Listen to the whole collection of the podcast here. Just click on “episodes” and scroll through.
Mindful practices like meditation and yoga help alleviate suffering and brings a sense of inner peace. Ultimately these practices can lead us to awakening, where we realize our infinite selves. This state is obviously desirable but have you ever wondered what enlightenment really feels like? Do you get inducted to this higher state with a big golden light and a choir of angels like in the movies? What does it mean when somebody has "awakened"? Also, how do you function in everyday society when you realize that everything is just an illusion??
In this episode, Christiane Michelberger patiently answers these questions for us. This was an ultra mind blowing conversation! there were so many times where I was left speechless as I tried to wrap my head around new ideas. I found my self say “whaaaaaat…” and “huh” a lot. Clearly I’m not enlightened yet! But I do have a clear understanding of what it means to be in that state - in Christiane’s words “constant stillness, peace and a subtle hum of love-joy”. The key to getting there is also very simple. We just need to open our eyes and realize that realize that there is no separate self. We are all one, interconnected, boundless being whose natural state is love and bliss. As Christiane described it, it’s like a fish looking for water that finally realizes it’s in the ocean.
As with many teachings of wisdom, the simplest ones are the most profound. Also the most complex to execute (like how in the teachings of the Tao they say that the Tao that can be named is not the Tao. Seriously, whaaaaat? Then how do you know it’s the Tao?! If you know, you know).
A little more about Christiane and why she’s the person we want to be hearing from….
Christiane has been on the path of awakening for 40 years. As a young physician, she realized her own morality when a motorcyclist was rushed into the ER. Unfortunately the injuries were fatal and the patient couldn’t be saved. It was a poignant moment as Christiane realized that patient was just as young as her. This spurred the question: Who am I? From there, Christiane dedicated her life to looking deeper in the nature of things. She studied with Zen Masters, Indian Gurus and Buddhist teachers. Today, she guides others toward their own awakening. We also get to hear Christiane’s full story including how she faced her own morality again when she was diagnosed with cancer just a few years ago.
The whole point of this podcast is to explore the meaning of our experiences in this journey and understand what our truth is and how to live in it. Fully. Vulnerably. Unapologetically.
But over the last few weeks I found myself contemplating what “living our truth” really means. It certainly sounds enticing, like as if it would lead us to something good – perhaps liberation. Maybe happiness. Still, I wondered how do we find our truths? How do we know if when we’re living it? And how do we stay connected to our truest self?
In this episode, I explore all these questions, starting with understanding truth from both a philosophical and applicable level. I also identify three characteristics that develop when we are living our truth and give you two questions that can help you build momentum in this journey.
The disclaimer here is that while this is a start, it’s not the full answer. These are big existential questions and this episode is only 20 minutes long! Plus I can’t say that I know exactly what the whole answer is. There are as many layers to this as there are human beings that have ever inhabited this planet. Like the rest of this journey, this is an exploration. With each episode, a new story is shared and a little nugget is gathered to help deepen our understanding. I’m really excited that we’re on this journey together!
It was so cool to meet Sarah Marlowe Spence! By day she’s an IT contractor and by night she lives a dynamic spiritual life. Actually, it’s really not that cut and dry - the picture’s just more vivid when I say it that way. In truth, she is both these things (and more) at all times during the day. Balancing our identities is one thing that we discuss in this episode - How can you keep your sense of truth without leaving the office?
Oftentimes, we have this fantasy of sticking it to the man and then galloping off into a shiny life where you won’t be held back from who you really are and you can just BE YOURSELF!! (* cue sunset and the angelic voice of the choir *) While ditching
your day job might be the right choice for some, it’s not the right move for everybody. For example, if you enjoy your job, you shouldn’t feel like you’re missing out if you don’t cavort out of the office with wild abandon. That’s what Sarah’s story shows - she loves her job as an IT professional….and she also loves her studies in yoga. shamanism, and esoteric studies (which we also talk about in this episode). She spends her time at the office and at the ashram. She’s the perfect person to talk to about how to keep your true sense of self without having to quit your day job!
