Friday, June 29, 2012

My New Relationship With Energy Healing

I am very fortunate to have some amazing friends in similar fields to that of my own. Friends who teach yoga, practice energy healing, experiment and keep with certain lifestyle diets, and much more!

A few years ago, had you asked me if I would like to try Reiki, I would have been very skeptical. I would have been open minded enough to try it, but not necessarily see any of the benefits – or else would be trying REALLY hard to see the pros and non of the cons. Now I have friends who are learning the art of Reiki, teach Hypno-Meditation and participate in healing drum ceremonies.

I am still wrapping my head around the idea of energy healing. I strongly believe that there is energy in the universe. A certain member in my family claims he doesn’t believe in God, or the “creation” of the universe, but our first burst of energy came from somewhere... we just aren’t sure where. As Thor says in the movie: “What your people call science, mine call magic.” There are so many names and ideas and concepts – which is to say one is right and one is wrong when they all fall into a similar path?

My point in all of this is that I have tried Reiki, a drum circle, Tong Ren, Chakra healings and a hypno-meditation over the past few months and I am still unsure of how I feel about them. I wish my reaction had been immediate, this works or this doesn’t work. Because I am a believer in trying things three times before I decided whether or not I like it, I am still very unsure of my feelings.

This is a similar path to my own yoga practice. When I first started yoga, I went into an old dance studio with my mom and a bunch of women and men who were all mid-50s or older. The instructor came in and played “yoga” music, spoke in a soft voice, had beautiful long blonde locks and tight, tight, tight pants. I was a senior in college, with a few extra pounds on my body due to college and winter – surrounded by middle-aged folks singing the sound of ohm. I left feeling rejuvenated and very confused. I wasn’t really sure what to think about the mystery of yoga. I knew it was something I resonated with, I just didn’t know where it fit and why or how.

Fast-forward a year. I decided to take this irregular practice of mine into the real world. I transferred to a much bigger studio and met one of the most abrasive, up front, loving, no bullshit, hard-working and motivated teachers of all my life. Someone who had a take it or leave it attitude, but once you got to know her, has the biggest heart of gold. As I stepped onto my mat at Yoga Moves for a winter yoga challenge, I knew my life had changed forever. For better or worse, I had fallen head over heals in love with yoga.

Now I am not saying that I am about to fall head over heels with energy healing – but we have been flirting. The Reiki, hypno-meditation and tong ren have not yet fallen into any love categories... as I am still working through a few things. But chakra healings... those are sneaking into my subconscious, and begging me to explore.

As with any new experience, this is a journey. I have no final answer on how I specifically feel when someone places a plastic doll near my head and taps its body. I am still unsure of what happens when I lie down for an hour without anyone touching me, but yet is healing me through the act of Reiki. Do I feel better? Sometimes. Do I want to go back? Sometimes.

In my opinion, energy healing is similar to yoga. Yoga has 20+ different variations, with many folks in the west creating their own new spin on what yoga really is or means. I am not yet familiar with how many variations their are of energy healing but I do know that by flirting around and checking out each of these practices, I am expanding my knowledge, my light and understanding of what kinds of energy healing I resonate with.

My intention this coming year is to just be open. To be open to trying something new, to the idea of a chakra healing, accepting Reiki as a part of my healing practice and maybe exploring the new and different realms of what energy healing really means. Just with anything, try it three times in order to decide if it is right for you – if you’re not sure just keep going. Your body, mind and spirit will know when it’s had enough, and if you listen closely you’ll be able to pinpoint the moment when you decide whether or not this is something you want to pursue or leave in the dust.

Have you ever tried any energy healings? What practices? What pros and cons do you see?

Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle,

Monday, June 25, 2012

Magical Mondays: NEW WEBSITE!


Many of you are familiar with my blog posts over on I've decided to take my blog posts off of my non-profit site and allow them to shine on their own in the blogger world.

Journey to Hope Yoga Inc. is a yoga non-profit that I started last August, 2011. Myself, along with 4 regular volunteers and 4 additional board members, maintain Journey to Hope. We serve Cape Cod with yoga at no cost, to those who cannot afford it or do not have access. Currently, we serve 5 private locations and 1 public location (twice a week). Please visit our website for more details!

Every Monday for the past few months, I have typed up a Magical Mondays post. I started this post in order to count my blessings and remember the good things I have done in the past week. It is a beautiful thing to stay in the moment and count the blessings you have. As the saying goes: "Wanting what you already have is the key to happiness."

