Make It Manifest

Hey beautiful reader: I’ve been taking some valuable ‘me’ time over the past few weeks, and during that time I’ve been creating something I love, and I hope that you’ll love it, too.

What I’m creating is a project called ‘Make it Manifest’ and it’s all about creating a life that you love. I’ve started a new blog that supports the message, and I’ve designed it with a bit more focus and direction then what I’ve been offering on this one. I’m still working out the kinks and ironing out the details, but I would love it if you would pop over and take a look. If it resonates with you, I hope you’ll stick around; you can follow the blog, or simply pop in from time to time—whatever works best for you.

Oh, and I’m also finally embracing social media as a valuable tool to help me connect to all of you beautiful souls. So, I’d love it if you’d check out my Instagram feed or visit me on Facebook…I’ve just started both of them up, and it feels a little lonely right now, so I’d be super grateful if you pop in and say hi.

And last but not least, I’m busy planning out a whole series of workshops to support the Make it Manifest project so that I can work with you in person—because that’s where the real magic happens. I’ll let you know about that as soon as I’ve got the dates in place. I’ll post workshop updates on this blog as well as on the new one so that you’re well-informed.

I’ll still be sharing posts at this blog from time to time, but if you want to stay up to speed with what I’m offering on a more regular basis, I hope you’ll visit me over at www.makeitmanifest.com.

See you there!

With love,

e.

Oh, and I wanted to share this piece, Yoga: Balancing Strength and Softness, written by one of my students. I hope you’ll take a moment to explore some of her work; her writing and perspective is beautiful and inspirational.

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You’re struggling? Perfect. Here’s why that’s Good News.

I know…feeling crappy isn’t usually synonymous with ‘good news’ and when you’re in the middle of it, looking on the bright side of things might make you want to puke. I totally get it. And believe me, I don’t want to be the obnoxious cheerful type telling you that it will all be over soon, or that things will get better, because I’ve been in that dark hole, and the last thing you want to hear is someone telling you over and over again that it’ll all be okay….even if it’s true.

What I do want to share with you is that hanging out on the dark side of things for a while can initiate a pretty brilliant transformation. A lot of magic happens in the dark….budding butterflies, sprouting seeds, ideas that have yet to see the light of day, and of course, baby making, (both in the womb and prior…wink, wink).

My point is this: that black hole that you might visit from time to time isn’t at the bottom of a pit—it’s a passageway that’s leading you somewhere. It’s guiding you toward a stronger, wiser, more compassionate version of yourself. That despair you feel? Its called evolution, baby, and you’ve got to go through it in order to see what’s waiting for you on the other side.

So if you find yourself feeling like you’re stuck at the bottom of a pit, start digging. Ask yourself what’s going on here? Is there something that needs to be released or something that needs to be awakened? What do you need to learn from all of this, and how can you speed up the process of understanding so you can step back into the light of day?

And if you’re in it, like, right now? Don’t feel guilty for it. Give yourself time. Let yourself be angry. Cave into the confusion. Allow yourself to be swallowed up by sadness. And be there for as long as it takes, because you’re in a process of growth, and growth takes time and darkness, and sometimes a lot of tears because you’ve got to release in order to make space for something new.

Don’t shy away from the dark. Jump in; cozy up to it, and start loving yourself no matter where you are, because you’re right where you need to be.

Oh, and get ready, because once you resurface, you are gonna shine brighter than you ever thought possible.

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Why you’re a Creative Genius and a Little Lesson on Dancing

Have you ever visited the same place numerous times, and yet each time you return, you discover something new—something that has always been there, but you’d never noticed before?

Have you ever discovered something completely new and unexpected about someone you’ve known forever?

What about yourself? Have you ever discovered a new desire, a hidden talent or something completely unexpected?

When you begin to listen; really listen to yourself, you’ll discover that you aren’t what you think you are. You are never stuck, you are never dull, and you are certainly never out of options.

In fact, you are a creative genius.

When you start to listen to and observe your ever-changing inner landscape, you’ll discover that you are always taking part in the creative expression that is currently manifesting as your life. You are in a constant state of transition as new cells replace old cells; fresh ideas flush out tired ones; and old habits and behaviors fade away to create space for something new. And when you tune into the continuous flow of your endless creative energy, you’ll start to sync up and learn to dance with it.

