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.

Links:

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.” 

Links:

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.

  • How to balance the elements: THE CREATION CYCLE + THE DESTRUCTIVE (CONTROLLING) CYCLE

    • 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
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/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.

Links:

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

Links:

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."     

Links:

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.

Links:

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

Episode 54: Getting Over Self Doubt with Tara Wagner

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Tara Wagner is a breakthrough coach who helps identify what's holding you back from your next level of success.  In other words, she's an expert in helping people get over their self-doubt! How timely since I just talked about this in Episode 51.  This conversation with Tara is like an expansion of the topic of self doubt, imposter syndrome and limiting beliefs.  In specific, we talk about awareness (how do you even realize the limiting beliefs you have in the first place?), root cause (where do most of our false beliefs come from), and what to do about it!  I love Tara's perspective not just because of her spunky disposition but also because she manages to take a practical approach that's grounded in spirituality.  Yes the universe works in mysterious ways and there is such thing as divine timing; but we are also living in a human world and each of us have been granted with a predictable, computer like device in our noggins, so why not learn how we can learn to use both sides of the coin toward a happy, meaningful life?  Listen in and prepare to be uplifted!!

Key Nuggets:

  • Conditioning of nasty thoughts like “I can’t”, “I need to be quiet”, "I'm not enough" are things we grow up with that eventually holds us back
  • Everyone feels the imposter syndrome – not just people who are starting out.  Anytime you’re ready for the next level you will feel it.  It’s normal!
    • You take some of the struggle away when you realize that the ups and downs are all part of the process
  • How do you bring awareness of this limiting belief in the first place?
    • Ask yourself different forms of the same question until you hit a spot – that spot will feel like truth whether it just feels like a ton of bricks, or maybe make you cry. 
    • And it’s in this awareness that you can begin to take the first steps to heal
  • One of the most common limiting beliefs is that "I'm not good enough" complex.  How do you know if you have this limiting belief?  Well the “I’m not enough” complex shows up in….
    • Not being able to take compliments
    • Nerves
    • Throat closing up
    • Resistance
    • Paralysis
    • Thoughts like “who am I to do this?”
  • Another limiting belief that Tara had gone through was that she was “too much”
    • She received messages as a child (from herself and outer world) that she was too loud, too opinionated, and that people can’t handle her energy
    • Nobody explicitly told her this but it’s important to realize that there are many messages that we receive without being explicitly told.  It could simply be the exasperation in somebody’s reaction to you that sets it up.
  • This leads to the point that we can only look through the lens/perspective that we currently have now and that’s perfect.  Sometimes we may misinterpret something but the point is that we did the best we could with what we had at that time.
    • There are phases of life where we take in most messages: toddler years and in our preteen/teen years.  These are the ages of formation.  As teenagers, we begin to develop our core beliefs
      • In Tara’s work with her clients, the majority of the beliefs that hold them back stem exactly from preteen/teen years.  We misinterpret ideas and end up with beliefs like "the world’s not safe" "I'm not lovable" "I am loved" and being able to trust in relationships….
  • It’s totally normal to make of what we have at the time but there is an expiration date and at some point these beliefs become unhelpful.  There comes a point when we're ready to do something big and beautiful and it will question the existing belief systems. What we actually need is a system to help determine when an old belief system no longer serves, dismantle it and reshape into new, helpful beliefs.  We need to learn to create a new pattern.
  • How to breakthrough limiting beliefs now that you’ve identified them?  Tara shares one method:
  1. Look at the behaviour
  2. Look at the emotions behind it
  3. Look at the need behind it
    • If you’re struggling to meet this need, look why.  That’s when you get into the core beliefs  
  • The real trick is to train your brain to run through this process where you can easily identify the behavior, emotions, needs and limiting beliefs.  From there you can choose your actions with awareness. Tara suggests to think about this like potty training a puppy.  This way, you can approach it with love, non judgement and without any self deprecating self talk.
  • Next, to start reshaping that limiting belief. Tara loves using affirmations, use of essential oils, EFT, and even just simply taking action to reaffirm what you want to think and feel.  With that said, just the awareness – the turning on of the lights in a dark room, will change the shadows.
  • In practicing the four steps above, you'll gain EMOTIONAL FREEDOM
  • Give yourself as many experiences as you’re drawn to.  All paths lead home. 
  • What action can you take now to start taking in the new belief you want to have? (ex. "I trust in people", "I am worthy"…)
    • The brain is a practical thing and when we use it as such it can be quite advantageous
    • We need to constantly reinforce beliefs and you can do it by taking action, which is far more reinforcing than just sitting and waiting to feel good.  Tara uses the analogy of a cookbook – you can’t just read the recipe over and over and just get it.  You actually need to go through the motions of taking out the ingredients and cooking.
  • If you don’t take action then you don’t change anything
  • One powerful question to continuously ask yourself is: What would your most compassionate, loving, best self do despite the worry, fear, laziness, hold-backs?

