Episode 74: What Does Enlightenment Feel Like? with Christiane Michelberger

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.

Key Nuggets:

  • For Christiane, she uses a feeling of “sweet love” as her inner compass to guide her

  •  The 10 Fetters was created by the Buddha. 

    • The fetters are what binds us to suffering. They are all the layers of assumptions that cover what we experience.

    • Working through the fetters brings you toward enlightenment. It’s meant to shift you.

    • It’s all very simple, you just need to ask yourself: are you experiencing this or thinking it?  Is there wanting or not wanting?

1. Illusion of the self:  The sense of “I” vs “you”

2. Doubt about the teachings

 3. Belief in rites & rituals

4. Pushing and pulling experiences to feel better (wanting more pleasure and less pain). There is no wanting or not wanting.  When you live in full equanimity, then you experience true contentment

5. To be against others. Results in reactions (ex. Road rage, getting upset at children).

6. Attachment to material things

7. Attachment to the immaterial

8.  Comparing

9. Distracted, restless mind

10. Not knowing. Ignorance.


  • When you awaken, you see things for what they are.  It’s like you were a fish in the ocean looking for water.  

  • When awakened, we truly realize that there is no separate self.  There is no “I”. And then you experience this constant stillness, peace and a subtle hum of love-joy.  It’s not totally nothingness.  It’s very full. Experience without words.

  • We need to move between absolute and relative. In other words, you can’t live in a state of enlightenment all the time. It’s more like flowing in and out of it so that you can also function in normal human society.

  •  “purpose” and “meaning” is something that we grasp b/c we have not awakened

  •  The truth is really quite simple: There are no boundaries between you and everything else.  Is everything then perceived or not?  There is no “self”, there is nothing…well, not nothing. There’s love and peace and bliss.

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

Always follow your gut feeling about whether something is right for you or not. When you find yourself reasoning why this is the right thing to do - it's not right.    Somehow we will always meet the experiences that are required at that point.  Once you’re ready, the lessons will come.

 What is one nugget of wisdom that you would share with fellow seekers who are on this journey of growth and transformation?

Do not believe anything anybody says, not even the Buddha, Jesus, Nisargadatta or whoever. Never take something as being true if you have not found it to be true in your own first-hand experience. Be an explorer, not a believer. Only by exploring and walking the path yourself, transformation happens. 


If you have any questions for Christiane  or want to learn more, connect with her through:

Website:  www.findingawakening.com

Facebook: @findingawakening

Episode 73 Bite Sized: What Does It Really Mean to Live Your TRUTH?

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 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!    

Episode 72: You Can Be Your True Self Even If You Keep Your Day Job with Sarah Marlowe Spence

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!

Key Nuggets:

  • As your yoga practice deepens, you’ll realize that Yoga is life and its teachings extend much beyond the physical poses.

  • It’s important to live your truth but also be aware that your truth can change.

  • Sarah’s advice on how to be fearless:

    • First Light Flower Essence

    • Use your yoga to create fearlessness by embodying what the pose represents:

      • Ex. Use Warrior pose and embody the warrior and find strength

      • Ex. Use Archer pose and imagine yourself pulling back with strength and then letting go

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

Enjoy the moment as much as possible because life is a journey, not a destination.

What is one nugget of wisdom that you would share with fellow seekers who are on this journey of growth and transformation?

Dig deep. Find the courage and be fearless. Be inspired to hold the determination that you have and that you can find to keep going.


If you have any questions for Sarah   or want to learn more, connect with her through:

Website:  www.sarahmarlowespence.com 


Facebook & Instagram: Sarah Marlowe Spence

Episode 71: Wisdom of 2018 - Year In Review

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.

~ Namaste

Episode 70 Bite Sized: CELEBRATE for Success

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"


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!

Click here to get your ticket now


Episode 69: This Will Change The Way You Manage Stress with Ky Russell

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.

Key Nuggets:

  • Yoga was the only movement that allowed Ky to access deeper emotions when she was going through a tough time. That’s when she knew that there was something to embodied movement.

  • Plateaus in fitness are connected to the chronic stress that we experienced.

  • Key info that we need to know about stress:

    • Many people assume stress reduction means that we will eliminate stress from our lives but that’s not that case.  What we are trying to become aware of is our own stress reaction

    • Our brains don’t know the difference between the real events that trigger the flight or flight response versus events that come from thought that trigger the flight or fight response

    • A successful approach to stress management can be mindful stress management

      • Rather relying on one or two techniques, have a whole toolbelt ready

      • Learn about stress reaction and then identify it in ourselves so that when we’re in those moments we can apply the technique that’s best suited

      • Different techniques are better depending on which stage you’re in, in the stress response cycle

  • Hold an intention to understand the reaction that’s occurring in our body under stress.  No label of good or bad

  • The brain gets caught in emotion especially when you try to avoid emotions

  • Intrinsic characteristics of stress management: physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual

    • These 4 components feed into each other

  • The Stress Response Cycle:

    •  “Stressor” = any stimulus (good or bad) that elicits the stress response.  Can include getting married, becoming a parent, new job that you’re excited to have…Usually any kind of change is a stressor.

    • Ky give a much better explanation in the podcast but the summary of it is:

      • A stressor occurs, causing the body to process if the stressor is a threat (happens in a split second)

      • Flight or fight response initiates

      • If everything is okay body resets.

      • If not, hormones are released.

      • if the “threat” continues, a higher dosage of hormones like cortisol is released.

  • The body thrives on peaking in stress and then rebounds into homeostasis

    • The problem with our world today is that we’re shaped to not be able to return to homeostasis

    •  You have less ability to return to homeostasis if you are not fully processed in one event

  • What do we do with all this information? Ky’s recommendation for an approach to stress management:

    • Utilize self awareness and practice. Visualize a stressful event to explore (choose one that will keep you safe while you explore)

      • Notice physical sensations as the stress response arises. What do you feel – sweaty hands? Warm face?

      • Once you what’s going on physically, then you can approach with a curious mind and catch onto what’s happening. ie “wait a min, I know what’s happening…I’m in a stress response”

    • Use Gratitude to help with the feel good hormones to release

    • Work on perception:

      • People with resilience look at situations as challenge rather than stress or a threat which helps greatly in helping you mitigate the stress response

    • Relaxation breathing like Nadi shodhana

    • Pre planning can also help mitigate ex. Time management and budgeting – intervention strategy

  • A hatha yoga class actually brings you through the cycle: Sympathetic at peak of flow and then parasympathetic to aid in recovery time in savanasana

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

Focusing on the lessons is the most important things.

What is one nugget of wisdom that you would share with fellow seekers who are on this journey of growth and transformation?

Enjoy the journey and we’ll all get to the finish line eventually.  What counts is how we got there.


