This past week Marco and I were able to get away to a family vacation. It was so wonderful being with all of his family and getting to know them more. I learned a lot about myself on this vacation. I recently re-read the book The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer with one of my clients. The focus of the book is about how to let go of things that bother us. The way we do that is by allowing things to pass through us. How? Well Michael says all you have to do is relax the shoulders, breathe, and remember that you are standing on a spot on the world that is spinning in an infinite universe, then Shazam! Easier said than done!
Most of us like to attach to our feelings, whether they be good or bad and hold on to them tightly and never let them go . We tend to hold onto the good things so that we can always cherish or compare them to our other experiences and we hold to the bad situations so that we can never be hurt again (victimizing). BUT we are actually not the ones experiencing the event. Our True Self isn’t the one feeling the emotions that arise during an issue it is just our ego or psyche. Have you ever noticed that you are hearing the thoughts in your head? That implies there are two of you… One is your True Self (not affected by anything!) and the other is your ego (always affected by everything!) When an event happens – we react. This reaction is an influx of energy and it will pass through us if we let it. We don’t have to hold onto the event, but if we do keep it close – it builds upon itself over and over again every time we get triggered to remember this event – creating an energy cyst. Our True Self is just watching the scene pass like a movie. It doesn’t hold onto the event for us to fear what may happen in the future or take it on as it’s idenitity. The goal is to become aware enough during an event to move through it and not attach and keep it. Let me give an example…
When I was a baby I was chubby chubby chubby and going to the beach was so fantastic except one part – the SAND! I would get sand stuck in every crack and crevice of my rolls and it would be extremely hard for my family to get it all off of me – sometimes I would even get rashes from not being able to get the sand out. So I have this negative trauma connected to getting sand on me. I love going to the beach! You might be asking how this is possible when so much of it is the sand… Well, in order to enjoy the beach, I had to ensure that no sand got on any area of my body except my feet. I would take every precaution to keep sand off my towel/blanket and the moment sand got on anything – I was done. So was I ever really fully enjoying the beach? No! Because I was constantly monitoring my experience to feel safe. My aversion to the sand wasn’t always as bad as it is now, but the older I got the more intense it became – I was building onto my trauma. My energy cyst was growing and growing.
During this trip, I told Marco that he could play with Mesías at the beach and that he would be in charge of bathing him afterwards. That way I didn’t have to touch any sand. We went to the beach and of course Mesías loved every moment of it. He was throwing the sand all around, screaming with delight, eating the sand…. Sand was everywhere! I was dying inside, I felt myself tighten up and close off; I was literally gagging as Mesías was eating the sand. BUT (and thank God) something inside me noticed that Marco and Mesías were having so much fun and I was just watching on the sidelines totally missing out. I didn’t want to miss out having fun with my family because of something I couldn’t let go of! So, I went for a swim to gain some confidence (I had to talk myself into it!), and I came back and sat down with Marco and Mesías in the sand at the waters edge. With each wave, I could feel the sand going into my bathing suit, but I could also feel myself letting go. What do you know, my shoulders started relaxing, my breathe eased, and I didn’t die. AND we had so much fun! There was no way for me to know what the future held for me with the sand; how full my bathing suit or crack would be. BUT I did know I didn’t want to lose this moment with my son because of a fear that had been holding me captive for all of my life. Each day we made baby steps, and I was slowly able to let go of my drama with the sand.
When I think about all the times I wasn’t living fully or truly enjoying life, I can always connect it to fears from past experiences. The root of this fear is that I might experience the same feelings and sensations (or worse!) as I did the first time. Or the same feelings and sensations from another time where the fear, anticipation, and expectation had already begun building up around past experiences. How much more fully can I experience life if I just let go of these fears?
I do believe that this isn’t my only life to live. I have many many more to take on, but what I do know is I will never get to be Sherri again married to Marco with our son Mesías so I better not take any moment for granted and let go of all my shit so I can flow with life and have an amazing journey. I don’t want to miss one moment where I could be having fun, enjoying life, and living in the present.
What are you holding onto that you can’t let go? Fear, anger, sadness, expectations, an exciting time in your life, a perfect body weight, a younger you … and what can you do to start letting go and fully living life?