This Monday, as always, I have much to be grateful for! This past week I went for lunch with my friend Lauren. It's such a treat to see her each week - especially at lunch. She has a corporate job and I teach yoga, so it is nice to switch up our lives and catch up over yummy lunch! Plus, she is a good friend, and I believe it is so important to keep in touch with friends!

The little things: friends watching our furry babies this weekend, Apollo's puppy training, our documentary(!!), riding my new bike to the beach, shades of grey trilogy, summer schedule, great teachers meeting at power yoga of cape cod, brand new business cards(!), new "hippie" style purse, sunglasses, a new octopus to add to the ever growing collection, house hunting with hubby, running errands, aqua yoga, energy healings, peaches, strawberry basil margaritas, sunrise photo shoots and getting ready for the Journey to Hope MAJOR FUN-draiser!

This past weekend was the highlight of my week. The hubby and I went away for the evening, to Eastham. We used our Sheraton points and had an AMAZING mini-staycation. Breakfast in bed, hot tub, pool, swordfish and steak dinner, strawberry basil margaritas, big beds, flea markets, mini-golf and much more!! We squeezed in so much in such a small amount of time, and it was the perfect escape. I am so blessed that we live on a wonderful island... allowing us to have a mini vacation 30 minutes down the street that feels like it is hours away from home!

This week, challenge yourself to write down three things that make you blissfully happy. Breathe, laugh, smile, do yoga & love harder than you know.

Get out there - do yoga & make life sparkle!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Being an adult is boring... or is it?? :)

Sometimes being an “adult” is hard. You have to sit on the phone for long periods of time with people from boring business companies, invest HUGE amounts of money in buying a home, fix broken refrigerators, and pay bills (on time).

But for all this boring, it can also be amazing. We can drive to the beach, play with our animals (that we chose to bring into our world), eat our own delicious concoctions, choose to eat dessert for dinner and generally do whatever we please.

The joy for me is mixing both aspects of being an adult. I try often to be fun loving and carefree, even when the boring arrives. Like today: On hold with the IRS? Write a blog post and put the elevator music on speaker! :)

Life can be whatever we make it out to be. We can flip our perspective through listening to our favorite song, doing a handstand or driving to the beach and watching the waves ebb and flow. Just like ujjai breath, the sound of the ocean can help heal almost anything.

Breathe deeply and try to turn all of those boring moments into fun, carefree moments! As we age, we sometimes forget what it means to have fun. We need certain positive people in our lives to constantly remind us. It is why I am so blessed to work with and be friends with some of the most amazing and beautiful people. They are kind, funny, generous and very positive in most of their doings.

My mom sometimes forgets to have fun. She will have jaw pain, back pain and general stiffness and forget go to yoga. But the moment she gets on her mat, everything floats away. The pain, the stress, the boring. And in that moment she is free. When she remembers, she is the most beautiful, carefree and amazing woman I know. It's why you need to keep your friends & family close. Keep that positive light in your life, even if it's just a phone call (which mom and I do everyday!), or a brief visit. Rely on those people who love you and remind you to have fun!!!

Don’t allow yourself to get swallowed in the boring! Make a list of fun things you want to do and include them in your to-do lists. My to-do lists are all over the place. They usually look something like this:

*Write a blog post
*Go to the bank
*Mail a present
*BEACH with Apollo
*Yoga (2x this week)
*Write Molly an email
*Talk to Meg about the documentary
By mixing the fun in there with our regular responsibilities, our to-do lists are more likely to be accomplished and less likely to be boring. Add in some fun. Find a partner and go do something new or adventurous.... even as an adult. Grab your child, a good friend with similar interests or your loved one and get going!

This summer, I have decided to make an additional list (if you couldn’t tell, I LOVE lists). I have my goals that I keep track of all year, but this list is different. It’s a summer list of all the things I want to do! These are only 10 of my millions of ideas, but it’s a great way to get you started thinking about your own summer list.

1)    Pick Strawberries at the local farm & begin our farm share
2)    Go to the national seashore with Lauren
3)    Visit my family in Brewster while they are on vacation
4)    Paddleing and teaching stand up paddle
5)    Drive-in movie theater
6)    Bring Apollo to NH & see my family!!!
7)    Ride my new bike!!
8)    Run Color Me Rad 5K
9)    Go to a water park
10)  Drink margaritas on the beach

There is so much more, but if I try to accomplish a few per week, than I will accomplish them all by the end of summer. Being an adult can be boring... but only if we let it! Get out there and have some fun. Don’t spend your entire summer inside on the computer. Experience life: walk, run, bike, do yoga, go swimming... there is so much to do, and so little time... so get going!

