Empowerment, Inspiration, Spirituality

In Yo Face Friday

You guys want to help me with the tumble weeds around here?  It’s the end of February and it has been almost two months since my last post. I broke the cardinal rule of blogging- you actually have to blog. Now let me take some time to provide you with the excuses.

1. Holidays.
2. Frustration.
3. Overwhelm.
4. Excuses suck.

Here’s what really happened….the holidays came and priorities were inadvertently shuffled. Food. Family. Stress. Then I got frustrated over not having time for myself, my husband and my business on top of the 9-5 schlep and my volunteer work.  So I broke cardinal rule #2 – working in my business instead of working on my business. I decided everything needed to be done all at once and I was the best person to do it. Shit with my web designer hit the fan (see how the website isn’t launched yet?) and I started moving horizontally instead of vertically.

Enter overwhelm.

When overwhelm hits and you’re already frustrated everything comes to a grinding halt. Why? Because all of a sudden your brain is torn between the ‘woulda, coulda shoulda’ land of the past and the ‘what if’ land of the future.  The moment you enter the scary dark corners of the past and /or the future the most important thing disappears. The present. 

The most important thing you can do in life; for your self, your business, your practice your friends, your family, your community, for everyone you encounter is STAY PRESENT.

My inaction over the past month and a half was a sweet reminder of how important the present is.  Time to get back on the wagon, ya heard?

#beherenow
#beherenow
Inspiration, Spirituality

In Yo Face Friday

Today’s inspiration is pretty simple. We all have things to give. It’s in our essence to give back. It’s up to us to make this world a better place. Give your time. Give your talent. Give your gifts.  Give your compassion. Give your love. Give your hope. Spread the word. You were born to give.

Born to Give

Empowerment, Inspiration, Spirituality

In Yo Face Friday

Sometimes it’s really scary going inside. There’s cobwebs, old memories and pain buried deep within us.  Everything you need, your power, your spirit your inspiration, your intuition.  It’s all inside you. You just have to dig deep.  If you have a pile of shit to dig through, grab a shovel. If you need help, reach for it…but go there. You’re a warrior. Fight + release the demons.  Go inside. Go deep.

Dig deep

you had the power all along, my dear. 

Empowerment, Inspiration, Spirituality

In Yo Face Friday

It’s Friday!  Time to get in yo face!

Today I want to talk about rules. More importantly, breaking them.

Break the Rules

Now before you start running around  all willy-nilly  breaking rules for your own convenience, that’s not what I’m talking about. Red lights are there for a reason and if you cut to the font of the Starbucks line, I can’t promise someone won’t punch you in the throat! The rules I am talking about are the ones that we have imposed on ourselves and the ones that have been unintentionally imposed on us. Living by these rules imprison us when in actuality we were designed to dance and shine in abundance and success.

Example:

  • I’m an artist, I can’t run a business.
  • I can’t wear that dress, my thighs are too fat.
  • My relationships never work out. I am destined to be alone.
  • I can’t be a yoga teacher, I’m overweight and I can’t even touch my toes.

When you read those rules out loud they seem pretty ridiculous, right? That’s because they are. They’re big, fat, stupid rules.  But being ridiculous never stopped anyone from anything. And our rules can be broken.  If you start breaking the rules that imprison you , you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish and the happiness that will pour into your life.

Breaking these rules isn’t easy. It takes a revolution within ourselves. If our evolution happened over night, it wouldn’t be evolution. It would be…crap, I don’t know, something that happens over night without any effort, like leaves turning red in the fall.

You need to break the rules in your life to thrive.  <~~~ Tweet that.

The first step is figuring out what the hell they are. What rules are do you live by that are holding you back? How can you deprogram yourself? Once you have them identified, then work on reprogramming your rules.

I have been trying to figure this out myself for a while now. I’m going out on a limb now, trying to break a few of my own self imposed rules.  I’m getting personal. Something I very rarely do. Here are a few rules I am trying to crush.

I have too much educational debt to be self employed.  – fuck that shit. I’ve done it before and I will do it again. It just takes creativity, ambition and hustle. My new rule?  I have what it takes to be successful and the woman [Sallie Mae] can’t keep me down. 