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

 It’s okay to trust people.  Ultimately it leads back to love -you can give love and you can receive love.

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 it too seriously.  Learn to laugh at all of it – the thoughts, the emotions….there’s so much healing that laughter can do.  Don’t get lost in your character!

You can have the same experiences and learn the same things without the suffering, and the stories and the spiraling.                                                                                             

Links:

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

Website:  xotara.us (this is where you can also get her FREEBIE Self Care in Seconds)

Instagram: @tarawagner

 

Episode 53 Bite Sized: 5 Minutes to Get UNSTUCK

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Feeling STUCK can be so uncomfortable.  You're in a place in life or in your mind where you don't want to be and just can't seem to get out.  It's sticky and stuffy and frustrating.  Unfortunately being stuck is one of those inevitable situations that we will find ourselves in from time to time.  Just like fear or self-doubt.  What we can do with this feeling is to bring awareness to what it's telling us and find a way to release that stagnant energy.  In other words find ways to get UNSTUCK.  

In bringing awareness to the feeling, figure out how it feels.  Does it feel dull, listless, unmotivated (what  label as stuck in a funk); or does it feel like you're spinning your wheels but you're trapped (stuck in a rut).  Our natural tendency is to push harder toward what we want when we're stuck so we go out to paint nights, cooking classes.....and fervently chase inspiration or the next creative breakthrough.  At times, that's exactly what we need and then voila! we regain our freedom.  But if you've tried it all and it's still not working, then it means that you need something else.  That something else is that you're tired and need to listen to the ongoing lesson of taking PAUSE.  

That brings me to the second part where we find ways to release the stagnant energy.  Pause, breathe and connect back to what's been disconnected.  Listen in for a 5 minute pranayama (breathing) exercise to help shift your energy and get you on your way to getting unstuck!

Music Credits:

Concentration Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) 
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Episode 52: PART II Gettin' Oily With It - How to Use Essential Oils with Mia Mitchell

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Here is Part II of the conversation that I had with the lovely Mia Mitchell!  Last week she shared the heartfelt story of her darkest hour - loss of a best friend, the downfall of a marriage and contemplation of a life not worth living.  In essence, Mia's story is a powerful voice for mental health awareness.  With time, Mia healed and now has a successful essential oils business where she helps others in their own healing journey.  In Part II of our conversation, we focus on the thing that helped her recover: Essential Oils!  How they help, how to use them (ie. on chakra points) and Mia'a top 10 favorite oils for healing.  

