I am Jen...

I am Jen...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

If you are looking to do something totally wonderful for yourself, try out Koha Yoga--Koha means "gift" in the Maori language, and it certainly was that to everyone who came tonight to the Flying Yoga Partner Workshop.  I laughed and sighed, was still and breathed deeply.  My body released and I was able to surrender to and deeply enjoy the moment of being cared for by someone else.  It was lovely!

Here are some pictures from the workshop.  Everyone said they enjoyed it immensely and were going to leave feeling more empowered by their strength and aware of the duality of male and female characteristics and how both are so crucial to balance.

Here is Ms. Mary Buth enjoying the support and freedom of flying with Sara Laimon Luke of Koha Yoga.  She also said, Coming to The Soul Source tonight--just being here--is the highlight of my week."  I made me just MELT with gratitude and love!  
There are so many incredible participants and instructors that are at The Soul Source, and I am just grateful that I get to be a witness to the opening, healing and transformation that takes place in so many lives when they throw off the shackles and burdens of a past that no longer serves them.

Check out this beautiful sequence that Whaka and Anna (a new participant who came with Robert) did at the end of the class.  Anna had never done this before, but her body and soul seemed to know instinctively what to do.  It was like watching a graceful dance at Cirque du Soleil.

John and I were able to attend the workshop together--which was a gift in and of itself--and John was so amazed that Whaka could fly him.  Whaka described my husband as a "giant of a man."  He is tall and strong and pretty flexible for a guy.  However, he tends to be a TYPE A person, and has a difficult time trusting others--especially when that person is smaller and is supposed to support his heavier frame in the air with only his legs.  Whaka spun him and dipped him like he was a small toy.  It was SO cool to see.

As for me, I don't think I will need to go to the chiropractor as often, if John and I can get the flow down that Sara and Whaka showed us.  My neck and shoulders were SO relaxed when I was hanging upside down like a noodle waiting to dry.  It was wonderful and, as you can see, I felt GREAT by the end of the workshop.  John and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and we would recommend this workshop and Koha Yoga to everyone.

Check out their website and blog (http://www.kohayoga.com/about/).  Sara and Whaka are a huge gift, as is the practice that they teach you.  Sleep well.  Namaste.
GREAT MORNING!  I had an amazing dream about an eagle and my mom last night.  An eagle had been hurt nearby so it's wing was badaged up and brought to our house to rest.  She was lying on the floor sleeping with my dog and I was stroking her feathers on top of her head talking to her--coaxing her to get well and LIVE. 

She woke up and looked at me and slowly stood up and followed me.  I backed into a corner, because I tend to have a fear about birds and wasn't sure what she would do because she was hurt and in an unfamilar place. 

Even though my mom passed many years ago, I called out to her for help.  "Mom, the eagle is up!  What do I do?  She's coming toward me.  Can you please me?" 

I was almost surprised when my mother answered from in the kitchen and told me, "Just calm down.  Open the door and give her some space.  She won't hurt you.  She will follow you.  Come out here."

This was even more strange, because my mother was calm and not yelling--she was being kind and patient and it helped me to feel confident and more relaxed.

I opened the door and walked into the kitchen where my mother stood--clear as the day, young and beautiful with short, thick hair and cooking in MY kitchen.  I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time, because I was so happy to see her in my house, but I was a little sad about not having her in my physical life.  She knew exactly where everything was and where things went--even though she had never been in my kitchen at the farm.  I think this assured me somehow that she never really left. 

Then I remembered the eagle and that it was behind me on the floor.  My mom, laughed a little, "You're still afraid of birds, Jenny."  It was a comment, not a judgement and I smiled and nodded.  I don't know why.  I like watching them and seeing them.  They are beautiful and fast, they fly and soar and dart here and there.  They are spectacular.  They also seem unpredictable and the larger ones, like the eagle and hawk, are so powerful.  I am uncertain what they will do and I don't like that.

She went in the drawer and got some pot holders to put on her arm.  Then she told me to go make a nest somewhere in the addition for the eagle so it could be safe and warm.  I nodded and started to turn before stopping and looking back at her.  It was if she read my mind and knew how much I wanted to talk to her and tell her about my kids and life...she smiled and said, "the kids are still sleeping so let's do this now and get her settled before they get up and come down the stairs."

Again, that quiet reassurance pushed me forward.  I took the blanket my grandmother had given me (the one she used to cover us in when we were sick) and wound it into a nest of healing for the eagle.  The blanket means so much to me but I knew it was important to offer up something I loved for this majestic animal teacher--to give away so I could receive.

