Eye Opener Yoga at Midtown Community Yoga

…This class. I love this class because it is yoga AF.

Eye- Opener Yoga | On & Off The Mat

“This free/donation-based/karma-class is geared towards, but definitely not limited to, those dealing with life challenges and addictions.” 

Tuesdays | 7.00pm-8.30pm
Midtown Community Yoga

8/1 Cindy Farnes
8/8 Ellie Holbrook
8/15 Layne Linebaugh
8/22 Cindy Farnes
8/29 Doug E Fresh

Lets. Get. Real. 

#eyeopener #hotaugustnights #yogawithel#midtowncommunityyoga #sojourn #soul-journ#loveyourwild #getweird #realrecovery #soberaf#karmaclass #yogaaf #ellieaf

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Courage

To be courageous is not to have an absence of fear. Rather, to have courage is to have mastery over the fears that reside deep within us.

It is the willingness to tear the bandage off, dissect our subconscious mind, heal old wounds, and understand our inner most processes as intimately as possible.

It is to venture into the wilderness of uncharted territory and forge ahead anyway. To step into vulnerability, and plunge into the murky depths of our hearts.

To have courage is to move in the direction of love even, and especially, when we have no other guidance besides the divine truth residing within.

Courage is the light that is shined into the darkest corners of our deepest selves, illuminating the strength and beauty within.

It is the soft and steady voice of the soul that whispers “Come now. This is the way.”

 

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Move the way love moves you

Last month, while visiting family in Minnesota, I taught a yoga class to some of my favorite yoginis. After class, I received this text from one of my beloveds…
“I want what you have. When you were in Warrior One today, you radiated. All of you screamed “Yes, world! This is who I am! And if you don’t like it, fuck off.” How do I get that? There was no doubt. No shame. No fear. No pain.”
…While I was touched by this message, I was also rendered speechless and did not know how to reply. Because I do have doubt. I do have shame. I do have fear. And I do have pain.


I have a lifetime full of it. We all do.


But we can radiate, anyway. By giving a fuck about our higher selves more than we give a fuck about the mistakes we have made, the things that have happened to us, and the pain we have experienced. We can radiate anyway, by allowing these hard feelings to transform us, as we transmute them and transcend. We radiate by moving in the direction love moves us, choosing instead to experience loving-kindess, compassionate understanding, forgiveness, courage and joy.


We radiate by choosing love. Love of self, and love of others.


#chooselove #giveafuck #getweird #godeep #yogawithel

lovelovelove

While shopping for the studio this morning, I was approached by a homeless man and his wife. And with the heaviest most light-filled eyes I have ever made contact with, he began to explain their hard luck and asked for anything that I could spare to help his family.

Knowing that I did not have cash on me, I invited them over to my car to see what we could find. Upon first searching my vehicle, I found nothing but a bit of change, until I looked in the back seat and saw my daughter’s purse. I opened it up to find six dollars and a handful of my healing crystals, and without a thought, I gave it all to the couple and sent them off with love and light.


As I turned to leave, they both grabbed my hands and began to cry.


…Later this afternoon, when I got Rae from school, I told her that I owed her six dollars and new crystals and explained why. And as she listened to the story of today’s exchange, her eyes both softened and lit up with empathic depth, and she too thanked me for sharing her money with this family.


…It has been said by the Mystics that everything is Love, or a call for Love, and I believe this to be true.

So, Go! Love. And be Loved.

Loving you forever,
xoxo

The Magic of the Dakini

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Tonight, I learned of being a Dakini:

“It is said that women make superior healers because they are able to dive into meditation much more easily than males, as males are afraid of dropping the intellect.  To be naked in the meditation experience is frightening for them, whereas women seem to be able to manage this naturally.

“A female embodiment of enlightenment is called a dakini in the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit.  This translates, literally, to “sky-goer” or “space-dancer”,  indicating that these ethereal awakened creatures have left the confinements of our solid earth and have taken to the vastness of open space as their elusive playground. Dakinis embody a special female quality which has a quality of soft sharpness, and a fiercely radical, courageous yet gentle heart, and a clarity of higher mind that cuts through intellectual ossification by pure and cosmic intuitive force.