Key Nuggets:

  • The quality of the essential oils is crucial.  You want a pure oil that’s not diluted with other chemicals, synthetics or alcohol.  Not only can they dampen the effectiveness of the oil  but you can end up absorbing these harmful chemicals depending on how you’re using the oil.
  • Do your research on that brand of oil that you're using and watch for these factors that affect their quality:
    • Where the plants are sourced
    • How the plant is grown (ex. No pesticides)
    • How the oil is processed
    • How the oil is tested
  • Watch out for labels in essential oils.  Some say “pure 100% oil” but what they mean is that there’s only 1% of 100% pure oil.
  • Essential oils can be used topically (like on your wrists, feet and chakra points), aromatically and some even to be ingested
    • It only takes 20-30 seconds to get into your bloodstream
  • Oils are very high vibration which is why they are so helpful for chakra points
  • Mia’s top 10 favorite essential oils for healing herself and clients:
  1. Lavender
  • Benefits: Soothing, calming, helps produce melatonin in body, great as a sleep aid
  • Attached emotion: oil of calm and communication
  • Place on: throat chakra to open it up,

2. Frankincense

  • Comes from very old Boswellia trees .  The actual oil is from the resin of the tree.
  • Benefits: probably the number one healing oil on earth; this is your go to oil if you don’t know what to use; place on all chakras  
  • Attached emotion: oil of truth, love, clarity, wisdom, enlightenment.   Can also embodies a lot of other different emotions as well
  • Place on: everywhere, all chakra points to clear them

3. Console (blend)

  • Something that really comforted Mia when she was going through her tough time.  She used this one in her diffuser and topically.
  • Mix of patchouli, frankincense, ylang ylang, rose, sandalwood
  • Good for comfort and to soothe anxious thoughts

4. Balance (blend)

  • Mia uses this one every single day to ground and reconnect to the Earth
  • Perfect to be used in meditation or when you’re anxious or feeling lost
  • Mix of spruce, frankincense, blue spruce tanzeer, chamomile…

5. Wild Orange

  • Benefits: energizing, happy, joyful
  • Attached emotion: oil of abundance
  • Mia usually diffuses it but you can put it on you chakra points as well (whichever ones that you want to increase)

6. Vetiver

  • A resin that's woody, thick, deep, and smoky smelling oil.
  • Benefits: deep sense of centering, great for using when you sleep
  • Attached emotion: the oil of centering
  • Use in diffuser to help sleep

7. Copaiba

  • Also from a resin of a tree so smells deep and woody.
  • Benefits: soothes anxious feelings, pain relief, supports healthy immune systems and a cardiovascular system.  The healing properties are very similar to cannabis (just without the cannabanoids)
  • Can use to relieve pain in joints or fibromyalgia
  • Attached emotion: the oil of unveiling

8. Clary Calm (blend)

  • Benefits: Supportive of women’s moon cycles (aka. Pms), brings body back into balance
  • Mix of lavender, chamomile, ylang yglang, clary sage, bergamot, cedarwood…
  • Place on: belly to help with bloating or any pains

9. Hope (blend)

  • Lush and warming

10.  Yoga Collection (blends)

  • Anchoring, centering and enlightenment.

  

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

Listen to your heart, not just your head.  Trust your intuition, trust yourself and then love and care for yourself.

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

 Listen to your own inner guidance and trust yourself.  You know what’s best for you above anybody else. People will give you their opinions but at the end of the day it’s about what your true ideas are.  Take the time for self love.  It’s okay to not be okay!  You will fall down that’s okay, just get back up.

Everything that’s meant for you won’t pass you by.

Links:

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

Website:  www.miamitchell.com.au

Email:  mia@hfessentials.com

Instagram: @itsmiamitchell

Episode 51 Bite Sized: Perfect NOW. You Are Perfect Right NOW.

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Self-doubt creeps in from time to time and it's probably never going to fully go away.  Everybody experiences this feeling, even millionaires and world renowned self-help experts.  Even with their major successes, they still get a niggle of this self-doubt from time to time.  If even proven successes don't prevent self-doubt from coming back ever again, then we must learn to navigate this feeling.

I've been going through a bout of imposter syndrome myself.  I was trucking along all fine and dandy then Bam!  It just hit me - an overwhelming feeling that I knew nothing at all and a major questioning of what the !@#$ I'm doing at all.  I sat with this for many days before I realized that the culprit was a hefty dose of self-doubt (that's the thing about feelings - if you're not paying attention you just fall into it).  Apparently I needed it as a very important reminder of how perfect everything already is....of how perfect I already am.  Listen in to hear what I learned! 

