BURNOUT, ADRENAL FATIGUE AND DEPRESSION

BURNOUT, ADRENAL FATIGUE AND DEPRESSION

Our light diminishes into a blanket of darkness, an all encompassing heavy fatigue that obscures. When we accept this phase of life, it brings with it the most profound wisdom and understanding of our human experiences and way of living. With the right knowledge and tools we enkindle the beauty that is us once more.

Burnout, Adrenal Fatigue and Depression

For many of us chronic burnout is often misdiagnosed as depression. Yes, it looks and feels similar. The levels of anxiety we experience during burnout; physiological adrenal dysregulation and fatigue, can be so overwhelming we shut down emotionally and mentally to prevent further exhaustion. 

Long-term fatigue and the accompanying changing physiological symptoms, affect every level of our being, and leads to feelings of unhappiness, guilt and worthlessness. Unhappiness culturally seen as a sign of failure. And unkindly dismissed as wallowing in our own self-pity, also leaves us isolated. Further dysregulating our system from healing and restoration and connection. 

Accompanying symptoms
  • Slow in the morning, fatigue in the afternoon, second wind in the evening
  • Fatigue and disturbed sleep
  • Listless and feeling physically heavy
  • Crave salty and sugary foods
  • Dizziness and blood sugar issues
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Moodiness, brain fog
  • Afternoon headaches
  • Chronic inflammation, low immunity to infections, digestive issues
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Low libido
  • Dark skin around eyes and skin discoloration
  • Hair loss and brittle hair
  • Weak nails 

So we walk into the doctor’s office looking for answers, for a way back to our old self, or something resembling that state. Only to walk away with the distinct message that it’s all in our head and our only option is to swallow a pill that further disempowers and dis-associates us from our self and health. 

Burnout is highest amongst health care professions, teachers, single parents, traders, managers, bankers and entrepreneurs. Studies show women are 20-60% more likely to suffer from burnout. Women report suffering from emotional exhaustion, while men often suffer from depersonalization. And people who’ve experienced trauma at some point are more likely to experience burnout,[1] because their resilience to stress is lower.

Is Burnout Adrenal Fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue leads to chronically elevated cortisol, causing adrenalin, noradrenalin and DHEA dysregulation. This has a cascade effect on all our other endocrine glands; pineal, pituitary, hypothalamus, thyroid, thymus, pancreas, ovaries and testes. Affecting their respective hormones and the cycles they regulate within our body systems.

Our cycles of sleep and waking, digestion, restoration and healing, get up and go and allowing ourselves to relax, are all thrown off track. This plays out as mood and energy fluctuations, metabolic imbalance, sleep disturbances, fatigue and boosts of energy at unwanted and unnatural times. Common derangements of adrenal fatigue are hypoglycaemic symptoms; low blood sugar, chronic fatigue syndrome.[2]

Adrenal fatigue isn’t an accepted medical diagnosis[3] as a disease, rather reffered to as adrenal insufficiency. But if we would realise imbalance leads to dis-ease, and burnout a protective mechanism; trying to forewarn us to slow down and make certain vital changes to our lifestyle, or disease will develop, we can prevent much suffering and shame.

Adrenal Fatigue Research Facts

Burnout studies are under-researched. One meta study; which most other burnout research articles refer to; used the data of 25 studies done on individuals with burnout and 33 studies on healthy subjects! This study states because there’s a lack of substantial evidence due to inconsistency in analysis and data research[4], we can’t call it adrenal fatigue. All 58 studies focused on cortisol levels, not taking into account other hormones, nor DHEA, which lowers cortisol levels. 

Not forgetting that study subjects are often only caucasian men of 70kg of body weight, between the ages of 25-35 years of age, leaves a lot to be desired when we’re in our 40’s, women, and overwhelmed by our many roles, responsibilities and tasks. Setting these studies up for insufficient evidence.

What Excacerbates Burnout?

Burnout is further impacted by work-related stressors; perfectionism, workload, work hours, increased responsibilities and tasks, lack of autonomy or control, financial stress, career stage, loss of meaning and joy in work, having children at home, work-life integration, decreased support, real or perceived lack of fairness in promotion and compensation, gender bias, discrimination and sexual harassment. Both an organisational and a personal problem, a one size fits all approach isn’t enough when dealing with something as complex as our endocrine system.

Other Causes & Contributing Factors 

Therefore, knowledge and owning the part that is ours to reclaim; our physical, physiological, emotional and psychological needs, we see what disrupts our health, what we need to remove from our lives to move into living well. Knowing that adrenal fatigue is a physiological imbalance, we can support ourselves through physical, physiological, emotional, mental and psychological changes with tools.

Overcoming Burnout

Physical Needs

Get tests done- at a functional medical doctor see what causes physical and biological imbalance. 

Healthy fats- olive oil, coconut oil, ghee and avocados

Supplements & Herbs- Zinc, vit D, C, chamomile, ashwagandha, liquorice, rhadiola 

Physiological Needs

Eat protein rich foods- adrenals need protein to convert into hormones aiding healthy endocrine function, relieving anxiety, insomnia and mental fatigue.

Decrease inflammation- depression strongly correlates with systemic inflammation, addressing our physiological imbalance through food; curcuma, bitter and astringent foods bring down the acidity, caused by excess sweet, sour and salty foods, can relieve any inflammation cuased by biology. Leafy greens for HPA axis health.

Mental Needs 

Strengthen mindfulness– Meditation 10-20 mins a day, Sama vritti; breathing in for a count of 5 and out for a count of 5 for 2-5 minutes, Bumble Bee breath, with an exhale hum in a low tone, allow the in breath to come naturally, repeat 10 rounds.

Emotional and Psychological Needs 

Minimise stress– see which cause most mental and psychological stress on a scale from one to ten- work, family, home, personal. Create a schedule to minimize stress and find more rest in each of those areas. This PDF with tools will help you get clarity, set boundaries and find more space in your day to day living.

Because knowledge, self-acceptance and these tools allow us to listen to our body’s natural wisdom and urgings, we can let that tiny flame within us become a healthy fire once more. One that gives light and glows with wisdom. 

Much Love,

Shira.


[1] https://barendspsychology.com/burnout-facts/

[2] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15058215/

[3] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/addisons-disease/expert-answers/adrenal-fatigue/faq-20057906

[4] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27557747/

CELEBRATING WOMEN’S NATURAL WISDOM

CELEBRATING WOMEN’S NATURAL WISDOM

Women are the reason there is Life. Women can carry another life in their womb for 10 months. Every single being that is, is because of Woman.

This simple fact, taken for granted to the point of dishonour, denigrating us since monotheism. The Goddes in Her infinite and often mysterious forms has been trampled into the dust of derision.

Our current culture has thrown independent women, healing herbs, fascia, emotions and healers, to the wayside for thousands of years. WE, who bear children, whole families, basically all diversity, are still struggling after thousands of years to live fully.

We’re free to work for our money, drive cars, live alone, take any professional path and even become leaders. But the path for a woman is always a battle field. Whether overt sexual insinuation, assualt or abuse, or subtle remarks, looks, beliefs and laws that encroach upon our self-esteem, self-confidence and sense of self-worth. In religious texts, media and medical instituitions we’re bombarded with messages of being inferior, or objectified as some thing to be had by another.

Womens Wisdom in Our Cycles

Our cycles, when honoured and listened to can deliver not just babies, and families, but beauty that radiates from within. A deep satisfaction and strength that connects us not just to each other, but to the stars and planets. It’s our universality that is a womans power. Our menstrual cycle flows round like the seasons of the year, it ebbs, peaks and flows back out.

With each moon turn, we go within, we see what needs to be changed, we blossom, flower, bear fruit and whither once more.

Starting from our menstruation we follow the moon tides as follows;

Menstruation. New Moon. Night. Winter, fallow. Higher progesteron is good for researching, restoring, returning to within to replenish. It’s also a time to clear, cleanse and eliminate.

Follicular phase. Waxing Moon. Morning. Spring, blossoming. Outgoing, enthusiasm and expression. Starting new projects and getting creative.