When you’re tuned in with yourself and the energy around you, you’ll open space for freedom, ease, and a deeply rooted feeling that you’re right where you need to be. Now, just to be clear, ease isn’t the same thing as easy. Sometimes being in alignment with yourself and the Universe means being stretched, challenged, and placed in difficult situations. So, being in alignment doesn’t always make things ‘easy’. Instead, it gives you a sense that in spite of the challenges and the difficult situations, you’re completely supported, and you can find ease in knowing that this is a part of your life that makes you stronger, or better prepared, or gives you the lessons you need in order to serve in the way you’re meant to serve. The feeling of ease comes when you trust that whatever is happening in your life is bigger than you, and if you stay connected to the way you feel and guide yourself by embodying the way you want to feel, that you’ll come out of any situation stronger, wiser, connected, and ready to offer what you know.

So what happens when you don’t feel in tune with yourself, and rather than dancing in alignment with the Universe, you feel like it’s stepping on your toes?

Well, first of all, if you recognize that something’s a little ‘off’, you’re already making your way back. The most important part of tuning into yourself is recognizing that things aren’t syncing up.

In order to feel the way you want to feel, you’ve got to practice feeling that way.

You want to feel happy? Practice.

You want to feel grateful? Practice.

You want to feel Abundant? Beautiful? Creative?

Practice. Practice. Practice.

Here’s how:

Use your mind to get things rolling. Imagine something that would generate the feelings that you want to feel. But don’t stop there. Keep working with your imagination until the feeling starts to rise up in your body—this is where the magic happens. Feelings send out some serious energetic wavelengths—way more powerful than your thoughts—and those wavelengths attract the experiences into your life that confirm that those feelings are real. So after a while, drop the thoughts and just focus on the feeling—where do you feel it in your body? Is your heart full with love? Is your throat tight with emotion? Is your belly fluttering with excitement? Sit with the feeling for a while and just be present with it. Observe that it is a part of you, and that you are experiencing what you desire, right now.

If the feeling fades when you snap back to reality, just know that your desired feeling is there any time you need it. The more you practice, the easier it will be to conjure up, until you won’t have to conjure up anything anymore because it will become your present reality.

Because here’s the thing: what you want to feel is in line with what the Universe wants you to feel. So when you move toward your desired feelings, you’re moving into alignment with something much bigger than you—something that supports you and wants you to find freedom and ease….and because dancing is fun.

Want to learn more? Come and join me on Saturday, March 28th from 3:00-5:00 for a Yoga and Meditation Workshop centered on tuning in and learning to listen to your inner creative genius. For all the details, click HERE.

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Intuition: What it is, what it isn’t, and how to tune in

Intuition is defined as ‘the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning’. So, in other words, it’s a hunch, inkling, or an inexplicable feeling to do something that may or may not make sense to you or anyone else. Some people seem to be born with a natural ability to tune in, trust, and act on their own inner wisdom.

Not me.

I had to earn my understanding of intuition through trial and error—a lot of trial and error. What I mean is, that for a long time, I made decisions based on what I thought was best, without tuning into how I felt about things. Or, I’d turn to other people or outside influences to make a decision for me. What resulted was a lot of road blocks and lessons to be learned.

It took me a long time to realize that all I really needed to do was tune into how I felt, trust the feeling, and then have the courage to follow through with whatever was coming up. If you’re anything like me, that’s easier said than done. I spent a long time in limbo about what was what… (Is that my gut telling me to follow my dream, or to eat a sandwich??)…but I promise you, over time, you’ll hone in on the messages of your soul as they come through your heart and your body. I still consider myself a rookie when it comes to trusting my intuition, but here are a few things I’ve learned so far.

What intuition is:

Intuition is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets, and the stronger it gets, the more you’ll trust that it will hold you up.

Intuition doesn’t often speak to you directly through your thoughts. It’s more of a feeling that vibrates your bones, shakes up your heart, signals your body, or sends butterflies to your belly. And because of its elusive form of communication, you’ve got to learn to listen to your bones, your heart, your body and your belly if you’re going to pick up on the messages it’s trying to convey.

Intuition is ALWAYS in line with what’s best for you—even if you don’t know what that is yet—when you’re ready to know, you will. In the meantime, have faith.

Intuition has always been, and always will be part of you—no matter what. Even if you’ve never listened, or even considered it before, it’s there, waiting patiently, for you to tune in.

Intuition speaks to you in the present moment. If you’re having trouble listening, get present, no matter how uncomfortable the present moment might be. Moving through discomfort takes you right into the heart of intuition and that’s where you’ll find clarity and peace.