If you have any questions for Ky or want to learn more, connect with her through:

Website:  www.kyautumn.com

FREEBIE: Myofascial release to relieve muscle tension  www.kyautumn.com/curious

Ky’s new podcast, The Grateful Body is out! It’s about wellness, stress, yoga, pilates and social justice and health equity


Episode 68: Stop Feeling Disconnected and Learn How to Feel Connected In Life with Danny Levin

“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!

Key Nuggets:

  • At the end of the day we all want to be loved, accepted, heard, appreciated and acknowledged.

  • There are 3 things that absolutely everything in this world, animate and inanimate things needs to go through (I got put on the spot for this one haha): a beginning, middle and end.

    • The middle can sometimes it takes forever long and Danny admits that this used to be his least favorite part of a journey. If you know where the end is, then what’s taking so long to get there! He’s since discovered the abundance of the middle. The middle is actually “now”.  As yogis, mindfulness practitioners and spiritual masters will tell you, what’s truly of importance is the “now”. It doesn’t matter what we were or who we’re going to be.

    • Danny’s discovered that the middle place is where he’s longed to be in his whole life

  • There are 4 stages of connection:

    1. 1. Connection to self

    • Be just as kind to yourself than you would others.  Why would you be harsher on yourself than somebody else.  Danny gives perfect example of falling down.  If a friend fell down, you’d help them up, stay with them and make sure it’s okay.  If you fell down, the self talk might sound like “you’re so clumsy, why would you do that! Get it together argh!”

    • Kindness begins first with you being kind to yourself

    • We talked about the analogy of putting a wall up to protect ourselves and in turn not actually showing up fully. You’re not the walls that you built around yourself but sometimes we forget that.  We end up becoming walls meeting other walls which is why we feel so disconnected.

    • When we are kind to ourselves, we dissolve the wall.  That’s why it’s so important. There’s no point in dissolving wall between you and others (kindness to others) if you keep building up your own walls because there will still be a disonnection

  • 2. Be vulnerable and open

    • Vulnerability allows us to open up to each other

    • When we know that the world is in complete support of us doing what we are meant to do, we open up.

    • We were never meant to do this alone.  We were meant to do it in collaboration with everything around us

  • 3. Purposeful

    • Qualify what we want to receive and who we want to give to

  • 4. Build connection (the mosaic)

    • We find commonality with each other and come together

    • The mosaic: when groups of intentionally kind, purposeful people come together and further the creation of a world that we want to pass onto our children

    • peace by piece” – we can find commonality with each other, even if just a sliver

  • Danny shares a beautiful story of an unforgettable lesson that his developmentally delayed daughter taught him.  When she talked to him and he didn’t hear, she would scream. If he still didn’t listen a tantrum ensued. If she still didn’t feel heard at that point, then she’d destroy something.

    • Huh, that’s very much like us isn’t it? It’s the perfect analogy for when we don’t feel heard. When someone doesn’t feel heard they yell, then they make a scene then finally as a final attempt, they destroy something (a relationship, a career…)

  • All that can be alleviated by acknowledging each other’s beliefs.  It doesn’t mean that we need to agree, but most times it’s enough to just be listened to.

  •  When people are heard, it becomes love. Just like when Danny finally heard her daughter, the rage became laughter.

  • Danny is on a mission to get us from being mindful to “heartful”

    • To be heartful means to be able to allow us to feel each other and stand with each other through our pain. To reach out to somebody to say “I was never meant to do this alone, can you please help me”

  • Our practice is made up of moments and moments make up with momentum.

    • What does one moment of kindness go?

  • Collect enough moments to create momentum so that it’s there to propel you even if you find yourself a little lost sometimes.      

Biggest Lesson:

The biggest lesson that Danny wants to share with you through his book is to BE KIND TO YOURSELF.  Start there and everything will change.


If you have any questions for Danny or want to learn more, connect with him through:

Website: www.TheMosaicOnline.com

Episode 67: 3 “Weird” Practices in Kundalini Yoga Explained with Sat Shakti Kaur

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. 

Key Nuggets:

  • Yogi Bahjan: Travelled from India to North America in 1969 to introduce Kundalini to North America

    • Before that, Kundalini was a secretive practice only passed down by word of mouth

  • Kundalini is known as the yoga of awareness and also referred to as the mother of yoga because it encompasses all 22 forms of traditional yoga including postures, breath work, and meditation. It can be done or with or without mantras

  • “Kundalini” refers to the energy in ourselves (ie. Chi, prana…)

  • Some benefits of Kundalini are:

    • It refines your interactions with other people and helps you let go and become more aware

    • You become more in tune with the world around you and your own intuition            

  • There are many practices in Kundalini that could seem intimidating but it’s most helpful to see them as tools. None of these are requirements and you can adopt what works for you:

    • Wearing all white: white is a color of purity, divinity and it reflects.  Helps you go deeper into meditation. Expands projection (teachers are expected to wear white so that they can project)

      • Darker colors like black on the other hand absorb and can absorb negativity

    • Turban: the idea of having a head covering is to contain energy and higher vibration. When you wrap your head in something like a turban it affects the blood flow to the brain and helps you think and meditate better.

      • These are differences that you may not notice right away but as you continue this Yoga of Awareness, you will begin to notice the subtle difference.

      • There are other types of Kundalini hats that you can wear besides a turban (there’s a whole online market for it). The ideas is to cover the whole crown of your head including the hairline.  All affects electromagnetic field.

    • Names: being given a name is not unique to Kundalini yoga but how you get it is.  Somebody meditates based on your numerology and it blesses your destiny.

  • In Kundalini yoga, the energy reside from the base of your spine and is the energy of creation (babies, projects, art….) .  To use it in a a higher consciousness, then you must move the energy up

    • The recipes are used exactly as Yogi Bhajan has taught them.  Nothing is added or subtracted

    • You can work up to the higher chakras in one practice

    • It includes a physical practice then meditation and chanting

    • Kundalni kriyas (movements) helps the energy rise but also balances the chakras

    • “kriya” = completed act

    • There are thousands of kriyas

    • The kriyas movements aren’t held. It’s continual movement incorporated with breath. It’s all about the movement of energy

    • There are kriyas where you shake and it helps release trauma/fear and your responses to them

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

Just keep going. No matter what, keep the forward momentum moving.  Sometimes progress may be frustratingly slow, it may even appear to be going backwards.  You learn through mistakes. There may be setbacks beyond your control. Working through these blocks can be part of what makes the end product all the more great.

Jessica learned this lesson as she tried to build her studio.  It took her 2 years to find a space but she thought it’d only take a couple of months.  She started teaching anyway and hosted teachers who were visiting.

It was Jessica’s practice that helped keep her going to.  It kept her centered, confident in herself and detached from outcome. At one point, she realized that she was already doing everything she wanted to do without having to have a space.

We have a preconception of how we want things to be but it doesn’t’ mean that that’s what it needs to be

What is one nugget of wisdom that you would share with fellow seekers who are on this journey of growth and transformation?