Asking for help will make me seem weak. Seriously. I’m not sure exactly how this one got there but it has infected almost every aspect of my life. Maybe it’s genetic. I come from a very long line of disturbingly independent women (on both sides of my family). I struggled for months trying to build and tweak my website when I finally acknowledged that I needed help (thank you Courtney!) time and abundance began flowing in other directions.  My new rule: It’s good to ask for help when you need it. 

If I share my emotions people will think I am weak and/or crazy. This one is hard. Really, really hard for me.  I am pretty sure it’s tied to the asking for help rule, which is rooted in my Adirondack upbringing- fierce independence.  And that long line of fiercely independent women, well, they’re notorious for not letting a soul inside. I’ve been working on reprogramming myself to believe that the complexity of my emotions make me unique. The good, the bad and the ugly are all a part of who I am. They are what draws people to me and what keeps us connected. If I don’t let them out and share them my connections to those other souls will merely be superficial. My new rule: My emotions are powerful, sharing them will nurture the relationships I have.

So, those are some of the rules that have been holding me back in my personal, business and spiritual evolution.  What are the rules that hold you back? How are you going to break them? Who will hold you accountable? Break the fucking rules. The dialog in your brain has to change. Rewire your thinking so you can go out there, kick ass, be happy and change the world.

Health, Spirituality, Yoga

Friday Faves

It’s Friday, and these are a few of my favorite things…..

Gratitude Band by Finding My Muchness

Getting in touch with the MUCH
First up, Muchness Bands made by my favorite Muchy girl, Tova Gold over at Finding My Muchness.  Muchness Bands are gorgeous satin and sequin tie bands that come in a rainbow of colors and inspiration. The best thing about them is they have an inspirational quote on the inside of the band. Each band is custom made just for you – you can choose from a selection of quotes or you can submit your own. they are designed to be a physical reminder of the strength you embody and the light and joy that surround you, even if you are struggling with grief or sadness. Wrap it around your wrist, your ponytail, your bag strap… wherever you catch a glimpse of it and be reminded of it’s powerful message. I ordered my first two Muchness Bands last fall (Courage and Healing) when my life was in a rocky place. EVERY time I wear one, someone stops me in my tracks and compliments me.  I NEED an entire rainbow of them, one for every outfit.  It’s probably time for a new order 🙂

28 Day Cycle of Wisdom & Creativity

Click the picture to go to the FREE download!

Next up is a freebie (see what I did there?). It’s a free download version of the Vibrant Women Project‘s Vibrant Month Program – 28 Day Cycle of Wisdom & Creativity. Its a daily chart and  guide to what your body is primed for throughout your cycle based on your hormone levels in career, health, sex, relationships, intuitiveness and creativity… and it’s awesome.  I can’t tell you how much this resonates with me. When I was full swing health coaching in my former biz,  Sprouting Wellness, I use to run online Vibrant Women’s Circles.  It was a 6 week program to connect women to their inner wisdom, teach them about their fertility cycle and empower them to make positive changes in their lives.  I wish I had tapped into my intuitive side and developed this chart for my circles. It simply rocks.  You have no excuses. Go download it now.

Yoga class ‘recipes’ for newly trained teachers

Click me!

The Yoga Recipe is an innovative yoga marketplace.  “What’s innovative about shopping?” you ask.. Now let me explain. This isn’t they type of marketplace where you buy new yoga pants, a mat, incense some tingshas and a nice Ganesh statue for your alter. It’s a marketplace where newly trained teachers can purchase classes (to practice or teach) from seasoned teachers.  Any person can purchase a class download, but the mission of The Yoga Recipe  is to create an energy and monetary exchange between seasoned and new teachers that elevates both parties, the yoga community and most importantly the students. I am in love with it. It’s currently in its beta version. Yoga teachers have to apply for approval to run a Yoga Shop. Sadly, my shop Terra K – Darshana Yoga is empty right now. I haven’t had the time to upload anything yet!  That being said, I will, and I am SO excited about it. I have 1000s of hours worth of classes. Even after I became comfortable and confident as a yoga teacher,  I always wrote out my classes prior to teaching them. It was probably the Virgo in me to ensure the lesson and asana flow. I was never an “off the cuff” teacher so the Yoga Recipe is perfect for me. I can’t wait to dig in.  So RYTs – make sure you check this one out and apply for your Shop!

