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The Yoga of Forgiveness

How are you settling into this new season? Did you do anything to mark the time, set an intention for Autumn, or do a ritual to release some baggage you don’t care to bring with you into the next cycle? I cleaned out my car, inside and out, which led to the garage, and trickled out to the shed. I was beet red with heat by the end of the day, but it was so great the next morning to enjoy the fruits of those labors. 



Another thing I did was attend a half-day retreat with Dr. Deb Kern. She teaches Prana Shakti dance, and comes to town from Mexico from time to time so we can dance in person again. This mini-retreat was in celebration of the Equinox, and it took me to a far out place in my heart!



I’m not entirely sure what all went on inside me, but after dancing for a long while we rolled out our mats and did some Wim Hof breathing exercises. I combined this with some rib and diaphragm massage as recommended by my massage therapist, Danielle Evans, and WHOA! Did some stuff let go!! I wouldn’t say I “ugly cried,” but tears quietly poured for about 30 minutes while my body trembled in different areas, especially my chest and belly. 


This was a heart chakra opening, excavating, and releasing. 



Thankfully, at that time my mind didn’t try to analyze it or explain to me what was going on (as is my tendency).  I did my best to simply embody the experience and be present to what was happening. I have an inkling, now, as to what was letting go, but that’s a blog for another time. I’m still processing!



This was such a beautiful reminder to me of how our body holds our experiences, emotions, feelings, thoughts, and habitual patterns. The heart chakra houses our relationships–family, partners, friends, and any other loved ones–and any time we’re in relationships there will be ups and downs. Because we each hurt in our own unique ways, we are uniquely poised to hurt others, and ourselves. 



When these hurts that happen between us get stuck in our cells and cloud our ability to see and be Love, it might be time to explore forgiveness.  In this week’s episode 25 of Jess on the Mountain podcast, I talk to Emily J Hooks, creator of the Forgiveness Academy and author of The Power of Forgiveness. This conversation rearranged the way I think about forgiveness and makes the process seem even more important and empowering. She has created a whole method around forgiveness that involves the work of embodiment and relentless forgiving.



“Forgiveness is about the way we are today, not the way things have been in the past.” 



Full forgiveness may come in a big aha! moment of clarity, or it may seep in slowly over time. Either way, as Emily says, it is a practice. And just like in yoga, one should only begin the process when one feels ready and has the capacity to take on the challenge.  Forgiveness does not include forgetting–it doesn’t even include sharing with the other person! It is a completely individual operation. I hope you listen to the episode and come away with as much as I did.



These are the kinds of breakthroughs we can have when we set aside time to do something meaningful and adventurous in our lives. It’s why I believe so wholeheartedly in retreats! Life is noisy and busy, so it can be very challenging to focus on matters of the soul. But this is where the juice is! 



If you know that some time away will help you focus, unwind, and see what really matters in life, I hope you consider joining me for some away time.


🐢 There are still spaces available for Galapagos Islands, March 2-9.

🌕 There is one bunk available at WonderFULL: Women’s Yoga Retreat, October 27-29.

🌷You can join the wait list for when registration opens for the Spring Women’s retreat at Retreat Ranch, April 12-14. 


Did you read my bonus Equinox blog about Infusing Meaning with Adventure?  You can join the fun this month with a personal practice to set your intentions for this season. Consider:


🤔 Where in your life you desire evolution, transformation, or change? Take the question on a walk, to your mat, or into your quiet time of meditation and reflection. Then journal what comes to mind. Then pay attention to when your intention unfolds in surprising ways!



May you open your heart for an excavation, may you find of forgiveness and healing there, and may you embody self compassion throughout your inner journey.


Much love,

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