Ovulation. Full Moon. Mid Cycle. Midday. Summer, high estrogen, blooming. Verbal fluency. Left brain activation great for creativity and physical, mental and emotional fertility. Fulfilling projects

Luteal phase. Waning Moon. Evening. Autumn, whithering. Reflective, letting go of the outgrown and making changes. Finishing projects.2

Yet we’re asked to adapt to the phases of day and night, daily, which is the natural hormonal cycle of men. And that’s why we eventually burn out, feel nervous, anxious, depressed, lonely and become so ’emotional’. This Womben’s Cyclical Wisdom PDF helps us to easily see where we’re at in each phase and what lving, yoga and work practices work best.

Facts & Faces of Feminine Disrespect

  • Most anatomy textbooks use male bodies as the default, yet inutero the first 3 months of life, we’re all female.
  • Adverts in men’s magazines objectify women 76% of the time in 52% in womens magazines.
  • Only 11% of girls worldwide would dare to call themselves beautiful.
  • Every ten minutes a teen girl dies due to violence in this world.
  • 33,000 girls become child brides each day.
  • 1/5 girls is sexually abused before her twenties.
  • Safety features in cars are designed for men causing 47% more injuries to women.
  • Only Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, France, Luxemburg and Latvia give women equal legal work rights.
  • 22% of STEM professionals are women.
  • Only 20% of national legislators worldwide are women, and when ridiculed or remarked upon, it’s often for their hair, dress or other outer appearance.
  • Globally 45% of women use hormonal contraceptives.
  • Globally 64% of Gyneacologists are male, before 1990’s 95% were male!

Contraceptives as a Form of Control

Though hormonal contraceptives are touted to prevent and relieve us of the many inconvieniences related to menstruation, and off course prevent unwanted pregancy, they often cause many more symptoms. Leading to chronic conditions in the long run. Our body naturally produces the hormones we need to create life.

Interferring with intelligence of our endocrine system, off course affects our entire menu of hormones and neurotransmitters. This causes changes for our entire body and mind. Some good, some bad. And all unnatural. Telling our organism it’s continually pregnant is what the dairy industry does to cows. It’s cruel, toxic and controlling. Packaged as a freedom Pill we swallow it willingly.

Eventually it causes our moods, energy, and mind states to swing as our body’s naturally seek balance. We risk depression, weight gain, ance, nausea, vomitting, changes in libido and vaginal fluids, changes in menstrual flow, headaches, migraines, breast tenderness, increases risk of breast cancer, hypertension, hypotension, endometriosis, gallstones, facial discolouration.1

Internal Freedom From Patriarchy

And so we suffer to keep up on the treadmill of patriarchy’s productivity. As long as we feel free to be just ‘as great as men’ assume to be, nurtured through society who still thinks men as the default. But the cost is higher for us because not only do we earn less globably as women, no matter how highly educated we are, we also work harder, cycle differently and so will always feel behind because we can’t rest those five-seven days when we menstruate.

When our night/menstruation arrives we’re still going, knowing, learning, nurturing, connecting and caring. We need to shift our mindsets and honour our menses. And men honour our cycles, as we do theirs- day and night.

And why do we have male gyneacologists?! Being told that chlamydia is a good contraceptive by one, another shouting me out of his office at age 19 when asking about an abortion, I’m strongly against male gyneacologists. Why would a man want to put his hands in a woman’s warm insides all day, and yet have absolutely no understanding, nor experience, of what their cold tools being pushed and prodden inside us feels like, is beyond comprehension.

Reclaiming Women’s Wisdom

We need women to help women’s health, it’s complex, intricate and complete. We have all we need within us when we work with our internal wisdom. In that way we free ourselves of many constraints and consumerism aimed at women under the guise of beauty, wellness and health. When Women honour womens ways we are well beauty-full and whole.

Let’s honour our Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, Aunties and All Women and the Wisdom by listening to our bodies needs as we move through each phase.

Much Love,

Shira.

1, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combined_oral_contraceptive_pill

2. Chrstianne & Kate Northrup have expounded this reality in thier books, Womens Bodies Womens Wisdom & Do Less, respectively.

FROM GUILT TO PLEASURE

FROM GUILT TO PLEASURE

Playfulness, our ability to go with the flow, reflects our feelings about our relationship with the world. Pleasure is the emotional charge of a playful bodymind. Guilt or severity its opposites. Do we feel free to have fun and enjoy, do we always need to control otherwise we feel guilty, or do we just let it all go whatever direction?

Pleasure, like water, seeks movement and the easiest course, finding joy and play in whatever arises. It accepts and lets go of the illusion of mastery and control, willing to see where experiences take us, without holding back or resistance. Water, like our senses, are meeting points for our inner and outer worlds and the enjoyment from that volantary sensual exchange.

When we resist pleasure, either because of a sense of guilt, lack of playfullness and curiosity, or our seriousness, we resist prosperity. Guilt restricts, closes down our sensual joy channels. Because our original emotion is bliss, our movement or lack of it, determines the how this emotion transforms into another expression.

To flow fully the banks of our joy need to be both firm and free, just like our tissues, mind and psyche.

Energetic Holding Patterns 

Excessive stress causes unnecessary tightening. Blocking ease and our ability to flow, physically, energetically and mentally. Chronic holding patterns might express themselves as guilt, rigidity, controlling, critical, too serious, self-conscious, or lacking spontaneity and playfulness. The river of abundance, prosperity and possibilities dry up, along with our creative and joyful juices. 

Not enough stressors can leave us with excessive emotions as our energy reserve overflows. Without containment, we may feel overly emotional, watery, let our energy gush from us without discernment and end up feeling drained, lacking, down, lost; our energy and emotions directionless. 

We might have a combination of both holding patterns simultaneously. 

Translated to our energy body, we might not feel contained and able to respond with integrity to a given situation. Resulting in further controlling or flooding. Unconscious guilt might then drive our relationships, projects and beliefs. And emotions are energy in motion, holding the energy or leting it gush, wastes immense, enjoyable energy, and we don’t even notice it.

Hiranyagharbha, our Golden Womb needs to be honoured and felt. 

Pelvic Flow is the Key to Pleasure  

Releasing tension and creating integrity of our sense of self in relation to the world, feels like flow, fun, pleasure and prosperity naturally arising like a bubbling spring.

The key to pleasure is movement and pelvic health. Like water, the pelvis loves to flow and move. To play out the constant ebb and flow, give and take. This ensures and allows us to contain our sense of delight and joy. It enlivens our abundance.

As babies, this abode of joy and delight is with what we began to crawl. We use our pelvis to propel us forward and move into the world. This exploration of feeling for ourselves creates pleasure. When my toddler first moved herself toward that which she wanted to experience, there was sheer joy, wonder and excitement all rolled into the propelling motion of the pelvis. This is essence of moving into bliss. This endeavour to sense the world also created our lumbar curve. Our ability to relate, connect and withdraw. And our first impressions of sensual experiences, plus the first arising emotions, are all contained here. 

Create Pelvic Integrity to Enjoy Life More

To create pelvic integrity and enjoy life fully we need to get to know this area. We need curiosity and playful minds to move past our guilt and expertise. Body awareness and self-knowledge leads to self-esteem. Begin to strengthen and relax this area, until all the tissues and energy flows freely and feels firm, simultaneously. This is how we transform guilt into pleasure. Holding both simultaneously.

Ask yourself in difficult areas of your body, What holding patterns do I have here?

Are some muscles really tight and resist letting go?

Are there parts that let it all gush out, leaving me drained? 

After you feel if you hold or release excessively, you can build back the integrity of this area by doing strengthening movement that warms up this area, and slow soft, stretching to open and release the tissues.   Create firm freedom. 

Be present with sensations in our pelvic area. Think of it’s ability to create another life, and all our projects and creations begin in the Golden Womb. The potential combinations of the inner and outer world coming together in countless ways. The pure potential alive here. It’s time we enjoyed what is instead of thinking what isn’t. It’s time to drop our uncertainty and walk into the world with a sense of certain delight, no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in.

Life is amzingly wonderful and AWEsome first and foremost.