I’m so excited to share with you the year end episode for 2018! This is my favorite kind of episode because it reminds me of how beautiful we all are. I well up with deep gratitude every single time. In 2018 over thirty beautiful hearts shone their light into our community. They graciously shared their knowledge and stories. The sharing is a rich beacon of light that helps us make sense of our own experiences and comforts us, letting us know that we’re never alone on this journey.
2018 turned out to be a big year in many ways for a lot of people. For some, it was mighty challenging. For others there was intense growth. And yet for others, we’re just walking out of the haze, still trying to figure out what hit us.
As I reflected on the episodes of 2018, I can see that the conversations intuitively fit into how the year turned out to be. We seemed to circle around 4 main themes:
Understanding our truth, being our truths and trusting ourselves
How to move through challenges
The way that life unfolds and how acceptance brings you peace
And finally, at the heart of it all…. SELF LOVE. I don’t think I had one conversation where these words didn’t show up. It made sense as I thought about it. As many of my wise guests point out, “how can you show compassion to anyone/anything if you can’t even point it toward yourself”? I have a feeling that this topic will show up even more powerfully in this new year.
But first, give 2018 a big-hearted goodbye and wrap yourself in the wisdom collected from our amazing fellow humans.
Happy New Year! I'm kicking the New Year off with a Bite Sized episode. Today, I share with you one of the biggest lessons that I learned in 2018. This is a critical key to helping you achieve what you desire in 2019. It's super fun to do and totally raises your energy, but you might not be used to doing it in the context that I'm talking about it in....it's CELEBRATING!
In specific, celebrating all that you accomplish. Celebrating your
accomplishments, no matter how big or how small, helps you keep up the momentum. It's a feedback loop that just keeps giving but only if you take the time to truly acknowledge what you've done. That's where many of us trip into the pitfall. Most of us are accustomed to looking at where we missed the mark and all that needs to be done.
"Yea but I should've added this"
"Yea but that's just one little thing. There's so much more that needs to be done until we get there"
CELEBRATE THAT “LITTLE” THING!
It’s not about bragging or being arrogant. It’s about looking at what you’ve done and truly recognizing yourself for how crazy amazing you are for accomplishing it! When you do this with a full sense of deserving and worthiness (a whole can of worms that I address in the podcast), magic happens. You get handed more reasons to celebrate. Just like gratefulness - the more you feel grateful, the more you have to be grateful for. Same forces at work here. In today’s episode, I share with you all that I’ve learned: why celebrating is so important, the key that makes celebrating so powerful in helping you achieve your desires and how to celebrate. Okay, plug in those earbuds Let's set the vibes for this new year and set you up to receive all that you desire in 2019!
Oh also, if you want to see this practice in action then come join me for a special 2 hour NEW YEARS DESIRE MAP WORKSHOP. It’s happening on JANUARY 8th 6pm-8pm MST. There’s still time to register!
I love it when mindfulness meets science! I this episode, Ky Autumn Russell, a teacher of stress management and health at the San Jose State University, joins us for a fascinating conversation about holistic stress management. She’s all about embodied movement and is also a pilates & yoga instructor so I thought we were going to talk about the various stress reduction techniques. Instead, Ky shares knowledge about stress management that will change the way you manage stress. For one, “stress management” isn’t about eliminate all stress from your life. In fact, some stress is good. Another big revelation I got from this conversation is how we can utilize knowledge of the stress cycle (the innate response that’s wired within us and runs on autopilot) to help with stress management. Ky gives us a pretty awesome scientific breakdown of the cycle (appealing to my nerdy side)
but in short, we go through different phases in the stress cycle. If we’re able to identify which part we are in then we can reach into our toolbelt of stress reduction techniques (ex. meditation, yoga, breathing, exercise…) and choose the one that will be the most effective for that particular part of the cycle. OK one more tidbit to share - the problem isn’t that we’re stressed, the REAL problem is that we’re chronically stressed. It’s very normal for our bodies to endure stressful events (ex. a friend pops up from behind a bush to scare us). But the problem arises when we’re not given a chance to recover from it (return to homeostasis). It’s like friends keep popping out of the bush to scare you before you can even catch your breath. There’s always something. Unfortunately that’s the way that most of us live today and the chronic stress is what’s taking a toll on us. This is also where Ky’s work on mindful embodied movement comes in. I feel like I can write out the whole episode in this post but I’ll hold back and let you enjoy the episode! This topic is perfect timing as we’re just days away from the major hustle and bustle of the holidays. Plug in those earbuds and prepare to change the way that you deal with your stress!