Hi-Tech Chakras: The iChakra Ap

ichakra

In all honesty, I have had this ap on my iPhone for well over a year and never used it. Recently I have been working on my spiritual alignment and balance, bringing meditation, yoga and chant back into my life on a consistent basis.  When I upgraded my phone last week and started sifting through the 100s of aps that were transferred over.  Its rainbow caught my attention (I am a sucker for rainbows) during a pretty dull meeting I was attending at work. I thought my phone was on vibrate until Om Shanti Shanti Sarvarishita Naashini Swahi rang out. Oops. My bad, I presumed some legal stuffed shirts could use a little heart openers.  Since that uncomfortable moment I have been using it every day.  It is really great for quick meditation. There is a mantra option, singing bowl option and guided meditation. At first I was annoyed that I had to restart or tap at every chakra. Then I realized I should have read the directions. Of course you can adjust the settings to progress through each chakra without tapping manually. You can also choose specific chakras and the number of cycles it plays – for example: 1 Muladhara  chant, 2 Swahisthara, 3 Manipura etc. Super awesome if you have some areas you want to un-stick! and it’s only $1.99. Hurry and download now 🙂

Jeanne Rizzo + Breast Cancer Fund

If you are aware of  the Susan G. Komen Foundation and don’t know who The Breast Cancer Fund and its CEO, Jeanne Rizzo are, or think that these two breast cancer organizations are similar, you are doing it wrong.  They are wildly different. The greatest distinction between these two organizations is that the former is focused on research and the later prevention. As a health coach, optimal health and dis-ease prevention is my passion.  As an attorney formerly in the pharmaceutical industry and currently in the academic research industry I have an acute understanding of drug development + research funding. There’s no doubt, everyone wants to cure cancer.  It would benefit millions of people world wide, and it’s a potential billion dollar windfall taboot.  Preventing cancer? not so much money there.  We’re currently living in the new era of Breast Cancer. Women are being assaulted with endocrine disrupting chemicals and  on a daily basis. It’s coming from our beauty products, our cleaning products our food and even our jobs. Breast Cancer Fund (and a few other NPOs such as the Silent Spring Foundation) are the lone wolves in fighting for prevention. They are denouncing pink washing and taking the fight to Washington to advocate for legislative reform of our broken (and outdated) Toxic Substances Control Act.  Jeanne Rizzo is my favorite and she should be yours too!  Read more from Jeanne here.

What are you loving this week?

FYI – I am not an affiliate to any of these businesses or organizations. I do not get paid for any endorsements within this post. They are honestly, just a few of my favorite things.

Environmentalism, Spirituality

Celebrating Solstice

Well, it’s 12/21/12.  The Apocalypse or the Great Awakening. I choose the later.  But it’s also Winter Solstice, a time of rebirth.  Rather than pontificate on the New Years and resolutions, I’ll leave you with a cute little story and a little JGB.  They both give me reason to smile today.

Happy Solstice.

Love one another.

The Yule Faries

A group of little Faeries huddled in their home deep under the roots of a giant oak tree. They were safe and snug in their tiny underground cave lined with dandelion fluff, bird feathers, and dried moss.

Outside, the wind blew cold and the snow fell softly down to cover the ground. “I saw the Sun King today,” the faerie named Rose said as she pulled her mossy cloak tighter about her. “He looked so old and tired as he walked off through the forest. What is wrong with him?

“The great oak said he’s dying” answered Daffodil.

“Dying? Oh, what will we do now?”, Little Meadow Grass started to cry, “If the Sun King dies, our little plant friends will not grow. The Birds will not come and sing again. Everything will be winter for ever!” Lilac, Dandelion and Elder Blossom tried to comfort their friend, but they were all very sad. As they huddled together, there was a knock on the tiny door.

“Open up, Faeries,” called out a loud voice. “Why are you hiding instead of joining us in our Solstice celebration?” Rose opened the door and the little gnome Brown Knobby pushed inside, shaking the glistening snowflakes off his brown coat and hat.

“We are too sad to celebrate,” Daffodil said wiping her eyes, “The Sun King is dying, haven’t you heard?”

