’d been existing for the past decade, or so. All throughout those years prayerfully meditating upon my longing for partnership, and a family. Ironic, huh?

This has been interesting awareness to integrate. Though my environment has shifted, what has not is my upmost commitment to remain intentional in the unfolding of each of my days. Doing so requires me to stand in integrity, grounded, and embracing compassion in my interactions with the people, places, and things that I encounter. To me, that’s the purest application of peace. So, my daily practice has, is, and, I am certain, will continue to shift to support this vision.

Today, I challenge you to consider the quote above and to ponder the shifts – both large, and small – that you can make in the days ahead to embrace peace this holiday season!

Be the Change

sunsetHaving recently returned from my first experience cruising, I find myself responding with the word interesting when asked “How was the trip?!” I had a jarring awareness my first AM upon waking at home. After arriving home quite late and waking far earlier than I’d hope, the first thing I said to my travel partner was, “I miss the darkness.” Though I was referring the physical darkness, awareness immediately washed over me.

The teeny, tiny cabin I’d been calling home for the past 8 days and 7 nights had no windows. As an interior room, there was no way to know if it was day or nighttime. However, when you set foot outside of the room there were no shortage of bright flashing lights and a party ready to greet you at any time of day, or night. Lots, and lots of food, and drink, and one very excited cruise director eager to share of all to the very exciting opportunities on-board for FUN, day or night.

If you are someone who loves cruising, please know that my intention is not to offend you. That said, cruising was not “my thing.” I live into the belief that anything is worth trying once. I entered in to this experience no differently than any other, with an open mind, and a hope of nothing more than that, an experience. Experience and awareness are what I took from cruising.

I strive to embody the notion of being the change I wish to see in the world. In order to do so, I have learned that for me it is imperative to move from a place of health – physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Unfortunately, my experience of cruising did not seem to support this. In my day to day, I am conscious of the food, and the beverages that I consume. Beyond this, I am also mindful of the people, places, and things with which I surround myself in an attempt to support said health – physically, mentally, and emotionally.

I observed a great deal of excess while on board the cruise-ship. And, at times, felt myself being sucked in to the vortex of this “darkness.” Rising to the occasion of the energy all around me. I found myself falling subject to eating and drinking more than I knew my body would prefer, and certainly paying for the aftermath of that the next day.

Upon arriving each AM at a new port, the stark contrast of excess on board to the, at times, devastating poverty which I witnessed among many of the locations visited felt quite glaring. It made me sad. Sure, I was supporting tourism in a third world country. Yet somehow, that didn’t seem to justify my privilege.

To date, I’ve been home now one week. What I know for certain is that the darkness IS not something I want or need more of. As this blog post has evolved, so too has my appreciation for the light! I feel so very grateful to have left behind the darkness of that cruise-ship cabin, as well the bleak reality which was my experience on-board.

Anyone else have a cruise experience of which you’d like to share? As always, I welcome your thoughts and insights. And, I’m curious … how do YOU go about supporting the change you wish to see in this life?

Beginner’s Mind

IMG-0542Throughout my time spent on the west coast, I gained a great deal of awareness and learning surrounding the notion of expectation. In teaching yoga, I often invite students to come to the mat with a “beginner’s mind.” How humbling to have been granted the opportunity – time, and time again – for self-study and embodiment of this concept.

While on the ninety-minute shuttle ride to The Esalen Institute, I found myself in conversation with a young woman who’d “done yoga two or three times,” a middle aged man who’d just completed a 200-hour yoga teacher training, and a mother who’d recently become an empty nester and was just beginning to explore again the practice of yoga, something she’d “not done in years!” As someone who considers herself a well-versed yogi, I quickly became aware of the fact that this was to be an interesting month.