Don’t judge where you are. We all have good days and bad days, different strengths and weaknesses.  You get out of it what you put in. If the practices come easy to you but you don’t put much effort or focus into it, you won’t get very far. Conversely, if it’s a challenge for you to sit still or to focus but you respect your limitations and keep trying, you’ll start get somewhere.

Make a commitment and just do it. No matter what. In Kundalini Yoga, with our personal practice – the yoga and meditation we do on our own at home every day - we tend to do things for 40, 90, or 120 days. Sometimes 1000 days. When you make that commitment and stick with it, no matter how lousy you may feel or unfocused, you can start to see real changes. You take back control of the mind. (It’s the mind that tells you can’t or shouldn’t do something) And you can start to tap into your highest potential.

If you think you’re starting late on this path, it may be that you weren’t ready for it any earlier.


If you have any questions for Jessica or want to learn more, connect with her through:

Website:  www.joy.yoga

Email:   info@joy.yoga

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KundaliniLondon/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kundalinilondon/

Episode 66: Awaken Your Primal Essence With Art with Clare Galloway

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.

Key Nuggets:

  • We all have a creative engine within ourselves.  We’re all creative geniuses but most of us end up getting stifled by culture or habits.  When we harvest the creative energy within ourselves and charge ourselves up then we suddenly have infinite ideas and solutions to problems and beautiful things that want to be expressed.

  • Art is this primal way that can help us find that center (our inner free bird)

  • We have an ability to work energetically in the world in an expansive way.

    • But first we need to be aware that there are things take energy away from us and that we have the ability to charge up. There are issues when we’re not charging our energy enough. We end up reacting rather than flowing.

    • When we’re charged up, we flow. We’re full of great conversation and ideas….we’re full of life. We leave every situation a little better off than before we arrived - a bright contribution to a conversation, a glimmer of insight….we keep the energy charged up wherever we go.

  • Surfing on life vs. being dragged around by life

  • We’re trained to think that we’re “not creative” or that we can’t make art. It’s important to note that our creative energy comes through in so many forms!

    • Painting, gardening, sewing, community, creating community, cooking, taking care of children, dancing…..seriously can be anything!

    • When we fully inhabit our creativity, seriously anything that we do can be an act of creativity. It transforms into joy for the world.  You flow and radiate.  It’s anytime that we’re “in the zone” and totally in flow – time falls away. Your yoga practice counts too ;)

  • Creative power brings us back our essence – a primal sense of truth, connectedness

  • When creating, make sure you can discern between doing the art versus thinking about the art

    • When you are “doing” you are in the zone of flow.

    • When you’re thinking about it, you stay in that monkey mind constantly judging if it’s “good” or “not”. You forget to feel it.

    • Allow it to come the way that it comes. Express what wants to flow and allow whatever form or color to take shape as it will. Allow everything to come up. Go against the chitter chatter of “I can ‘t do this”.  Ties into inner child work a bit

  • With all this said, it leads us up to the big reveal….* drumroll *…….this turns out to be yet another practice of self love!!

    • Yes, allow our desired expressions to arise without judgement.

    • Loving whatever comes up in all its forms and colors

    • And then stopping to inquire within yourself if there’s something you really don’t want to form in your art. “What is this not wanting?” “What is it trying to show me?”

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

 There's always treasured to be gleaned from every experience in our life.

What is one nugget of wisdom that you would share with fellow seekers who are on this journey of growth and transformation?

“There has to be a void in order for something new and better to fill: the times when we feel most empty or 'without' can often come just before a great new phase of our lives - and once we get the hang of this, we can practice leaning into that space, and trusting it - which better allows the change to unfold”                                                                           


If you have any questions for Clare or want to learn more, connect with her through:

Website:  clareartista.com (her page)

www.thesora.org (online art school)

Episode 65 Bite Sized: EXCITING NEWS. How Do You Want To Feel?

I’m so excited to be back with a new Bite Sized episode! It’s been a while hasn’t it? Well in this episode I explain to you why I’ve been MIA with these solo episodes for the past few weeks and why I’m particularly excited to be back. In a nutshell, I’ve found an answer to figure out one of life’s most pressing questions: What do you want most out of your life?

I’m seriously SO excited to share it with you!! This podcast is all about

navigating our own personal journeys together and moving toward a meaningful heart-led life. To inch closer toward our heart callings/soul callings/true nature (whichever resonates the most). In essence, stand confidently in our truths and show up to the world as the light that we are. Now I’ve got a way for us to elevate together! Plug in those buds, you don’t want to miss this one. Tip: listen to the very end for a goodie.

If you’re ready to find clarity for yourself, CLICK HERE.

Episode 64: How to Find Healing For Your Innermost Self with Ivy Kwong

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.

Key Nuggets:

  • Things that we all desire: to be seen, heard, protected, and safe.

  • There are pivotal moments in our lives where we need to decide if we’re going to self destruct or persevere.

  • Ivy’s transformation began when she came to a point in her life where she realized that if she kept living as destructively as she was, her life was either going to be shortened or it wouldn’t be a life worth living. She had to decide to make a change.

  • “The people who have gone through the darkest times are the ones who are capable of generating the brightest lights”

  • Ivy’s advice on trauma comparison: there’s no such thing as anybody else’s trauma being “better” or “worse” than the other. Your experience is your own and that needs to be honored.

  • We get messages all day about conditional worth from what your social status is to how many likes you got on your Instagram post. The real truth is that you are worthy and you deserve self-love. You need to find a way to realize that.

  • We’re doing the work to heal so many generations of our parents’ wounds

  • Our most difficult relationships are the ones that teaches us the most

  • To create a life that was worth living, Ivy had to:

    • Admit that the work she was doing (being a lawyer) was done out of expectation and was not her calling.  She had to start looking for what her deepest calling was.

    • She worked with her inner child through post induction therapy, which she now offers to her clients. She visited her six year old self to provide the healing that was required there. This work is important because your inner child is visceral and knows your deepest truth.

  • Magic and serendipity happens when you start committing to yourself, to your inner child, presence, to be able to be with yourself.

  • Your inner child is with you throughout your entire life.  All itierations of you are all part of you.  They’ve always have been and will be.  Learn to reconnect with and listen to all these diff parts of yourself

  • Aside from induction therapy, you can connect with your inner child by:

    • Finding a pic of yourself from when you were young (4,5,6,7 years old) and sitting with it.

    • Internally or vocally and tell yourself “I love you. You’re important. You matter and you’re precious to me.  What you have to say, think, feel, I want to hear you “

    • Ask her/him “what do you need right now”

    • Sit with this for 15 min

  • Wherever we are at your journey, realize that you are already doing your best with what you have. Have compassion toward yourself for that.

  • In order to believe you’re worthy of self love, you need to treat yourself with self love.

  • How to believe your worthiness: treat yourself like your’re worthy

    • You teach how people to treat you with your boundaries.  If you don’t reinforce your boundaries, then you teach yourself that you’re not worthy. You’re telling yourself that other people are more important and then your self worth issues continue to brew.