Joyous and prosperous in each moment, as water moves, content and playful, our Golden Womb contains the feeling of all I need to fulfil me is within me and in each and every moment.

In what ways can you feel more curious, playful and joyous?

With Love,

Shira.

YOGA & SPIRITUAL BYPASSING

YOGA & SPIRITUAL BYPASSING

Spiritual bypassing can feel good for a while, sometimes a very long while, but at some point we hit a wall. And the practice we once loved seems to fail us, and we’re going round in circles. This is when we hit a crossroad of transformation or degradation.

Do we stay or do we go? Do we move through or bypass? Will we choose to go all in and expose our ungainly self, or do we opt for ease and deny the diffculties ahead? Moving through is the fulfilling opportunity to growth. To remain with and hold space for, our dark, earthly solidity moves us into the light of consciousness and soul, in an encompasing awareness of our full potential.

Immature Understanding

When I first started out on my spiritual journey, I was 15years old, and naively believed being really, truly spiritual meant transcending the world and all our material, maternal, and nutritional needs. Even our need for social connections. Detachment was high on my list of values. Being a free and spiritual adventurer I’d managed to escape being social for decades. No material plans, constraints, agendas, desires or goals. I felt extremely spiritual, non-human. Highly esteemed in my bubble.

 

Facing Our Shadows

Becoming a mother of a very social child burst that bubble. After giving birth to my daughter personal development quickly shifted from spirituality to social-ability. Forced to be part of society inadvertently I discovered I actually love people. I love learning, sharing and exchanging. It also revealed my many weaknesses and blind spots. Limiting beliefs, scarcity mindsets, my escapist attitude. Non-realistic ideals. It left a lot to be desired. Especially as a mother in a complex culture influenced largely by domination structures of patriarchy.

The gap between on the one hand, unfulfilled desires and projected fears, and the other transcendental living, was now a huge cataclysm. I saw no support, community, shared insights and wisdom to guide my choices as to what’s a healthy way to live in a world placing productivity and financial gain above nurturing and caring. I saw no examples of conscious, empowered, single mothers creating change in their communities in modern western culture. Was it me or my mindset?

 

The Gifts of Our Shadows

Spiritually bypassing our biggest chances to face truth, the good, the bad and the utterly ugly, to grow and transform, are sacrificed for glory and gratification.

To be truly spiritual means taking a good look at our ways of relating to self, other and world. As a young mother, and out of desperation and frustration at being such a beginner again, I asked my meditation teacher Rose Baudin, what my purpose was. She answered clearly and without further ado, “Whatever is in front of you at any given moment is your purpose. You’re a spiritual being having an embodied experience”.

Though that didn’t quench my thirst then, it sure has been my experience since. And the more I accept and appreciate this embodied life and the limitations we experience being in a body, the more I’m driven to find intelligent and integral ways to communicate, relate and connect. It’s the only way to live fully. To honour this gift called life. Handed down to us through billions of years of incredible evolution, biological intercommunication across species and time, transforming constantly.

 

Ayurveda & Yoga Enable Transformation

Without Ayurveda, Yoga has the potential to become superficial at best. Ingraining already present patterns of ego, separation, coping mechanisms, defences, projections, and escapism, into deeper grooves. The abuse of power we’ve seen surfacing in nearly all patriarchal yoga traditions in the last years are devastating examples of bypassing unresolved and suppressed psychological domination patterns. The ingrained, violent and misdirected frustration, domination and exploitation of races, minorities and diversities. Which literally is the life-line that makes our world so colourful and beautiful.

Transforming our wellbeing, includes transforming our world and societal structures. We need to face the underlying currents and belief systems. We have to see these examples as deeper issues revealing our world cultural tendency toward power abuse, fear response and deep distrust issues. For this to happen we need inclusivity of all aspects of living, which includes our emotional selves. Emotions are the rivers of sensual joy, beauty and intelligence flowing through us. Connecting one to another. It’s the blood connecting all social species.

 

Emotions as Clues

Because Ayurveda looks at emotional states and sees the imbalance, or direction of our mentality and physiology, it adresses spiritual bypassing. Emotions are so often misunderstood, supressed, managed, repressed, unexpressed and redressed. Emotional intelligence and empowerment allows us our access, desire or knowledge to the power behind any emotion.

Emotions are passion, the opposite of patience, but a powerful force when we learn to ride their waves.

A potential we should explore.

A deep journey. One that can feel dangerous, difficult and painful if we don’t feel supported by others, through this process. When we internalise unexpressed painful or difficult emotions, because our company can’t handle them, enough times, it becomes a trigger. A tricky and painful place. Left unheard and unseen, a traumatic feeling. All of us have experienced trauma, small or large T. We all have some struggle, growth and trauma process to move through. And the emotions and memories associated with that can overwhelm us when our emotional repertoire has been kept limited and restricted according to outside values.

Leave this terrain completely unexplored and we have spiritual bypassing.

Include & Move On

Often we need to leave behind certain things. Things which have been the backbone to our entire way of living, functioning and relating. Limiting thoughts and habits, family traditions, beliefs, activities, cultural ways of coping, defence mechanisms, and ways to relate to others, handed down by anyone we’ve identified with in the course of our life. The tribal mind.

Psychologically leaving behind the tribal mind can feel life threatening. Like we’re going to die. Because for 2 million years of evolution, leaving the tribe meant death. It’s only since 10,000 years we live with some guarantee of safety. And only since fifty years we, as individuals, dare to speak our truth. Other values. It’s a psychological and emotional leaving the nest.

Once we see the underlying beliefs and associated pain, emotions, fears and insecurities, and own that story, no matter how gory, we can move on. We don’t need to be blameless and shining beacons of spiritual glory. Being a good, honest human is liberating not just for ourselves, but for all those who experience the imperfection of being human.

To move through is the opportunity to grow fully. To remain with and hold space for, our dark, earthly solidity moves our shadows into the light of consciousness and soul, revealing our full potential.

Much Love,

Shira.

MOODS, HOW YOGA UPLIFTS US

MOODS, HOW YOGA UPLIFTS US

So, the articles we’ve wandered through the body on a journey exploring the effects of our posture. We’ve seen how posture improvement is essential to our health and wellbeing, and how Yoga can affect that. Yoga can simultaneously improve posture and uplift our mood. This week we’re slipping into the movement of Yoga to uplift our moods.

Reclaiming Our Wellbeing

To be active participants in reclaiming our beauty, wellbeing and power, we need to understand the full potential and effects of posture. And see how the tools of Yoga in conjunction with Ayurveda can empower us. Looking at each facet of wellbeing we understand how each lets in lightness, strength and moves us closer to our whole Self. 

“We have a natural pharmacopeia already within us”. -Candace Pert

We can orchestrate our own healing process through knowledge and the application of tools built on that knowledge. Physiological health and emotional and mental wellbeing affects our mood. And Yoga therapy can deeply and positively enhance both. When we uncover what effects mood has on our health, and how we in-turn can affect and enhance our mood, we have some power tools at hand. Freeing us from the bonds of dependence, in whatever form or formation. 

Mood or Emotion

Mood and emotion are intimately connected but there are clear differences. Knowing these can help us see and separate ourselves from our mood and move us into wellbeing. Mood is something that lasts hours or even days, whereas emotions are more transient, passing within minutes, or hours.[1] Moods are vague and misty, there are no unique facial expressions assigned to them. And it’s not easy to put our finger on what actually triggered a mood.

Moods provoke their related emotions more easily.[2]  If I’m in an irritable mood, its highly likely that I’ll be quick to anger rather than become sad, if things don’t go as planned. Research has shown that lasting memories have a strong emotional component. The stronger the emotion, the stronger the connection between associated brain cells. This neural wiring, brain cells that fire together wire together, creates associations. Firing frequently, makes the associations stronger.[3]

The emotions that are strongly wired in the body-brain, become a neural pattern. The neural patterns form our beliefs, which in-form our perception and create a mesh or filter of ideas. Allowing in certain ideas and feelings, and dismissing others, these filters become the underpinning of moods. If we work consciously with emotions they are released. If we ignore them, or don’t know how to hold them without becoming overwhelmed or reactive, they remain stuck in our viscera, our deeply feeling inner body; organs. 