My mother walked in with the eagle perched on her arm--the talons biting into the pot holders (isn't that a funny image?)  She bent over and gently let the eagle settle into the arm chair with the nested blanket.  The eagle bowed her head down and tucked it into her wing for a moment and then lifted her head and looked at me.  I slowly reached over and stroked her head again.  She closed her eyes as I did this and I received a message of trust--that she trusted me and would allow me to care for her until she was well. 

My mom got up and said, "Eagle medicine is a huge gift.  She has come to you for a reason.  You can heal together.  She will teach you to not be afraid and you can give her love--you are very good at that." 

I heard the kids waking up and the phone rang.  I didn't want the moment with the eagle and my mom to end, but she smiled encouragingly and I woke up. 

the phone was ringing...my husband was calling to make sure I was up.  He is so sweet and concerned that way.  I am lucky.  I told him about the dream and he listened.

When I hung up, I wanted to rush to go look up Eagle in Ted Andrew's Animal Speak book, but I didn't.  I had already heard myself tell some of the dream and I wanted to ask MY wise self what the message was.  Even now, as I type, I get more insight from myself and my surroundings.  I just related my dream to my dad and, when I stopped to wipe away the tears that came, he said, "Eagle was your mother's totem in woodbadge.  I was the bobwhite and she was eagle."  How wonderful that the messages and lessons continue to come even after the dream--spirit is not limited to a physical place so I try to remember to be aware always.

For now, I am going to rest.  I will let go of fear and allow myself to soar--to claim my spiritual gifts and power.  I will work with the eagle totem and offer blessings and love to her.  That is what I am doing more and more--I give of what I have and open up to receive gifts from others.  It is a beautiful reciprocal process of purpose and meaning and it is always perfect.

Just like my life--when I calm and move forward with trust and faith, all is well.  I hope you are, too.

Tonight is also Koha Flying Yoga--Partner Workshop--Eagle medicine will be helpful to me today.  You could come and use it, too.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

This is what horses ALWAYS remind me of. I LOVE horses, but sometimes I feel frightened by them. What does that say to you? To me, it indicates, that I LOVE my freedom, but that I also feel intimidated by it at times and so I choose to remain entrenched where I am--imagining where this "freedom horse" could take me instead of climbing on and racing into the wind. Interesting...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Happy Wednesday!  Today, I am expressing gratitude for our well and the water it is providing to our gardens and trees.

It has become a daily ritual of care for me--get up and water, greet and talk to the ancient apple trees that were here when my grandparents bought Maryacres--coaxing them to continue living--and then doing the same for all the new bushes and trees we have planted since we moved in.  I carry the water in buckets we found buried in the barn, imagining what it was like when life was more simple and focused on the land.  It seems more reverent and it is obviously better exercise for me.

After this, the kids and I do yoga on one of the decks--I am teaching them to do some sun salutations so they can be a bit more centered as we venture out into our day.  The new deck in front of the house is spacious and open and we LOVE it.  It is also shaded and there is usually a breeze that drifts over us from the MAGNIFICENT maple tree my uncle planted years and years ago.  It, too, is a gift to us.

What gifts from the earth do you enjoy every day?  How are you giving back to this spectacular land and making it more beautiful?  

I feel so empowered and happy when I am outside and connected somehow to the Earth--to the dirt in my gardens, to the rough bark on the trees, to the animals and wildflowers.  By watering, walking on and talking to the land and feeding it and its creatures, I see myself inside that beautiful circle of life.  It isn't a lot, but my actions matter and they make a difference.

Know that yours do, also.  You and your relationship to the world around you is important.  Take time today to BE with the land...to ground yourself in its power and allow your spirit to sky into the sky.


I think I shared that I recently (within the past two months) got a cell phone for the first time in 4 YEARS!  Yes, that is right, I said 4 YEARS--we were WITHOUT a cell phone, track phone or any other type of mobile device AND we survived!  I think I heard you gasp.

I like the security of having a phone with me in the car when I am out and about driving with the kids.  You never know when you might need to call someone about something...I enjoy being able to call from the store to see if we need more than just a gallon of milk.  I also LOVE being able to capture cute pictures of my kids and interesting things that I see WITHOUT having to cart my digital camera around.  Plus, if there is an emergency or I am delayed by something unexpected, I can pull over and call 911 or my family.  It is nice.

That said, it is taking FOREVER to get up and running!  I feel like such a novice--I think that is my kind word for "CLUELESS!"

For instance, I STILL have not figured out how to load apps on my phone.  Like GPS, FB or Meetup...

What are YOUR favorite apps that you CAN'T live without?  I would LOVE to hear about them and learn how to better use this device--so tell me what you did to best set up and utilize your "smart" phone.  

A friend of mine suggested I have my niece or nephew help me--they are in their teens and LIVE and BREATHE with their cell phone and its applications.  I thought that was a really good idea.  They could also probably set up some AWESOME yoga playlists for me, too.