Ky has created a gift for you! Go to www.kyautumn.com/curious for a myofascial release video to help you release muscle tension.
“At the end of the day, we all want to be loved, heard and acknowledged”
Our world is more digitally connected than ever but it’s almost scary how easy it is for us to feel disconnected - to ourselves, to other people....to life. The feeling of disconnection isn't a foreign feeling these days and many have felt it at one point or another. So we’re connected (digitally) and also disconnected (emotionally) at the same time? If that’s the case, then the real question is What is connection? In this episode, I have an intense conversation about connection with Danny Levin - mentor, speaker and author of the book The Mosaic. What does it take to feel connected? How do we feel connected? And further yet, Why do some of us feel so disconnected? He teaches us about the 4 Practices of Connection and how to use them to start feeling connected to life.
Danny has a well-established list of experience but he’ll humbly tell you that all of that doesn’t really matter. He has lived as a monk for 10 years, run a restaurant, owned a clothing company, and was the Director of Business Development at the Hay House for over a decade amongst many other experiences. But again, it doesn’t matter. “it doesn’t matter who you were or who you will be. What truly matters is who are you now?” he lovingly teaches. For Danny, his purpose right now is to spread the word out about true connection!
At one point, I asked him what inspired him to write a whole book, The Mosaic, to teach people about connection and he laughed. “I didn’t know anything about the connection. I would’ve thought that I’d be the last person to teach about connection” he said. Although, we really end up teaching what we need to learn don’t we? That’s been Danny’s journey – he lost both of his parents as a small child and when told that his parents had gone to “heaven”, Danny endeavored to find out where “heaven” was. He was in search of connection to God/Universe/Cosmic Force (whatever you want to call it) and in turn also learned about the full breadth of connection including ourselves and other people. His book The Mosaic is about a little boy who tries to find “heaven”. It’s loosely based on his own personal story and what he’s learned throughout his journey, so in a way you can say that this book is his life’s work.
Okay, enough of my babbling! Plug in those earbuds and prepare to soak in the wisdom!
Kundalini Yoga is a powerful practice that can change your energetic vibration in as little as 3 minutes. The only catch is that it looks pretty eccentric to someone who’s not familiar - a group of people with everyone dressed in white, topped with a turban and chanting their hearts out. Yup, it can be rather intimidating to join a group like this when you have no idea what you’re doing. This is probably the reason why so many people haven’t tried Kundalini before. I myself ended up trying it by mistake - I was at the Bali Festival and it was named something else so I walked into it unassumingly. And you know what, it was one of the most incredible movements of energy within myself that I’ve every experienced with yoga! The feeling was so cooool.
In this episode, Sat Shakti Kaur (also known as Jessica Banks), owner of the Kundalini studio Joy Yoga in London shares her time with us to teach us about Kundalini. She explains the “weird” practices that we see sometimes like the white clothes, white turbans and why sometimes people walk out with a different name. She teaches us how these tools can help get us deeper into the practice. “I used to think some of the practices were weird to when I started” Jessica relates. For her, the discovery of Kundalini yoga was through classes that were offered at a gym. She soon
realized all the benefits that this practice had to offer. Integrating Kundalini into her life has enabled her to overcome depression, increase creativity and productivity and enjoy a sense of contentment in life.