This is where Yoga can be such a powerful tool. We first arrive in our body. We connect. We see what arises with each breath, movement and pause of stillness. In these moments of deeply feeling, stuck emotions and their belief systems, moods, can come to the surface, to our consciousness. When this happens we release trapped energy. Emotions are just E-nergy in motion. If they, and we, don’t move, nor will the E-motion. Its that simple.

We don’t need university degrees to reclaim our health and wellbeing. We just need knowledge. And to proactively applying what we know. Only we can take those steps for ourselves.

Mood & Posture 

So let’s pause and take some time to know why posture affects mood and how Yoga can influence and enhance that. When I feel good and satisfied, I sit up straight with energy and ease. I walk with dignity and joy. I am fully present and receptive for my child, my projects and my goals. My body is fully attuned to their needs, desires and expressions. I radiate E-nergy and engage in a way that benefits those around me. I let my energy move through me.

My e-motions move uninhibited. When I feel crap, either because I’m sick or something happened that sets me back in my plans, I find myself slouching, my frontal body collapses and draws within to protect me from perceived threats; bacteria, or challenges that seem to big for me right now. My e-motions are repressed. So this state, positive or negative, which sometimes continues for days or weeks, becomes a mood.

If we linger long enough in any neural wiring of an E-motion, positive or negative, it moves into the subconscious and becomes a backdrop to our state of being, rather than present feeling. A mood. That mood will create a certain posture, an expression of the experienced energy state. Posture spills over into psychophysiological effects. Affecting our physical health, mental wellbeing and emotional vitality. So it’s a vicious circle. Ayurvedically, positive and negative moods, fall in categories of Doshas, Vata- Air, Pitta – Fire, or Kapha – Water.

Vata/Air

  • Balanced- Cheerful, light-hearted, hopeful, calm
  • Imbalanced- Lonely, fearful, nervous

Pitta/Fire

  • Balanced- Reflective, insightful, passionate, idyllic
  • Imbalanced- Irritated, tense, controlling

Kapha/Water

  • Whimsical, romantic, humorous, mysterious
  • Gloomy, melancholy, clingy

We can use the above to see what Dosha is imbalanced or excessive by use the principle of ‘Like increases like, and unlike decreases’. Meaning if our Kapha/Water is too high; melancholy, doing a practice or activities that create heat and lightness will bring back balance. Removing the stagnation of too much, or blocked Water energy. Now let’s get In The Mood we want to be in! And break that cycle.

 

3 Steps to Turning Mood into a Friend

As easily as we slip into the shadows of a mood, we can change our attitude to its presence. Seeing mood accompanies us much like a friend, what about asking this associate what she’s trying to tell us?! As soon as we know Mood is Here, we see her as a reminder, telling us we’re lost in the mist. Using Yoga’s tools and teachings we can redirect the energy/electrical currents of our body-brain[4] to uplift us when we’re down. To calm and ground us when we’re flying high and to centre us when we’re to externalised.

Awareness

Knowing that you’re in a mood is the first vital step. When you know you’re in the mire of some heavy mood, splash your face with fresh cold water. This releases endorphins, the joy hormones.

Discernment

Now you’re aware you’re in a mood don’t ask any question, except what is my mood? Depending on the mood, you adapt your Yoga practice, the the pace and rhythm of your daily activities.

  • If you’re irritable, do a smooth, satisfying practice at 70% of your ability[5]. Don’t DO too much. Over-expending is why you got here in the first place. DO Less.[6]
  • If you’re lethargic, do a strong and challenging practice. Move out of your comfort zone and expand your horizon. Doing to little, represses your E-nergy and ability.
  • If you’re nervous or agitated, do a smooth, rhythmic and grounding practice. Remind yourself, again and again to slow down, do one thing at a time, and bring your mind, awareness and concentration back to the present on sensations, breathing and emotions.
Moving

Moving the body in all its potential ranges, using all our limbs, joints and muscles, allows us to try out all our potential ranges. Shifting our bones and organs in different positions in space, frees our energy, helps us expand. Allows our Prana to move uninhibited, gives us a sense of freedom and spaciousness. Remember mood is the lack of movement of a certain quality of energy. So, movement is key in moving out of a mood. Once we move we’ll naturally stand different. Our posture and stance will embody radiance, vitality and wellbeing.

We will embody presence and inspired engagement. Meet life fully.

Our emotions need to flow. They are a guidance from our soul, reminding us to honour our path, our story, values and gift. Our mood reminds us we need to be willing to trust our emotions, and strong inner urges, to lead us to our goals and soul desires. Emotion is living Prana moving through us to benefit all beings. When we listen, life becomes a little more supple, flowing and easier. This doesn’t mean we never have challenges, it just means our stance is not rigid. Rather its one of being receptive, alive, and fully present.

Embody a posture that holds the mood of living fully, loving wholeheartedly and laughing at our perfect imperfections. Let emotions guide your embodied Soul.  

Much Love,

Shira.


 [1] Candace Pert – Molecules of Emotion

[2] Paul Eckman – The Nature of Emotion

[3] Hilary Jacobs Hendel – It’s Not Always Depression

[4] Lisa Feldman Barrett – How Emotions Are Made

[5] David Frawley & Sandra Summerfield Kozak– Yoga for Your Type

[6] Kate Northrup – Do Less

HOW YOGA IMPROVES COMMUNICATION & RELATIONSHIPS

HOW YOGA IMPROVES COMMUNICATION & RELATIONSHIPS

So why do I keep going on about emotions, you might ask, and how can Yoga improve them? Emotions drive our impulses. They filter our perception, relation and reactions, in that order. If we don’t know which emotion prompts us, we react instead of respond. We risk communication and relation breakdowns. 

Communication is the basis for co-creation. And emotions the initiator of that expression.  

Ultimately Yoga is all about having deep, fulfilling and honest connections and relationships. Early on my Yoga road, reconnecting with my inner self, gave immense joy, courage and a sense of empowerment and contentment from the bliss we find within. Somewhere mid journey we uncover our deeper connection to Self, the divine. It inspires us to dive deeper. It dares us to climb higher peaks we never thought we could, and even fly a little, until we hit a very concrete part of our humanity.

As we mature on our Yoga journey we realise the knowledge, confidence and resilience we finally reclaim, are the essence of deep healthy relations, connection and living as complex social beings. The last few years my Yoga path is about realising how to be a better human being. Not a human doing. Nor a human not doing. But a human being who makes the effort, in order to manifest ease, not just for self but for others just the same. Sukha and Sthira. That’s the only Asana, seat, we need to create as the foundation of our expression, gift and work. It’s a fine balancing act. To be a being of compassion and yet proactive. That profound recognition of our responsibility and ability. To create the changes, we need to turn around in ourselves and the Earth. To be proactive and co-create, the first step we need is to learn to communicate.

Importance of Skilful Communication

The importance of power dynamics between teacher and student can’t be understated. Especially since the exposure of power abuse in many of the yoga communities. And communication is key to support healthy interpersonal relationships and create balanced and empowering power dynamics. 

Denial, disastrous communication, or lack of it, leads to frustration, fear, loneliness, anger, grief, emotional and mental imbalances, and even suicide. Just as healthy communication has the potential to free us. To empower us and to create long lasting, satisfying relationships. In two weeks, I begin another Yoga therapy training.

To get the most out of any education, good communication is essential. Even though I’ve made effort my whole adult life to improve my communication skills, I still find myself lacking in trying situations. An important part of Yoga Therapy training is learning skilful communication, observation and deep relation. All key to Yoga being therapeutic. 

Healthy interpersonal communication is vital to happiness, health and success. To transform outgrown patterns, it takes two to see, hear, speak, share and dare to work together toward change. Empowering the individual toward their own healing process. Only guiding them enough to take the steps of creating their own wellbeing. Yoga’s greatest strength lies in it’s potential to empower the individual. And how Yoga does this is through cultivation of self awareness, deeper levels of honesty, sensitivity and skill in action, toward the good, the bad and the ugly. So communication with self is key to healing, self and others, through deep listening and responding. 