Episode 50: PART I The Dark Knight Of The Soul. A Journey From Depression to Self-Love with Mia Mitchell

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Mia Mitchell is a beacon of light who works to guide others into a life they love by using essential oils as her trusted tool.  This lovely Australian lady’s heart centered essential oils business stems from a reason more deep-seated than passion if you can imagine.  I dare say (after hearing her story) that this is the truest form of expression of herself.  A manifestation of her soul’s purpose, born from her darkest hour. 

I suspected that Mia had an incredible story to tell and this suspicion was confirmed just a few minutes into our conversation.  What I planned to talk to Mia about was essential oils and how they can help us in our yoga practice and everyday lives.  And we did talk about that! ...Eventually.  Unbeknownst to me at the time, a hidden gem of a story was waiting to be revealed.  When I asked Mia about how she came to find her love of essential oils, it turns out that it started from a dark place.  A place of anxiety, depression, and very, very, very difficult experiences (I put a “very” in for each of the obstacles she shared) including the loss of a loved one to suicide.  It was clear that beyond which essential oils are best for meditation or giving you energy, there was a strong message to be shared.  Mia’s story is a powerful voice for the awareness of mental health issues.  Her messages are clear and true as can be  

“It’s okay to not be okay” 
“In every moment you have a choice.  While making a choice might be hard, you still have one”

You’ve probably caught on by now that this interview went for much longer than anticipated!  I’ve split it into two parts for you.  Today, I present to you PART I where you’ll hear Mia’s story about mental health.  Next week I’ll release PART II where we tap into her expertise on essential oils.

Key Nuggets:

  • "In every moment, you have a choice.  While making a choice might be hard, you still have one."  This piece of wisdom comes from Mia's realization on a beach one day where she sat right after her husband had left.  It was in that moment that she decided to choose to get better and do what she had to do create a life she loved.
    • The moment you commit something is a defining moment.  The mere acting of making a commitment already changes the path that you're on.
  • Mental health is still one of those things that everybody is scared to talk about but it direly needs to be talked about.  As Mia shared her own experience on mental health, she creates powerful space for others to feel how they do and at the same time know that they're not alone. 
  • Mia’s description of grief: It's like being in the waves of the ocean.  There may be small waves to float along and they are alright but there can be big ones that push you down.  All the way down to the ocean floor.  But you can always come back up and breathe. Just breathe.
  • Mia's advice on what you can do if you know somebody who's going through grief:  Reach out to that person.  Knowing somebody is there and being able to have a conversation can make the world of a difference.
  • Mia’s practice to continue the life she loves:
    • Allow gratefulness to guide her
    • Reflect and immerse in what she's learned from her experiences
    • Self love – it always comes back to self love.  It's not selfish to put yourself first and make sure you are taken care of!    
  • Be careful not to apply pressure to yourself for daily practices of what to do and when.  It could become the opposite effect if you don't meet the mark one day.
  • There are certain tools and healing modalities that are meant for you.  If you try something and it doesn't work – keep searching!  Not all tools and healing modalities are for everyone.

Links:

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

Website:  www.miamitchell.com.au

Email:  mia@hfessentials.com

Instagram: @itsmiamitchell

Episode 49 Bite Sized: 5 Ways To MOVE FORWARD Now that You Know You're On The Wrong Path

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In the last episode of Bite Sized I talked about the importance of knowing when to quit and how it can be just as important as the power of perseverance.  The wisdom is in knowing when to do which.  In this episode I talk about what to do with that information.  So you have an inkling that you need to quit something in your life. Now what?  Where do you even go from here?  I've been there many times - not ready to actually take the leap because I haven't got the slightest idea of where to place my foot.  I've reflected on my personal experiences and lessons to distill 5 action steps that can help you reset your compass so that you have at least a little bit of idea which direction to go.