Intuition makes you feel loved, spacious, grateful, supported and connected with something much bigger than you. It is something you can lean on, fall into, or surrender to completely. A little leap of faith is all that’s required. Offer your trust, and you’ll be caught—every time.

Now, for what it isn’t:

It will never make you feel bad—ever.

It will never make you feel uncomfortable—unless the discomfort is of the variety that comes from developing growth and strength, such as overcoming fear or obstacles that are meant to be conquered for your own divine purposes.

It will never, ever leave you. If you are having trouble tuning in, or finding direction—ask. Then listen, and then repeat as often as necessary until you get the message that you seek. (But be prepared, it might not be what you expected).

It will never put you down. If you feel like you’re receiving guidance, but it’s coming through your thoughts with a negative or degrading tone, then that’s not intuition, that’s inner critic. In order to know the difference, notice how the message makes you feel. If you feel closed, contracted, or heavy, then show your inner critic the door and open up space for Grace.

It will never make you feel stuck. If you feel stuck, take a look at your thoughts—are they forming around the past or the future? Get present, and then feel from that space.

Now, a bit about how to tune in:

As I had mentioned, one of the keys to listening is to bring your awareness to the present moment, and since the mind loves to hang out anywhere but here, bring your awareness to your body.

Learning to listen to your body doesn’t have to be complicated—just start with something simple, like feeling your breath, hearing your pulse, or noticing your belly rise and fall. And because your inner wise self is just dying to talk to you, if you give it even one bit of attention, it will open up and embrace you like a long, lost friend.

Stick with the present moment long enough to feel any agitation begin to dissolve. No matter how frustrated, irritated, lost, angry or emotional you are, there is peace at the center. Stay in the present moment, and I promise you, those barriers to peace will dissolve, and you’ll find yourself free, open, and ready to hear what your heart has to say.

If these ideas strike a chord, light you up, or make you want to learn a little more, then join me on Saturday, March 28th for a Yoga and Meditation Workshop, with emphasis on how to tune in and listen to your intuition. Click HERE for more information.

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Move Mountains

Have you ever noticed that when you buy a new car, or a friend buys a new car, suddenly you see that same car everywhere you go? It’s like the moment you start to pay attention to it; it pops up everywhere you look.

This is how awareness works. What you pay attention to becomes bigger—it fills up more space and becomes a larger part of your reality. This is good news and bad news, depending on where you place your attention. The good news is that this gives you the power to attract the situations and experiences that you want to show up in your life—yes, the power of your awareness can change external events! The bad news is that when you’re unconsciously throwing around a lot of negative dialogue and feelings, then your experiences will reflect that negative energy.

When you look in the mirror, do you zoom in on all of your beautiful qualities or do you zoom in on what you don’t like?

When you perceive your life, do you focus on all the positives or do you focus on what’s not working so well?

When you think about your goals and aspirations, do you feel excited about the challenge or overwhelmed by it all?

This isn’t another ‘half glass full’ lecture, because in order to facilitate positive change, sometimes you must look at what’s not working. The key is to look at it in a different way. How about, rather than hate or resist what you find difficult to accept, you nurture it instead?

Because, here’s the thing: the foundation of positive change is acceptance. If you try to facilitate change from a place of non-acceptance, hatred, fear or discontent, then you’re setting yourself up for an uphill battle. Positive, sustainable results cannot rise from a negative start. What do you expect to grow out of soil that is contaminated with toxins? Initially, you might find some growth and progress that rises out of fear-based actions, but it won’t be sustainable. The same negative energy and dialogue will follow you every step of the way until you find that you’re right where you were, regardless of what changes have been made. If you’ve ever found yourself still feeling frustrated or discontent after completing a lofty goal, then you know what I’m talking about.

When you’re ready to facilitate positive change in any area of your life, start by accepting the situation as it is. Better yet, nurture it and offer gratitude for whatever it has taught you. Then, let it know that it’s time for a shift and you’re ready to release it—with love.

Cheesy? Maybe.

Effective? Definitely.

Then, proceed with the feeling of gratitude, joy, love, and the excitement that comes from positive change. If you catch yourself acting from a feeling of anger, frustration, fear, or anxiety; back up, slow down, take a pause and realign your course; make changes if necessary; but make sure that your actions resonate with the feelings that propel you toward positive results.

Keep in mind, this takes practice. You may oscillate between feeling frustrated one minute and grateful the next. This is normal. Just keep focusing more of your attention on the way you want to feel. Eventually, the scales will tip to reflect more of what you want, and with that, the experiences of your life will confirm that the power of your awareness can move mountains.