Communication as a tool to empower

Communication is key for our relationship to self and others. It helps us recognise our and others needs, strengths, challenges and gifts. When we relate in these, we own our part in the play. This allows the other to own their part. We mutually empower. There’s no power battle when we listen, honour and find a win/win way for all involved. When we’re honest we deeply honour our values, feelings and thoughts. Doing so creates an empowered, autonomous and confident sense of self. 

We’re only as empowered as we are honest with who we are, what we stand for and what we feel in relation with to any given situation. And being emotionally intelligent, means we know what we feel, why and how to communicate that. Being honest and speaking our truth, we give others the chance to do the same. It naturally empowers them in the process. We honour others values, feeling and thoughts too. Because it’s a two-way street. It feels so great to feel honoured and empowered, we only wish the same for the other. Emotional intelligence opens up the pathway to this mutual feeling. Fulfilling relationships and skilful communication come from the baby step of honesty and ability to express it kindly.

Yamas and Skilful communication

The Yamas are the basis of all yoga. Communication rests on these pillars of the Yamas. Especially Ahimsa; kindness to self and others, Satya; honesty and Bramhacharya; keeping our energy within our sense of self, which is actually emotional intelligence. Our ability to communicate depends on our relationship with self; honesty and self-awareness of what we think, feel and belief, kindness and self-inquiry of the way we relate to self and others, keeping our Prana within our senses and how we respond or react to what we discover within and without. 

Without self knowledge and self awareness its difficult to communicate what we want, think and feel. And even harder to create a life that reflects these ideals.   Growing up with the themes of misunderstanding, loneliness, depression, blaming, shaming, are common. We see, live with, accept, and in our incredible ability to adapt, we find ways to even thrive and be happy amongst the confusion and changes of socia But for some these themes are too painful, especially if we lack the ability or urge to communicate. Sharing our emotive visions inspires us. 

Communication connects us, allows us torelate and feel heard, held and honoured. It grounds us when we’re understood. It frees us from the heavy burden of carrying feelings all alone. Sharing allows the intelligence behind the emotion; the impulse to create change to honour our sensibility to what’s good for us now, guides us to improve connection and bolsters healthy relationships. Underneath there is a calm love and wholeness that we all can access. 

Holding the space for emotions to flower, flourish, bloom and wilt, we can hold the space for others to communicate their feelings. Then what we envision can come to the foreground. Behind every emotion awaits a force so strong to create wholeness. Its our job to learn to hear the silent but powerful messengers. To decipher and shift gears. Then we can co-create together. Because alone we will never move mountains. Alone we can dream, together we can do it.And its so much more fun with others. 

Namaste and I’d love to hear how you share your truth and co-create,   

Much Love,

Shira.

TRANSFORM EMOTIONS AND SHADOWS

TRANSFORM EMOTIONS AND SHADOWS

Bottoms up, Top-down & Heart Centred

Practicing Yoga mindfully based on Ayurveda, it’s no longer prescriptive but a process. Bottom up, using the body to regulate energy, moods and nerves. Top down, add psychology and it’s a process of rediscovering deeper layers of wellbeing in self and relationships, uses clarity to bring homeostasis. Heart Centred uses emotional empowerment, works with our feelings, passion and deepest desires.

For decades I believed Yoga alone was the Panacea for all healing. As a teacher and therapist, sure students didn’t need to go outside the realm of Vedic studies for healing and transformation. Until I hit rock bottom. That spurred me on to study all I could on psychology, Ayurveda, neuroscience and anything related to emotions. Top-down. Heart centred. Bottoms up. You name it.


For our Yoga practice to really support our healing process, transformation and growth in our lives, we need all.
Instead of reacting and acting upon subconscious fears and feelings, yoga with a willingness to face our weaknesses, creates space to see and release underlying triggers. Subconscious triggers.


The subconscious is the pathway through which our conscious and unconscious mind communicate. The limited mind with limitless knowing, or pure potential as Deepak Chopra calls it. Limitless potential is frightening because we have no idea what it is, where we’ll be when there, how we’ll be challenged moving into a bigger arena of self or where it’ll take us. Because it’s new and unknown, we can’t compare it to any previous experience.


But there are pathways that we can slowly open up to the limitless potential of mind without being overwhelmed.

Consciousness Pathways, Our Potential and Our Shadows 

Our subconscious reveals parts of our unconscious and limitless mind, or limited and maladaptive aspects of mind, which need to be faced, embraced and replaced. This makes space for our potential to grow, thrive and feel alive. 


Without seeing our weaknesses and imperfections, we’ll never change for the better. We’re only Bhogi Yogis. Spiritual bypassers, seeking pleasure and sidestepping any real transformation. And there are way too many Yoginis and Yogis that skip this vital part of practice. To think or believe we’ve done the work is the ingenious play of ego. We’re here because we are the work in progress. And progress happens by practicing not only what we love and what we loathe.


Meditation creates more space in the subconscious(SC) realm. It allows the SC to flow into the conscious mind, expanding our conscious mind into this SC realm and becoming conscious. This frees up space in the SC for the unconscious(UC) to flow into. And that let’s more of our potential and limitless mind to flow into our subconscious. And so on and so forth.
This is expanding consciousness. Living from limitless self means we have pure potential to create and become all that lays dormant within us.


And in the clearing, not only amazing parts of ourselves come to the fore, our shadows also arise. Dormant are also those suppressed aspects of self. All we’ve learned to reject, suppress and neglect. All we’ve forgotten and felt shame, guilt or fear about never rise to the surface of our consciousness to be seen, felt and heard, grows in intensity from the resisitance. 


These shadows are projected becoming power plays and dominator dynamics. Whether physical, mental, emotional, psychological or sexual. Just look at Osho, Deshen Thurman, Bikram, John Friend, Swami Rama, Swami Muktanananda, Pattabhi Jois, B.K.S. Iyengar, Kausthub Desikachar, Satyananda Saraswati, Nirjanjanananda and so many other ‘Gurus’. Their repressed physical, emotional, psychological and sexual shadows later defined their character as authorities. 


To free ourselves fully is to become ourselves fully. Preventing another’s domination means understanding our projections. Stepping into our power is seeing all we project; the glorious, the bad and the ugly. Not just on those we dislike, but even more on those we adore, idolise and look up to. It’s our responsibility to acknowledge, accept and even embrace our failings, shortcomings and progressive, not perfect, actionsLetting this out into the light of consciousness frees us as well as it. Then we humbly and humanly step into ourBeauty & Power. 


Through meditative Yoga practice we not only see the thoughts and feel the emotions underlying our habits, beliefs and perceptions, we actually move through them. We use our embodied experience and release and energy trapped in the body/mind complex in a conscious manner. The issues in our tissues, or the condensation of mental energy solidified is moved through. One way to free our shadows.
There’s only one way out, and that’s through.

Dreams and Feelings

Dreams are one pathway of the SubConscious. 
Dreams allows us to better understand our SC and therefore become more conscious of what we belief, fear, and feel. Dreams are a powerful channel of SC unfolding, if we learn to read their symbols and listen to the dynamics. If we see each personality as different aspects of ourselves, we can decipher the language of dreams and our SC. But some of us aren’t aware of our dreams or their symbolism.


Emotions are another pathway of the subconscious. And we are definitely aware of them.
But can we read them? Are we emotionally literate?
Remember emotions are energy in motion. They’re transient and have no substance, but that doesn’t mean they’re not powerful. They’re very powerful! Underneath each emotion lives our body-mind intelligence. This is the divine communicating with us.


We can actually empower ourselves emotionally. The desire to live fully and express our experiences of being and self, without limitation, is the essence of the life itself. Shakti. And it’s inherent in all of us. Supress this long enough and imbalance in our free flow of energy becomes dis-ease.
We reclaim the power within emotions, by learning their language and speaking our truth. Living from the heart, the desire to live fully will awaken in us again.

Test Your Emotional Intelligence and Language

We often lack the freedom to express emotions because we fear of being rejected, disliked, stand out from the crowd or facing the truth of our lack of… fill in the blank.
How many emotions do you think we have? And can you communicate them to others in the spur of the moment? And what’s your initial reaction towards difficult emotions? 
How many emotions can you think of right now?
Give yourself 90 seconds and write down as many as you can.
Count them.