I personally find it challenging to teach to a group of students of varying skill-levels. Jovinna Chan, my teacher for the month, was precisely the individual for the task at hand. I admire Jovinna immensely! Her unassuming, gentle presence led me to the beginner’s mind-set time and time again. I was invited to breathe in to the experience of holding foundational postures for veeeeeeeeeery long. For new students, this became an accessible introduction to the postures. This approach granted aged, as well as brand-new, practitioners the opportunity to build strength and endurance of both the physical body, as well as the mind. That was the teaching/learning. And, in doing so, I was drawn back to my body, and to my mind.

Prior to my travels, I’d been placing focus in my personal practice on the Ashtanga series. In the series, there is no question of what pose will be next. It is defined, by design. This stands to offer a meditative experience for many. The sequence is quite physically demanding. And so, I was initially a bit shocked by the challenges which I experienced, physically as well as mentally, in practicing with Jovinna. With no ability to know what Jovinna might next throw my way, my wherewithal was tested … big time! The feeling of progress I noted in the final week of our two-hour AM practice, as compared to that of earlier weeks, provided me with pivotal learning!

I was granted opportunity beyond time spent on my yoga mat to notice the concept of expectation, too. Over the course of the month I spent at The Esalen Institute, I had visits from a few friends. On two separate, yet significant, occasions the experience proved to unfold rather differently than that which I’d spent both time and mental energy planning. Again, learning.

Being a residential scholar necessitates a component of giving back to the community through some form of service. I was invited to work (26 hrs/week) in the farm and garden. In the beginning, I made jokes to my co-horts on the farm of how much my manicurist must be cringing at the thought of dirt under my nails! I was not at all connected, or connecting, to the work. And yet, with admitted reluctance, on my final day on the farm I shared of my current desire to explore local farming volunteer opportunities for the Spring/Summer season. Weeds don’t stand a chance in my path … stay tuned for farmer Josette updates!

Time and space was a theme which Jovinna weaved throughout our study. Now on t he final leg of my journey, I reflect. Having rather spontaneously decided to gently re-enter by visiting a friend in Sedona and a taking a few additional days for transition, I am feeling blessed. I feel blessed for the time and the space which I created for myself to step away. I have deep gratitude for the increased awareness of the ways in which expectations stand to (negatively impact) me. As I return to PA, my intent is to carry with me an inspired “beginner’s mind!”

Oh, you’re working through that … STILL?!

I am not proud to admit that I proclaimed this! It was during a conversation which I was having with a friend (shout out to Andrew – knew I’d write this blog in the moment we were having this conversation; I’m so sorry, my friend) whom I see only a few times a year. Immediately as the words exited my mouth, I cringed. Actually, as they were coming out, I was wishing I could retract this statement. There is such judgement in it! Judgement, and space for introspection.

As I reflected upon how I could have responded in such a cold manner to a friend who was confiding in me, I was – not surprisingly – reminded of a concept which I recall Mariah discussing. The joys of learning and re-learning the very same thing. Again, and again! “Until it finally sinks in,” she would say! Mariah would chuckle as she spoke of this. I can just see her now. Nodding, as she’d say, “But of course you are still working on that.” Or, “Well, I guess there’s still more to learn on this one … Huh?!”

The take home message – be patient! Patient with yourself, and your journey. Ideally, free of self-criticism and/or judgement. Clearly, I can stand to improve upon the degree to which I am embodying this concept. I know that when I place a judgement on another’s experience(s), often times it is because it is “hitting home” with something for me, personally.

And so, I learn. Again, and again. The same concepts. Until, they really sink in. Until, the learning is complete.

Last week, there was learning for me around self-care. A topic which I am excellent at teaching, yet not always so great at personally embracing with compassion. Perhaps, this is why it is something which I’ve blogged about in the past. I suppose, I am working through that … still!

You – my readers, and students – truly SEE me. I thank each one of you who reached out to me throughout my being unwell. Your understanding, your kindness and generosity, and above all else, your reminders to “be gentle with myself” have provided me with an excellent learning opportunity.