“He is dead you silly Faeries.” Brown Knobby’s round dark eyes sparkled with laughter. “Now hurry, or we’ll be late for the celebration!”

“How can you be happy and laughing?!” Elder Blossom stamped her little foot and frowned at the gnome. “If the Sun King IS dead, it will be winter always. We will never see the Sun again!”

“Silly little child-Faeries.” Brown Knobby grabbed Dandelion by the hand and pulled her to her feet. “There is a secret to the Winter Solstice. Don’t you want to know what it is?”

The Faeries looked at him in surprise. “Secret?” they all said. “What secret? We are only new little Faeries, you silly gnome. We’ve never been to a Solstice celebration before.”

“Come and see. Come and see. Get your capes and come with me.” Brown Knobby danced and jigged around the room. “Hurry, Hurry, don’t be slow! To the Sacred Oak Grove through the snow!” He danced out of the door and disappeared.

“What did that gnome mean?” Rose asked as she gathered up her cloak of dried rose petals held together with cobwebs and lined with goose down.

“I don’t know, but the Lady lives in the Sacred Grove.” Meadow Grass pulled on her hat.

“Perhaps if we go to see the Goddess, She can explain what Brown Knobby was talking about”.

The Faeries left their snug little home and trudged off through the snow toward the sacred oak grove. The forest was dark with only the light of the Moon shining down through the thick fir branches and bare limbs of maple and hawthorn. It was very difficult for them to get through the snow because they were very, very small. As they waded through the wet snow and shivered in the cold wind, they met a fox.

“Where are you going, Faeries?” the fox asked.

“To the sacred grove,” they answered, they were cold and shivering.

“Climb on my back and I will take you there swiftly.”

The fox knelt down so the Faeries could climb up. Then he raced off through the dark.

“Listen!” Lilac said as they neared the Grove of Sacred trees. “Someone is singing happy songs. A LOT of someones.”

The beautiful music carried over the cold, still, moonlit air. It was the most beautiful music the Faeries had ever heard. The fox carried the Faeries right to the edge of the stone altar in the center of the grove, then knelt down.

“Look!” said Elder Blossom as they slid to the snow covered ground. “There is the Maiden and the Mother and the OLD Wise Crone, and many other Little People.”

“They are all smiling and happy,” said Lilac as she looked around at all the creatures.

“All the animals are here too,” whispered Dandelion. “Why are they all looking at the Mother?”

The Faeries moved closer to the three Ladies seated on the altar stone. The Mother held a bundle close in Her arms, smiling down at it. The Maiden reached down and took the Faeries gently in her Hands. She held them close to the Mother so they could see what She held.

“A Baby!” the Faeries cried. ” A new little Baby! Look how he glows!”

“He is the newborn Sun King,” said the Maiden smiling.

“But Brown Knobby and the old oak tree said the Sun King was dead,” the Faeries answered her. “How can this little baby be the Sun King?”

“That is the great secret of the Winter Solstice.” The Old Wise One touched the baby’s cheek with her wrinkled hand. “Every year the Sun King must come to the sacred grove during the darkest days of winter where he dies. I take his spirit to the Mother who gives him new life again. This is the way for all creatures, not just the Sun King.”

” You mean everything lives and dies and lives again? the Faeries looked down in wonder at the baby Sun King, nestled in the arms of the Mother.

” Yes, Little Ones,” answered the Old Wise Crone. “There is never an end to life. This is the great mystical secret of the Winter Solstice.”

The Faeries laughed because they were so happy.

“I think the little Sun King should have gifts,” said Rose. “I will show him where the wild roses bloom in the early summer.”

“And, I will teach him to call the birds and listen to the songs of the wind,” exclaimed Dandelion.

“When he is older and stronger, ” said the Mother, “then the flowers will bloom at his touch, the birds will return to sing their songs, and the air will be warm from his breath, and winter will be gone for a time. Then the Sun King will run and play with you in the forest.”

The little Faeries sang to the Baby Sun King, songs of the coming spring, the sweet smelling flowers, the bumbling bees, and all the secrets of the forest. And all the creatures within the sacred grove sang with them. Then the fox took them back to their snug home under the roots of the giant oak tree where they dreamed wonderful dreams, waiting for the warmth of spring and the fun they would have with the little Sun King.