Get out there – HAVE AN ADVENTURE – do yoga & make life sparkle,

P.s. I have been on hold with elevator music for 45 minutes... and wrote this post, played with the puppy and made lunch already :) Remember to add fun into those boring moments, and it makes the time fly by. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Real Work

Jill, Power Yoga studio owner (and my awesome boss), told us this week that the real practice begins just when you want to give up. And let me tell you, I did want to give up. A few times. In practice. While she was teaching utkatasana, and goddess. I was screaming things at her she probably doesn’t want to hear. Ever.

The next day I went for a run. About half way through my run my only thought was: why the hell am I out here, in this hot heat, torturing both myself and my dog by running 2 miles? Who will ever know if I give up? This sucks. It’s hot, I’m tired, my eyes are burning from sweating so much and my chest hurts.

Then I heard Jill: “the practice begins just when you want to give up.”

So I let myself be immersed in my practice. Although I was running and not in yoga, I kept going. I didn’t go too much further but that extra 1/2 mile was exactly what I needed to run through the negativity.

As it says right before you walk into the Power Yoga studio: The Best Way Out is Through!

Just keep going. Whether it’s a 1/4 mile, an entire yoga practice, or a gentle paddle in the pond, do it anyway. Get out there. Have fun! Sweat. Laugh at yourself. Be stronger than you ever imagined you could be.

Because the real work begins just when you think you’re going to give up.

Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle,

Monday, June 18, 2012

Magical Monday: Rascal Flatts!


Okay, I know it’s a bit much for them to be in all capital letters, but they were just so amazing in concert and in person. This past weekend, I was able to not only see my best friend (who flew up from Baltimore to be with me for the weekend), but was also able to do a meet and greet with my favorite band!! Then we went in the audience (dead center, VERY close to the stage) to watch some of the best bands in country music play. (Eden’s Edge, Eli Young Band, Little Big Town & Rascal Flatts). What an amazing experience. I am so thankful to my dad and his friend, who helped pull this together for us!
Other exciting things on the list of this past week: working hard on growing Journey to Hope, our sponsor letters and donations, my new bike (!!), clean sheets, having company all week long, Apollo being bumped into intermediate training, seeing my family this weekend, house hunting, meal planning (now that our fridge is up and running), being healthy, preparing for my 5K Color Me Rad run(and running with Apollo), new songs, organized office, clean home, orange leaf, vacation lust and planning, seeing Thor again, Brazilian BBQ, quality time with Sandra, our up coming documentary, aqua yoga, the calm before the storm in my schedule right now, surprise Lane family visit, and mandatory bathing suit time!!

As I was mentioning to my aqua ladies this morning, it is so important to remember your blessings. Happiness is wanting what you already have. By being in the present and appreciating the little things in life, we can feel so much better. I try hard to want what I already have. There are days when I am lusting for a vacation with my hubby, and times when I wish things were a wee bit different – but in general, I try to appreciate what I have all around me!
I read an amazing passage to myself and my class this morning from my meditation book that I feel a lot of you would benefit from. It’s entitled Worry Never.

“Worrying doesn’t help. Our worries haven’t prevented one disaster along the way. At times, the only thing they’ve prevented is our joy. Our worry is fear. Our worries are self-punishment, a form of not forgiving ourselves, not loving ourselves, not trusting. 

The lesson is trust. When we’re trusting, we let go of fear, confident that what we want and need will come. We trust that what comes appears to be trouble or hardship, we will get what we need to get through. When we trust, we get peaceful first, before we get what we want, before we see what the future brings.

Worry and fear are the opposite of love.
Love yourself more than you ever have.
Love yourself enough to stop worrying.
Love yourself enough to give yourself the gift of peace.”

~Journey to the Heart, Melody Beatte

Stop worrying. Count your blessings. Love harder. Forgive. Trust. And most importantly: LOVE YOURSELF!

Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle,

Friday, June 15, 2012

Do it Anyway!

At church this past weekend, the minister read the passage “Do it Anyway” by Mother Theresa. I really attached to it and as it resonated with me, I decided to share it in a few classes I taught this week. I also want to share it with you, and highlight a few of my favorite lines!

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough
Give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God
It was never between you and them anyway.

I love this passage, and although I believe I must have heard it before, I really connected to it this time around. As the minister read on, the ideas began to form in my head. I need to build anyway. I need to forgive and be kind, and most importantly I need to be happy and successful.

I also recently read a blog post on being thevillain. I so wish that I didn’t have to be. There are days when I wish everyone was kind and just and lovely. But this past week, I experienced heartbreak through trying to help someone else. I took a lot of time out of my day and evening to find a puppy a home (from a lady whom I had just met at the vet) and then without even calling or asking or explaining, she revoked her offer to the person whom I had placed for the puppy! What a cruel and mean thing to do. With no explanation, they took the puppy back. But after reading the villain post, and re-reading the Do it Anyway passage, I realize that there are people in this world who thrive on being jealous and cruel.