    • Learn to say no and tell yourself/inner child/universe that you’re worthy of care and protection and being honored.

  • “in order to become you have to be”    

  • The richness of life can be accessed when you go to a place where you can surrender (ex. nature…)

  • Depression comes from fixation of past, anxiety comes from fixation of future

  • We choose our stories.  We choose our stories, we choose to empower or dis-empower ourselves. Things that happen can be the worst things, condemning our life to suffering or they can break us open.

  • Tips/tools to plug into love, truth and connection:

    • Allow yourself to be fully human and feel everything. Happiness has just as much importance and beauty as sadness, fear, joy.  All of these entities are part of you and instead of pushing them away or denying them, listen to them.  Ex. Anger tells you that a boundary has been violated. Let yourself feel what you feel. They’ve got messages.

    • It’s okay to not know things. Are you thinking your feelings or feeling your feelings?  Feel without having to understand, explain or justify it. There’s a limiting factor to having to understand and make sense of everything.

    • Play! Just for the sake of curiosity, joy, expression, connection and without a need of any outcome.

Little tidbit about vipassana retreat: for Ivy it was powerful, beautiful and so hard to do! The retreat consisted of 10 days of meditation and no talking.

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

Acceptance is the key to freedom from all suffering.  If you can accept what you’re feeling, thinking, experiencing in the moment (provided that you’re in a safe situation) that can lead to freedom. Accept what is rather than force what isn’t.

“May you have the serenity to accept the things that you cannot change, the courage to change the things you can and the wisdom to know the difference”

What is one nugget of wisdom that you would share with fellow seekers who are on this journey of growth and transformation?              

Don’t take yourself so seriously.  Laugh, allow, give yourself grace, compassion and recognize that you’re doing the best that you can with what you have right now.  At any moment you can do something different.


If you have any questions for Ivy or want to learn more, connect with her through:

Website:  BareIvy.com

Email:   TheBareIvy@gmail.com

Facebook:  @BareIvy

Instagram: @BareIvy


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

Episode 63: A Heart Led Life - How to Find Peace Over Perfection with Sam Goldsmith

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 ;)

Key Nuggets:

  • Definition of “Type A”: Sam sees that everyone has a type A tendency toward some aspect of their life. Here are some identifiers of the profile:

    • Feel like something terrible will happen if you don’t have all the balls in the air

    • Feeling like you have to take on everything

    • Unwilling to ask for help because you feel like you’re the only one who can do it “right”

    • Not trusting that what you have/what you’ve done is enough

  • When we take the risk and yield to our hearts, the universe will hear and it will show up for you. You can’t really get into flow before you take that leap because it’s hard for flow to happen if you are out of alignment

  • What Sam had to learn for a heart led life: Be okay with yourself and embrace your unique gifts

    • Embrace your humanness. For example it’s okay to change your mind. Not allowing yourself this flexibility keeps you so rigid.

  • What Sam had to let go of for her Heart led life: She had to let go of everything and be completely open

    • She had to retrain her nervous system to let go.  What she means by that is that she recognized the fears that were coming up in her body and her mind and then taking conscious action to work through them (She was so fearful of dropping any balls that she started taking everything on).  A strong spiritual practice of being comfortable with being uncomfortable was helpful.

  • Strongest question that helped Sam along the way:  what would I do if I loved myself? This very question helped her take the leap into trying what she always wanted to - leaving her high paying job to do something of her own.

  • How do you live a life based on your heart’s guidance? Prioritize yourself and how you feel

    • When you need to make a decision, there’s always something going on in your body.  Listen to that. And you do already have the answers. Sam often hears these phrases from her clients “I knew…” or “I had a feeling about that…” which shows that somewhere we do have the answers.

  • Sam’s advice for trusting and hearing those body messages:

    • Firstly make a conscious decision to commit to what you want

    • Begin to recognize what your body feels like and then go from there – Sam gives example of high paced business woman who was always constricted, so that client had to recognize that her throat was always constricted to understand what her present norm is. This is where a yoga practice is helpful!

    • Once you get to know what your body normally feels like, then fine tune. Start to notice subtle differences as you enter into certain situations or try to make certain decisions and begin to learn the language of your body.

  • Sam’s advice for letting go:

    • Starts with decision to let go.  This sets your mindset up for success.

  • When you have a stream of emotion or energy stop and stay still , present silent.  The natural instinct is to take action but don’t do anything yet because it’s inspired by the fear.      

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

Stay in your own lane. It’s easy to get distracted to see how other people are doing and how successful they seem – all of this is a distraction from following your own heart. 

If we recognize that we don’t have competitors we begin to see ourselves as contributors and then there will be space to really shine with our gifts.

What is one nugget of wisdom that you would share with fellow seekers who are on this journey of growth and transformation?

That everything you need is already within you, you have the most sophisticated GPS inside and if you trust it, it will never steer you wrong. Your life is yours, it’s there for living in a way that makes you happy, you will never regret following your heart so let that be your guide.


If you have any questions for Sam or want to learn more, connect with her through:

Website:  www.samanthagoldsmith.com

Instagram: @samanthagoldsmithhq

Facebook: @https://www.facebook.com/thelightcollectiveessentialselfcarerevolution/

Episode 62: Leaving the Inner-Critic and Moving Toward Self Love with Erin DiAngelis

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.

  Key Nuggets:

  • In understanding people who have an eating disorder like bulimia or anorexia, it’s important to understand that it’s not actually even about the food itself. It’s about secrecy and the need to control something.

  • Erin remembers the struggle with putting a lot of strictness on herself. Things were black or white. She was doing good or she was failing. Her advice is that if you recognize yourself in this perfectionist tendency , be aware of it in your yoga practice as well.  Be clear on what intention you’re practicing with. 

    • More ways to shift out of the black and white perfectionist mindset:

      • Shift to what feels good

      • Acknowledge yourself for practicing

      • Set intention to soften expectations

  • The lessons of self-love came in many different layers for Erin

    • The meaning of self-love also evolved for Erin the more she learned about it.  It went from thinking it was a nice bubble bath to something much deeper. Now self love is actually liking what she sees in the mirror, no more food restrictions (she just eats whatever feels good in her body) and letting herself enjoy and feel good in her body

    • The first seeds came from her yoga practice when she was first able to recognize her strengths (physically and mentally). For example she that she was able to take poses that she couldn’t even do days prior, which showed not only the strength in her body but also in her mind as she practiced and persevered.

    • Another layer was that her black and white thinking began to fade. Yoga helped quiet mind and gain space in breaking thought patterns.  She eased into the new perspective of “I’m not there yet but that doesn’t mean I’ll never get there”

  • In reflecting on self-love, it ultimately comes from a place of being kind to yourself. to Erin, a thought along the lines of  “I deserve this chocolate/glass of wine/night out because I had a hard day” isn’t quite self-love at its fullest. The intention needs to come from a place of appreciating the qualities of yourself 

  • To start with self-love in terms of body image, begin to recognize the miracle of your body: your hearts pump, eyes blink…all without you needing to think about it. Shift into thinking how right everything is working versus thinking about what’s wrong with it.