Now place a N next to all the negative ones and a P next to the positive emotions.
Now look at which ones you call ‘negative’ and ‘positive’.
Why do we do that? Why do we assign N or P to any of them?
Our past experiences and perceptions, influenced by our caregivers’ reactions makes us relate so distinctly.

But we can do it different

According to Dr. Alan Watkins we have a vast universe of emotions. Imagine allowing yourself the freedom to experiencing a limitless range of emotions. See yourself living out immense possibilities of all the visceral sensations that intuite and invite us to live better and wiser lives. Messages from our beautifully wise, nurturing and loving bodies, through a nervous system thats always connected to the mind, and leads us back to our limitless self.


The mind-body pathways are always ready to change, adapt and improve.


We can feel anxiety in a positive sense. Feel nervousness, as a fluttering exhilaration for the new, a youthful excitement and anticipation to explore and be the adventurer once again. It gives us extra energy and alertness to raise our ability and engage our intelligence and consciousness in a more creative and curious way.


Feeling anger doesn’t ‘make us angry’. Anger is a powerful, dynamic and concentrated movement of energy. If we feel it in our spacious awareness moving through our body-mind, we can channel it into a new project. A plan or activity that creates change in relation to that which made us feel anger.
And so we can explore the universe of emotion and learn to move with it.

Transform Emotion into Motivation

By reclaiming the full scope of emotional experience through emotional literacy, we access the power within emotions. It’s here to tell us something is happening and the universe is only waiting for our response. Allowing ourselves unlimited expression to experience our feelings, without fear, allows energy to move through us, rather than happening to us.
Find that joy and immensity of pleasure to pass through us by embracing what you feel. Moving with emotions and letting the intelligence of the divine in our body speak to us, will motivate us to change for the better.

SO step into your power, feel and see the subconscious speak to you through its pathways as wisdom moving with life-energy, or Praana.
Let your universe of emotions expand and your shadows dissipate. Let Shakti free the issues in our tissues. Begin to have a deeper conversation with your feelings.

1. Write down two emotions you have a hard time with and how can you see them and experience them in a new light so the motivate you. Move You in the right direction 😉 
2. Write down two emotions you love to experience and do something this week to make sure that feeling wakes up in you again.


Namaste, love and move with meditative awareness of your energy’s movement,

Shira.

Manifesting our Dreams by Daring to Prosper!

Manifesting our Dreams by Daring to Prosper!

Namaste dear beautiful, bountiful and brilliant All!

I have finally taken the plunge!

I finally dare to reach out, to take and to receive!

I finally dare to admit to myself I have desires and want to manifest them!

Thanks to the work of Molly Birkholm, Judith Anodea, Ashley Turner, Tama Kieves, Stephen Covey and Sheo, the circumstances of my life have taken a 180 turn around journey.

I honour the deep desire to prosper and live abundantly, without feelings of guilt, shame or superficiality. And I finally dare to believe there is enough for all of us!

I choose to live an empowered life!

I finally dare to step into those New Shoes!

The shoes I always pretended I didn’t see, or thought were too BIG for me. Too afraid, too lacking in self worth and confidence, I saw myself as too inexperienced. Under the pretension of being ‘spiritual’, identifying with the Self, I swept myself under the carpet. But truth be told, I was afraid to face certain aspects of life…

Since one year I have been working through many vital aspects inclusive to living in this world as a whole person, rather than a ‘spiritual’ one. Money, success, business, home, failure, commitment, my desire for, as well as my fear all of these essentials. I never once thought to include, honour or embrace these aspects of living as a part of the Whole that I was so diligently trying to realise! To be totally honest, I had completely ignored these aspects for the greatest part of my adult life!!

Reflected back to me was my lack of ability to respond to these aspects of life. While a superstar in Vedic knowledge, discipline in practice and study, healthy living, a genuine compassion for all life, no desires for material objects and totally devoted to teaching yoga, I was a complete drop out when it came to earning a living with my passion, expertise and knowledge.

I imagined the abundance of universal Prana from my spiritual practice, devotion and discipline would naturally flow into prosperity in this material world! Without actually having to take material steps

Well that’s all it would remain, imagining, if certain and specific steps weren’t acted upon…

Reading Siddharta, Autobiography of a Yogi and The Way of Zen at age 15, my only desire was to become enlightened. After 20yrs of this desire, a mind blowing experience of enlightenment wasn’t enough. ( Scarcity mentality?) Self-realisation was the end of the road, my relentless and unceasing desire for spiritual blessings and bliss, became a latent desire for more, a Vasana of scarcity, spiritual ‘advancement’.

For years, I never stopped to question where it was taking me, and what my life actually looked like from another perspective and posture.

When I was ultimately forced to face my present place in the world, I was turned upside down, inside out and back to front. I saw it, loud and clear. I’m sure if you saw my face in that very moment of brutally honest realisation, this fellow being embodies my feelings spot on!

Wow!

Reflected back was a wise, worried, tired, wild woman of 43 who never in her life asked for help. The warrior who moved from place to place for education and perfection of a very important part of her life. But was that aspect a vital foundational part of her present-moment-life in this experience of planet, right now?

Now a single mother living with her mother and daughter in a tiny appartment, with no permanent home since 4 yrs, no visa, no work, no school for her child!! What is vital, what is real, and what is really vital?

A failure in the eyes of the many, lost in the eyes of others, free and wild to some, trusting and brave to my former self. The Fool, curious and in awe, ready for another adventure, carefree and young.

But what did it mean to the ‘me’ I am now?

What does it say about my choices in life? What is this teaching my daughter if our wellbeing, wellth and satisfaction with Life is not centre stage? What is the underlying mindset of this experience? How could a mind and body so often flooded with bliss, knowledge and deep devoted practice end up here!??!

So, what was the universal and divine Guiding Light telling me?

I realised I had charged my scarcity mentality!

Never enough practice, never enough bliss, never enough insights, never enough to give my students, never enough knowledge to guide them safely, deeply and inspirationally!!!

I saw these were the intentions I had after my everyday practice these last 3 years.

Through Asana practice we create a clean, strong and receptive vessel of Prana, through Pranayama we fill that vessel with individual Prana, through meditation and Mantra we charge the mind with Prana in a certain form or of a certain quality. But what if after our practice we focus on the desire for more understanding, more to share, more whom to share it with?

I unknowingly created a charge of wanting, lack, scarcity…

And that scarcity mentality slowly leeked into every aspect of my mind and life.

I didn’t see money as a river of condensed energy flowing through our lives. Or success as a deep sense of satisfaction that lives through acting in accord with our Souls desire. Nor business as manifesting our desires into realities to touch the lives of those we love and others who cross our path.

Namaste, Shira, wake up!

Time to get up and act out what you came here to do.

Once we know that we have desires, we can take charge and turn our Prana from wanting, to a feeling of already having what we so long for. For in our desires lie our deepest yearnings and our unique gifts. That gift that only You came here to share with the world.

Know Your desires, be honest about them, honour them. It doesn’t make us less spiritual. They will lead you to the joy, satisfaction and bliss in both worlds. Find their essence and bring them into the world!

Now that I have seen the full extent and power of intention, visualisation and the charge of Prana we create through our practice. I create a magnet not for what I want, but rather for all the abundance I already have. I have a roof over my head, I have food every day, such luxury. I have a beautiful daughter, and a loving mother, I have amazing friends and students that shower me in loving words and thoughts. I have this amazing body, mind and soul that daily offer me infinite paths, ways and perspectives to opportunities and possibilities.

When the focus is on All That Is, we attract That.

Each and every single moment in our lives there is a window, a doorway, or a flooding river we can walk into and Be part of. In that rushing, we can choose to feel prosperous and abundant, or lacking. We can let the Prana flow into that desire. For Desire is the essence of Life itself!

Desire is Devi!

Devi is the infinite Will to Live, Give and Thrive. To come alive and bloom in a bounty of beautiful forms an brilliant minds. She knows no bounds, she lays no claims and desires all her children to know her bounty. It is our fears and doubts that hold us, and the world, back.