Episode 48 Bite Sized: 5 Signs That You Should Probably QUIT

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Thank you for tuning into the final episode of launch week for my new segment, BITE SIZED!  Today I answer the question that I ask all of the guests I interview:  What Is The Biggest Lesson That You've Learned Along the Way?

My biggest lesson is that

QUITTING is just as important as PERSEVERING and takes just as much courage.  The wisdom is in knowing which is which.

Quitting has such a negative connotation attached to it and it basically equates with failure if you decide to give up.  But is it really that bad?  If you think about it, sometimes the resistance to quit stems from the same reason that we resist to persevere: The Fear of Failure.  Before you make a judgement on whether to quit or persevere, you need a few more pieces of information.

I share my personal story of the trials and tribulations it took for me to learn this lesson (it got handed to me a few times before I totally understood).  In reflecting on my experience, I found 5 signs that suggest it's probably time to quit; and of course, I share them with you!

So, what'd you think of this episode?? Let me know in the comments below or email me hello@curiousmonki.com

Episode 47 Bite Sized: How To Keep Going Even If You're Scared

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Welcome to the very second episode of BITE SIZED!

Transitions are never easy even if it's a change for the better.  Career change, ending a relationship, starting a new endeavor....it's scary to take a leap of faith!  But once you hear what your heart truly desires, you can't really go back.  Today I talk about how to keep going even when it's scary and I share with you my two greatest pieces of inspiration that kept me (and still keeps me) going when that low vibe self-doubt starts to kick in.

Resources:

That speech that Oprah did that helps me get through the thickest of doubts.

 

Episode 46 Bite Sized: NEW DREAMS How to pivot when you change your mind about what you want

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I'm adding to the goodness with a new segment called BITE SIZED.  In these short 15-20 minute episodes I go solo and completely candid to deliver a dose of inspiration, knowledge or sum up golden nuggets from past episodes.  It's my way of amplifying the good vibes :)  I haven't reached enlightenment or anything like that yet but hey! I've picked up a few nuggets of wisdom on my very own journey and I want to let you in on it.

Bite Sized episodes will be hot and ready for you at the beginning of every week (still deciding on an exact date...maybe Tuesdays??); and don't worry, the longer interview episodes are still happening!  There's so much knowledge and experience to learn from each other, I can't see it stopping.  You can still expect the interviews at the end of the week.

I really, really, super really want this to be valuable for you.  It's my deepest intention to inspire you, spark a transformation within you or give you that second wind when you don’t think that you can keep going.  I'm going to keep trying to keep delivering value but I also need your help!  Please let me know what you think of these episodes by leaving a comment below or hello@curiousmonki.com.  And if you really love what you hear, please give me some big love by leaving an itunes review.  

As I keep saying, we have so much to learn from each other that can help us along our own paths.  This journey is your own but you're not alone!

In this episode, , I extract the golden nuggets from my interview with Awilda Rivera of Episode 41: Searching for True Desires and Manifesting it to Life. 

1. Dreams Change and that's okay

2. You faced your truth, now how to find out what your new dream is?

3. Keep on going and persevere

 

  

Episode 45: Seven Things That Make A Remarkable Yoga Teacher Training with Rachel Scott

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Rachel Scott is a yoga teacher trainer, instructional designer, and writer.  She regularly contributes to Yoga International and is the author of Wit and Wisdom from the Yoga Mat and A Yogi's Guide to Dating.  With over 4000 hours as a yoga teacher trainer, her passion for helping yoga educators create excellent trainings certainly shows through.  I am so grateful to have Rachel and her captivating energy on this episode!  You've probably guessed by now that the topic is all about Yoga Teacher Training.  In specific, Rachel helps us understand what separates an exceptional training from a disappointing one.  You're going to want to listen in whether you're considering taking your first yoga teacher training, continuing yoga education or playing around with the idea of being a teacher trainer yourself.  Rachel breaks down the reason why sometimes amazing yoga teachers deliver a less than satisfying training, prepares you with pertinent questions to ask if you're looking into taking a training, and lays out what makes a remarkable teacher training (spoiler alert: part of it falls on the responsibility of the student).