If these ideas strike a chord, light you up, or make you want to learn a little more, then I’d love for you to join me for one of my yoga and meditation workshops. For details, click HERE.

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Ever been hurt? Shine even brighter.

Remember when you were a kid and you were going along, perfectly content about yourself and your life, and suddenly somebody, (maybe that mean kid in grade school), pointed out that you have big ears, or a crooked nose, or a weird laugh, or…fill in the blank. And suddenly, you’re mortified to find out that you DO have big ears or a crooked nose or a weird laugh, and based on the way the information was delivered to you, you recognize that apparently it is not a good thing?

And so it begins…your perception shifts to see yourself as ‘less than’, ‘too much,’ or ‘not enough’ and this perception makes you think you aren’t worthy of love or attention, or praise.

And so perhaps you went on thinking this way for a while; but hopefully, at some point during all of those years you started to realize that while your ears may be big, they’re really unique and beautiful, and that your nose may be crooked but it’s just like your grandmother’s, so you love it anyway; and your laughter is contagious so everyone around you finds joy in it also.

Hopefully, you have come to realize that these qualities are what make you beautiful.

Yet, sometimes it doesn’t work that way; sometimes old wounds get buried under new ones, and before you know it the wounds run so deep that it requires some real effort to heal what hurts.

You might resist a certain part of yourself or your life because it hurts, but it hurts because it needs to heal. When you have an injury your body lets you know about it through physical pain. The pain reminds you that you need to nurture the wound until it heals. It’s the same thing with emotional or psychological pain. You can’t ignore the pain and expect the wound to heal. You may even go so far as reopen the wound again and again by replaying the scenario or repeating the same cruel inner dialogue again and again. It’s pretty hard to heal when you’re constantly being reinjured.

You can’t ignore it, and you definitely can’t keep opening the wound, so what do you do?

You’ve got to nurture it back to health.

First of all, you’ve got to stop the offensive dialogue or events from invading your head space. Police your own mind. If the thought doesn’t serve you, tears you down, or makes you feel like crap, then Get.It.Out. Replace the image or the thought with something else—a song, a mantra, or a kind thought would be nice. If that doesn’t work, sit with the feeling of it. How is the thought showing up in your body? Where can you feel it? Can you sit and hold the feeling of it in your body or surround the sensation with space and light?

Old habits die hard, and acceptance doesn’t happen in one day. This is a process, so be patient with it. Especially if it’s an old wound—it may have been there for years—so give yourself time to really let it heal. Recognize that you’re going to have good days and bad days. Sometimes you’ll be strong and resilient against any negative attacks, but sometimes you’ll crumble at the slightest hint of negativity. Don’t let those days derail you. The fact that you can hold awareness of the good days and the bad days is a very powerful practice, and a sign that you’re on the right track. Being able to look at yourself and observe that you’re really feeling hurt, sensitive or raw at any given time is a sign that you’re slipping into a more expansive state of consciousness. Recognizing that you’re experiencing pain is different from being completely, unconsciously devoured by it. The difference is that you either hold the experience of pain, or it holds you.

Here’s the thing; life is full of people and experiences that will shake you up, tear you down, and break your heart. Don’t let those experiences be what defines you. Allow your response to those experiences be what defines you. Ultimately, you are in control—maybe not in control of what life throws at you—but you’re definitely in control of how you respond.

Be courageous. Nurture. Heal.

Then go out and shine even brighter.

If these ideas strike a chord, light you up, or make you want to learn a little more, then join me on Saturday, February 28th for a Yoga and Meditation Workshop, with emphasis placed on awareness and self-acceptance. For details, click HERE.

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Awareness can change your life big time. This is how.

Sometimes life is crazy. Emotions can knock you off your feet, relationships can derail you, and thoughts can be enough to drive you mad. When this happens, a little bit of space, a touch of freedom, or even just a slight shift of perspective can change everything.

You know that friend who offers you the space you need—the one who listens without judgment, gives you room to vent, and doesn’t try to fix anything—they’re just present for you?

Awareness is that friend. Imagine what it would be like if you could offer yourself the support, the freedom, the space and the acceptance you need when you’re just being you—no matter how you’re showing up.