Whenever it is that I find myself feeling unbalanced, it is reason for pause. I notice what it will take for me to re-calibrate. Personally, I turn to practices rooted in Ayurveda – the sister science to yoga. Ayurveda aims to keep a body in a state of ease, such that we will not be faced with dis-ease. This is not a concept which is widely supported by our society, or Western medicine. And, it is one which works for me.

First and foremost, I consider what I am putting in my body. I am reminded that carbohydrates, dairy, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol – you know, all the things that I tend to crave – ought to go by the wayside when facing sickness. I also consider energy expenditure. As a chronic over-scheduler, I’ve been taking a closer look at the conditions under which I am placing my body. Prioritizing my yoga practice has become integral. Lastly, rest, rest, and then more rest, consistently provides the foundational factor in the equation of returning to said state of ease.

As I resurface slowly, I’ve recommitted to less doing and more being. A concept which I am often reminded to re-visit. To learn again. And again. In a sort crazy way, as if for the first time. Each time the learning feels rich, renewing, and truly, life giving! And so it goes – that I am working through (how to balance work/play AND doing/being) … STILL!

I’m Not Gonna Do It


Unfortunately, there’s no rule book for grieving. Without a concise text defining, “What to Expect While Grieving,” I am learning that almost anything is fair game.

As many of you know, my mentor, Mariah Gladis, passed away on July 7th. Mariah lived with the terminal diagnosis of ALS – Lou Gehrig’s Disease – for 38 years! She carried this diagnosis with grace, and dignity.

Mariah’s passing is a loss grander than any which I’ve personally faced. Mariah was many things to me – first client, then employer, then mentor, and ultimately, above all else, teacher. In truth, Mariah became like a second mother to me. She referred to me as her adopted daughter, and I to her as my Soul Momma. I am pictured here speaking at Mariah’s memorial – a magnificent affair which honored her well. In my sharing, I spoke of the greatest teaching which I took from Mariah.

When given the diagnosis of ALS, Mariah said that she knew almost instantaneously that she was going to need to show up for herself every single day in a kind, loving, and compassionate manner. She knew that this was non-negotiable if she was to stand any chance at living with ALS. Mariah did just that. And, it worked. In fact, it worked miraculously well!

I’ve been facing a myriad of emotions in grieving Mariah. In much of a wave-like manner – ups and downs, and all the in-between. There seems to be an underlying trend. A sort of lack of inspiration. The feeling that I am simply existing. Missing the ordinary sense of fire about myself which I know and love to embrace, and to share.

Extreme permission. That is the concept to which I’ve been surrendering. Permission to feel ALL the feels. And, as a bonafide over-doer, granting myself the permission to stop all the doing has been important. Emotional fatigue, I am learning, is also a very real thing! Trusting that, “This too shall pass …”

It is so fascinating to notice, and to feel, the voices that arise within my mind when I slow down. #1 Critic … that’s ME! I label myself as lazy. I question and I judge, “What’s wrong with you?!” Or, “Pull it together already!”

And then, I hear Mariah’s voice. She would remind me “your body does not deserve to take that hit.” She would encourage me to meet myself precisely as I am today – through love, and acceptance.

I have been granting myself the gift of much more ME time. Simply BE-ing, rather than reflexively dropping into my pattern of constantly DO-ing. This has required me to say NO more – to the people, places, and things that do not truly feed me.

This concept showed up the other day during my yoga practice. One of the ways in which I have been striving to maintain my well-being is through attending yoga regularly. The other evening, I took myself to my favorite outdoor class. I had a bit of an outburst which quite clearly captured my “doing less” mind-set.

As the teacher called some obscure shape, it quickly became clear to me that I was not interested in exploring the pose. In an almost reverting back to childhood-like manner, I blurted out loud … “I’m NOT gonna do it!” My teacher laughed, and she repeated me … “Ok, then! She’s NOT gonna do it!”

I felt liberated. Liberated for saying NO. Liberated for honoring what felt right and true. It was a mini triumph, of sorts.

