Bring me your sh*t

That title is so provocative! Mmm….me lovey.

There’s a back-story to this title.

I’ve been thinking about what I “want” women to bring to my classes. I used to borrow what I had heard in yoga classes and ask students to leave everything at the door. To be in class, free from their daily worries and stresses.

But as my experience deepened with the Juicy Woman Revolution course, I changed my mind. I started to feel that most women (myself included) needed a place to bring their shit. To express their emotions. Their anger. Sadness. Exhaustion. Vulnerability. Grief. Questioning. Challenges. I started to feel that if every place we spent time in didn’t want us to “bring our shit”, then we’d never have a place to be truthful. To express how we really felt. To be real.

In essence, it’s like living in a fantasy land where we only express the “good” emotions; positivity, optimism, love, joy, confidence, happiness, etc. Gag me with a spoon. I mean, those emotions are just half of the circle, aren’t they?

If we don’t have a place to express those “bad” or “dark” emotions, where do they go? I know they yearn to be expressed because I know what it feels like to express them and what other women experience when they let them be expressed.

It feels like freedom.

Actually, we do express these “bad” emotions. We cry when we are sad (or frustrated or happy or angry). We yell when we are angry. We darken and contract when we are grieving. We are total bitches when we feel resentful, overdrawn, exhausted and used up. And yet, there is something about this kind of expression that still traps our emotions in the body. They get stuck there like pellets of ice. Hard, unforgiving, unmovable.

I believe that we need to express our emotions physically. And that by doing that, we allow them to be acknowledged. And seen. And heard. And released.

It’s not about fixing them. But when our emotions are allowed to move through our bodies as we dance, when they get a chance to say what they need to say, when they are heard and seen, they change.

They shift.

They don’t need to be cured. They need to be heard.

And the way we leave class is not the way we came into it.

Don’t leave your shit at the door and then pick it up on your way out. Bring me your shit. Bring it right onto your mat. Dance in it. Feel it. Let it flow through you.

Psst. Because when you bring your shit, you also bring your glory. And that, my friend, is a helluva party.

Look for the next session of the Juicy Woman Revolution course starting Fall 2015.

Speed-date your soul

 

What is a soul? There are lots of good guesses around but does anyone really know? So, for this exercise, you decide what the word means for you. When I use that word, I imagine an essence inside me that is truth-knowing, truth-speaking, untarnished, unafraid, shameless, endlessly optimistic and perfectly me. The real me, perhaps.

I am guessing that for most of us, conversations with our souls don’t happen regularly. So, here’s an idea on how to jumpstart a conversation with your soul.

(By the way, some of these questions come up in The Desire Map workshop – coming back in fall 2015).

Requirements:

1. Five minutes

2. Paper

3. Pen

4. Soul

Give yourself only 1 minute for each question. What comes out under pressure is usually the good stuff.

 

What am I most hungry for? (Make sure you have eaten before you answer this one.)

I feel unstoppable when…

My sadness comes from…

My anger comes from…

The things that light me up are…

 

 

That’s it. You are done. Congratulations. You just speed-dated your own soul.

P.S. Look for the upcoming Juicy Woman Revolution course coming in Fall 2015.

In the comments below, let me know what the experience of answering those questions was like. Did yo answers surprise you?

Our mighty rage….and why it kicks *ss!

Kali

Today, I’d like to talk about something that women don’t talk about very much.

Our rage. It isn’t pretty. It isn’t nice. It isn’t talked about much.

Otherwise known as anger. Fury. Molten lava heated temper explosion. Storm. Super-duper uncontrollable MAD MAD MAD.

I’ve felt anger before but I have never experienced rage like I do now. Thank you, motherhood. There is something about caring for my children that brings out the sweetest and the most vile in me.

Recently, I had a very interesting insight into my rage. My rage woke up with me one morning and after breakfast, it turned to me and said “It’s on, babe.”

Woah. It wasn’t kidding.

Continue reading “Our mighty rage….and why it kicks *ss!”

“…and I love myself!”

The other day, my three-year old daughter was telling me who she loved. The usual; mummy, daddy, baby brother and then she said “…and I love myself.”

Wow. How did she know that? Where did she get that from? We’ve never talked about how she should love herself or the power of positive messages.

She said it naturally and without any sense of it being different than loving anyone else on the list.

What perfection. You better hold on to that, baby, because you’re going to need that in the future, I thought.

Weren’t we all there once? As little girls, did we not all have that moment, or day, or year, or phase, when we were so in love with ourselves that to NOT be in love with ourselves would have been incomprehensible?

Continue reading ““…and I love myself!””

“Feeling” vs “being”…

“You have no need to travel anywhere. Journey within yourself, enter a mine of rubies and bathe in the splendour of your own light.” Rumi

There is a difference between being and feeling.

This took me some time to understand. And I still need to constantly remind myself to aim for feeling, not being.

Being is easy if your description of what you want to “be” matches what the outside world thinks. For example, it’s easy to “be” beautiful if you are what most of the outside world believes is beautiful. Well, until you gain weight. Until you age. Until your looks change. Or until your idea of beautiful changes.

(Which, of course, always happens.)

And what if you were never what the outside world considered beautiful? Well then, no beautiful for you!

Hmm, that can’t be right because that just doesn’t sound fair or fun or joyful or alive or vibrant or powerful or feminine AT ALL.

