The Itsy Bitsy Guru In All of Us

Uncategorized Jun 16, 2021

What was your nickname as a kid? If you're like me, you had several. My dad called me "Fly," because when I was a baby I moved my hands and feet like a fly. (Who didn't?) It sounds gross, but it stuck to the point of my dad putting a custom-made fly decal on the driver's door of my first car, complete with fancy eyelashes.

My mom called me "Itsy Bitsy Guru." The origin story there is unknown, but I like to think I was a wise and knowing toddler ;)

What a guru actually IS, is anyone or anything that brings light to darkness. Gu, meaning darkness, and roo, meaning dispel. Together, guru. 

The light reveals what is hidden; what is in the shadows. When we can't see in a dark room, we are prone to fear, to stubbing our toe, to standing still rather than risk walking in the dark. So we turn on a light and walk right in.  It is the same with our lives. It is the same in our mind.

Every chakra, or energy center within us, has a shadow, or a dark side.  It is the process of...

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Why I'm Not All About Self Improvement

As I think about my New Year intention and resolutions, I’m trying to remember that there are no disciplines or practices that will make me a more worthy human. Now I can stop grasping, pushing, clinging, struggling, and fighting to self improve. 💜 Just be

 

Welcome to 2021! Feels much like 2020, huh? I'm ok with that. Big change and worthy transition takes time. I'm still reflecting a bit, even as I'm super excited to forge ahead.  Recently on my podcast, we listened to each chakra and asked ourselves how 2020 affected us in all areas of our lives.  (If you haven’t listened yet, I encourage you to listen to that PODCAST episode (#101) where I take you through the chakras and corresponding questions. You can also download the accompanying PDF, and spend 15-20 minutes asking yourself those questions.)  I really feel looking back is imperative to moving forward with wisdom and right action. Because we DO want to move forward!

 

Even...

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It's Time to Check In With Your Heart

Have I mentioned before that I love teaching about the chakras?  I've taught my chakra series for about ten years now, and it never disappoints.  This year is no exception. Last Thursday in Hatha was Anahata day, or 4th chakra, located at the heart center.  This is where we house grief.  And there is PLENTY of that to go around these days.  After class, several of us on Zoom stayed back and shared some tender moments. We realized how close to the surface our sadness is sometimes.  

 

  • We are grandparents who have gone a year without seeing our grandchildren. 
  • We are immunocompromised and scared everyday. 
  • We miss dinners out with our friends.
  • We miss hugs.
  • We have deep sadness for our friends of color, our indigenous people, and all those who see themselves in danger and on the fringes of society.
  • We're worried about our teens' development. 
  • We fear we're losing our mind in isolation. 
  • We mourn those we...
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Are you Chakra Savvy?

How tuned in are you to your energetic flow? Do you know when your cups are getting low and you need a refill?  Do you know what I mean by that?

 

This blog is posting late because my cups got emptied...by poison ivy.  Before last weekend I was rocking and rolling, so excited about our 5 Day Challenge and planning all the fun things I have in store for us. That same strong energy took me from weeding a small area in my back yard to clearing brush and weed trees on the edge of our property.  I was KILLIN’ it!  And I didn’t even notice our 3-leafed friend.  But my body did. And it kinda overreacted. 

 

I’ll spare you the journey, but it wiped me out.  And I’ll tell you what I’ve learned after many years of pushing through--it’s not worth it.  I’m happy to say as soon as the wave of fatigue hit, I went to the doctor, cancelled all my appointments, and went to bed.  It’s what...

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You got a witness? Yep! And it's time you met.

Remember when all the chatter leading up to Thanksgiving was about surviving our family?  Remember how we'd prepare to be triggered, practice patience with our intolerant kin, and laugh about sitting at the kids' table to avoid talking politics?  

Or maybe entering holiday season brings with it a sense of melancholy and loneliness for you, and now it's hard to tell the difference between the holidays and the rest of the year in a  pandemic. 

Or perhaps you remember getting excited to see everyone, related or not, gathered around a table hoping the turkey isn't dried out, and the thought of not seeing your people this year is killing you.  

Maybe you're having a hard time deciding what's the right thing to do.

 

I am with you in ALL of this. 