As is true in the strengthening of any de-conditioned muscle, I know that it remains important for me to be diligent and consistent in exercising my “doing less” muscle. Granting myself the permission to be and to feel exactly as I am, with each passing moment, is just one of the ways in which I intend to continue to honor Mariah! I firmly believe that the only way to get on the other side of this grief is to BE with it. And so, I am committed to taking things one day at a time.

I would love it if my learning could similarly inspire you to consider the relationship which you have to DO-ing vs. BE-ing. Perhaps you too could stand to benefit from showing up for yourself in a gentler way. Join me in this endeavor, won’t you??

And …

SunsetAnd is a word which I have been choosing more consciously and consistently since formally beginning my studies in Gestalt therapy. A lesson entitled The Language of Responsibility provided me with an awareness of my usage of the words “but” and “or.” The lesson offered the suggestion to change these words in verbal and written dialogue to “and.” I have personally found this subtle shift to be quite powerful.

Travel teaching has been a vision of mine for some time. As I type, I have crossed into my second week of doing so. The first week of my travels was spent amidst a lovely community in North Carolina. It afforded me the opportunity to escape last week’s Nor’easter. This week I am teaching yoga at The Esalen Institute. Offering at Esalen has been on my professional bucket list, and not something which I’d believed would come to fruition by this point in my career. I feel overcome with gratitude. And, there is an underlying sadness.

I’m not sure that I’ve ever experienced the feeling of “bitter-sweetness” quite so palpably. The truth is, my Soul Momma – my mentor, greatest teacher, and woman who introduced me to the teachings of Gestalt –  is not well. I’ve been traveling to The Esalen Institute with her for a number of years.  It is truly a magnificent opportunity to be here now solo. And, the opportunity does not present without challenge.

My day to day at Esalen is quite serene. I wake with the sun to meditate. I have the opportunity to lead and to personally participate in yoga daily. I nourish myself with vegetarian meals that have been loving provided for me. I read in the sun. I soak in the hot springs. I write. I converse with like-minded, open human beings. I dance and sing by the fire at night. Picturesque, truly. (Pictured above is a sunset I captured following one of my evening yoga classes.)

All the while, in the back of my mind, I am aware of my Soul Momma thousands of miles away. Unwell. The decision of whether or not to continue on with my travels, despite Mariah’s inability to do so, was not one which was made easily. If not for her gentle nudge, I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t physically be at Esalen on this trip now. And, I wouldn’t even know that this slice of Heaven on Earth even existed if not for my knowing her.

Another thing that I have taken from my study of Gestalt therapy is to become familiar with my dreams. Dreams are said to be our integration of the sub-conscious. In the weeks leading up to this trip, Mariah said to me in one of my dreams “these are the best of times” Initially, this statement didn’t mean very much to me. In fact, it felt pretty out of context. As this travel continues to unfold, I am realizing that these truly ARE the best of times, And …

With each passing day, I remain committed to BE-ing with this. What better way to ready to step into carrying on this work than through personally embodying it?! And so, I am doing my very best to show up for myself in a way that is loving, kind, and compassionate as I linger in the “and.”

I invite you now to consider aspects of your current life in which you might be experiencing “and” moments. Simply notice, without judgement, your response to these moments. How might you be able to offer yourself loving kindness around this/these aspects of your life today?


What are YOUR words for 2018?

VF Snow

Though I am not much of a new year’s resolution person, I did spend some time pondering how best to uphold my daily commitment to honor the greater good of all beings, starting with myself. Intentional! And, sustainable! Those were the words which felt most important. As 2018 unfolds, I am finding that both play a valuable role in my ability to achieve and to maintain balance in all facets of my life.

The curious thing about balance is that it is not a static experience. It is ever changing. Like that of the swinging of a pendulum, there is constant opportunity to assess and re-assess. Intentionally honoring a sustainable balance about my day-to-day does not come naturally, or easily. The truth is that it takes daily work.