  • Erin’s advice for anyone struggling with body image or chronic health is: You CAN feel a sense of peace and ease in your body.  Set the intention and keep the faith.  Everything in your life is working for you to see that your body is given to you as a tool to feel joy and laughter and movement.

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

In Erin’s words:

“I have 1000 lessons I’ve learned, how do I pick one!? :) That’s why I love yoga and this journey so much! The BIGGEST lesson though has been learning how to love myself. It happened in many layers and each of those layers brought a deeper understanding of what it means to love myself, which I am so grateful for”

What is one nugget of wisdom that you would share with fellow seekers who are on this journey of growth and transformation?

In Erin’s words:

“Believe in your own strength, even when it comes to the areas in your life where you’re struggling or stuck. If you keep showing up daily, and hold your intention, that desire will unfold and come to life. Something will shift-I truly believe that. The road may be winding, and it might not happen instantaneously, but the Universe, Life, Your soul- whatever you want to call it, wants your best self to flourish because everyone benefits when that happens.” 


If you have any questions for Erin or want to learn more, connect with her through:

Website:   Erindiangelis.com

Facebook:  facebook.com/erindiangelis

Instagram: instagram.com/erindiangelis


Episode 61: What Does Your Element Say About You? Face Reading with Caitlin Donovan

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!

Key Nuggets:

  • Face reading stems from Chinese culture and was used for fortune telling, match making but also as part of medical diagnosis.

  • With her background in Chinese Medicine,the most important part of face reading for Caitlin is the diagnostic tool.  A lot of Chinese Medicine uses tongues and wrist pulses to determine diagnosis.  When Caitlin does online sessions, the tongue doesn’t show up correctly and of course she can feel people’s wrists so she relies on Face Reading. She also uses it:

    • For self care (ex. if you know that you’re fire then what feeds fire is wood then that means you should go spend time with wood type people, in the forest with trees, have images and surroundings that are wood based like flowers….) to balance out.  Know what your fuel is.

      • If you’re too firey then you need to put it out with water ex. Hop in the bath, find water

    • Help people gain clarity and let go of blame in their relationships (work or personal). Reset expectations.

      • Ex. metal vs earth differences (if metal needs that sock drawer color coded, they may need to do it themselves b/c earth may never get there)

  • With face reading you can even look at wrinkles to determine most commonly felt emotions and when in your life you had your most intense (good or bad) experiences.

  • Short example of how to use your elements to improve relationships:   

    • Metal: needs space, neat, organized (probably has a sock drawer organized by color)

    • Earth: accumulates more, looks for ease, definitely wouldn’t color code a sock drawer.

    • Implications: if you had a metal mother and an earth based child, the mother’s natural tendency would be to set high expectations for order and achievement. This could put a huge amount on an earth child whose natural tendency is to find ease. In knowing this information about themselves perhaps the metal mother can give her earth child more space to find ease.

  • In understanding your element, know that you are what you are and if you can learn to work with them well, you can give yourself and the people around you more space

  • Like any other personality test, Face Reading is another component here to help you better understand yourself and others (partners, loved ones…).  Can help you change the course of what you’re doing if your’re stuck somewhere.  Oftentimes you’re working off a template that doesn’t quite belong to you – easier if you understand what does work for you and align to that.

  • How you use the informatio is the most important thing – understanding how you work with others in relation to yourself.  How are you meant to interact with others?

  • In doing this, we give everyone more space to be themselves in the world

  • Here’s how the 5 ELEMENT SYSTEM goes (used for Chinese medicine and face reading)

    • The idea behind this is that everybody as their own natural strengths. If you learn to tune into them and use them properly and you know yourself and the other elements well enough then everyone can inhabit a space where everyone are allowed to act as themselves.  Ultimately to fulfill your destiny (Golden Path).

    • You’re a little bit of each but it’s a matter of how balanced in each element you are.  Oftentimes we have one or more that’s more intense than the others.

    • The basic rule in determining your facial features is that if somebody did a caricature of you, what features would they exaggerate on you?

    • Compare facial features to everything else on your face (not compared to somebody else or the average person)

    • Your elements actually changes if you get plastic surgery. This system reinforces the fact that  Your features on your face is perfect the way they are

      • WOOD

        • Most important need is to do. 

        • Likes competition

        • Loves movement.

        • Needs a lot of exercise otherwise they’d have hard time to regulate emotions (helps alleviate natural tendency of irritation)

        • Usually turn out to be athletes or ends up doing ironmans.

        • Natural philanthropists but also irritable so need to find balance there. “I want to help you but you’re annoying me”

        • React best when challenged

        • Tall and sinewy or short and stalky. Either way muscular body structure

        • Super thick eyebrows

        • Very square jawline – perfect 90 degree jaw that you can definitely see (not covered or softened by fat)

        • Tend toward irritation and frustration

        • Prone to high blood pressure or headaches

      • FIRE

        • Loves talking, talks fast

        • Move around a lot

        • Loves joking, makes people laugh.

        •  Loves being center of attention. 

        •  Loves playing

        •  Easily meets people..  A lot of times people are drawn in by the eyes.

        • Enjoys fleeting connections but have harder time maintaining deeper relationships.

        • You notice a sparkle in their eyes right away

        •  May look a bit mischievous

        •  Looks like they can make you laugh at any moment.  Quite charismatic

        • Freckles

        •  Big eyes – the bigger the eyes, the more fire

        •  Red hair = automatic fire

        • Natural emotional tendency is anxiety

        • Heavy thinking (not even worried about anything, just a lot of thought)

        • Prone to autoimmune diseases and inflammation

      • EARTH

        • Most important thing is friends and family

        • Loves hosting

        • Love having their people around and close to them

        • Really needs comfort. Smooth and comfortable

        • Family oriented

        • Tends to accumulate things (including weight. Very easy for them to gain weight)

        • Loves ingestion (food, knowledge, learning…)

        • Doesn’t react well to being challenged.  Better when given nourishing support.

        • Strong sign of fire are women who can’t buy knee high boots b/c their calves are too big

        • Big mouth and full lips (like Angelina Jolie…but remember to compare your features to your own face)

      • METAL

        • More than anything, they love order

        • Keep things clean

        • Prefer to not see anything on counters that don’t have to be there

        • They’re home would most likely have white counter tops and stainless steel appliances (so clean)

        • Has an eye for beauty

        • When you’re in their space, you feel spacious

        • Good working in the arts, galleries

        • The bigger the nose, the more the metal

        • If the nose is thin and pointy (aqualine), then even more so.  The most metally of the noses

        • Natural leaders

      • WATER

        • Creative types

        • Philosophers

        • Loves thinking – deep thinkers (ie. Ponders about the origins of life0

        • Loves being – that’s where the sense of life is.