Here is a link to one application I would like to load soon!  I LOVE supporting local businesses and think this movement is wonderful:


I guess, all in all, I am OK with not knowing about this stuff.  It forces me to ask for help--another thing I am working on--allowing others to assist me--to appreciate the skills and talents in other people around me and being open to RECEIVE their expertise and generous offer of insight and support.  So, I'll just reiterate: I welcome any helpful ideas and suggestions you have!  

I hope you are also stretching and reaching out to things that make you feel uncomfortable--those things that are just out of your reach and make you squirm a little with wonder and fear.  It gets back to what we talk about in yoga class--finding your "edge."  That place where you feel the intensity of living and breathing fully in the moment--it is uncomfortable and unnerving, but it isn't painful or overwhelming.  

In fact, when you find that edge and take time to explore it, you may feel EXHILARATION!  Savor that and all the other blessings in your life.  


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I have been really aware of this quote lately--on the mat and off. We have been working on a bunch of projects around the house so everything is a disaster and the yard looks like something out of an old Sanford and Son episode. When I drive around town, I see dry, but well-manicured lawns and front porches and it can be difficult to NOT COMPARE...to feel that small bubble of anxiety and voice of criticism slowly surfacing--do you know the one? That voice that says, "Your family is strange and your house looks junky and you are not one of US?" I hear this same voice on the mat sometimes. It whispers and flashes images of people who are thinner and prettier and more athletic, and the joy I feel in practicing yoga and meditating begins to slowly deflate or my breath becomes fast and worried. Does this happen to you?

It used to happen to me ALL the time--before I found meditation, went to therapy, started practicing yoga and having acupuncture. It has been a long and winding road of forgiveness and shedding, and I am sure that process will continue throughout my whole life. I WANT IT TO CONTINUE, because that means I am letting go of comparison and accepting and embracing ME and MY LIFE.

So now, when I hear those voices in my head or see those images, I STOP and I BREATHE. I breathe in love and breathe out judgement. I look at my mat and my life as a canvas upon which I can create MY LIFE AND PRACTICE--no one else's. Just mine. If the life I create inspires or uplifts others to do the same, that is wonderful, but it is NOT my purpose. Mine is to create and not compare. Enjoy creating your life today. Namaste.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Getting lost in my thoughts isn't so bad...

I have noticed lately that I REALLY NEED to be outside. 

To touch the earth with my hands and knees, to run my fingertips over the soft petals of a flower or the rough bark of a tree.  I have a desire to GROUND myself...to get out of my analytical brain and instead breathe and feel my body moving with the swaying of the branches overhead or the song of the cranes in the field. 

I spend too much time on the computer--updating my website, posting notices to facebook, pinning something to Pinterest, scheduling something on Meetup or working in publisher to create a calendar or poster. 

I LIKE doing these things--I'm not trying to mislead you--I like the creative aspects and instant feedback and gratification of reaching someone in cyberspace...writing something that resonates with another human being.

However, these are not thoughts for myself...they are not my musings, inspirations, hopes and secret wishes.  They are like a business card I staple to a bulletin board in a coffee house...something interesting and eye-catching, but not ME.  Does that make sense? 

Often, I go outside to be with myself and to go within.  I feel my stillness and notice where I am holding back--tears, anger, disappointment, joy, excitement...things that I am afraid to shed completely in front of my kids, dad and husband.

I go outside to be more connected to the wildness inside of me--to that being of freedom and forests, of fireflies and flowers...beautiful and imperfect, yet splendid BECAUSE of the glorious edges and darkness.

I like to wander and stop.  To sit on the grass or a large, flat rock and think.  I am reminded of how when I teach yoga, I am present and in the practice for OTHERS, but it is not my own.  I can't just close my eyes and listen to my breath and allow it to help stretch my leg or lengthen my side or release my shoulders.  I am thinking and explaining, watching and sensing, giving feedback and adjustments.

It is the same when I am at home, working on my business and being a mom.  It isn't MY time--it is doing for others and being present for them, and I LOVE it...but I NEED to get outside or to be away for a moment and have my "on-the-mat" time.

What do you do to connect with your truest and deepest self?  Do you do it enough?  How can you find more time to get on your mat and practice being with YOU?

Reading and writing is another thing I do for ME.  I like to go out for coffee or just wander through goodwill or steins and imagine things I can create or plant or wear just for ME.  I find the more time I set aside to get LOST within myself, the less LOST I am in my life.  I have more clarity and direction, more purpose and priority.

I hope you are making time this weekend, with all the doing and going, to get out alone and just LOSE yourself in YOU!  What a grand Memorial Holiday that will be!