Clare Galloway does her work from a magical arthouse in an Italian medieval quarter that she purchased for a mere 10,000 Euros. The house sits atop the tiny town of Guardia Sanframondi, Italy and opens up to a breathtaking view. Once abandoned, this space is now where artists, dreamers, and creatives come gather. Aside from a delightful state of whimsy this story puts you in, I lead with this because the purchase of this space has great significance in illustrating the magic of surrender. That’s what we talk about in today’s episode – accessing the place of surrender and flow by using art. As Clare says, we all have a creative engine within ourselves. When we access this energy, we charge ourselves up and suddenly become filled with bright ideas, solutions and all the beautiful things that want to be expressed. Art is how we can be reunited with our innate primal sense of truth.
You’ve probably caught on by now that Clare is an artist. To be specific, she’s a visionary artist and writer whose work is all about healing, expansion, the good life, and the abundance of creative power that every single individual holds. She has paintings in collections around the world and is just launching a life-long vision of an online art school.
Listen in and get inspired to tap into your creative genius. Tap into it enough and you’ll learn to surf with the flow of life rather than get dragged around.
Ivy Kwong is a Licensed Psychotherapist who really flows between three roles: One, as a guide to walk alongside you as you navigate your journey, helping you to see and consider new directions and previously undiscovered paths. Two, she is an advocate of your growth and healing by assisting with tools and insight as needed and inspired, and Three, she operates as a mirror to reflect your
strength, resilience, and gifts, and to gently raise awareness of your blind spot s from a foundation of compassion and care. Her approach is warm, collaborative, intuitive, and holistic and she believes you are the expectation of your own healing.
I noticed Ivy because I was doing research on Vipassana meditation retreats and came across her very witty and informative article (link below if you want to read). How can you not like somebody who makes you laugh out loud? I also liked the fact that she’s a psychotherapist who did a meditation retreat. I love it when the two worlds of science and spirituality come together. It creates a holistic perspective of our true essence.
I originally invited Ivy onto the show to share her experience of the Vipassana retreat but it organically took a different direction and we ended up talking about - in short - life.….this journey….healing. Ivy’s personal story highlights the richness of life and the dynamic facets of these journeys. No journey is the same and they are not meant to be judged as “better” or “worse”. They’re just different, each one precious. Our journeys are our own yet there are many points in which we can connect and relate to each other. It’s like we’re an Earth sized venn diagram, each person’s journey is a circle and various pieces of our experiences overlap with others’. Each story interwoven one way or another, held together with the common thread of our truths (which I think might be love?). Our journeys are of finding our way back to this common thread, but there can be quite a bit of muck to get through. We’re lucky though, because our stories are interwoven which means that the lessons that we learn on our own can be shared. And through the sharing of lessons we help each other get a little closer to that common thread. I guess that’s my long form way of telling you what this episode is about. I tried to be succinct about it but what Ivy shares with us provides such deep value that it wouldn’t be a clear reflection if I just said that it was about how to develop self-worth and heal the innermost parts of ourselves through our inner child. Trust me on this one, you want to listen to this. You’ll come out with your heart full and with more compassion for yourself.
The article about vipassana retreat where I first learned about Ivy: A Brutally Honest Review of My 10-Day Silent Meditation Retreat
The “trapezoid head” article that we were talking about: My Never-Before-Shared Story of Middle School Love and Death
Samantha Goldsmith’s passion is to help women embrace their uniqueness and live a life guided by their inner compass. A self-confessed serial entrepreneur, Sam fulfills her passion with her Essential Oils business and her podcast Namaslay Type A where her and her interviewees give sound advice on how to choose peace over perfection, settle into your unique self, tune into your inner guidance system and stay in your own lane.
Fittingly, that’s exactly what we talk about in today’s episode - how to ditch the need to get everything perfect and just embrace the humanness of ourselves. This means that sometimes we make mistakes, sometimes we
change our minds, sometimes we fail and guess what? It’s OKAY! Sam notices that everyone has a type A tendency toward something in their lives. See what yours is by inquiring where in your life you are resistant to giving control? Where in your life do you feel like you have to take on everything? That you’re the only one who can do it right?
