Hugs

Hi, loves.

I could use a hug.

It's been radio silence over here, and I appreciate your patience. Hoping to create more space for blogging soon.

In the meantime, thanks for any and all positive vibes and hugs you can send my way.

XO

PS Isn't it powerful when we are going through struggles and we put it out to the Universe and our support system to ask for help and a little extra love? I think so.

A Big 'Ol Hug


What I wouldn't give to wrap you up in my arms and squeeze you tight.

I can still picture the smell of your shirt as I nuzzle into you,


and that feeling of how the world stops,

and I'm just alive and here with you,


breathing, smiling,

being

in love. 


PS Hugs on hugs on hugs. Namaste.

Photos in this post via Pinterest by Storyboard Wedding (1), via Victoria Bilsborough on Pinterest (2), via Ohsomoco on Pinterest (3), and by Matty Collett (4).

Hugs


Sometimes there is fear or doubt, and this leads to a sense of lacking.

A feeling of emptiness.


Sometimes there is miscommunication, or lack of it, and this can lead to frustration.

Resentment.


When you are able to open, and allow love in, and express it clearly and fully, the love blossoms.

It grows. It gets shared.

Take a moment today to say 'I love you,' to show you care.

Give someone a hug. Each time you do this, it matters.

Photos in this post found via Pinterest, by Loren & Chris Photography on Storyboard Wedding (1), Hannah Nicole (2), and Like an Old Story on Tumblr (3).

Sneak in a Hug


What if today my purpose is not to do anything besides sneak in a hug with someone that I love?

To surprise them and bring them a smile as they suddenly find themselves wrapped up in my arms.


What if today is simply meant for expressing love?


Not doing, but being.

A human.

In love.


Someone who shares this love.

Photos in this post found via Pinterest.

PS Hugs, and more hugs.

3 Ways to Help Let Go of Worry


A friend of mine shared a beautiful thought the other day:

Worry is thinking about feelings instead of feeling them.

I love this idea!


With that in mind, here are three simple things I do on days when I want to encourage feeling:

1. Be in my body. When I'm connected to physical sensation, it helps bring me to the present moment, and allow feelings to surface and process. Some of my favorite ways to do this are to breathe audibly (exhaling through the mouth), stomping my feet, and practicing yoga poses.

2. Listen to music. Music is powerful for stirring up emotions. I have certain songs I know will encourage tears, or will lift me into a more positive mood. Make playlists and invite mood music to help encourage more feelings.

3. Sing, chant or write. I try to stay curious as I do any of these. It can be challenging to stay in the feeling mode instead of thinking, but see if it's possible to do these without becoming overly analytical. When I do this, I let myself sing whatever song I want to sing, I chant whatever chant comes into my heart, or I write freely, without holding back. Singing, chanting and writing are great tools for moving energy through me, which can release any blockages and allow the emotions to come through.


Feel what you feel. Namaste.

Photos in this post by Tom Huynh.

Trusting


Feeling the Monday blues today. And, simply struggling to feel at home in a new place.

I'm choosing to take rest, to invite healing.

And I keep rereading this article about when you're feeling sh*tty about life:

You decide how much space you get to take up. You decide how much your voice is worth. You can work yourself ragged and accrue everything you ever thought you needed, but if you don't believe who you are underneath the glitz, nothing will matter. A fevered mind has a funny way of turning gold into dust.


The time for trusting is now.

PS Also, extra hugs.

Photos by Brynna Bryant of Respiro Photography.

Happy Holidays!

Photos by Felipe Silva of @the_lost_portraits.

Happy Holidays, yogis! Wishing you a peaceful week :)


A heartfelt namaste and big cheers to you and your family and friends as 2015 comes to a close. How are you celebrating the start to a new year?


I'll be blogging intermittently for the next week. In case you're looking for some fun reading on Alive in the FIre, here are a few of my favorite posts from 2015:

Badass Women: Kim

Photos courtesy of Kim.

Hi, yogis! Today I'm grateful to introduce you to Kim, a badass yogini in Chicago who has inspired me on so many levels... not only is she the incredible entrepreneur behind Sant, but she is also a beautiful soul with a very powerful voice. Kim and I started emailing a long time ago, and from the moment I heard from her, I could sense a strong connection. 

With Kim, I love that I can talk about anything and feel supported and acknowledged; she offers an encouraging, intelligent perspective and her down-to-earth demeanor is one of a kind :)

Kim goes for what she wants in life, and she has this incredible clarity about her. When I think 'badass,' she's at the top of my list!


What makes you a badass?

I have a tattoo that says "badass" on my left wrist and another that says badass in sanskrit on my thigh.  OK, not really, but I do think I'm hilarious and sometimes I say things just to make myself laugh (and that's kind of badass).  I welcome failure, pain and love.  I left the corporate world to start a social enterprise; it failed.  Then I moved to India, (and cried the first 8 months) and started another social enterprise, Sant.



How did you get where you are today? 

Work.  A lot of work.
  • Vipassana meditation course
  • Books - A New Earth, The Four AgreementsMany Lives, Many Masters, The Queen's Code
  • Work with healers
  • Network spinal analysis 
  • Byron Katie
  • Ted talks: Lessons from the Mental Hospital and The Voices in My Head
  • Yoga, Yoga nidra and Kundalini yoga
  • Ayurvedic treatments 
  • Breath work
  • The documentary "I Am"
  • Native American sweat lodges 
  • Choosing my words carefully  (no "good", "bad", "should" "have to")
  • Living in the grey as opposed to the black and white
  • Showing myself compassion, acceptance, love and gratitude
  • Observing my judgments and thoughts, including separating suicidal thoughts from myself

What do you do for yourself to rejuvenate?