As a healing practitioner, my default tends to be one of over-extending.  At times I feel as if my clients/students may have me – unreasonably, in my opinion – placed upon a bit of a pedestal. “Josette, you are so even-keeled, so compassionate, so attentive, so calm, so dedicated, so wise, so strong …

Ahhhhhh! Even as I type these things, I can feel my blood pressure rising. I am flattered. And, I want you to know that I am human being, too. Much like you, the human experience which I have is certainly not devoid of challenge.

Allow me to share with you a real life example …

Last weekend I co-facilitated a workshop with my Gestalt training classmates. For a number of reasons, this workshop was particularly challenging for me. In an effort to yield to the aforementioned attributes – to remain strong for my group, and the workshop attendees – I found myself losing sight of what was most important for my own well-being. I leaned over to one of my classmates towards the end of the experience and whispered, “I can’t be strong anymore!

Believe it or not, I make mistakes. I don’t always make the best choices. I have weak moments. And, I hit walls, too. As I stared squarely at my wall, I was grateful to receive a gentle reminder from a dear friend, “Walls are good because they teach us what we’ve been doing is not working!

This wall served me. It served me because it forced me to re-assess my schedule. I had intended to continue on the path of going … going … going! Instead, it provided me with an unexpected, but oh so necessary, mid-week pause. It seems that already – less than two weeks into 2018 – I’d been losing sight of my commitment to myself to proceed in an intentional, and sustainable manner. And so goes the swinging of the pendulum. Slightly too far off to one side … Divine opportunity to re-establish balance!

As I continue on the path of integrating the concepts of Gestalt into both my life and my work, it is the relationship which I have with myself that I know creates the foundation for everything else. Being true to this relationship requires me to remain curious, willing to proceed fluidly with the dawning of each new day, and open to yielding in an intentional and sustainable manner to whatever lies before me.

Daily practices of self-care rooted in Ayurveda, gratitude, mantra, meditation, movement, and conscious fueling and hydrating sustain me. These practices are non-negotiable.

So when my pendulum swings slightly too far off to one side or another, it becomes an opportunity to check in with these foundational practices. Have I truly been honoring them?!

In the case of last week, the answer was NO! And so, I turned inward. I did not beat myself up. Instead, I slept. A lot. I created nourishing meals for myself. I bundled up and I took myself to Valley Forge mountain (pictured above) to reconnect to the loving frequency of Mother Nature!

Interesting to reflect upon how very quickly I’d gotten caught up in the vortex of life, proceeding in a scarily unsustainable manner. And, how quickly I was able to re-calibrate by taking an intentional pause.

I challenge you to notice what it is that keeps you feeling balanced? What supports you in re-calibrating your pendulum when it’s gotten a bit too far off to one side or the other? That which comes to mind is invaluable information to know, and to re-visit often. Why not take a moment for yourself to identify a few words that will support you in showing up as the very best version of you in 2018?!

Do it for your well-being, not your butt


I was led to the practice of yoga nearly a decade ago during a chapter of my life in which I was significantly overtraining. Kind and gentle were not in my vocabulary, as it related to the conditions under which I was placing my body. At the time, I was participating in triathlons. It was with reluctance that I agreed to join one of my training buddies at her yoga class. Yoga sounded … slow? And, boring!  I can’t honestly say that I was immediately “sold” on the practice. What I do know is that I went back. Again, and again, and again.

As my yoga practice evolved, I found my way to the lovely studio in Phoenixville where I ultimately completed a 200-hour yoga teacher training. I learned as the training unfolded that my teacher, Danielle, wouldn’t be caught in the studio where I took that first yoga class. As Danielle taught of the lineage of yoga, and the many different approaches to the practice which exist in the western world today, she spoke of a concept which she referred to as yoga for your butt.

As it turns out, that first studio was offering me yoga for my butt. And, I have nothing but gratitude for that studio. Because it was this athletic approach to the practice which met me where I was. It was an accessible way, at the time, for me to reap the benefits – well beyond a nice butt – which the practice of yoga stands to offer.