By knowing, directing and seeing the opportunites for our abundance and being grateful for All That Is, in all, we grant Devi entry into our lives, into our loves and into the Light of our minds!

Manifest your deepest desires!

Honour yourself. That is the deepest respect you can pay to the world, and yourself. No one can walk your walk or talk your talk. No one can change the world the way You want to see it transformed. Only you know that Dream. Only You can bring it to life.

Only You can breathe Life into the desire that was born when your Soul came into being with its first breath.

Declare, I dare to dream BIG and I belief I can do it!

I have the freedOm to choose, to love, to act.

So, be the change You want to See!

Now, I don’t just want to inspire you. We need to act. I want to give you some clear tips or ideas how to start this process. We still need to dream, see the vision, and create it by taking the small steps each and every day to work toward making that dream a Manifestation.

For such a long time I truly believed the simple notion that, if you practice devotedly and diligently, all you seek will come as you clear your Karmic garden and the world will pour its grace upon you. You probably believed this, or still do.

And it does, but not without clear actions and planned steps to pave the way. To manifest it and make it a reality, we need to take action.

Here are six steps that are helping me on my way.

1 Dream BIG 

Through first tuning into our Heart of Hearts, listen to its’ message, its’ song. Asking your heart and your deepest sense of self, what does our Heart need to be truly happy. Meditate, reflect, contemplate. Then to feel it, sense it, taste it, hear it, touch it and let it slowly become a vision. This process allows imagination to move through the Fire element, into a real Vision. This might take weeks, months or years. Maybe you already know what it is. If not, What in the world really motivates you to change, to do better? What cause speaks very poignantly to your Heart? Know that by stepping into your New Shoes, you are not just uplifting yourself and your life, but all the lives of those who you love, all those who you exchange small parts of your life with, and the world at large will benefit from You stepping up and being brave enough to make a change, no matter how BIG or small.

2 Take it from a Vision and Make it into Manifestation 

By writing down your Dream, you turn it from etheral to something 2D on paper. Something you can hold and see becomes real, something others can look at, read and comment on. You too can read, reread, and yes rewrite, how this Vision or Dream can manifest through further steps. Share it with others, get their feedback, by speaking and hearing others ideas, we manifest it through the space element. And then as you find people who do support your idea, let these friends hold you accountable. Tell them what you want to get done this month or week, and ask them to check up on you to make sure you did it.

3 Take 3 Steps Toward it Everyday  

Make what you wrote down in step 2 into a plan. See how you need to break it down into smaller steps over a year, month or week, depending on your plan, so that it doesn’t just stay as some wishful fancy. See who, what and where you need to enagage. Break it into even smaller steps that you can take every day. Just start with 3 small things that move you toward your goal, day by day, step by step. Sometimes just writing an email, making a phone call, researching the subject, connecting with others motivated or moving in that direction. Set yourself a set time each day to do each thing, so you don’t waste time or procrastinate. Be realistic, be honest and keep the ball moving. If you leave it too long too often, you will doubt either your ability, your drive, your motivation and your gift.

4 Focus on the Positive and Stay Motivated

Know that you can do this. Don’t give up. There will always be the inner critic giving you ample opportunities to give up, to doubt, to minimalise, to belittle or laugh at your efforts. Do it anyway. But focus on how good you feel when you see this coming alive little by little. Focus on the end in mind. Every day when you do your thing be happy with them, pat yourself on the back. A to do list is ok, but not motivating. Better is an overview of what needs doing, write it down for the whole week, and when some of the things you wanted to do are done, put a big smiley face next to it. Leave it up all week, be happy, proud or and feel satisfied. Treat or reward yourself after a week, month or term of working towards your Dream. And be grateful for what ever arises on your path. Know that good or bad, it is not the outcome we aspire for but the changes we make to ourselves and our lives as we go through this process. It will refine and ultimately reshape your Dream to fullfill your Deepest Life Purpose.

5 See Failures and Rejections as Necessary Steps 

Be prepared for the negative responses, rejections, people calling you a dreamer, or absolutely no responses at all. There will always be people who doubt your ability, usually because they unknowingly doubt their own ability to manifest their dreams. There will always be people who think you can’t do it. Do it anyway. There are two kinds of people in our lives when it comes to motivation, those that inspire and uplift, or those that don’t. Find and bring people into your life who inspire you, hang out with those that uplift, not those that love to cut your wings off before you even try to fly. Any Any failure is just a step to show you that that’s not the way for this project. Any falls, show weakness, and also the places where you need to spend more time, energy or get some advice from someone who has done it before. Know that people love to share their success stories, don’t be shy or think you are not worth their time. And rejections to your plan will happen, many times. For every YES! there will be at least ten NO!s, so see each NO as success, now there are only 9 to go 😉 Build your confidence by accepting these experiences as stepping stones. Do practices that build confidence.

6 Don’t do it Alone

Last but not least, don’t do it alone. Speak, share and invite others. If there is no interest from others, either the dream doesn’t effect others lives because they are not looking at life in the same way, and you need to speak to different people. Or, you need to look if this Dream has potentials to benefit others as much as yourself. Or maybe the way you present it isn’t speaking to other people. Again, look at finding those who will support you, physically, emotionally, mentally or financially. Don’t be shy. Try. Try, again.

Isn’t that what Yoga is all about? If at first you do not succeed, try try again. Why is Yoga a practice, because you will never get it absolutely wonderful the first time. That is why we have so many wonderful teachers. So many amazing teachings. Because what speaks to me today might not tomorrow. And so again, see and ask “Do I have a scarcity mentality about Yoga?” About the teachings, the teachers, the demand for more yoga taught in diverse ways at diverse levels of being, seeing, thinking and feeling? Do you believe there is enough for all of us?

If not why do you think that? Go deep into the question and se where it leads you! And be happy and grateful to yourself for doing so!

Namaste!

My Declaration to Prosper!

I release myself from the heavy net, debri and entanglements that have restrained, suppressed and led to my struggling with my self, my life and dragged down my essential affluence. That river of abundance and joy that flows from the very centre of my being, with every single beat of my heart.

I no longer hold myself back, no longer willing to feel small or unworthy. I choose to Shine. I choose to awaken and enliven all whose path crosses mine. So they too see, feel and know the Beauty, Bounty and Brilliance we all Have and Are!

I release my Soul, my consciousness and mind from the tethers and trappings of the threathening Doubter, the Fearful Know It Alls’ voice. Instead I hear my inherent and integral Hearts’ voice of honey. It speaks of Belief, Bounty and the birthright of Fullfillment dwelling within each moment of full Presence. This Voice who sees beyond the parts and knows the Whole as a Journey Full of Wonder.

From this very moment of now I allow myself to feel fully alive, prosperous and exuberant!

I allow myself the freedom and richness of self expression in absolute confidence, without denying others their essential fullness and satisfaction. I hold a warm fearlessness that welcomes and beckons all to stand in their daring sweet self.

I am willing to step into a new, fresh innocence of the unknown self, ready to walk into a world where wonderful things come with ease. No longer do I pay heed to the persuasive painful put downs of shame, guilt and criticism. I no longer need to play out the ascetic or the puritan, nor the martyr or authority. Spreading my Prana too thin, in the unrestrained pursuit of expanding consciouness, I cut my Hearts wings with an unreachable aim of ‘becoming pure’.

I no longer need to justify my fundamental richness. I choose to spread my wings instead! I fly into the sky of brilliant bounty of potential and dive into the sea of sparkling bubbles of sufficient satisfaction.

]

Our many little children

Our many little children

We all have many little children.

Even if we haven’t had a child, we can love other peoples children just as fully as if they were our own.

We can feel responsible for other people, animals, plants or planets, just as much as a mother loves her preciously amazing and unbelievable child. We can feel a deep joy for our creative thoughts, or constructive plans that become the fruit of our futures. We can give birth to new projects, thoughts and relationships.

Even if we never gave birth to a physical child that has arms, legs and minds of their own, we still have and make many children all day long!