“On a secret level, this being is seen as the manifestation of fundamental aspects of phenomena and the mind, and so her power is intimately associated with the profound insights. In this, her most essential aspect, she is considered to be the formless wisdom nature of the mind itself. And on an inner, ritual level, she is a meditational deity, visualized as the personification of buddhahood. On an outer, subtle-body level, she is the energetic network of the embodied mind in the subtle channels of energy and vital breath of tantric yoga. Yet, even more so, she is also, temporarily a mortal, living woman.  She takes many forms and may be a mother, a guru, a yogini, a powerful teacher, or a woman who simply teaches directly through her own life example.

 “Dakinis are the most important elements of the Enlightened Divine Femine in Tibetan Buddhism.  They are the luminous.  Subtle, yet spiritually energetic.  They are, at once, the key, the gatekeeper, and the guardian of the unconditioned state. If we are unwilling to invite the dakini into our life, will simply will not and cannot enter these subtle states of mind on our own.

As such, in order to be awakened and enlightened, we need them, and they will appear to us as messengers, nurturers, protectors, lovers, and guides.

…Yet, no matter what form they take, they will appear, and they have one purpose and one purpose only:  To open your heart.”

Dream Weaving

Ever since I was a baby girl, I dreamed of moving out west.

I came close to realizing this dream when I was 18, but after finding out that I was pregnant with Ian, I put this dream on hold and instead dove heart-first into motherhood.

Then, after more than fourteen years of falling in love with my children, getting to know my truest spirit, making the very best of a series of fortunate and not-so-fortunate events, defeating the odds that were so seemingly being stacked against me, and surrendering to the crazy frustration of Divine and crazy Universal timing, this lifelong dream of mine is finally coming true.

And, to be completely transparent, it feels most surreal.

Yet, even so, I am overwhelmed with excitement and gratitude. …Those that know me most intimately know that I have always been a wild dreamer. They know that I am a woman of passion, a lover a life, an agent of change, and an almost undefinable creature that finds it impossible to stay in one place for very long.

So, to my loves that have known me and believed in me and my dreams over the past years, I express my truest love and gratitude to you. Thank you for trusting in me and allowing me time and space to grow. Thank you for your fierce and unconditional love.

Thank you for your perspective and encouragement. And, most of all, thank you for helping me uncover my magic, reignite my passions, and helping me set myself free into the mystic.

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Nowhere. Now Here. Here Now.

 

 

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Presence, or the |Art of Being-Here-Now|{for me} is an ongoing practice.

…For, as I experience it, [presence is a practice] indeed. And it is one that I simultaneously crave and resist.

Because to live in the present moment is to both *feel and experience* ABSOUTELY EVERYTHING that is to be registered on a conscious level.
And to be really and truly present during such here-and-now experiences is to register any and all sensations that may arise, in the very moment that they are occurring, the very space that they are occupying, and for whatever duration that is required for them to unravel and unfold in their ENTIRETY.


So, naturally, to experience this concept of presence, even for just one teensy flesh-and-blood moment, is to feel things intense and uncomfortable. It is to tiptoe beyond the comfort zones of our unconscious living and into the enlightening discomforts of personal growth and awareness. It is to surrender into the present, give into the mystery, and let this unknown stuff wash over, engulf, and have its way with us as we let go and trust the process that we know nothing of.


…So, it is no wonder that these beautiful experiences are also messy, visceral, vulnerable, intense and raw. And, it is also no wonder that these magical moments are also playful, creative, ecstatic, dreamy, intimate, and euphoric, as well.


Yet, even so, this present moment living is worth every moment that it has to offer. It is worth learning to detach, observe, accept, and embrace each and every experience these moments offer us . It is worth learning to unlearn, tear labels off, and become nonsensical, and somehow, strangely, more alive, as we instead surrender into a process of transformational metamorphosis, that deconstructs us, reconstructs us, and then sends us off to emerge and transcend whatever wilderness it was that we had come from.


…This is presence. And presence, no matter how beautiful and tricky, is magical and ever-changing.

Magic Words

I once attended a wedding where the pastor ‘s homily revolved around four short phrases of three simple words that loved ones should say to each other every day.