For a long while, I practiced this athletic yoga for your butt approach. I was drawn to the teacher who used cueing which supported the mindset of pushing and twisting … more, more, more … But, somewhere along the way, something shifted. And, as I continue to deepen my practice, my interest continues to shift significantly from that of the impact which the practice will have upon my butt to more of a focus upon the balance which I will experience of mind, body, and soul.

It has been my journey which influences how sensitive I am to the postings commonly seen around the holidays offering a practice of “burning off the turkey” or “twisting out the toxins.”

I found myself being led to my mat daily over the Thanksgiving holiday. The inspiration was not to offset what I was, or had been, eating and drinking. I took the 20-minute drive to the sweet studio where I practice by my parent’s home for my well-being.

On Thanksgiving Day, the studio was full to capacity. The class wasn’t advertised as a “detox to retox” (another Danielle reference) class. Rather, it was described as “Great Full Yoga,” leaving a great deal of space for interpretation. While the class was relatively gentle from a physical body standpoint, it provided connection through breath to the mind, body, and soul thus yielding space for reflection and for a giving of thanks. As I left that class, I felt balanced; I felt grounded; And, I felt so ready to consciously embrace time spent among my loved ones.

I know well the sense of schedules feeling over-full amidst the holiday season. I acknowledge that when it doesn’t feel as if there are enough hours in the day, it is often self-care which falls in priority on the “To-Do’s” list. Alas, there is holiday decorating, and shopping, and wrapping, and we can’t forget about all the social engagements …

And so, I invite you to take a look at how you are approaching your relationship with YOU this holiday season. Are you being kind and gentle to yourself? What is the underlying motivator for you to be led to your yoga mat, or not? To go for that walk with your loved one, or not? To slow down long enough to take a few meditative breaths and truly check-in with your body, or not?

You may notice an interesting shifting of priorities as motivation extends beyond how your butt will look in the holiday pants to that of your overall well-being. My wish for you this holiday season is that you too may experience that feeling which I had after Thanksgiving Day yoga – the balance, the grounding, and the readiness to consciously embrace times spent among loved ones.

*The image (above) was taken the day after Thanksgiving while I was on a walk with my father and brother. There was a time in years past when I would have passed on a walk of this nature because it was not a “turkey burner” day after the holiday sort of work-out. And, what sweetness I’d have missed.

Dismantle the insanity

Meditation banner with energy mandala

As I continue to navigate what feels to be a season of transition, the teachings could not be guiding me more. There has never been a time in my life in which I have leaned more heavily upon the practices of yoga, and of late, even more-so meditation. I’ve been very drawn to the practice of Kundalini. As someone who has the Sanskrit for “breath” tattooed on the inside of my right wrist, I suppose it makes sense that I’d be drawn to a breath-based practice when facing change – an experience which is never really all that comfortable.

It seems I cannot expose myself to enough Kundalini. I’ve been traveling almost 40 minutes to a weekly yoga/meditation class. I find myself chanting on the regular in my apartment, in the studio, and in my treatment room before/after classes and 1:1 clients. The car is perhaps my most preferred location in which to chant at the top of my lungs. This past weekend I shared in an incredibly transformative and awakening practice guided by the widely respected Mahan Rishi at Sit Meditation Space. I took away a great deal from this amazing evening spent at Sit, the beautiful safe-haven which has been providing me with a home away from my own home and studio.

Mahan Rishi openly and authentically shared that one must look to meditation as a means to dismantle the insanity which is our day-to-day. Society asks of us to maintain a rather intense pace of life. Mahan Rishi challenged participants to ask of one’s self: Why do you comply to this? And, how is that serving you? Hmmm …

By the end of the evening, I was very moved. It was palpable. I was in no position to go anywhere quickly. As I lingered, I embraced the opportunity to assist Mahan Rishi in packing up his equipment. As has been my experience with many guru figures, Mahan Rishi said a great deal to me in very few words. In short, he encouraged me to share the teachings. Anywhere, and everywhere, and through whatever means feels most right.