(And don’t worry; the person who was supposed to get the puppy is now in contact with Apollo’s shelter. He will have a forever friend soon!)

I have some former friends who thrive on being cruel or having an attitude. And although I no longer associate with most of them, I realize it is their way of life. Just as with some of my very good friends who would not rather hear aboutrainbows & kittens, there are those of us who see life in a different light. I cannot blame them, as much as I cannot blame someone who doesn’t understand my way of life and thinking.

A young man in church put it very well the other day. In regards to being both a boy scout and a church member, he proclaimed: “We need to figure those who do not yet understand.” It is true. After many discussions with some of my family members about gay marriage, yoga, love, truth, purple hair, tattoos and piercings... there is sometimes not a middle ground. And so I need to forgive. Instead of being upset or angry or stooping to a level below myself, I decided to forgive those who do not yet understand. I decided to be happy anyway. I decided to live my life the way I need to and want to.

In choosing to be happy, I am also indirectly choosing to be someone’s villain or victim. I am okay with that. If that is what they need, they may use me for target practice. I am only just beginning to understand how beautiful, strong, generous and kind I am! I am not conceded by any means (it takes a lot just to write that – or say it out loud)... but I am finally a believer in myself and Radical Self Love! I am finally strong enough to remain happy and perhaps be the villain. This is the way I choose to live my life: with happiness, abundance, love and self-worth for both my family and myself.

How do you choose to live yours?

Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle,

Monday, June 11, 2012

Magical Monday: Mishaps to Adventures

This past week was so full of fun and adventure!!

The Power Yoga of Cape Cod teacher training graduates taught their first collaborative class last night, and raised $375 for Journey to Hope. Thank you so much to each of you. It was a wonderful event, full of fun, love & a whole lot of sweat! A perfect ending to a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

This week was full of mishaps that turned themselves into the biggest and best adventures.

On Tuesday night, I was supposed to see the Red Sox game with my husband, sister-in-law and my brother. After a huge comedy of eras, I ended up seeing the game with my brother, mom and aunt! But it was my dads birthday and such a blast. That same night I found out I am going to see Rascal Flatts (and MEET THEM BACKSTAGE!!!) with my very best friend who is flying home this weekend from Baltimore. WOO HOO!!!

On Wednesday we had our board meeting. FINALLY everyone was together in the same room (thank you skype) and we had a very official and productive meeting. It is all really coming together now as we are sending in our 501c3 paperwork this next week!

I also helped my husband hire a new receptionist, went paddle boarding on the bay, ate yummy ice cream, held a benefit class at the library, went to Embargo’s with friends, went to the jammin’ class (and 3 other yoga classes this week!), ate yummy foods, went to church, and had an absolute blast with my hubby on Saturday.

On Saturday we went to a bartending class that I bought for him at Christmas time. This past Christmas, I got my hubby 12 gifts to use throughout the year: date nights! We learned all about how to make martini’s and margaritas (12 kinds!!) and are now “official” bartenders. It was so much fun!

After our class, we literally ran right into the gay pride parade in Boston and had lunch on Newbury Street. It was nice to be (literally) caught in Boston for a bit, especially with that much joy floating around. I love living in Massachusetts where people are allowed to be as happy as they so choose.

This coming week is FULL of love and adventure. My best, best friend is coming here on Friday night. I cannot wait to pick her up at the airport and have a whole country weekend with her! I am also teaching my first aqua yoga class this morning! Wish me luck.

I hope you all have a wonderful week. Remember to count your blessings! Our fridge broke this week, as well as most of the technology in my husband’s office.... but I still have SO SO SO many things to celebrate. Life is full of love and adventure if you flip your perspective. Just take a moment in a hard situation and try to find the love or a way to remedy whatever is happening. Life is so much easier and fun when you count your blessings and remember to love!

Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Am I Yogi Enough?

One of the most ridiculous conversations I have been having with myself lately is: “Am I “yogi” enough to be a yoga instructor?

I am bigger than most of my co-workers (and I am not that big... I just pack a little more weight), I drink wine and sometimes tequila on a girls night out, I eat meat, I curse when I stub my toe and there are days when I forget to breathe because something extremely stressful has happened. I wonder if all of these qualities make me less of a yoga instructor and more of a poser.