These creations of ours can be so beautiful, so full of joy, freshness, awaking us to new realities and pathways. And the thing is, these beautiful children do have arms, legs and minds of their own. Our children, once we dream them up, or start to fulfil our desire, start to come alive, start to ask for our attention. They literally grow full bodies that need nurturing. And if we listen too much, too soon, too often, they rule our lives, run our minds and, sometimes drag our bodies and energy all over the place.

If we don’t listen enough or with full attention, they become undernourished, resentful, or worse- unloved. And they will feel in the dark. They will feel alone, unheard, unknown.

Then our fruits can become exhausting, or pull us into the dark, or we are afraid of them. They can cause us to disconnect, to suffer or be in pain.

Think about it, all those thoughts you have, all the emotions they trigger and actions or reactions that spring into life from the continous movement of the mind. These are very real children. They have consequences, they demand our attention, they need us to engage with the rest of the actions to fulfil these desires.

So to be a good parent, to All our creations, we need a place where we can take our time to relax and reconnect with our deeper Self. In this space we can reflect, redirect if necessary, and refill. Reflect on whether we actually need to fulfil these desires, which path is the right action to take for this child that asks so much of my time? And the question, “Does this child need all my attention? Do I really need to even listen to these requests it makes? Is it really a need or a greed? Should I be listening more fully, intently, honestly?”

These are very important questions, if we don’t want to end up walking down a path of constantly chasing after or catering for creations who run our lives, for months, or worse, years.

When we have the time to reflect, we also shed light onto and discover what we have been ignoring, or “leaving out in the dark”, and actually needs more of our awareness, love and embrace. And what we have focused on too much and actually needs to be left alone for a while.

Not only the new and the fresh creations are our children but also the old and sometimes painful or difficult ones, are also our precious ones. They too deserve our love and embrace, they need our light upon them. But not a powerful focus of attention that makes us grip or hold on to it, creating heat rather than radiance. We need a light and love to free our pain and fear. We need just the right amount of fire, Agni. Agni is the Tapas that will light our awareness and bring that nurturing warmth of Mother that heals and embraces All, no matter what. She excludes none.

Our pain and joy are both like a little child- needing not too much and not too little attention, just the right amount is a very brave and discerning practice. It requires swadhyaya, or self inquiry, Aparigraha, or openhearted and handedness, and Santosha, or contentment with what is as it is. These are the Yamas that guide us from inside toward the outside.

So, let us walk that path, like Mother Durga, on the sharp edge of the blade finding balance between these Yamas. Fierce with devotion to care for her young.

Let us hold our many children with equal amounts of love, tenderness and awareness.

Let us shed our full light of consciousness onto our creations, good, bad or unbelievable.

Much Love,

Shira.

The Journey Begins

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Thank you for joining me in this adventure!
So here I go again. Another dive into the wild waters of change.

Another journey of seeking the right space that aligns with my core values, whilst living as best as possible attuned to the purpose of my life.

Again leaving a country to live in another. Once more leaving behind the beautiful and dear friends, family and community that began to grow of its own accord, due to Life’s grand design. A plan so great we have no way to fathom it from where we stand. Especially when the waves are wild, and the current strong.

We can only accept our fate as a fish that can’t fly.

Once more to meet new friends, and dear old ones, connect with people, discover another school for my daughter, be part of a new culture and create another community of fellow friends who seek meaning and a positive way to express that, a Sangha.

I have just done this thrice in the past 4 years, and I am actually tired. As I get on, a little, I begin to find this arduous. Whereas before this was the zest of my life. Change, adventure, challenge and meeting the new with enthusiasm and a passion.

But these last 2 years I become so highly Vattic, so imbalanced, to say the least. The moving, meeting old and new, brings up so much doubt, insecurity and a sense of loneliness amongst so much familiarity. Lately I feel relationships seems so disconnected and distant. Not just new ones, but even very close family ones. Instead of connection, being linked so that energy, warmth, understanding and true compassion, can flow.

Is it just me, I wonder. Did I do or say something wrong? If so, why don’t people just adress it? Or are there many of us feeling this way, and just pretending it’s all normal? Sometimes it all seems so insane. Then I go back to the question ‘Is it just me’?

Or is this the way life is going while we consume an “all is well, as long as I am well” attitude, or is it just an evolutionary small but steep bump in the road? Is it my attitude?

There is one thing I have discovered in this 43 years of being very self-willed, diligent and to be honest, a little self-righteous, that the mind and will can only get you so far. Sometimes the will will not help you out. And you can get yourself stuck into a very tight and lonely spot. Doing it my way, all alone, all the time.

At a certain point I came to a total collapse. A burnout. Actually, this has happened twice in my life. Both times I was going full steam ahead with what I felt intuitively wasn’t good for me, but for some unreason, I could not let go of this willful steering wheel either.

Eventually I came to a total dead end, physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. All was black. The light within me had dwindled these last 2 years, as it had done 15 years ago. I saw it get smaller.

I thought it was necessary, work hard, struggle and suffer, just like the rest of most of my fellow humans.
But this winter the light was gone. I felt nothing. And as a Yoga teacher I felt like such a hypocrite teaching and guiding others to their inner light when mine was non-existant! Not only was it gone, I was a liar!

But as I spent days in nature with my daughter trying to be as present as possible, and to connect to this source that had once filled my whole mind and body, I finally succumbed to surrendering. To letting go of all that had taken so long to grow, the friends, commmunity, my childs amazing school and her funny loving friends, and reconnecting with my family from childhood. I learned immense things there, I felt that the connections we allowed to grow and strengthen have healed many wounds on both sides, not just family but also friends.

Yet here I was standing in a forward bend, head between my legs. Completely depressed, burnt out, trying to let go. When all of a sudden the symbolism of the position made me realise- if I just let it all go, if I just open up to going backward, not forward. Actually letting go and turning around. Instantly a faint light came and it flowered. My Heart began to come alive again. The light is still tiny and my cup do not runneth over yet, but it is slowly filling up again.
Now I never have had such a clear message.

I played with this insight for weeks. 3 days trying to make it work to stay, to find a way, and 3 days of letting go and starting it all over again. Well on the days that I decided to stay, I met unkind people, things went awry, I realised I was reluctant. On the days I decided to leave, people were kind, helpful, life went smoothly, my spirits were up.
This is when the unconscious speaks to us. When we are very focused on the subject we are dealing with we realise what our reluctance is about. What is it that we are doing that we actually don’t want to be doing anymore? The unconscious is coming into the conscious mind.

Horray! I am moving forward. Yet this also leads to more questions about choices and patterns. There is also an immense feeling of failure. Non completion, running away, repeating past patterns that have not been digested or transmuted.

Even though this was a clear message, it is still scary to let go of everything that has been lovingly tended, nurtured and encouraged to grow. Can I do it again?

How can we best discover the wisdom and strength from our difficult past experiences? Which at present feel like wide open wounds. No matter where I am, there they are.

Yet through writing and speaking with friends about my past, present and future, I slowly start to see and understand the underlying gift. The jewel manifests where our experiences reveal what is left after the waves have calmed. When the water is still, we reflect and the light of our consciousness frees this pattern. Releases this shadow from our unconscious.

Whoever says spirituality is for the light hearted has not a clue of what he speaketh!
And the travels we all go through to find our purpose, our meaning, our jewel to offer in this world, are never for nothing.

I have found that the practice of Yoga is my place of reflection everytime, no matter how high and rough the waters are. Understanding through my own body, mind and heart. A journey that churns my being, to reveal the only thing that always remains there waiting for us. Because the gold that remains after all base metal has been alchemized, lights up from within each of us. That transmuting of ignorance into wisdom, the alchemy of changing dark to light, can be a space we hold open for each other.

The way is not always easy or fun, and surely not tempting, yet like Bob Marley said so simply, “You can run, but you can’t hide”.

What experiences have you distiilled into gems?

Write them down look at your suffering and the patterns that bring it about, find what life is trying to tell you. Free that small part of shadow or darkness, shine your light of consciousness.

What is your wisdom path?

And it is this precious element I wish to discover with you.

Much Love,

Shira.
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