I wish I could tell the whole wide world about this one because so many people struggle to find a good yoga teacher training.  It's not something that you'd want to roll the dice on either, seeing as how each training is thousands of dollars.  Rachel's advice is worth its weight in gold!  So if you know somebody who would benefit from this info, keep the good vibes going and SHARE THIS EPISODE!

Many thanks to you for joining me.  Now, plug in those headphones and listen away!

Resources:

Rachel's article on Yoga International: How to choose a yoga teacher training  

Rachel's free course on how to create a teacher training

Key Nuggets:

  • Even with all the training she's done, Rachel is still working on one of the first lessons of the yoga sutras: "yoga is the restraint of the fluctuations of the mind".  And that is yoga.  She’s an inspiring reminder that a patient, consistent practice is far more important than mastering anything.
    • Contemplating this concept further, it's about how to put the soul in driver seat so that the mind can be a servant.
    •  What Rachel's learned is that the mind goes in loops.  She used the terms “mind hamsters” or “brain loops” which I love.   She used to think that if she could rationalize the thoughts in her mind then everything would make sense.  But she eventually learned that true wisdom is outside of that.  It’s within our more essential nature.
      • So it’s about creating space between vrittis (fluctuations of the mind) and our deeper self.
  • Pain has helped her jump out of her mind and into another way to process information.  At one point in mental suffering, you just “can’t take it anymore”. And at some point, you must realize that your mind isn’t telling you the whole truth.  And maybe it’s not truth at all.
    • If mind told happy stories all the time, it’d be a great place to live.  But it doesn’t and that’s why we search for truth.
  • Your interest in yoga will ebb and flow.  That’s perfectly normal! The study of yoga is so vast and there’s so much to learn.  Rachel herself was first interested in the asanas (I feel like that’s where most of us start) then her interest flowed into anatomy, education and now she’s contemplating in digging deeper into tantric philosophy.  And that’s the thing, you don’t need to know everything at once!  A great reminder to seek as a lifelong learner.
  • Amazing yoga teachers might be tapped into an organic knowledge but that’s hard to distill into a course.
    • There’s a different between a great yoga teacher and a great yoga teacher trainer
  • What Makes an Remarkable Yoga Teacher Training
    • Teaching people how to teach needs to be more about being a sage on the stage.

 . Keep the learner in mind first, not what information you know.  This is an opposite approach to what’s instinctive.

  • The teacher trainer needs to consider teaching styles and teaching methodologies to create a comprehensive, understandable teacher training.

2. Consider how to take the concept of becoming an amazing yoga teacher, which is quite inspirational, and be able to break it down into practical chunks of skills that somebody can practice on.  Focus on skills, not just talent.

3. One of Rachel’s favorite trainings that she went through was a course she took with Chris Chavez.

  • She loved it for the Community, emotionally engagement, connection to teacher, connection to students.  It was a very joyful experience to be there.
  • How she thinks he did it aside from his natural talents is that he did a lot of storytelling, was positive (he meets you where you’re at and he elevates you from where you are), he can recognize where a student is at and celebrate where they are (never made somebody feel bad for not being further).
    • A great trainer doesn’t put their students down.  They trust that their students are doing their best.  Rachel’s seen trainings flounder when teachers don’t meet their students where they’re at or when they give a lot of negative criticism, completely slamming the door on a question.
  • What makes a great teacher trainer?

4. A teacher trainer needs to have the ability to break down the mystical into the tangible (skills).

5. They need to be able to be structured about things (ex. Learning objectives)

6. Be able to hold space beyond what would occur in a regular yoga class (ex. Breakdowns, people reaching their limits…)

7. One of the “great mistakes”, as Rachel calls it, that teacher trainers make is that they think about what knowledge that they can impart but they aren’t considering what they want their students to be able to do as a result of the training.