        • Wonderful people to  hangout with b/c their thoughts are so well thought out

        • Tend to prefer to be alone though.  They’re the friend at parties that seems like they might not be having a good time b/c they’re not talking to anybody but they’re happy to just observe

        • Size of ears =more water

        • Bigger forehead = more water

        • Bigger chin = more water

    • You can use this information to help when having conflict with another person.  Help people understand in the context of their elements. Caitlin teaches clients to communicate in a way in which they can be understood.

  • It costs you the least amount of energy to survive when you’re acting within your element.  It’s all about  energy management.


    • Creation Cycle: A circular structure where the element that comes before always enhance the one that comes after

      • If you’re over using an element that doesn’t really belong to you, it’s best to enhance the element before it.  Ex. If you add more Earth then it’ll be easier to be more metal

    • Destructive Cycle: Forms a start between the elements. Utilize if you need to tone down a certain element.

    • Bring in element by adding physical things to environment, foods you eat and even personality traits (ex. If you need more metal go organize something).

    • The order of elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water

  • Wood

    • Water creates wood (trees and plants need water to grow)

      • Add more water if you need more wood

    • Add metal to diffuse wood (ex. Wear metal jewelery)

  • Fire

    • Wood creates Fire (need wood to build fire)

      • Add more wood if you need more fire

    • Add water to diffuse fire

  • Earth

    • Fire creates Earth (Fire produces ash which turns into earth)

      • Add more fire if you need more earth

    • Add wood to diffuse earth (Wood takes space of the earth as it grows)

      • Ex. If you’re gaining a lot of weight or worrying a lot, more wood in your life will help keep balanced

  • Metal

    • Earth creates Metal (When earth is compounded it turns into metal (which we dig out of the ground to use))

      • Add more earth if you need more metal

    • Add fire to diffuse metal (Ex. Light a few candles)

  • Water

    • Metal creates Earth (Imagine condensation on the outside of a metal glass)

      • Add more metal to be more water

      • Ex. Water ppl have easier time to meditate. If you’re struggling to meditate, add more metal (like a metal candle holder or mala) so that you can enhance the water state

    • Add earth to diffuse water

Links & Resources:

If you have any questions for Caitlin Donovan or want to learn more, connect with her through:

Website:  caitdonovan.com 

Facebook: facebook.com/caitlindonovanprague

 Caitlin’s Face Reading Quiz

Caitlin recommended this book if you’d like to learn more about Face Reading:  Face Reading and Chinese Mediciine by Lillian Bridges

Episode 60 Bite Sized: TRUE NATURE Meditation

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.

Music Credits:

Meditation Free Music Alexander The Miracle Sound (orangefreesounds.com/meditation-music-free
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0

Episode 59: Intuition - 5 Things That Block It + 5 Practices To Build It w/ Intuition Coach Michelle Fortuna

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.

Key Nuggets:

  • EVERYBODY has the ability for intuition

  •  When we’re connecting with ourselves and we are present then we can all hear the answers that we need.

  • Inner knowing and clairvoyant abilities are all in the same pool.

  • Michelle uses embodied resources often because it’s when you’re connected to your body that you become present.  In other words, you need to be in your body to master being in tune with yourself.  Your body lets you know.

  •    It’s scary to follow to your intuition especially when it goes against everyone else’s outlook ( like your loved ones) but you need to learn to trust it for you.  Trusting that your intuition has your best interest is how you can begin to become receptive to it.

  • There are several ways that you can listen to your intuition (ie. hearing, seeing, feeling through your body…) but when I tried asking Michelle for a concrete list of all the ways that we can tap in (the keen student that I am) Michelle received a message to share that there is an infinite number of ways to do this.  What’s important is to keep moving into a place of receptivity (create, make space for yourself to connect, find clarity in your emotional centers…)

  • You don’t need to be “psychic” in a traditional way, you just need to start going deeper into yourself and you start spending time there. Value yourself and who you are then your abilities start speaking to you.

  • How to deepen intuition:                                        

    1. Recognize that you’re intuitive and give yourself SPACE.  There’s so much busyness in the world and it’s easy to move from one thing to the next but make space because clarity and intuition comes with space. 

    • Personally Michelle likes to practice meditation to make space for herself.

    2. Ask yourself if it’s safe to fully express yourself.

    • Many people are in situations where they don’t feel safe to express themselves or to even express what they need (ex. Michelle felt that way growing up because she was in an unstable family situation).

    • If you weren’t or aren’t able to safely fully express yourself then find space where you can do that.  For Michelle, she started writing letters – many of love and forgiveness. This was a big changer, moving Michelle from her head to her heart

      • Head stuff can be hard because our brain wants to protect us  

3. Become more aware of your anxiety – it’s usually a sign that you’re not present

  • Come back to presence and you’ll come back in tune

  • Distinguish between your ego self and intuitive self (is this where your inner compass is directing you or are you choosing out of fear)

4. It’s okay if you made a mistake from your intuition in the past!

  • Some people made choices in the past that didn’t turn out well so now they vow not to trust themselves. That’s not fair to cut yourself off completely because you might not have known yourself as well as you do now. This skill takes practice. On that note….

  • If you’re not feeling confident in your intuition, just keep practicing.  Practice with somebody or something safe and let go of that thought that you’re not good

  • The more playful you are with what you practice on, the better you’ll be at it.

5. Self-Love

  • Always comes back to self-love! Stay committed to yourself and give yourself what you need.

  • Find your way of connecting.

    • It could be through speaking, writing….whatever it is that brings you joy.

  •   What’s blocking us from our intuition

  1. Not trusting yourself

  2. Cutting yourself off from trying because a decision you made in the past didn’t work out

  3. Needing to be right

  4. Pleasing others – you don’t need other people’s approval to listen to your intuition

  5. Not being in your body

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

 The more you are yourself, the easier life is.

What is one nugget of wisdom that you would share with fellow seekers who are on this journey of growth and transformation?

You are really are intuitive and it’s time to honor that.  It’s time to honor you and take responsibility for yourself, allow yourself to connect with your desires, what you’re here for, and trust that the more you’re present with you (body, heart, life) the easier it will be for you to connect with your intuition and have joy and ease in your life.


If you have any questions for Michelle or want to learn more, connect with her through:

Website:  www.michellefortuna.com.au

Email:   connect@michellefortuna.com.au

Facebook Page: Michelle Fortuna Intuitive Consultant

Episode 58 Bite Sized: Adventures On the WESTCOAST TRAIL

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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?

Episode 57: Understand How Energy Flows in You With Chinese Medicine with Caitlin Donovan

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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.


Key Nuggets:    

  •    Acupuncture (part of Chinese medicine):

    • The basic theory behind acupuncture is that your body is blocked in some places and empty in others.  Acupuncture points are considered gates that can open or close the flow of energy (prana, chi…) in the body.  If there is a blockage it must be opened and if there’s emptiness then the gate must be closed so that the energy can fill up.