Spirituality, Yoga

The Four Agreements…

The 4 Agreements by Don Miguel Ángel Ruiz

Years ago, my yoga teacher gave me a book by Miguel Ángel Ruiz titled The Four Agreements. It was a huge catalyst in changing the way I live my life. Like the majority of women [probably every single one of us] I have been through some shit. And it left its mark on me. I lived my life on the defensive. I often questioned people’s motives and wondered when the bottom was going to drop out. Digging into my yoga practice, incorporating yogic philosophy into my everyday life and The Four Agreements changed all that. It took time, dedication and a little help, but eventually I was able to go inside, find my guide and shine my light outward.

When I am shining, I am at my best. The Secret is a no brainer. It’s easy to manifest. Negative thoughts are like oil and water to my positive life philosophy and living from the INside Out.

But life does happen.

Lots of times it get ridiculously busy.

Sometimes it gets sticky.

And every so often, those old scars get itchy and we’re drawn back into the pain and the old habits. We need to remember the time we took to heal them. More importantly, we need to remember they are in fact, healed.

Last week I had a great coaching session with my life coach [Yes, even life coaches need life coaches!]. She reminded me that all the answers were inside me and helped me to remember how to approach life when it gets sticky. For me, it’s the 4 Agreements. And for probably the 25th time in 6 years, I reread the book.

Once again, I am healed and ready to SHINE. Here’s how I plan on shining my light:

Be Impeccable with Your Word

Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean.

Avoid using the word to speak against yourself of gossip about others.

Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

Don’t Take Anything Personally

Nothing others do is because of you.

What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.

When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others,

you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

Don’t Make Assumptions

Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want.

Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama.

With just this one agreement you can completely transform your life.

Always Do Your Best

Your best is going to change from moment to moment;

It will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick.

Under any circumstance, simply do your best and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

Inspiration, Spirituality

Manifesting, new moons and solstice…

“Whatever is dreamed on this night, will come to pass.”

~ A Mid-Summernight’s Dream, William Shakespeare

Litha by Cat Stone

June’s new moon was yesterday. Each New Moon is a time for new beginnings. It’s also a great time to revisit any existing goals in our life and plant the seeds of what you want to accomplish and manifest in the month to come. Last night’s new moon was particularly strong, as it landed on the back of the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year (today).

What are you manifesting?

Advocacy, Environmentalism, Spirituality, Yoga

Happy Earth Day, go hug a tree!

Happy Earth Day, Pretties!

I hope each and every one of you are taking the time today to get out side, hug a tree, reduce your carbon foot-print, recycle and give homage to Mother Earth!  I just read a Cherokee proverb on Facebook this morning it said Walk gently in spring, Mother Earth is pregnant. Beautiful, right?

I think earth day is a fabulous thing for general awareness, but we should have awareness of our impact on the earth every single moment of each day. A few years ago I wrote an article for Real Mama, Inc  an environmentally minded moms organization. This article went out in their newsletter and was never published on my blog. Rather than filling blogspace with one more Earth Day entry on recycling. I have just decided to post my article. I hope you enjoy.  🙂

Building Sustainability: Taking your Yoga off the Mat 

Every woman leads a busy life. We juggle careers, children, families, volunteer responsibilities and every so often we are able to obtain the ever elusive personal time. Many of us turn to a yoga class for our self care and to find the calm in our hectic lives. This calm doesn’t have to dissipate when we leave our favorite yoga studio. We can bring it with us in our daily routines by incorporating yogic philosophy in our everyday lives. Building your yoga practice off the mat can not only help you slow down allowing you to care for your self and your families but it will create a natural evolution of caring for the earth as well. This evolution fosters sustainability contributing to a healthy, green and safe environment for your children and generations to come.

Ahimsa: Non-Harming

Yoga is the union of body, mind, and spirit; the integration of body with mind and mind with soul.  It balances the outer and inner and nature and spirit on an ecological and planetary level.  One of the main tenants of yogic philosophy is the practice of Ahimsa- non-violence, non-injury and non-harming to all living things. Ahimsa asks us to not cause harm in thought, word or action and requires that we begin by not cultivating habits that cause harm to ourselves or others. When we embrace the concept of Ahimsa, we honor ourselves and the world around us. As you bring Ahimsa outside of your asana practice and into your daily life, you connect yourself to your children, community and the earth around you. You may begin to understand and live your life with the inherent connection between yourself and nature.