Got it? Good, now listen in and find out what you can do about it so that you can live a peaceful, heart led life instead ;)
What you want to hide the most is sometimes the greatest gift that you can offer the world.
Erin DiAngelis is a yoga teacher, Holistic Life Coach and Massage therapist who helps students heal from unhealthy relationships with their food or body so that they can live with more joy. She’s been featured all over from the Huffington Post to the Divine Living Magazine and also on Inspired TV. The beautiful message that she has to share with the world today comes from deep personal growth and experience. That’s what we get to hear all about on this episode!
Erin had an eating disorder for many years and thought the she was going to struggle with food for the rest of her life. She didn’t disclose this information openly until one day it dawned on her that this is exactly where she can be helping people the most! “It’s not even about the food itself, actually. It’s the need for control of something” Erin recalls as she tries to explain what it was like in that mindset. A place where many of us can relate - that incessant inner-critic, the desperate striving for more. So while this story is centered around an eating disorder and negative body image, the root of the conversation is about self-love.
Erin shares her lessons on how she left the inner-critic and moved into a place where she could recognize her strengths. She also talks about how her yoga practice was really the stepping stone to all of the healing. recognize her strengths. She also talks about how her yoga practice was really the stepping stone to all of the healing.
I had to have her back! In this episode, Caitlin (acupuncturist, herbalist, Chinese Medicine practitioner) tells us all about Face Reading (something we only had a few minutes to talk about in our first chat on Episode 57: Energy Flows and Chinese Medicine). She teaches us about the 5 Elements of Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water and what each element says about our natural tendencies. Much like the Ayurvedic Constitutions, Myers Briggs, DISC or any other personality test, this system helps us learn more about ourselves. The intriguing thing about this system is that it uses your own facial features to determine the dominant element within you!
Thick bushy eyebrows? That means that you have a lot of wood element in which case means that you’re probably competitive in nature and love movement. Wouldn’t be surprising if you have done or aspire to do an Ironman. Full lips? You might veer toward the Earth element which means that you probably love hosting parties for friends and family, and having comfort is very important to you (forget the skirts that you can’t breathe in, an airy free flowing silk skirt will do). Of course there’s more of a skill to identifying the elements than that and Caitlin takes the time to explain in this episode.
It’s so much fun to identify our elements but what’s more important is learning how to use them. Caitlin explains how to use our dominant elements to live a more aligned and balanced life. An understanding of this system can help bring harmony to your relationships as you learn how you’re meant to relate to others; understand your own natural strengths; and ultimately understand how to use this knowledge so that you can fulfill your life’s purpose “Golden Path”.
SO MANY NUGGETS IN THIS ONE! Plug in those earbuds and get ready!
Caitlin recommended this book if you’d like to learn more about Face Reading: Face Reading and Chinese Mediciine by Lillian Bridges
I think the biggest reason why I’m still swooning over the Westcoast Trail is because it allowed me to be fully immersed in nature, something that I truly love. When we allow ourselves to do more with what resonates with our soul, we’re brought back to our true nature. Our true nature is what our heart naturally opens to before we decide if we can or can’t, should or shouldn’t and if our natural inclinations are “realistic” or not.
Inspired by my hike along the Westcoast Trail, I’ve created a
10 minute guided meditation to help reconnect you with your true nature - that inner knowing that subtly guides you toward your highest purpose if you can just tune in.
We breathe to the mantra SO HUM (I AM THAT).
I AM THAT of Universal Consciousness.
I AM the connection between all things.
I AM all of creation.
If you’ve been on the soul searching train for a while then there’s a good chance that one of your goals is to get a hang of tuning into your intuition/higher self/universe (whatever you’d prefer to refer to it as). You've been tinkering around, trying to get that inner compass to click into place so that you can make more choices that serve your highest self. In turn you'll enjoy the ease of flowing along in alignment. Fear will still hang around but then you’d have the insight to recognize it and the gumption not to be led astray by its charms.
Bliss will feel more like a close friend rather than a distant relative. That’s what I’ve been working on too but I’ve been stumped with how to get to that place!