    • The tool to perform acupuncture are tiny needles the size of a hair (takes 30 acupuncture needles to become the size the of a needle used to draw blood)

    • It’s not so much the needle that produces the healing effect but more rather the acupuncture point in which it is inserted

    • In acupuncture, the body is categorized into 12 different organs and there is a right and left side. Each side is totally symmetrical to the other.  Whatever channel (or meridians) that run on one side is also on the other.  Along these channels, there are the gates.  The measure of these gates are standard in measurement but different on each body because we’re all different sizes.  We measure based on reference points in our bodies. For example, we know that from our wrist to the elbows there are 12 points.

  • Chinese medicine

    • The overall guiding principle is the Yin/Yang theory.

    • Chinese medicine looks at where the natural balance of our body is not working. It’s not about “fixing” the problem but rather to restore the balance.

      • For example, we think that when we get colds we are unhealthy.  But in Chinese medicine, it’s not bad to get colds as long as our immune system kicks in and we’re able to come back from the cold. Where there’s an issue is if something gets stuck and you get  cold but you end up with a cough for 3 months

  • Chinese medicine is an umbrella of healing modalities that include

  • Acupunture + Moxa

  • Herbal Chinese Medicine

  • Qi Gong (cultivation of energy.  We would say that tai chi is a form of qi gong)

  • Chinese massage

  • In the western world, we’re used to looking at systems in a linear fashion but Chinese Medicine is really more of a circle (you need to see the whole picture)

  • All of the modalities listed above are together and separate at the same time.  It’s actually difficult to separate it out in our linear fashion that we’re used to.

  • Understanding herself through the lens of Chinese Medicine allows Cait to not feel guilty for what’s happening in her body.  What Chinese Medicine has taught her is that her body can perform but sometimes needs help and that’s all okay.  Takes the pressure away from the expectation to always be perfect even though you’re doing everything right.

  • It’s not always the big stories that we tell ourselves when we think “everything happens for a reason” and we start blaming ourselves – emotional blockage or something. Remember that energy moves in more than one direction: so if your emotional life can create physical symptoms in your body, then your physical body can also create emotional symptoms

  • Ex. If your solarplexus chakra is underfunctioning (or in Chinese medicine it is “cold”), then you may feel disconnected. You can use Chinese medicine to help “warm” the body up and bring it to balance. In this respect it was more of body balance issue than it was an emotional issue.

  • Oftentimes an ailment will be due to multiple reasons so taking a holistic approach is beneficial.

  • Face reading

  • A system that uses facial features to determine the basis of people’s personalities. It’s like an eastern philosophy of personality test that helps you understand yourself a little better.

  • Ex. Size and thickness of somebody’s eyebrows shows wood energy which indicates the level of passion or anger that they have.

  • You can even see what age people were when they went through traumatic experiences

  • Can be used to determine when you’re on your “golden path” (living your  life’s purpose)

  • If we know ourselves well enough and trust ourselves and understand our natural predispositions, we can choose to do things that are naturally aligned with who we are and it costs much less energy expenditure to live our day to days. (as opposed to doing what outer influences expect us to do)

  • When we’re misaligned then we are using way too much energy than we have too and we are so drained.  It feels like we’re doing all the right things but then we keep feeling a little off.

  • Energies include fire, earth, water, metal, wood

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

Listen but don’t fix

What is one nugget of wisdom that you would share with fellow seekers who are on this journey of growth and transformation?

Caitlin wanted to share a piece of teaching from astrologer Tosha Silver – yes, you need to do the work and create momentum and move forward but also pay attention the crumbs that the universe gives you. Remember to adjust course as necessary.  Sometimes what you dream up isn’t necessarily what will make you happiest


If you have any questions for Caitlin Donovan or want to learn more, connect with her through:

Website:  caitdonovan.com 

Facebook: facebook.com/caitlindonovanprague

Resource: Quiz to find out what your dominant element is, is available on Caitlin’s website.

Episode 56: What's Blocking You From Attracting the Abundance You Desire with Tanner Kennedy

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In this episode, we talk about M-O-N-E-Y.  A topic that many shy away from even though we all want and need it.  Why is that?  Probably because there's so much stigma around money plus our own complicated relationship with it.  We want it but we're afraid to admit to wanting it.  Maybe we somehow came to know it as evil.  Maybe deep down inside we don't feel like we deserve it.  Or maybe it's because we think that wanting it makes us greedy people and the last thing you want to be is evil especially when you want to do nothing but heart centered work and make a positive change in the world.  See, it's complicated.

Here's the thing though - if you truly want to do heart centered work or have creative freedom, you need to be financially viable!  If you're not financially sustained, all you'll be thinking about is how to make the next dollar so that you can pay rent or have lunch.  Tanner Kennedy, Law of Attraction Money Mindset Coach & Founder of The Own Your Worth Project talks to us about how to approach this topic and what's really blocking us from the abundance we desire.

"Think about it this way, the more you have, the more you'll be able to continue your work and help others.  Scarcity mindset makes us think that our gains take away from other people but that's just not true".  

Before you listen in, I want to point out that when we refer to "entrepreneur" it doesn't mean that you need to have a full fledged business.  This applies to you even if you're selling art on the side, crafts on Etsy or teach Yoga classes!  Happy Listening!

Key Nuggets:

  • When we feel powerless around money, we are unable to create or manifest what we want
  • Women in particular seem to have a certain sense of powerlessness around money b/c of our society and culture.  The journey is around learning to regain power and regain worth around money
  • Having a heart centered business to make a change in the world is great and the truth is that money is going to sustain that work.  Tanner helps women entrepreneurs come to a place where you realize that you can do great work and be paid for it and that’s okay.
  • Tanner herself went through a turbulent with money – she had a major wound around money which had a lot had to do with how she saw herself and her worthiness. It tied into the men and father figures in her life. 
    • In our society Father figure = bread winner = safety with money
      • We need the masculine side of us to create and make things in the world. Therefore issues around father figures can result in issues with making money in life
  • Got to a place where she truly believed that she could manifest anything she wanted around money
  • By “power over money” Tanner means to overcome the fear around it.  
  •  Example of limiting beliefs around money “I’m bad if I make money.  I’m taking from other people”.  Know that the is no scarcity.  The more you have, the more you can give back to others.
  • You don’t have to ask anybody for permission for what you desire.  You just need to give the permission yourself.
  • As you line up more with your truth, you’ll find that the relationships you have in your life and the financial situation you are in also begins to align (or vice versa).  For Tanner, she used these situations to understand where she was in her growth of self emotionally and spiritually.
  • There is power in understanding when to let go of something, even if you’ve had it all your life. Tanner gained this wisdom through her own experience of having to let go of her family to move forward.
  • As we continued to talk, the real topic started to reveal itself and that was: SELF WORTH. Your self worth defines your relationships, what you want from life and what you’ll allow yourself to deserve.
    • Not surprisingly, this all leads back to self-love
  • Tanner suggests creating a routine of self-love to allow yourself to rise to the next level.  She talks specifically about business and taking the time to evaluate what you’ll tolerate and how you want to price your products
  • Tanner’s “upgrade” routine includes anchoring her beliefs about self-worth in her routine:
    • Yoga & body weights in 30 minutes.  The key is doing it with the intention of anchoring the beliefs of what she wants to create next.  She’ll listen to meditation or she’ll give herself self-talk.  In the end, her body believes the thoughts and she knows it’s within her rather than just in her head swirling around
  • Allow yourself to receive the blessings when they show up.  We sometimes make rules about what kind of people we deserve in our life or what we are able to get; and are blind to the great opportunities that come our way. We even self sabotage - for example, we might second guess our skills or products when somebody wants to pay us more than what we think we deserve.
  • ·We talk about charging and business but I want to stress again that this applies everywhere – from the salary you’re willing to take to who/what you choose to give your time to.
  • Setting prices:  Think about what you really need to sustain yourself and then set the price from that standpoint!
    • Inner work needs to be done for inner worth to harness in the price that you’ve set on the outside
  • Whatever financial reality that you’re thinking in your mind that you’re not saying out loud or are too scared to say out loud is a real reality and you can work up to make it real!
  • Sometimes it’s scary to talk about money because of the chance of being rejected. Another reason is maybe you don’t feel like you’re worthy of it.  It can also be the guilt of rising above the level of life that we knew and grew up in and leaving that life behind and along with the people in it.
  • When you’re ready and you’re clear, everything falls into place quickly
  • Tanner’s Tools For Manifesting Money:
    • Do a moving meditation where you are anchoring the thoughts and beliefs that you want into your body
    • Write out your ideal next 6-8 weeks to help anchor into body.  Be detailed and specific.
    • Begin to set boundaries with people who don’t support the next best version of yourself (ex. Limit time with them or get them out of your life)
    • Question to consider: What did your upbringing teach you about how to perceive money?

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

Learn how to set boundaries.  It’s easier said than done because it requires you to free up energy to learn how to say “no” and also develop enough self love to be able to say “no”.  Oftentimes we can’t say no because of fear – fear of what other people will think or of disappointing others.  Once Tanner learned this, she started to have control over not just money, but also life, body and everything else.  She became a pro at manifesting and knew that she had the power to stay in her own space of creation.

What is one nugget of wisdom that you would share with fellow seekers who are on this journey of growth and transformation?

In Tanner's own words:

"When you commit to your entrepreneurial journey, it will require you to grow your self-worth from the inside out. Part of the initiation process will be attracting narcissists. They are put in your path to help you learn to harness your thoughts and create a unshakable mindset about who you really are, your self-worth and your focus."     


If you have any questions for Tanner or want to learn more, connect with her through:

Website: www.theownyourworthproject.com

Email:   tanner@theownyourworthproject.com

Facebook and YouTube channel also on website

Freebie: 3 Hidden Blocks That Sabotage Wealth & Abundance - Free Video Course - https://theownyourworthproject.com/3-hidden-blocks/

Episode 55 How to Show Up Authentically Even In Times of Struggle with Jenny Ravikumar

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Jenny Ravikumar is a devoted yoga practitioner, yoga teacher, reiki master, certified crystal healer through Hibiscus Moon and owner of the Barefoot Yoga Shala studio based in Massachusetts.  Most recently, she started a successful non-profit, Yoga for Families of Addiction.  As the name implies, this non-profit provides healing for friends, families, and spouses of addicts.  Through Jenny's own experience she found that there are many yoga platforms to help addicts themselves get through their struggles but there was nothing out there to help the people who love the addicts.  With Yoga for Families of Addiction, Jenny creates holds space and creates sacred sessions to help friends, families and spouses of addicts get through the tough stuff like shame, co-dependency, anger and forgiveness.  We cover a lot of interesting topics in this episode including a short pit stop on how it's possible to fuse together religion and yoga, but the main topic here is how to stand in our truth and show up authentically even in times of great struggle. 

Jenny's own story is that she was married to somebody with an alcohol addiction and went through a traumatic divorce.....all the while completing her 500 YTT, opening up a yoga studio and taking care of her new baby boy.    How did she continue to teach from her heart and show up authentically for the community even while all this struggle was happening?  Listen in to find out! :)   

Key Nuggets:

  • One torrentially important message I picked up in this conversation is that your YOGA exists at all times.  Even through the tough times.  Actually, even especially in the tough times.  Regular practitioners or yoga teachers may feel like they "should" be the perfect zen image but that's so not true.  As Brene Brown says: 
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”
  • When you're going through something traumatic, it's natural to hold onto what feels good.  Sometimes what you hold onto is good, sometimes it's something not so good.  For Jenny, that's when she discovered the world of essential oils, energy healing and crystals.
  •  What emotions do families of addiction go through?
    • Co-dependency
    • Shame – a lot of ppl don’t share what’s going on their world because they want to keep their friend/spouse/family safe and on a pedestal
    • Anger
    • Forgiveness
  • How did Jenny continue to teach from a place of authenticity during her traumatic divorce?  She would never teach on something that she wasn't feeling.  For example, if she cried her eyes out that day, she wouldn't teach about joy because the material just wasn't there at that moment.  But instead, the focus would be on something like forgiveness.  That's a yoga teacher's example but even if you're not a yoga teacher, you can apply this and find authenticity in your day to day interactions.  For example, answering authentically to "how are you?".  Doesn't mean you need to divulge everything that's wrong but rather than saying "great!" when you're not, it could simply be "I'm happy to be here".
  • What helped and continues to help Jenny through her struggles is her toolbelt.  When times get tough, she comes back to:
    • Breath
    • Essential oils
    • Crystals
    • Reiki
  • Tools like the ones listed above and our yoga practice (of course) are the modalities that can get you through healing.  What's in your toolbelt?

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

In Jenny's words....

The two biggest lessons I've learned as a teacher is that (1.) I'm CONSTANTLY learning from my students and my son, they are always my best teachers. And (2.) as I continued to run my studio AND create a new non-profit, I was finalizing a traumatic divorce and am raising my son as a single mom every day. The journey isn't always easy, the lessons will continue to pop up over and over.... but with resilience, LOVE & compassion, we can dig deep to find strength we never knew we had.

What is one nugget of wisdom that you would share with fellow seekers who are on this journey of growth and transformation?

BREATHE. A transformation isn't meant to be beautiful. It's meant to bring up the ugly, rip open your heart and be a messy battle. If were easy, everyone would do it. Continue to breathe into love. Stay in the present. Have faith. Know you're supported. Because I promise, if you can hold on for a few more breaths, it will be beautiful on the other side.


If you have any questions for Jenny or want to learn more, connect with her through:

Websites: www.jennyravikumar.com   www.barefootyogashala.com    www.yogaforfamiliesofaddiction.com

Email: jenny.ravikumar@gmail.com

FB: @jennyravikumar @barefootyogashala @yogaforfamiliesofaddiction