Continue reading ““Feeling” vs “being”…”

What I am learning about sadness

For a large part of my life, I considered it a weakness to cry. I didn’t think that sadness had anything to give to me. It was something to get over, get past, ignore, move on already.

I was wrong.

While at the S-Factor retreat in San Diego in January, I got deeply in touch with my sadness.

We were doing an exercise about letting emotions run through our bodies. The idea was to first figure out where on your body you felt a specific emotion, and then to dance through it. It wasn’t about stopping the emotion or fixing it. It was about feeling the ecstasy of allowing it to move through your body.

We did innocence, fear, lust, digust….and then we came to sadness.

In a dark room, I was lying down on my back and Sheila told us to feel where we felt sadness in our bodies. I realized that it sat in my chest. And in my throat. And as soon as I connected with where it was, I could feel the tears starting. This well of sadness was dedicated to my mum who died in 2008. There was (and still is) an ocean of unshed tears for her.

And then we were encouraged to move. To dance. I don’t know if you have ever tried this but moving while crying is really hard! I have never moved (much less danced!) with sadness as my emotion.

But I did it.

And two miraculous things happened.

One, I found entirely new moves, a whole new vocabulary of movement. I wasn’t bound by the sadness, I was released by it.

Two, by the end of the dance, I had moved from sadness to joy.

Woah. My mind bloweth. This great sadness changed from being something that I didn’t talk about, didn’t explore, didn’t honour to something that was beautiful and rich and AUTHENTIC about me and with that, it became a power source. As much as my joy.

Being in that room full of women dancing through their sadness, I thought about how much sadness we all have inside us. Sadness from the loss of loved ones. Sadness from heartbreak and disappointment. Life brings sadness. And unless we let it out and allow it to move through our bodies, it stays right there. At a cellular level, it seems. Waiting for moments to be expressed.

I love this quote by Stanley Keleman:

“Emotions follow the rules of water. When we brace ourselves or harden to confine pain, our liquid state is like ice. When we melt with love or dissolve into tears our feeling state is liquid.”

Where does your sadness live? In your chest? Does it stick in your throat? Live in your stomach?

If you want to have a moment with your sadness, try this shortened version of the exercise that Sheila Kelley led us through:

1. Be alone in a dark room and lie down comfortably or sit crossed-legged.

2. Find a song that melts you. A song that gets you. Makes you cry. (This is the song that melted me at the retreat – Matthew Mayfield’s “Follow you down”.)

3. As the song plays, explore where your sadness lives. Put your hands there.

4. Start moving. It doesn’t matter how you move. Or what you move. Maybe it’s just your hands moving over your body. Over your face. Or your head gently moving. Or your body swaying. See if you can move while this sadness flows through you.

5. Let the song play and move. Dance. See what happens. Explore. Experience. Know that you are brave and beautiful.

Cheers to the wonderful power of our sadness. May it be alive, honoured and a part of what makes us beautiful.

This emotion embarrasses me

Out of all the emotions that I feel, this one leaves the most bitter taste in my mouth. It is inelegant. Insecure. Shameful.

It is envy.

Envy eats away like a ravenous worm in my brain: once let out of it’s cage, it is on a rampage. Strong. Loud. Ugly.

After a recent envy trip, I got to thinking about envy in all it’s forms. I wanted to understand the enemy so I could destroy it. Good news; there is an envy that I like because it can drive me to success. It is based on admiration. When I feel envy-miration, it doesn’t make me sink down. Quite the opposite; it propels me forward. Fills me with endless energy and a joyful competitiveness. I want to crush things with my bare hands. This is a good envy.

Then there is stupid envy. This is the envy that makes me feel embarrassed. Because feeling this envy is pretty much the exact opposite of who I want to be. It’s such a kick in the ass. It’s so high school. So NOT ME. Stupid envy makes me mad because I know that there is no good to come out of it.

And then, when I started to really go through the things that I was envious of, I realized that some of my envy came from things that I didn’t really want.

Sigh.

Many things I was envious of were things that I wasn’t doing because I didn’t want to do them. And I didn’t want to do them because they were not in my nature. They were not what I wanted. They were not me. But they were things that I thought I SHOULD want. Or ways I thought I SHOULD be.

(Please join petition to take the word “should” out of the dictionary here.)

So basically, I was envious of things that I didn’t even want. I was fighting against myself. Disagreeing with my nature. Out of touch with what my heart and my body knew I wanted.

Damn. Really? Aren’t I supposed to be so in touch with myself? So together?

Ha ha ha ha ha!!!!

What are your experiences with envy? Does it fire you up sometimes; make you joyfully ruthless in pursuing something you want? Is it a vicious worm in your head that wreaks havoc and feels uncontrollable?

Do you ever envy something that you don’t want because you think you should? Because you are disagreeing with who you are? At odds with your nature?

“In order to be perfect” tip NO. 23,399 – FROM NOW ON, I SHALL ONLY FEEL ENVY-MIRATION. STUPID ENVY AND BEING ENVIOUS OF THINGS I DON’T WANT IS A WASTE OF TIME. I WILL NOT FIGHT AGAINST MYSELF: I WILL KNOW MYSELF, KNOW MY DESIRES AND LOVE MY NATURE.

So say we all. (And if you know where that comes from, I know that you are a really cool person. I have envy-miration for you.)