In honoring the environment around us, Ahimsa is cultivated. As you bring Ahimsa into your life, the connection between body and earth will unfold naturally.  In vrksasana (“tree pose”) our feet root into the ground, we connect to the earth which provides balance and strength. Off the mat, the connection between body and earth will become stronger as we notice what we take and what we give back to ourselves, our family and our community.

Practicing Ahimsa in our daily lives is sustainability. The actions we take to enable something to last.  Shopping at the local farmer’s market, supporting local agriculture, choosing meats that are free range and organic, using green products in our home for our children’s health and safety; each of these choices embraces sustainability; non-harming to our bodies and non-harming to the environment around us, which at its core is Ahimsa.

When we cultivate Ahimsa in our lives through thought and action the same will come naturally to our children. It will be second nature for our children to make non-harming choices fostering their own connection to nature and cultivating sustainability. Bringing yoga off the mat and into our daily lives we live in a manner that promotes the environment and the earth as one body, with each living thing as a part of the greater whole.

As yogis, it’s our responsibility to live with ahimsa, to take our yoga off the mat and to act as responsible environmental stewards. What are you going to do, change, be….in order to tread lightly on Mother Earth?

Environmentalism, Food, Health, Spirituality

Crazy, Sexy, Change

It’s that time of year again… Vegan Challenge, 21 Day Jumpstart, whatever you want to call it….30 days meat, egg and dairy free. April 1st is V day!

As I mentioned in my earlier post, this time around I’m taking a different approach.

I think I may have even talked the Hubs into doing it with me! I know, pick your jaw up off the floor. My former junk food vegetarian turned insatiable carnivore husband has tentatively agreed to do this year’s Vegan challenge with me. I am beyond shocked and completely ecstatic. Do you have any idea how hard it is to be vegan with someone who demands meat and cheese not only daily, but with practically every meal?!? Don’t get me started. I am simply grateful and counting my blessings that he’s choosing to join me.

This isn’t my first time in the vegan rodeo, I’ve dabbled and experimented here and there. However this is the first time I am taking a spiritual approach rather than a health coach approach. I have begun to feel more and more that meat is inhibiting not only my yoga practice, but my spiritual growth in general. I have been told by friends that eliminating meat from my diet will improve my meditation practice. I’d like to explore that.

I just reread Crazy, Sexy Diet by Kris Carr (side note, I have an uber girl-crush on her from her infectious energy to the hot pink streak in her hair) I plan on watching Vegucate and sneaking in one more Jivamukti master class to amp myself up for spiritual veganism.

In addition to cutting out meat and dairy I am committing to a daily meditation practice and continued affirmations. I’m going to need support in this

Here are other things I will be doing:

  • Looking to friends and wish-they-were-more-than-facebook-friends for support.
  • Taking it one day at a time.
  • Juicing!
  • Upping my orders from Suburban Organics. Large Fruit and Large Veggie boxes here I come!

While I am approaching this challenge from a spiritual perspective, here are some things I will NOT be doing:

  • Getting all PETA crazy. As time goes by I am developing more and more compassion and trying not to turn a blind eye to the way animals are raised for food in this country. I’ve eaten organic, grass-fed, free-range for many years. I know that its not really enough and I AM getting there. In my own way, in my own time.
  • Turning into a proselytizing vegan. Who knows how I will come out on the other end, vegan or 90/10 (I’m currently about 80/20). I will promise you, and all my IIN alum that I will never turn into a militant vegan. What works for one may not work for another….and it may not work forever, only time will tell. I DO know, this ADK Jersey Girl don’t play dogmatic!

I have day dreams of going raw. I am hoping that timing this challenge and the change of season will conveniently lead me to a high raw diet for the summer. I just need a new dehydrator for that one!

On a side note, I’m running the NJ Rebel Race on April 14th and I’m curious to see how my vegan diet will affect my energy during the race and in post race recovery. Any vegan endurance/obstacle race junkies out there??

Signing off from my IPhone (and in bed!)
Peace and INspiration,
Terra