The first phrase he told us to say to one another is, “I love you”. For many of us, it seems, this phrase comes with relative ease. We say it to everyone we love when we feel affectionate, as part of our farewells, and quite often, we say it as much for ourselves as we do for those that we love. The words “I love you” expose our truest selves to others and welcomes them into our hearts.

The words “I love you” are important, as they express some of the deepest emotions that we may ever know. Love is such a fundamental part of life, and it is the cornerstone of everything good and rewarding in this life. And by expressing love for someone, we allow it to flow freely while making it known that we have invested our hearts in them.

The second phrase he told us to say each day is, “I thank you”. Again, “thank you” is a relatively easy thing to say. And while we often say thank you as a formality, the “thank you’s” that matter most are those that are an intentional and meaningful expression of gratitude and appreciation. These heartfelt messages are important amongst loved ones because they remind us that we have not been taken for granted and that we are cherished by those closest to us.

The third phrase the pastor instructed us to say is “I am sorry.” As I have written in the past, “I’m sorry” can be a hard thing to say. It can be hard to admit fault, to give in, and to face the pain that we may have caused in others.  Yet even while a genuine apology can be difficult, it is important because it acknowledges the feelings of our loved ones, it offers humility, and shows that we are sensitive to the experience of others.

The final phrase to include each day is  “I forgive you”. Much like apologies, words of forgiveness can be difficult to say. Sometimes, it does not occur to us to even mutter these words as we assume that forgiveness has been implied by our actions. Yet then again, forgiveness in and of itself can be difficult because it may feel risky.  When we forgive, we may feel that we are “giving in”, negating our feelings, or even putting ourselves in a position to be hurt again. Yet forgiveness is such an important part of our relationships because it signifies love, trust, compassion, and forward movement.

Today, I encourage you to reflect on the four phases listed above. Consider who you might say them to, and think about who you may need to hear them from, whether that is your significant other, your child, your friend, or yourself. Take a moment to reflect on your feelings in these relationships, and the, go ahead and tell them how you feel.

OwieZowie

Has something ever happened to you that cut deeply into your soul?  Have you ever allowed someone access to your heart and you ended up being hurt by them?  Have you ever loved someone unconditionally, given them your trust and found that they misused it?  Have you ever been blind-sided by an event in life involving someone you love?

Have you ever been the perpetrator of such hurt?  Have you ever been responsible for the pain of a loved one or a broken heart?  Has something ever happened in your life that you have felt the heartbreak that accompanies the knowledge that you have done damage to someone you love?

If you have been one either side of this spectrum, you are not alone.  Unfortunately for everyone, it seems that most of us have been hurt beyond words.  We know that feeling of betrayal, the sense of deceit, the break of a heart.   And likewise, many of us have been the source of a loved one’s pain and are familiar with the heartache and the broken spirit that is the result of hurting someone you love.  Many of us know that it hurts just as much, albeit differently, to be the broken hearted or to have caused the broken heart.

So when this has happened, when we are dealing with hurt feelings of this magnitude, what do we do to move on from the pain?  It certainly can be hard to be sure.  It can be quite difficult to know the best way to tend to such deep wounds while also moving forward, both with your relationship and with your life.  There is no easy way to decide if it is time to let go and when it is time to continue fighting for something you love.  Rarely is there a right or wrong way to nurse our wounds while also experiencing life as best we can.

But, I must say that even while it may be hard to know how to best recover from your pain and move forward in some way, many of us do have an idea about what we need and what might be most right for ourselves and the relationships that we are in.  Many of us have a voice that resides deep within us that whispers to us, offering us guidance and direction towards healing.  Many of us know, somewhere within us, the path it is that we should follow.  Most of us have something within ourselves that has utmost faith in our ability to recover, to carry on, and to flourish.  Something that trusts, something that wants to guide us toward love again.  Something helps us look inward in order to move forward, mending both the wounds in our hearts, as well as our loved one’s.

Even while that something within you might be difficult to hear or understand, it is worth your while to at least give it a chance.  Pause, listen and reflect on what it is trying to tell you.  Consider the message it is giving you about yourself and those you care about so that you may tend to your wounds, give and receive love, and begin to experience life as fully as possible once again.