Wow … needless to say, I heard him! And, this directly aligns with what my intuition, that voice which I hear most clearly when I honor daily time spent in mantra and meditation, has been guiding me towards. When a guru speaks, I believe there to be no choice but to listen. And so I am. I am consistently and intentionally choosing to dismantle the insanity; I am throwing caution to the wind; and I am stepping fully into my Dharma – honoring my life’s calling.

I invite you to have a look at my website to check out the offerings that I have scheduled for the weeks/months ahead. Stay tuned as there is much more awaiting manifestation which remains to be in the visionary phases of evolution! I have never felt more motivated to share. And, I sincerely hope that you will allow me to guide you to an enhanced relationship with yourself through the practices of yoga and meditation. It would be my honor and pleasure to support you in an exploration of dismantling the insanity … to hear the whisperings of your intuition … and to be able to proceed with clarity and utmost consciousness.

All the Feels

Wrightsville Beach1

I’ve just returned from a wonderful extended birthday celebration with one of my dearest girlfriends. A quick early AM flight on my birthday to Myrtle Beach, SC followed by a few hour drive to Wrightsville Beach, NC led me to a SURPRISE two evening stay at a gorgeous beachfront resort (pictured above). We enjoyed luxuriating for a few days beach/poolside until our road trip to Darlington, MD for a weekend of camping at a yoga/music festival where my Shakti Goddess – diva, as I was referring to her – was to lead Kirtan! Alas torrential rainstorms presented, causing us to retreat, yet again, to the nearest town – 3o minutes by car.  We welcomed the thought of showers, and comfortable, warm, dry beds to rest. Yet another surprise crossed our path, this time in the form of a magical restaurant which offered incredibly generous portions of amazing island inspired cuisine and beverages! An unexpected, and surprisingly pleasant, Lyft provided me with transport for the final leg of my journey from MD back home to PA a few days earlier than anticipated. Whew … quite a whirlwind of a trip, huh?!

Amidst all of the excitement, one of us actively navigating a broken heart and the other facing the reality of crossing paths with a past partner all the while striving to remain fully present for the blossoming of beautiful new(ish) relationship. Though society seems to place an unspoken expectation of us to keep it together, as two yogis who are both empathetic light-workers, this is simply not an option. Needless to say, a myriad of emotions were experienced over the course of the five days which we shared together.

“I’m feeling all of the feels” is our go-to phrase. And, throughout our time spent together this could not have been more true. Which got me to thinking; And, to reflecting upon all the feels. Good, bad, and/or indifferent … Assuming you allow for them to bubble up, all sorts of feels can be present, sometimes seemingly simultaneously.

Attempting to stuff emotions down (via your numbing technique of preference) is a means of coping which I am finding to be less and less serving for my well-being, of late. My belief is that the feels long to be seen. And, my experience has been that the feels don’t ever truly disappear. Thus, it’s conceivable to argue that one might simply be prolonging the inevitable by striving to ignore said feels.

I am placing my trust in the fact that creating the space for myself to breathe and to truly feel – albeit downright uncomfortable at times – ultimately yields healing and growth. The practices of yoga and meditation provide this space for me. Through the practices, I enhance my ability to stand in the role of observer and to bear witness to the space between thoughts. As my ability to watch my thoughts/feelings is fine-tuned, I have been inviting a curiosity to do so without judgement.

Throughout my week of birthday adventures, it has been truly fascinating to notice amidst moments of happiness how sadness can also be present. I feel so grateful to have such a dear friend who was open/willing to remain present and supportive of my doing so. I consistently remind myself that without a knowingness of pain, abundance and joy could not be fully appreciated. And so, I continue to turn to the practices which consistently support me in feeling all the feels.

Perhaps you have an interest in enhancing your ability to bear witness to ALL the feels?! With no real travel plans in sight, I will be offering many opportunities in the weeks ahead for you to consciously step onto your mat to connect deeply to YOU through breath guided awareness. Consider taking me up on this! I intend to hold a safe space for all the feels to bubble up, as I too vulnerably navigate my very own feels.