Many of my teachers believe that the body speaks to us through aches and pains. I have come to believe this as well. We often feel symptoms within our body and they tend to only get worse when we choose not to hear what they are saying. This makes a lot of sense when you start to understand how the energetic body operates. Throughout our lives (this life and past lives) we hold onto experiences or trauma. We have a hard time letting these experiences or traumas go as they arrive in our lives. We want to hold onto the good memories and we hold onto the traumatic memories as well! We hold them within our body instead of letting them go and the longer we keep them the larger they become. You can imagine it like an energy cyst in the body that gathers energy every time we pay attention to this experience. We pay attention to them when we get triggered to remember that experience.
Imagine you were tickled a lot as a young child by your siblings and it made you really uncomfortable and in fact the tickling was something that you began to hate. Every time someone came near you, you would begin to clench up in a way to protect yourself, even if it was for a hug. Slowly, over time, you began to manifest symptoms wherever you had tightened the body in this protective manner, let’s say in the shoulders. You could have chosen to let this go as you are no longer a child being tickled by your siblings or you can choose to hold onto and carry it around with you. This carrying causes weight in the shoulders, which causes pain in the shoulders and this prevents you from enjoying physical touch throughout your life. This is just a simple example of how we can hold onto something and our body holds onto the symptoms.
When I work with clients we discuss aches and pains they are having and then we also discuss things that are going on in their lives. I also work with them energetically so we can discover the connection between the physical ailment and the cause.
Some examples I have seen when working with clients are:
- Pain in the back related to fear of the client’s partner not having their back during a career transition.
- Hip pain and knee pain caused by a client fearful of stepping forward in a move to a new location.
- Stomach pain and digestive problems when a client was not willing to digest their current situation.
- Lower back pain when a client discovered they were fearful of being able to financially support their family.
- Neck pain when a client was feeling like their husband was being a real pain in the neck.
Do I need to keep going or do you get the idea? Ask yourself, what symptoms am I feeling today? Can I connect this to one of your issues that you need to let go of? If you are not sure there are great books out there to help you out! Here is one of them.
If all these clients could let go of this fear, then the suffering would disappear. Not sure how to let go? Guess what – I wrote a blog about getting neutral that I keep referencing! It will teach you one technique you can use to let go.
A few weekends ago Marco and I had one of our teachers, LeRoy Malouf come in for a proficient workshop on learning his healing method, Energetic Wellbeing Process. Throughout this training, we spent a lot of time learning how go strong to our lives at 100% and we also worked on clearing symptoms or things that were bothering us. By the end of the weekend, we were all so clear and operating in our truths. My higher Self came in and revealed some obvious yet profound truths to me. I thought I would share them with you.
-In order to live the best life possible we must: be strong at 100% of our life and we must clear things that come up on a daily basis (if you are interested in learning more about this you can book a session with Marco or I so we can show you. It’s really easy!)
-There is unlimited possibilities out there!
-Only I can limit what is available to me.
-Only I can get in my own way.
-The Universe will constantly remind me of it’s power and it doesn’t mind doing it.
-I must stop living small.
-I must continue to get neutral to statements that come up. I wrote about how to do this a few weeks ago here.
My mind has been overactive these past few months. Shifting into fall from summer play, outdoor activities, packing lunches, toddler nap times, nursing baby, etc. seems a bit jarring, especially since my 4 year old started full day preschool, my 7 month old is becoming more awake everyday and I started working part-time. I haven’t worked since February when I was biking around the city teaching yoga classes. Here’s the thing – when you’re with children and babies most of the day, they require your presence; and the same is true for teaching yoga classes. If you’re not grounded and present in the classroom, most likely your class will suck. So I am currently moving through a brain shift – working at a computer from home while simultaneously trying to manage the household, drop off/pick up Nico from school, take care of my perfect little baby (and of course practice yoga because I don’t know how to live without it). All of this has my mind reeling. I am mentally stimulated, inspired and learning, but I’m having a hard time TURNING OFF.