Dance.  (I dance by myself in the mornings.  I might be a ballerina when I grow up.) Meditation. Cuddling. Laughing.



What advice do you have for others who are looking to find happiness and become fully empowered?
  • Listen to yourself-- you are the only person who knows what you need
  • Ask for help-- this is true strength 
  • Do something-- if you aren't happy, you won't be able to think yourself to happiness. You're programmed to be unhappy (our society does this). You have to break out of this programming and it takes action.  

How do you plan to continue your baddass-ery? ;)
Living in the present moment.  Nurturing myself.  Working to positively impact the lives of others.

Thank you so much, Kim, for participating in this series and for being such an awesome friend! 

PS Meet other badass women in the series: Justine, Sarah, and Rose.

Badass Women: Rose D.


Today, in the Badass Women series...my dear friend Rose, an incredible massage therapist and entrepreneur who is one of the most soulful, open-hearted people I know. I admire Rose for her courage, her independence, her work ethic, and her positive outlook. 

Rose shines brightly anywhere she goes, and when you're around her, you begin to notice how present she is. Her mind isn't wandering elsewhere-- she's here, right now, with you. I'm so grateful for Rose and excited to see where her dreams lead her.



What makes you a badass?
I define a badass as someone that does not let fear hold them back from achieving their dreams and living up to their potential (I am a work in progress;-). We all have incredible talents and capabilities yet most people aren't taught how to harness them and believe that we can actually pursue them and make a living at the same time. A badass knows that anything with a pure motive to help others will be fully guided and supported by a higher power. This takes an immense amount of faith and is an art of maintaining a positive attitude as challenges arise. 

How did you get where you are today?
My journey can be defined as spiritual one that came about through in-depth soul searching. From an early age I found it extremely easy and enjoyable to tune into someone's body because of a genuine concern and desire to improve their physical, mental and emotional state. As an added bonus, I felt therapeutic benefits from giving treatments as well.  

I realized that my gift for stress relief, relaxation and pain relief was rare and much needed in a high-stress society. I realized that I had to take the leap of pursuing my passion in a professional realm.  I also realized that you have to believe that what you have to offer is so helpful that you are doing the world a dis-service by living anyone else's dream but your own. This mental shift has allowed me to discover other talents I have, as well as meet some incredible people that have similar visions of helping others live healthy and happy lives. 

My clients also inspire me by trusting in the power of all natural modalities and by doing what it takes to live in a Centered state where you can hear the messages all around you telling you to live up to your greatest potential. If I can be a part of that in any way, I am complete. 

What do you do for yourself to rejuvenate?
Gratitude is key. Every morning I think of what a blessing it is to be given a brand-new baby day with immense potential. Prayer and Meditation are the two most powerful tools for staying grounded and rejuvenated. Counting my blessings on an everyday basis keeps my focus on the bright side. I also remember to keep a light-hearted attitude and not take myself too seriously. Spending time with children and animals always help me remember this. Breathing exercises, alone time, journaling, spiritual conversations, reading the bible and being one with nature always seems to pull me out of trivial matters and gain a strengthened perspective.


What advice do you have for others who are looking to find happiness and become fully empowered? 
Remember that no matter who you are or what has happened in the past or is happening, there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. Life itself, food to eat, air to breathe, freedom of choice, the trees, a breeze...open your eyes to these things and the blessings will flood into your mind. Feeling happy with yourself and where you are right now will allow you to be in a state of mind to dream bigger as you realize your potential as a result.  Know what you want. Set goals and stay away from self-doubt. Balance humility and confidence with grace. Know that no one has it all figured out completely.

Empowerment comes from accepting the things that you can't change and making the most of the things you can. Also, never depend on anyone to tell you, you can do it; you have to believe in yourself and the unlimited power that surrounds us.


How do you plan to continue your baddass-ery? ;)
Never quit! I will never stop growing, and being open and available for opportunities to help in any ways I can. 

As I gain more awareness, I plan on expanding in all directions, and also am focusing on a global effort by networking with other like minded individuals and utilizing my advertising skills to spread messages about healthy living and protecting mother nature's resources. Somehow, it all fits together; healthy people, healthy planet...and the sky has no limits!



Thank you so much, Rose, for being a part of the Badass Women series here on Alive in the Fire. For more posts in the series, check out (other) Rose, Sam, and Summer.

Hugs

Photo via The Boho Garden on Tumblr.
Perhaps the most important hug today is just for you. You could picture your arms wrapped around the backs of your shoulders, the way a child loves herself. You could hear the sound of your own voice saying I love you. I do.

Despite your doubts, your shame, or your insecurities, you choose compassion.

Even if only for a brief time, you love yourself unconditionally. 

A Simple Hug

Photos via Pinterest.

The person near you could be suffering, and you don't even realize it.

None of us know when the next devastating moment in life will arrive.


Yet, we're in this together. Everything that happens to us has happened to someone before, maybe even someone we know.

You can choose to ask for a hug when you need one.


We all deserve love and happiness. We share it by giving hugs and smiles to those around us.

The next stranger you see at the grocery store who seems sad, send them an invisible energetic hug. The next yogi at your studio who you haven't met, take a moment to say hello. Share a hug. Or hug your teacher after class.


And that person in your life who you've been waiting to forgive, or who you're harboring resentment towards, know that they need a hug from you too. And you're allowed to give one as soon as you're ready.

You can hug yourself while you're in the shower, or outside under the moon, or first thing when you wake up in the morning.

You can hug your dog, your cat, your turtle, the neighbor's pet who you love to see running around in the front yard.

A simple hug goes quite a long way.