  • Online versus Classroom training:
    • Rachel’s view on online training is that it’s never going to be the same as in-person training where you can raise your hand and get immediate feedback for your questions.  With that said, it’s still a powerful platform for learning.
    • Some pros of online is that it you gives the teacher access to really build a community and to instantly share links and videos.
    • What determines a good online training?
      • Online courses that put students in contact with each other and where the instructor gives feedback.  Instructors that check in with students and allots time for feedback.
      •  It’s not a good training if it’s just something that’s switched on and left to run. There needs to be much more integration than that.
    • What kind of training just has to be studied in person:
      •  Hands-on assisting
      • Standard yoga teacher training to an extent (ex. 200hr or 500hr).  It could be a hybrid with some parts online but there really needs to be an in person portion so that teacher can watch you teach and give feedback. Rachel’s teacher training is a hybrid which is great. 
    • What kind of training is good for online?
      • Anatomy
      • Philosophy
      • Sequencing
  • How to choose a good yoga teacher training?
    • First start by understanding what you want.  What teacher training you should take is determined by what you want.  Do you want to go on a retreat, get out of your world for a bit?  Do you want to be more immersed in community?  Do you want to learn to be an excellent technical teacher?
    • While scheduling and timing are important factors to consider, you need to start with the first bullet point and be clear what your priorities are.
  • How to figure out if a teacher for a teacher training is right for you?
    • Go take the their class
    • Meet them
    • If this is a yoga teacher training retreat, they should be happy to get on the phone or Skype with you
    • Ask what their learning objectives are and how the days are structured.  You want them to be able to articulate what you will get out of the course and how.  They should also be able to explain how they will assess you. 
  • If you realize that you actually don’t want to take a teacher training and a retreat is actually more suitable for you, here’s what you can ask to make sure it’s the right retreat for you:
    • You should still skype or get on the phone with the teacher of the retreat
    • How are the days structured?
    •  Do I have to practice?
    • If there’s something in particular that you’re wanting to learn, ask if you’ll be learning it (ex. Yoga philosophy)
    • What style of yoga do you teach?
    • Do you do hands on assist?
    •  How much personal time can I expect from you?
    • What other activities are available?
    • Where is the nearest town/city?

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

 To show up in your yoga practice whether it’s a 5 minute or 1 hour practice.  This will eventually translate to all areas of your life.  The wisdom within yourself is a profound teacher.

Do this consistently because

“small daily acts change the world”

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

Give everyone out there a hug and say “yes, you’re good...you’re good even with all your imperfections".  Then make sure that you say this to yourself as well.            

Links:

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

Website:  www.rachelyoga.com

Facebook: @rachelscottyoga

Episode 44: Yoga Philosophy 101 - Are We One with Nature or Separate? with Anne Douglas

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Anne Douglas of Episode 30: Messages from Our Bodies and How Anahata Yoga Can Help You Listen is back on the show and this time she's here to talk yoga philosophy.  Perhaps you'd really like to understand the philosophy of yoga but words like "vedic" "samkhya" and dates older than 1995 makes your brain want to take a nap.  Sanskrit and history are not your forte.  No problemo, start here!  Who better to explain this stuff than a patient, knowledgeable teacher who happens to be passionate about how yoga philosophies help us resolve suffering.  In this episode,  Anne helpfully explains the two major schools of thought in yoga philosophy: dualism versus non dualism.  Basically, are we one with nature or are we separate with nature? Depends.  We go into depth to understand what these two philosophies mean in the bigger picture as well as to how we relate to life individually.  By the end of the episode, you'll be cooing about purusha and prakriti like it ain't no thing.  This episode is loaded so buckle in and get your learnin' on!