I thoroughly understand the benefits of listening to your intuition but the steps to getting there have always seemed vague to me. It’s one of those powerfully abstract phenomena that comes with simple instructions but is mystifying to understand (and then of course once you understand it, it’s really quite simple). Like love. How do you know that you’re in love? Can’t totally explain it, it’s different for everyone; but the gist of is that that you just know.
That’s what I’ve been sitting on until one day, to my sheer delight, I found out that there are such things as Intuition Coaches! I’ve joked about hoping for an intuition bootcamp or something but I didn’t think there way anyone out there who did this. It was like an actual real-life fairy godmother had been dropped onto my lap. I am so ecstatic to share this latest episode with you where I get to talk to Inuitive Coach Michelle Fortuna. Michelle teaches people how to develop and recognize their intuitive skills to bring more love, ease and joy into their lives. Michelle helps us understand what intuition really is from body messages to messages from the universe; then we get to dive deeper into understanding how to actually practice our intuition (yes, like a muscle it’s something that you need to practice) and what blocks us from tapping in. The best part of all this is that I get to ask Michelle WHY? when given “simple” tools. She’s generous with her patience as she gives the tread to continue on this journey.
Okayyyyy finnneeeee…..I guess it’s time to admit that summer is over and we’ve shifted into a new season. There’s been a lot of resistance around letting go of summer this year for me. For one, there were two weeks at the end of August where the skies turned dark grey from the passing smoke of the BC wildfires. It was so thick that the sun looked like an orange egg yolk the whole time. When the haze finally lifted, we found ourselves thrown into the frigid chill of autumn. Another reason why I don’t want to say goodbye to summer is because it was SO. MUCH. FUN! What’s not to love about sundresses and strappy sandals; ice cream trips and warm walks under the moon; plus I was lucky to squeeze in a few trips too! I wish my winter jacket hadn’t already made its debut but I suppose it’s the most peaceful choice if I surrendered to the divine force of mother nature and embrace the new season of fall.
To officially close off summer, I’d love to share about one of my favorite trips that I’ve EVER taken. This summer I did the Westcoast Trail and it was beyond spectacular! We hiked along the edge of Vancouver Island, weaving our way between the lush rainforest and beachy sea breeze. If were weren’t being hugged by the trees, we were playfully discovering the crabs and starfish on the ocean shore. How spectacular to be immersed in nature for four whole days! Nature is something that I connect most with and being on the Westcoast Trail brought such a powerful sense of grounding. I felt an unshakable sense of certainty that I seem to always crave. I think the soul can recognize when you’ve come back to your true nature. What a great reminder this trip was to do more of what we connect with. It doesn’t have to be a big thing – if you love the ocean and you live by one (lucky duck) then make sure you’re out there often. I hope this episode inspires you to go out and do what connects you so that you too can be in a sense of awe, wonderment and powerful grounding. I also include practical details so you can prep for your trip too should you decide to do it one day 😉
Tell me, what brings you back to your true nature? And how do you do more of that?
There are many ways to understand the energy around us. In western philosophy, when we talk energy we use a scientific lens. We logically categorize each finding into its own tidy compartment: kinetic energy, potential energy, thermal energy, chemical energy, gravitational energy…(yes, I loved my science courses * nerd face * 😉 ) We try to create something tangible out of the unseen – and I’d say we’ve been quite successful at it! We take these concepts to help us understand the world around us – another thing that science has been quite successful at too! But that’s not quite what I’m interested in learning these days when it comes to energy. I’m more interested in the deeper workings of energy within ourselves – not just how something works but the big picture of how everything integrates together (mind, body, spirit). This is where systems of Eastern Philosophy can help! Today we talk about how energy flows within ourselves based on Chinese Medicine. Caitlin Donovan, an acupuncturist, herbalist and face reader with a Master's degree in Chinese Medicine is here to teach us all about it. As Caitlin puts it - in our western world, we process information in a linear fashion whereas with Chinese Medicine everything happens in a circle. You need to see all parts together to understand the picture.