The reality is that we are really busy. The yoga practices are reminders to slow down and travel from the mind, and all it’s mental heavy lifting, to the heart – to remember that the body is finite, the Self is infinite and everything we experience is for growth and learning. These practices are the most precious gifts, especially as we learn to tune in and use them to support immediate needs. I tend to make time and space for asana, pranayama, and meditation, but I rarely prioritize relaxation unless I absolutely need it. Lately, I’ve even been skimping on savasana because I am so desperate for time to move my body that the window closes (i.e. Sascha wakes up from his nap) before I am able to practice a long savasana. THIS IS NOT GOOD FOR ME. My body suffers and I don’t get the recharge that I so desperately need. Most days, I would most benefit more from a 20-40 minute Yoga Nidra than 1+ hour of asana. So, let me tell you about the magic that is Yoga Nidra…
Yoga Nidra, or psychic sleep, is a guided meditation while laying in savasana, releasing one body part at a time until the entire body is relaxed. My teacher Sri Dharma uses the example that the body is like a computer – from time to time you must close the apps to clear away the clutter so that the computer can function at it’s highest capacity. There are many different styles of Yoga Nidra meditation – some are more wordy and some will take you far out. I prefer a simpler version. Sri Dharma leads a very simple Yoga Nidra that results in total relaxation so that deep healing may occur. He also guides you through beautiful visualizations that stimulate the higher chakras. With regular practice of Yoga Nidra, you may lose body consciousness which allows for an expansive experience.
Yoga Nidra is a technique that not only facilitates the deepest relaxation for the nervous system and all of the muscular and connective tissues, but it also integrates all of the techniques that prepare you for the higher practices and limbs of yoga. The seemingly mystical experiences that may occur during Yoga Nidra aside, the practice will most likely leave you feeling recharged and refreshed in body and mind.
Because we are so busy and our minds constantly turned on, finding time to find deeeeeeep relaxation is essential. Sri Dharma says, 1 hour of Yoga Nidra is comparable to 4 hours of sleep. Totally worth it.
(1) Go to a class! We offer Yoga Nidra classes! Wednesdays @ 7:30-8:30 pm, Thursdays @ 1:00-2:00 pm (this is a cOmmunity by donation class!) and on Saturdays @ 6:10-7:00 pm.
(2) There is no shortage of free guided Yoga Nidra audio on the internet, but I recommend spending a few dollars on a quality recording that you will use over and over again. I, of course, recommend Sri Dharma’s Yoga Nidra. And here’s a good iPhone app!
Deep relaxation reminds us that we are supported. By the Earth, by our loved ones, and by our highest Self. I highly recommend taking time from your busy life to slow down and go deep. I promise to continue to remind myself that I, too, need to relax. Give it a try!
Eating seasonally is best for the body and the planet (and Lord knows, she needs some love right about now). Michael Pollen, longtime advocate for local, slow, seasonal food, is also a huge proponent of cooking at home primarily because we as consumers make better health choices by planning in advance and home-cooking is proven to be better for the environment.
That all being said, FALL IS MY FAVORITE FOOD SEASON. Most every season I participate in a yogi seasonal cleanse with one of my fabulous teachers. She is trained in Ayurveda, the sister science to Yoga, the Dharma Yoga diet and raw food cuisine – she has combined these principles to create a compassionate and updated diet that will bring radiant health to the body and mind. I have learned SO MUCH from these cleanses; it’s unreal. What we choose to eat is loaded – politically, emotionally, socially – so we all must do our best to make personal upgrades. Another message that has seeped into my heart-mind: we all deserve the best ingredients to support the best health possible. This notion is especially potent when coupled with mindful buying, paying attention to labels, fair trade products, etc. I think it’s also important to note (I can’t write this blog post with this left unsaid), you can eat well within your price range! Make a few updates at a time – for example, smoothies for breakfast – using fruits and vegetables, even if you can’t afford the organic variety (check out the dirty dozen list to help you decide what to buy conventional or organic).
Okay, so what’s on the menu for fall? During this windy, dry season, it’s good to bring balance and grounding with nourishing soups and stews, seasonal root vegetables and squashes, and as always, LOTS of greens. I want to share a recipe that was shared with me via the cleanse group. This soup is perfect in every way (especially with the fresh ginger and turmeric root) and sooooo easy/inexpensive. Check it::
1 cup red lentils
5 small garnet yams, peeled and chopped
2 Tbsp fresh turmeric, grated or finely diced (if you don’t have fresh, 1-2 tsp powder will do it)
4 Tbsp ginger, grated or finely diced
1 Tbsp coconut oil
6 cups vegetable broth
¼ cup coconut milk
1 tsp salt
Black pepper to taste
Garnish with A TON of chopped cilantro
Add coconut oil to soup pot at medium heat. Get the pan nice and hot, then add grated turmeric, ginger and lentils. Saute for 3-5 minutes until fragrant and then add yams. Toss until coated and slightly caramelized. Add stock and bring to gentle boil, then simmer until yams and lentils are soft. Turn off the heat and add coconut milk and cilantro. (When I made this soup, I also added chopped kale for extra greeeeens).