Key Nuggets:

  • Origins of Yogic teachings date back 6500-7000 BCE in the Samkhya philosophy.  The philosophy was primarily dualistic (spirit and all of nature are separate).
    • The idea was to end suffering as a result of coming to know ourselves as the seer (purusha).  Once we see that then we'd be in abiding peace and unending equanimity.  Ultimately the suffering ends.
  • The under-riding philosophy in our modern day yoga practice is dualism (ex. The teachings of Patanjali) but there are also traces of non-dualistic philosophy.
  • Dualistic View: freedom (aka. The end of suffering) arises from the understanding of who we really are which is that we are not nature but are pure consciousness.  We are the quiet calm of pure awareness that doesn’t succumb to changing nature of anything.  In this school of thought, things that change are nature and what does not is pure consciousness.
    • Our practice of yoga, especially the 8 limbs, is designed to help refine our senses so that we can further open to the pristine witnessing awareness.
    • This is a more masculine view that’s cognitive. Based in freedom coming from knowing ourselves as consciousness.
  • Non Dualistic View: purusha (consciousness) and prakriti (nature) are one.  They are not separate.  Prakriti is a rising of purusha and is not meant to be transcended.  It (our bodies, nature….) is meant to be cherished, loved and used as a pointer to direct us to our deeper nature so that we can live in a world where both are true.  We can be homeowners who raise families, own cars and live a modern day life but also, we are spirit.
    • This is more of a feminine view.  Embraces body as a tool to help realize the fullness of who we are.  To help us embrace the human that we are in this lifetime but also the spirit that extends beyond this lifetime.
  • In dualistic philosophy, we find freedom when we dis-identify with our limiting beliefs.  This is true to an extent but the hazard is that if we keep going then we no longer see that we are part of our bodies (ie. we dis-identify with prakriti (nature, bodies...) because we are pure consciousness).  This can subtly create a split between bodies and consciousness.  We may end up using body and nature for our benefit but we don’t take care of it.  Maybe we feel compelled to override prakriti (nature) and fail to realize the repercussions of our actions.
  •  Different schools of philosophies come from the natural evolution of ancient yogi’s practices (just like we have)
  • Quick breakdown of the order of how these philosophies developed:
    1. Samkhya dualistic philosophies
    2. Patanjali’s yoga sutras
    3. Vedanta
    4. Advaita Vendanta
    5. Kashmir Tantric Path
  • To embrace the nondual practice in your daily life, try to notice if there are any areas in your life that you are overriding.  Are there places where you're not paying attention to body needs or emotional issues (ie. trying to prematurely transcend)?  Allow yourself to embrace your body, thoughts and emotions and not seeing it as bad or judging them.
    • It’s one thing to have an objective thought of yourself but it’s another not to heed the call of your body (ex. Pushing too far in yoga practice to the point of injury).
  • An understanding of each of the philosophies is good to get but at the end of the day, move into this like how we do with the rest of yoga – use what works and leave what doesn’t.
  • Suffering arises from our myth of separation.  We suffer when we take ourselves as only this body.  We don’t know who we really are. This is how all schools of yoga philosophies view suffering.
    •  Each of us are really trying to find our way out of suffering and into freedom.  Through this lens we are able to better understand the actions of others (ex. Why our partners act a certain way, why our dogs act a certain way….)
  • In the most idealistic scenario, we recognize ourselves as consciousness and in turn see the connection between us and everything else.  We see the consequences of our actions.  While we still feel painful emotions such as sadness, anger and despair, our home ground is in equanimity.
  • The three yogic teachings that you can use to stop suffering:
  1. The answers to the end of suffering is already within.  Stop searching and just look inside.  That’s the point of an asana practice – to soothe the nervous system so that we can experience the stillness that’s already here.
  2. Recognize that every point of suffering in our lives is just a messenger pointing us back home to our truth.  This brings us back to the first point, which is to sit with the disharmony.  Anne advises not to just take her word for it though.  In the wisdom of the Samkhya yogis, experiment and find this out for yourself.
  3. There is no "other".  If you were to run an experiment so that you perceive that there is no "other", how does that change the way you operate?  Most likely with more softness and kindness.
  • Two most powerful questions to bring us back in the height of emotion:
    • What would love do now? (love encompasses us and the other)
    • What would peace do now?                                                                        

Links:

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

Website:  www.anahatatherapy.ca

Email:  anahatayoga@telus.net