Awareness is about pulling yourself out of the chaos for a moment to catch your breath, readjust your vision, and take a fresh look at the current situation. All you have to do to practice awareness is observe. No judgment, no strategizing, no agenda. Just observe. Look at your thoughts, feel your emotions, and pull yourself out of the situation, even if it’s only for one conscious breath. Taking the time to do this will give you a glance at the big picture, and when you can see the big picture, you’ll see that where you’re at is only temporary. That simple realization can help you savor the moment (if it’s a good one), or know that it will pass soon (if it’s not so pleasant). Either way, awareness buys you time so that your next move is a conscious one made with clarity and poise.

The only hard part about awareness is remembering to do it. The key is practice, practice, practice. Make awareness your new healthy habit. You can practice on anything, anytime—your daily commute, washing dishes, taking a shower—select something that you do every day and make a commitment to transform that activity into a dedicated practice of awareness.

As you’re going through the motions of whatever it is you’re doing, tune into all five senses; notice how you feel, observe what thoughts pop into your head, and pay attention your body’s reaction to those thoughts. Observe whether or not you can release the thoughts that aren’t serving you, or any tension that arises in the body as a result of them. In the beginning it may seem dull to pay such close attention to yourself or to mundane activities, but over time, you’ll realize that daily activities of life can be fascinating, but more importantly you’ll come to realize that YOU are fascinating, and truly, there is nothing more worthy of your attention then the study of you.

If these ideas strike a chord, light you up, or make you want to learn a little more, then join me on Saturday, February 28th for a Yoga and Meditation Workshop, with emphasis placed on awareness and self-acceptance. For details, click HERE.

Make Something Old New Again

Anything you commit to for the long term has the potential to lose its luster. It’s natural to fall into routines, get stuck, or stop seeing the magic in the same thing that once made you feel alive. Falling out of love with your life, or some aspect of it, doesn’t mean you have to walk away. You can breathe new life into anything if it’s your intention to do so. Whether it’s your career, your hobby, a relationship, or life itself, it’s normal to forget what made you fall in love in the first place, but here are three ways to help you remember.

1. Take a break. It could be five minutes or it could be five years. It’s up to you to decide what’s necessary. When you step away from something or someone you’ve lost passion for, it gives you the opportunity to miss it and sometimes that’s all you need to go rushing back with open arms and a fresh perspective. Taking a break will also give you the clarity to recognize if there is something more that must be done, whether it means shaking things up, (see no. 2), or making a big change (no. 3). Space brings clarity and clarity brings the opportunity to see things for what they are, and sometimes that’s all you need to remember why you love what you love. Additionally, taking a break will help you make difficult decisions if that is what’s necessary. If you find that you feel better, more spacious, and excited about taking a different direction, then perhaps taking a break will show you that it’s time to walk away.

2. Shake it up. Once you’ve put a little space between you and what you’re trying to rekindle, you’ll be able to see the big picture—the one that reminds you why you were drawn to it in the first place and also see the potential for where it might go. Furthermore, with some space and a fresh take on things, you’ll usher in a new flow of creativity. Use that creativity to put a new spin on things: add something new, change the routine, or take away a part that’s no longer serving its purpose. Sometimes it’s the smallest things that make the biggest difference.

3. Make a Big Change. After you’ve taken a break, and tried shaking things up, you might realize that a big change is the only way to go. You might decide that you still carry the same passion, but you’d like to try it in a new light. For instance, if you teach art, but you’re tired of teaching, maybe it’s time to shift your focus—open a gallery or work on your own art portfolio. Within each passion, the possibilities are endless. Again, through space and clarity, you’ll be able to get creative with all the options that are available to you.

It’s normal to forget why you love what you love, but the beauty in forgetting is that you get to experience the love you have for it again and again in different ways as you evolve, your passion evolves, and life reveals new and exciting opportunities each time you remember.

I’ve taken my own advice with regard to this blog; I took a break, made a few changes, and made the decision to return to it with a fresh perspective and fresh ideas. I love it now more than ever, and I hope you will too!

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Photo: Flickr

Dear Lady

Dear Lady,

I know you aren’t just a Mom,

A daughter,

A sister,

Or a friend.

I know that, in the stolen moments of your life, you dream;

You write,

You dance,

And you sing.

You are not your job;

Or your title,

Or your role.

You are a creator;

An inventor,

An artist,

A muse.

You are not your weight on a scale;

or your face in the mirror.

You are not your money;

or your have and have-not’s.

You are life.

You are love.

You are energy.

You are a Goddess.

You’ve just been told the wrong story about who you are, by others who were told the wrong story about who they are.

Write a new story.

Start it now.

Start it with

I Am

blessings

Photo: www.mysticmamma.com