 

Even as I write this, I'm not exactly sure what Goulding Thanksgiving will look like this year, and that makes me sad. Yesterday I came across...

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Easing Election Tension

On days like today, I’m glad for the practice of yoga.  When I first started, it was to keep my body limber and my mind at ease.  Over time it became a wonderful source of community and divine connection.  My thirst for knowledge in all things yoga led me to study with some of the world’s premier yoga teachers, like John Friend, Chase Bossart, Christina Sell, Leslie Kaminoff, and Anodea Judith. 

 

It was studying with them that I realized that life and yoga are not separate, and yoga is not always an escape. In fact, it's where I choose to walk straight into whatever fire is burning and try to understand it from the inside out. In doing this, I learn about myself from the inside out. And that's the only way to live more consciously and be able to take right action and surrender the results.

 

You voted. Your work is done. The rest you cannot control. So breathe and have a little faith because this too shall pass. The Universe is working for...

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Rituals to Release the Things That Haunt You

I’ve been thinking a lot about things that haunt--not just tech goblins or spooky ghosts, but haunts from the past.  Old experiences, relationships, and patterns that appear from time to time to hijack our present happiness. 

 

Last week I met a dear friend for a walk in our local park. It was a beautiful day in a beautiful week for me.  I’m a big fan of October--the flowers are jewel-toned, the weather cools down, it’s my birthday... ;)

 

But for my friend, it’s full of anxiety.  She shared with me that deep in her bones there is a fear. This fear comes from a traumatic memory of last Halloween--an event that had her on the edge for months afterward.  Although she and her family are now on the other side of it, the anticipation of the one-year anniversary was causing great suffering. She wanted to skip the whole holiday.  They all wanted to avoid it. I totally got that.  

 

But after chatting a bit, we...

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The 3 Most Important Yoga Alignment Cues

If you’ve taken any yoga classes with me in the past, you probably know I love good alignment cues.  I love finding tiny little adjustments to a posture that have big benefits and “aha moments.” I love it when one principle applies to a broad range of postures and their accessibility.  So today I’m going to share with you the

 

3 yoga asana cues that I believe are the most valuable in any pose or class. 

 

You don’t have to be an experienced yogi to benefit from what I’m going to share with you today.  In fact, these three cues are helpful even if you never step on a yoga mat! 

 

The first one is soften.

 

Are you surprised?  This is the first thing I always say when we are beginning a new pose.  (It’s also a great thing to do when you enter a new conversation with yourself or someone else.) We begin by taking a breath and softening. 

 

This softening trickles down on your...

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Meditation Part 4: Object Meditation

“Where your attention goes, so goes your prana.” 

 

This is a line of wisdom from my teacher Chase Bossart that I think of almost daily, and it’s meaning continues to have greater depth and influence in my thinking.  Did you realize you can affect your whole life by being purposeful about where or on what you are placing your attention? Today I’m talking about a third type of meditation: object meditation.

 

This is the practice I'm most familiar and comfortable with, and it's the kind I use in Yoga Therapy.

 

Meditating on an object comes from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, an ancient text on the theory and practice of yoga. Patanjali lists many things on which to concentrate that will have different results.  In Sutra 1.39 he even says you can meditate on anything that is elevating to you.  In my practices with my teachers and the practices that I offer to my students, we use different objects to move us towards an...

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Meditation Part 3: Contemplative Prayer and "Spaciousness for Peace"

Have you every had someone tell you to "lighten up?"  Did it help, or was it infuriating? 

Do you ever feel like that space between when something happens to you and when you react is very, very thin?  

 

I think what a lot of us are craving right now is some SPACE to LIGHTEN UP.  The burdens of living in a pandemic and all that goes with it have a lot of us on edge.  This is totally understandable! And I'm here to help you create some space for your mind to relax and your spirit to breathe.  

 

Today I recalled a time when things were quite hard for me.  Nick and I were starting our restaurant, our kids were very small, and everything was on the line.  Nick had to work long hours every day for several months to get the business going, and my troubles and stress felt BIG.  

 

For my birthday, my mom gave me a little sign to hang on my bathroom wall that said,

"Put on a little lipstick. You'll feel...

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