A tip from a friend: when you reheat this soup, add a ton more fresh cilantro!!!
Yoga is spreading like wildfire across the country and the world, and with good reason! The sacred science is just that, a science – meaning with consistent practice, Yoga will systematically take you as deep as you are willing to go. Once you get a taste of the bliss, or “yoga high,” it will leave you wanting more, which is why you see so many folks walking around with yoga mats on their backs and yoga studios filling up daily classes. Culturally, we tend to binge on entertainment to stimulate and satisfy the senses, but bingeing on Yoga will only lead you deeper into infinite knowledge and union with your higher Self (!!). Bingeing on asana, or postural yoga (the exercise), can surely create exercise junkies and enable more activity in the mind and body. Eventually you may notice that it is not working anymore. So you have to go deeper, more subtle. Here’s what I’ve learned in my many years of practice and from my Yoga teacher, Sri Dharma – with constant practice, you will reap the benefits. To practice a little everyday is better than practicing A LOT OF YOGA two or three days a week. This makes sense for me now more than ever as a mother to a 4 year old and 6 month old. Gone are the days when I could practice 2 hours everyday! I mean, binge all you want! But don’t neglect the practice on the days you don’t get to a class.
What does “practice a little everyday” look like? For me, it means 20 minutes of meditation in the morning and 30 minutes of asana with a baby rolling around next to me. Sometimes it looks like 10 minutes of pranayama and reading a Yogic text or article to fan the flames inside my heart. I practice asana in the grass while my boys play outside! It looks different everyday according to my needs. Sometimes I make it to a 90 minute yoga class! That being said, taking classes and connecting with community through your local studio or practice space has been so nurturing to me. In my experience, the safe learning space, a haven if you will, of a trusted studio will provide you with the Yogic techniques and support to integrate the practices in your life, and to do a little everyday.
The concept integration always comes up for me. We are constantly integrating new teachings, processes, information. After my second son was born, we went through a process of integrating a new member into our family. More and more integrating. So seek out the highest knowledge and teachings available to you and integrate your own personal lessons into your daily life.
It’s also nice to share tricks and experiences – it helps us support and share with each other. How do you practice a little everyday? Post below in the comments!
Do you desire to find healing and live a more balanced, harmonious, peaceful, purposeful life? Are you a curious student? A seasoned healer? A seeker? Come check out LeRoy’s free workshop at Be Here Now THIS WEDNESDAY from 7:30-9:30. ALL ARE WELCOME! I read his book, Knowing and Living your Purpose: A Practical Guide to Being the Real You, and he is truly a masterful energy worker. I will attempt to provide you with an overview of his work, but I highly suggest you come see the magic for yourself.
What is the Energetic Well Being Process?
LeRoy developed the Energetic Well Being Process (EWBP) later in his life drawing from the many sources of energy work he has both trained in and discovered through his spirit seeking. The language surrounding his method is simple, to the point, accessible – and the practical application is also very notable. Three concepts vital to the EWBP are: weak energy drains away your life purpose, the positive power of being neutral, and clearing away our symptoms by identifying root causes. Let’s break it down.
Weak Energy Drains Away Your Life Purpose:
We continually block ourselves with thoughts and emotions, beliefs and assumptions. A lot of this programming is “inherited” from our ancestors, parents and relatives, social groups, society, environment, etc. As the blocks, or weak energy, accumulate overtime, they create patterns and play in the background of our minds and bodies and eventually becomes symptoms. The symptoms are communicating to us and if we don’t respond, they turn up the volume! Understanding how our energy goes weak will help us notice patterns and eventually reduce or eliminate symptoms.
The Positive Power of Being Neutral:
It’s easier to understand the practice of neutrality by exploring its opposite. We are NOT neutral when we are reactive, creating drama, worried, anxious, depressed, judging, blaming, frustrated, fearful, angry. When we are neutral, there is less bias and more understanding, open-mindedness and balance. Being neutral does not mean a lack of connection, rather it a way to clear negative emotions as they arise and act from a place of calm (instead of RE-ACT). He has developed a protocol to practice neutrality that is very detailed and helpful which he lays out in his book.
Clearing Away our Symptoms by Identifying Root Causes:
Working through our symptoms seems simple, and it is to some extent, but there is some priming involved; for example, having a strong desire to heal and practicing neutrality. He uses the analogy of symptoms as waves – one end of the wave can be thought of as the symptom/reaction and the other end is described as the truth. When you observe/find/identify the wave it “collapses.” To find the root cause, the question arises “where (in your entire universe) is the weakest point in relation to the symptom?” Again, he maps out a lengthy protocol that is clear and easy to use.