And then I remember that when I am in traffic I do breathe. I breathe through the difficult moments, even when it hurts. I bring my mala beads with me in my purse in case I need a hand to hold that may not be there to touch. I bring my spirit and my breathe and my love with me into the community when I teach for Journey to Hope as well as my regular weekly classes.

This isn’t to say that it isn’t hard. Being someone of average size, surrounded by tiny yogis who breathe in yoga and look effortless, I am sometimes catching my ego and asking myself what if. What if ALL my music collection was Snatam Kaur and Krisna Das? What if I practiced meditation on my mat every morning and ate only a raw vegan diet? Would I be a better yogi?

No. Not necessarily. Because I wouldn’t be being true to myself. I love to eat meat. I believe that by eating a healthy, balanced diet including WHOLE foods, I am finding balance, health and wellness. I try not to eat processed foods, I have cut cola products (94%) from my diet, I am concious of not only natural food products, but also natural cleaning products. All the meat we choose to eat is free range and organic. I am feeding myself spiritually, physically and emotionally with my own yoga practice. The practice of patience, understanding and observing. 

I believe we each have our own path to follow. My path IS yoga. Even if sometimes my ego screams and questions, it is yoga. I have realized lately that I need to feed my ego with more love and less anger. Recently, I heard an interview with Mastin Kipp of The Daily Love. On an Oprah special, he once asked Ekchart Tolle, “What if instead of drowning out the ego and labeling it as a bad thing, we sent it love and asked it to diminish through love and understanding, as opposed to fighting it?” Ekchart Tolle didn’t have the answer, and was excited to see a new perspective on the idea of the ego. Perhaps we just need to send ourselves more love in order to let go. Breathe in the love and breathe out the possibility of what we can do with that love.

Are you questioning your own path? Do you sometimes struggle with the idea of being “yogi” enough? Do you justify your actions?

I do. And I need to STOP! I need to fall back in love with myself, my mat and my practice. I need to practice ahmisa. Ahimsa is a sanskrit word meaning “non-violence” which I define as non-violence against ourselves and others. The ability to be kind to yourself, and your inner voice or ego.

At the end of each practice, as I roll from darkness to light, from savasana to the fetal position, I always kiss my mat. I place my forehead into the earth and say thank you. Thank you for the opportunity to quiet my mind, come into my body and help find peace and ahimsa through a physical asana practice.

I am encouraging you to do the same. Perhaps not through the same ritual, but through your own version of finding love and peace within you.

I will end with a wonderful quote from Amelia Earhart: “Everyone has ocean’s to fly, if they have the heart to do it. Is it reckless? Maybe. But what do dreams know of boundaries?” Live your dream. Breathe through practice. Practice yoga as you practice life. Find love. Find light. Find joy. And don’t ever forget to dream.

Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle!

Monday, June 4, 2012

MAGICAL, Magical Monday!

I know I say this every week, but I am not sure how I am this blessed! I am surrounded by some of the most amazing, talented and kind individuals I have ever met, and I have so much love around me.

Journey to Hope had the most amazing weekend! Friday evening we had our henna party and we had an absolute blast! 16 people arrived to get henna, drink wine/smoothies/juices, eat healthy & delicious food, dance and chat for hours into the night. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law (recently finished her 1st year of med school!!) came down to visit, as well as my aunt and cousins! What a fun kick off to the weekend. To top it all off: we ended up raising $380!

The following morning, I taught four new teachers, alongside my partner in crime and JTH president, Leigh Alberti. I am confident that these wonderful people, Russ, Jacquie, Bettina and Fran will be a huge asset and wonderful addition to our Journey to Hope family. They are enthusiastic, excited and willing to volunteer and learn!

We have raised $540 this weekend, and are hosting our next benefit class in a few hours, 10 am @ West Dennis Library – a yoga class by donation! Join us if you would like, for the final push to pay the IRS and become a legal 501c3 non-profit!

Also, if you’re interested in henna, raffles, silent auction and more yummy food, check out our summer fundraiser here! We would love to have you join us. Tickets sold via paypal and at the door.
Chris Hemsworth (Thor)Chris Hemsworth (Thor)
On a personal level, I had a low-key and yet amazing week. It was short, 4 days is not nearly enough time for a week... but it was productive and I took it slow on my body. I am so blessed to have an amazing husband and two adorable furry babies at home that respect and love me so much! I honestly don’t know what I would do without them!

The little things: eating healthy, creating fun yoga sequences, researching 500 hour teacher trainings, applying for our first grant (!), seeing so much of my family in such a short amount of time, good friends, henna, trying henna on myself, limca (my favorite India drink!), Chris Hemsworth on The View, and bubble guns!

Hope your week is magical!
Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle,