Practice and all is coming…

I cried yesterday…first it started with my husband who admits that he likes to push my buttons.  But it ended up me relieving so much of my angst.  It all started with being invited to a business networking meeting.  I had a feeling what type of meeting it was.  There are organizations out there that expect you to meet people and then bring back leads for other people.  These organizations are usually money focused.  When I tried to discuss this, I was told to wait until the end of the meeting.  The meeting was very organized and all the people felt really genuine.  However, they wanted $700.  $700 is a lot for a new business owner.  At first, I was all on board because they all seemed to be doing so well and I could use the leads and I could use the money.  And I thought you gotta spend money to make money, right?  I told them I would get back to them about making payments on this $700 membership.  But then when I got in the car I felt a sense of dread.  I was disappointed because my instincts were right and I actually hate when I’m right (not honoring my intuition).  But in typical fashion for me I shoved that disappointment down.

Then, I come home and my husband was just being himself and sometimes he jokes and I took his joke too seriously.  Eventually, the tears came.  I cried about being dependent on him.  Yes, he gives me money because I have no money right now coming in.  He doesn’t make me feel bad about it but I really prided myself that I could take care of myself.  This pride put me in a great deal of debt because I never asked anyone for money and used credit cards.  This pride makes me a big ball of anxiety whenever I have to ask anyone for anything.  This pride made me feel guilty for not working-for not doing something.  So, this week I went to local businesses giving my business card and resume hoping that someone will get back to me.  I discount my services because I am so desperate to do.  I been applying to jobs left and right.  I feel like I’m hitting a wall.  My husband said you did everything now you just wait. Waiting has never been one of my strongest attributes especially when it comes to me.  I want everything NOW!  He says I need to focus on me.

Getting back to the business meeting…I decided to see if there were any alternatives to the organization that I was approached by.  The place to look is meetup there is tons of options for people.  I found a business organization there that was the total opposite of the one I went to yesterday.  Guess what? They had a meeting today I went and it was amazing.  Even though I was the only funky color haired person there, I met amazing people and learned so much more than at the meeting yesterday.  The cost FREE all you have to do is patron the venues the meeting is at.  Today, the meeting was a restaurant so I got breakfast and I tipped well.  I met people who are considered power partners someone you can learn from.  Yes, it is important to be with spirit but meetings like these are so grounding because it can apply to everything you do.  One of the individuals I met there was this incredible woman name Clarissa who shared all this wonderful information.  She and I are going to meet up next week.  In talking to Clarissa I was really reminded that it is about connections.  It is about connecting to people and I realized I just have to make friends with people…the rest will come in due time.  I am not saying that I should make friends just to build a business-wait maybe I am.  Wouldn’t it be great if we are treated like friends by businesses?  I would rather go to a business that not only provides great services but genuinely cares about me like a friend.

Also, one of questions in the meeting was having patience.  Perhaps I need to have patience.  I have done the work and continue to do the work.  Tony Robbins states that we overestimate what we can do in a year but underestimate what we can do in a lifetime.  I have a lifetime here and if I want my work to reflect that I must have patience.  This is a practice but I believe that if I want to succeed I must continue.

True celebration of success…

I was watching Ellen and Lewis Howes was on.  Lewis is the creator of the “School of Greatness” podcast.  His belief is to give people the power and skills that he did not receive in school.  In fact, Lewis never finished college due to a budding career as an arena football player.  But he ended up on his sister’s couch regardless and had nothing to show for his career.  The thing that struck me is Lewis talked about using the law of attraction to get on Ellen’s stage. This man managed to overcome some serious stuff (Sexual abuse, depression) but this was glossed over in the interview.  Ellen suggested that the audience read the book he was promoting.  She asked direct questions about how he got so rich.   Why is money the sign of success (spiritual, physical and material)?  I’m not here to bash money because we do live in a world that requires it.  However, sometimes we get so wrapped up in our money game that we don’t acknowledge the spiritual work we are doing.  Case in point, Howes made a bunch a money and that seemed legitimize his platform for the emotional and spiritual work he was doing.  Let’s face it the world’s riches belong to 1% of the population and if you think that making money is the goal and not the spiritual part then you are setting yourself up.

I prefer Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday because she really does talk to people about the work they do-not just their actual work but spiritual work.  I am much more impressed by the spiritual or emotional work people have done then the ability to make money.  It is the same concept with thin equaling healthy.  What if you have a movement practice that lights you up instead of focusing on your weight loss?  For me that is yoga.  I didn’t see yoga as a way to lose weight but as a way to calm my overactive brain.  I know that cardio is necessary as well and I’m working on incorporating it but now I actually have a yoga practice.  That for me is more important than some numbers on a scale.  The fact that I am taking care of me instead of focusing on what other’s think I should do.

It’s time to start celebrating our actual successes not just the material ones.  Going to a class by yourself is scary for some…what if you go to that class?  Look how much you overcame just to go.  Maybe it is talking to a complete stranger and then you get over that hump and feel elation.  Celebrate the little things you do.  It’s tough being a human and we should celebrate the things that help us come home to ourselves instead of focusing on our bank accounts.

Things are more than what they seem at the Hanuman Festival…

“Fear is the only thing holding you back.”

Things are more than what they seem at the Hanuman Festival…

In April, I found out that there was a yoga festival in Boulder in June and that some of the yogis I follow were going to be there.  Hanuman Festival is in its 7th year and they were looking for volunteers.  You only had to donate 15 hours of your time and then you had access to four days of festival.  I figured this would be a great opportunity for me- so I signed up.  Well, my shift started on Friday and at first I was disenchanted.  For starters $10 gave community members access to the vendor village and community classes and basically you are in the energy all day.  I unfortunately had the joy of breaking this information to people; in other words I had to tell people that they had to spend money.  People did not like this. I was ironically yelled at a yoga festival.  I literally had to put my social worker hat on and say in the most non-threatening soft voice, “Sir, I did not make the policy and please do not raise your voice.”  This experience, tainted my view for the day.  I started to think that this, this is what people are talking about.  What am I talking about? The gentrification of yoga.  The fact that yoga at times is for rich white people and those who are disenfranchised (i.e. a minority or poor) are excluded.  To me I volunteered because I didn’t want to spend the money, but I had the opportunity to volunteer.  I was a militant and angry yogi on Friday.  It really, really bothered me that the one booth for yogis to learn more about community service work was not very popular.  I felt like that these yogis who were better off and white were obligated to help people.  And it felt in some ways that it was all about the money for people in the community.  The staff at the festival had a valid reason why for the $10 charge and I respected it.

Then, Saturday came.  My shift started as a door monitor for an area for people who paid a lot of money and the notable yogis.  This did not help me feel any better about the day before.  I felt like why was there all this separation but I decided I was not going to feed into it and then I decide to take a picture.  I was there early and the field was empty and peaceful.  So, I took a selfie and I am pretty sure there was an orb over my shoulder.  For those that don’t know an orb is considered to be the result from a visitor of the spirit realm.  Then as I was sitting in the area and I think that I saw the whole population of dragonflies in Boulder.  Dragonflies are a symbol of transformation.  It was all so picturesque.  Once I was done my shift I was free for the day so I decided to go to Amy Ippoliti’s class.  The class was about loving yourself like Ganesh, I needed to go to the class.  The class also brought awareness to the body and how this played out during your practice.  She suggested different ways to enhance your practice by bringing more anatomical alignment.  Then, a moment came that I always dread it’s when the teacher is like let’s work on crow, or inversions all the things I can’t do.  Today’s topic handstands.  Handstands are not in my practice.  The funny thing at some part in my yoga life I read or heard that people who are overweight really should not do handstands.  So, when Amy asked who has never done a handstand before I raised my hand and then shortly realized she was looking for volunteers to try it as well.  Secretly, I was in my head saying, “Don’t pick me, don’t pick me…” and she picked me.  I did a handstand kind of.  The problem was I was so nervous. I could hear the whole room rooting for me. Amy said to me you can do this she said that fear is just holding me back.  She said there is no way I can’t do this.  It opened my eyes to how much my fear or me thinking I can’t was holding me back.  Also, I did not mention that Amy remembered me from a book signing in Boulder in April.  It was just amazing to be seen.  At the end I talked to Amy who gave me some tips to incorporate in my practice to help me further in my handstand practice.  I don’t think Saturday would not have been as great as it was if I did not choose to see the positive in the situation.

Finally, meeting vendors were the added bonus to the festival.  There were so many but two of my favorites were Sankalpa and Yogistoned.  At Sankalpa I bought this simple little turquoise bracelet and the owner sat down with me and helped me but my bracelet on.  During this process, she did a meditation with me.  The intention is that I wear the bracelet until it falls off.  Then, Yogistoned is an apparel company and if you are not a waif they have clothes for you.  The owner is this awesome yoga teacher from Detroit.  I recommend that you check out yogistoned on Instagram.

As far as my concern that yoga is not reaching everyone I am going to make an effort to participate in events that help disenfranchised populations.  It also helps me aspire to work for the money to attend trainings on how to work with people in disfranchised populations.  I realized that I am privileged because I am a white woman and I should use this privilege to my advantage.

What fur babies teach us….

Aparigraha is non-attachment outcomes and objects.  The concept of aparigraha is used in my old studio Anahata where the owner would have a lending library.  This means that people could take the books but didn’t necessarily have to return them because of aparigraha.  It can also be used in relation to individuals.  One such individual is a furry little creature called Ladybug.  Ladybug is my domestic short hair black cat and is the elder stateswoman of the cat society in my home.  Ladybug is the sweetest and gentlest cat.  A year ago, we found out that Ladybug was going into kidney failure due to thyroid issues and I recognized that my time with her was short.  Today, Ladybug had yet another vet appointment because she is throwing up.  This happens with Ladybug from time to time in fact it is like every 2-3 months we take a trip to the vet.  A couple of weeks ago I was doing reiki on Ladybug and told her that she did not have to stick around if she didn’t want to. I kind of felt like that Ladybug had a job on this Earth and it was to help me.  I wanted to know that I was okay and that she is safe to leave when she is ready.   Then, she starts throwing up constantly and I start to think is this it?  Well, so far so good she is home with after some meds and a diet for the next couple days to help her tummy.

I realize that in using aparigraha I have no attachment to the outcome.  That is not say that I would not be sad, um excuse me devastated, for a few days after the bug passes.  However, aparigraha teaches us that letting go and letting God is the best thing.  Aparigraha also reminds us that time is short-so get out of it as much as you can.  This means that I love the hell out the Ladybug until the time comes.  I won’t let her suffer and told her as such.  Aparigraha reminds to take things one step at time, one day at a time; to be present because we never know if those things that we love or attached to will leave.  Ladybug has reminded me that my time with everyone is not guaranteed and give them all the love today.

My altar

I am kinda into witchcraft.  Yup said it feels good.  What I really like about witchcraft is the honoring of nature and recognizing that there is not separation from you and spirit. Plus there is a real thing about the sacred feminine and as I get older I really want to be in my feminine power.

As in many spiritual practices altars are used.  My teacher Rory sees altars as portals. The connection to the divine is not a one-sided relationship though; so people will ask and then give at an altar.  The altar which doesn’t have to be fancy.  In fact my teacher Rory says that we are a living altar.  I saw her Friday night in my class and she talked about using altars.  And then at the altar you leave something as a gift. Rory suggests that we are the best gift we can give.  Now she is not saying sacrifice yourself in the literal sense. But leaving behind a part of yourself at the altar.  You can leave a physical part of you like your hair or an emotional part of you like anger.   She said that is a much better gift than any other sacrifice.   When I heard this I felt a recognition in me because just a couple hours earlier I had my own sacrificial altar moment.

I went to the Go Pro Mountain Games in Vail, CO; I am a grand champion in kayaking. Just kidding! As a part of the games they have yoga.  For $90 you get a four day pass to 2 yoga classes a day plus a gift bag PLUS you can watch the games.  Then, they had additional yoga experiences there.  These were paddle board yoga and airreal yoga which you had to paid $10 a piece for which I thought was a deal.  Vail is absolutely beautiful.  And the 2ish hour drive there is so worth it because you drive to the mountains! So that is beautiful.  Anyways I wanted to stop at one of the scenic areas to take some pics.  As I sat there I was just so humbled and awed by the beauty.  Prior to stopping I had two pretty cool yoga classes one which was with Kathryn Budig.  Kathryn Budig is kind of a yogi-celebrity.  She did a great class and what I really liked about her was that she was so genuine and PS she liked my hair.  So I was just so grateful for the experience.  This all laid the groundwork for this moment at the scenic stop.  I was so grateful, so grateful for this moment by the mountains.  Then the gratefulness grew and grew.  Until I was crying with joy.  I cried because I was so grateful that I did not kill myself. My depression was so dark and at times I thought the only way through it was to end my life.  And up until this moment at the mountains I would actually feel angry at myself at times for not following through. BUT then there I was sitting by the highway crying because this moment would never have happened if I had followed through.  I would have thrown it all away- my husband, my cats, the awesomeness that is my life. Then, I realized that I could leave it here at this moment.  I could leave my self hatred my anger.  I realized that the mountains are so strong and they could take the weight of my burden.

On the way home I realized that I may go into the dark place again because unfortunately that is the cycle of depression.  But what I can now do is remember the mountains, my altar.  I left my tears and my darkness on the side of the road by the mountains.  So you could imagine how later that night when I was sitting in class and hearing what Rory said I felt like life was going exactly where it needed to be in this moment.  Furthermore, I ordered my business cards earlier in the week and I decided on a mountain theme, with no clue of what the next days would bring.

I know what my next tattoo is…and I will always remember the mountains.



I am going to tell you a little about me.  My name is Jen and I’m 34.  I like long walks on the beach and reading Hemingway…just kidding!  I mean I do like long walks on beaches but I hate going in the water.  Yup, totally weird right?

Anyways, I bought the wood block with the saying above in Boulder.  I truly feel that your vibe does attract not just your tribe but can affect your life.  This realization came when I began working with reiki.  Reiki means two works Rei means Life and Ki means force.  Reiki is the life force of the universe.  A reiki practitioner is given attunements that open them further to the energy.   As a reiki master I am just a vessel for the energy and do not do anything.  The energy will work where it needs to for your highest good.  This is what reiki did for me.  It truly started me on this wellness path and I would not be where I am today for it.

A couple years ago began yoga.  I always wanted to do it and went to my first class and loved it.  Yoga came at a particularly trying time in my life.  I am diagnosed with depression and anxiety.  Yoga helped me tremendously to find some solace when I was in a dark place.  I realized that I wanted to do so much more with my yoga practice and decided to become a yoga teacher.  At the beginning of my teacher training I didn’t think I would teach (I will discuss why in a later blog) by the end I was teaching.  I gone the gamut of going to three classes a day to now being lucky I practice at all.  But take note of what I said the word, practice.  It is a practice and it kinda goes against yoga to beat yourself up for not getting on your mat.  Just recognize it for what it is and try again.  You can always try again and I am in that place now.  I am working on getting back on my mat consistently.

I believe that the issues are truly in the tissues.  I am not discounting talk therapy or medication because guess what I use them too.  But I am speaking from experience when also I say that I also had emotional revelations after yoga, reiki and reflexology.  It’s because these tools like talk therapy provide an outlet.  Reflexology is based on the theory that the nerves end and begin in the feet. It is the role of the reflexology practitioner to touch these nerves and bring about relaxation. In today’s society the human body is under a great deal of stress. Reflexology turns off the bodies natural stress responses and turns on the bodies natural relaxation processes that bring about calm and balance.  I honestly got into reflexology because I was always amazed by my teacher.  She was able to tell you informative things about your health just based on her experience with your feet.

Throughout my wellness journey I was working as a social worker and pursued a masters degree at the University of Pennsylvania.  I find that social work goes well with reiki, yoga and reflexology.  All four are about meeting people where they are at.  In addition, I have worked as a child welfare social worker and a hospice social worker.  I doubt there is much out there to shock me anymore.  In fact, I have a very open mind and I have wellness tools to thank for that.

I can’t wait to meet you! Let’s Begin….