The purpose, or ultimate goal, of healing is to remember who you really are, which is in harmony with all of nature, centered in the heart, being and only seeing unity and wholeness, becoming stronger and more fit as you age!
Who is LeRoy Malouf?
Something I love about this book is that LeRoy shares his life story. In his eighties, he is full of life and vitality. He and his beloved wife raised 5 children. Over the course of his life, he’s had several careers shifts on the path to finding purposeful, satisfying work. Come meet him for yourself tomorrow from 7:30-9:30 for a free demonstration at Be Here Now Yoga, Healing and Wellness.
Hemp seeds are a staple in my diet. Why, you ask? Because they are a delicious, nutrient-dense, affordable superfood packed with protein (which I need a good amount of as I am a breastfeeding vegan diva). They are nutty, earthy and magnesium-rich – which is important because, from what I’ve heard, most of us are magnesium deficient (magnesium is a mineral that is responsible for a ton of chemical reactions in the body, for relaxation, and for best of all, facilitating regular bowel movement). I’d like to present you with 5 ways to incorporate hemp seeds in your diet. Check it out –
- You’ve probably already guessed … SMOOTHIES! Here’s a few recipes I make regularly (I learned this one on a women’s retreat from some lovely ladies):
bunch of spinach
hemp seeds (as much as you’d like – 3 TBSP is the serving size)
- Hemp seeds also pair well with cacao, which is also an amazing superfood that happens to be chocolate. Sweetened with banana and dates, this is a winner:almond milk
1 banana (try freezing your bananas to make your smoothies taste like ice cream 😉
1 TBSP cacao
a few dates
you can also add a dash of cinnamon and/or a splash of vanilla
- Energy bite balls:These actually taste like no bake cookies, so you can’t go wrong. Here’s the link from Further Food.
- One of my favorite easy lunch/dinner go-to’s is kale salad with hemp seeds:Thinly slice kale (think ribbons!), massage with dressing (see below), add hemp seeds, avocado, shredded carrots (obviously you can make this your own by mixing up the toppings. I like to add chickpeas or vegan fake chicken for a heartier meal).
Easy Tahini Dressing
1/3 cup tahini
1/2-1 TBSP maple syrup
pinch of salt
warm water to thin
- Adding hemp seeds to your morning oatmeal (or your raw oats soaked overnight) is another easy favorite. Super charge your oatmeal with goji berries (soak for 10ish minutes in water or almond milk first), banana, coconut flakes and hemp seeds. Or go for more earthy tones with a nut butter, apples, hemp seeds and walnuts.
Growing up, my mom had a book called “Alkalize or Die”. She would push cantaloupe and cucumbers on us, always making sure to let us know “it’s alkalizing!” It wasn’t until years later that I appreciated her efforts. Our bodies’ pH is an important indicator of health, and an acidic environment is a breeding ground for various diseases, including cancer. Most foods that comprise the “standard American diet” are acidic, e.g. meat and dairy products, sugar, breads, pasta, coffee, tea. Other the other hand, fresh fruits and vegetables, almonds, and sea algae are some examples of alkaline foods. An alkaline diet ensures good health at the cellular level and energizes your system with nutrient dense, high fibrous, low sugar and magnesium rich foods. Check it out – the pH of the body is analogous to the pH of a pool – if too acidic, the water turns green from bacteria growth!
Alkalizing in the morning is a great way to reset and start the day. Drinking warm lemon water upon waking is suggested by the ancient food science of Ayurveda (you can add a touch of maple so the lemon doesn’t wear away the enamel of your teeth). Common sense would lead you to believe that lemon is acidic, but through the digestive process lemon becomes alkaline! Drinking greens in the morning is another fabulous way to energize and alkalize. If you don’t have a juicer, investing in a good green powder is a good way to take in nutrient dense greens rather than creating biological deficits through sugary drinks, coffee, and tea.
Play with these concepts, integrate, be easy on yourself and find your rhythm!
My teacher, Sri Dharma, recommends this green juice:
Half a bunch of celery
1 green apple (optional for sweetness)
Make it your own, add parsley or other greens!
There are so many good green powders available on the market. I’ve been turned onto and highly recommend Vitamineral Green powder, a very potent blend that will knock your socks off.