Manifestation


Lately I've been pondering the power of manifestation.

What helps you bring your dreams to life?

Do you sit in meditation? Do you write? Do you keep tokens or wear jewelry that remind you daily of what you seek?

What are the rituals you use for manifesting beautiful, amazing things in your life?


One practice I love using for manifestation is to wear pieces of jewelry with intention. Sometimes I'll have a certain ring or bracelet that I assign a mantra or a meaning, and then whenever I see that piece of jewelry I'm reminded to bring in that quality (maybe peacefulness, or love) or just to take a deep breath and re-center myself.

Recently I received a beautiful necklace from The Sattva Collection made with amethyst and crystal that features the Sri Yantra symbol. I wear it daily as a reminder to manifest a strong connection to my spiritual practices of yoga, meditation, and chanting.


I am wearing this necklace daily as a reminder to stay grounded and at peace with my new home, and to commit to my spiritual practices.

Since I moved north to the coast, things have been a little up and down-- lots of emotions come with relocating to a new town, immersing myself in new yoga communities, and adjusting to a new environment. I'm grateful for this necklace as a little reminder that I can feel at home no matter where I am, and I can cultivate that sense of comfort and familiarity by doing my daily practices.

When I wear this necklace it also reminds me that I am connected the great teachers, guides, and the ancient wisdom from this practice. This necklace has the Sri Yantra symbol, which I love (and also have tattooed on my back!) -- it represents balance in all things, divine feminine and masculine, earth and sky, the natural order and beauty of things. 

I also love the amethyst and clear quartz beads, for bringing in high vibration energy, peacefulness, and openness. 


I'm very grateful to be a part of the brand ambassador team for The Sattva Collection especially at this moment in my life, where I so dearly appreciate my connections to fellow yogis, both near and far.

We are all connected.

Stay in tune to that collective energy of love and peace on a daily basis, and you will manifest your dreams!

I'd love to invite you to check out The Sattva Collection and feel free to use the coupon code ALIVEINTHEFIRE to save $10 on your order :)

PS You can also follow @thesattvacollection on Instagram for inspiring ideas about manifestation, yoga, meditation, travel, goddess energy, and more. Namaste.

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day! Sending a big hug to all you moms, stepmoms, grandmas, aunts, wives, teachers, dog moms, yoginis, and lovely women of the world!

Thank you for your compassion and your love, and for making the world a brighter place.

An especially big 'I love you' goes out to my own mom, and my sister!

  


May your Mother's Day be relaxing and fun, and may you cherish spending time with those you love.


And if for some reason a day like today brings worry, sadness or fear, may you find peace by taking a deep breath... or enjoying a tasty donut ;)


Namaste.

10 Things I Love About Working For Myself


Being an entrepreneur takes guts. It takes courage to pursue your dreams even when the risks are high.


This year I took a leap of faith and quit a 9-to-5 job so that I could work for myself. I couldn't be more proud of this decision. ;)

In some ways, working for myself is much more challenging than having the predictability of a 40-hour work week... but it is one of the most fulfilling things I've ever done.


Here are 10 things I absolutely love about working for myself.

1. My mornings are now slow mornings. I can linger, sip coffee, and start my day with a peaceful pace.

2. I am more resourceful.

3. I practice yoga more often.

4. I have (prioritized) free time.

5. I have flexibility.

6. I have space for more relaxation and time with friends.

7. I don't have a rush-hour commute.

8. I'm usually around happy, healthy people and in quiet, peaceful environments.

9. I can support my loved ones more.

10. I can choose which projects to say yes to, and which to say no to.


May you be inspired, happy and balanced in your career path!

PS Three tips for if you're making a big change in your life, career-related or otherwise.

Badass Women: Justine

Photos courtesy of Justine.

Today I'm honored to introduce Justine, a dear friend who I know from high school English classes, and a talented, fearless artist who is traveling the world to share her passion. Justine created Tejer Las Americas (Weave the Americas), an international mural series connecting creators. As she says, Weave the Americas embarks a journey of discovery and expression. It’s a lot about encouraging others to embrace and enjoy their own freedom and use their powers for good in the world.

Justine is one of the most beautiful, expressive, down-to-earth badass women I know, and it is with a happy heart that I'm sharing her story today.



What makes you a badass?Being on my own adventure.  It requires a lot of strength and patience to blaze a trail.  Right now I’m blazing a cultural trail: finding creators throughout the Americas and connecting them, while showing with my own example that we as humans have the whole world as our home!   I also am guided by the consciousness that we share this home.  Community (between humans as well as all other species) is awesome and fulfilling! I guess I’m a badass because I care about the world and even if I get pissed off about the stubborn stupidity of many human actions (see this article), I keep believing in and pursuing a better world.




How did you get to where you are today?
Following my curiosity and putting my rational mind at the service of my creative mind has opened me up to experiences that have changed and shaped me.  Learning a new language is life-changing.  Talking with people is life-changing.  Seeing the world from different perspectives is life-changing.  Making up your mind to develop your own perspective is life-changing.  I have a lot of faith in the magic of the world and that has helped me wander far from the nest.  I believe that, in embarking on a journey whose intention is to share, learn, heal and unite, one finds the necessary help.  I’ve found it to be true so far.  The love and support from home, as well as from this growing international community, helps me to continue loving this extended journey.


What advice do you have for others who are looking to find happiness and become fully empowered?
Go deep.  Don’t settle for something that only partially satisfies.  I believe that each of us chooses to be born in order to experience certain things, and inside we know what lights us up.  If you don’t feel like you’re on your path but rather you’ve somehow stumbled onto the path that others thought you should take… do something immediately to orient yourself again to your own inner compass.  Your consciousness and free will is not something to be wasted pleasing “society,” especially when “society” makes really awful calls on important matters.  Recognize your fear.  Dominate it.  And move forward into your light.


How do you plan to continue your baddassery?
We’re going to Weave the Americas, baby!  Haha.  For the next year or so I’ll be continuing to make my way north by land and sea with my partner Catriel.  We’re in Uruguay at the moment and will soon be headed to Paraguay, Bolivia, the North of Chile, and then up the Cordillera (Peru, Ecuador…).  In Colombia we’ll have to decide what to do with the car. Perhaps at that point we’ll transition to a sailboat.  Time will tell.  

In general we are finding fascinating individuals, painting murals using sacred geometry to mark sites of interest and repay generosity, and we’re taking notes on different strategies for living.  We’ve seen some very exciting examples of permaculture communities. Bioconstruction is so gorgeous, logical, harmonious and efficient!  It’s definitely inspired us, so I think our path will continue to seek and develop this knowledge and apply it everywhere we can.  Maybe spend some concentrated time with our hands in the soil in Mexico 2016-2017 before completing the North America leg of the expedition.  If I can do that part on horseback I’ll be… totally exuberant.
I'm continually inspired by the badass women I know who are relentlessly pursuing their dreams. Thank you, Justine, for being a part of the series! 

PS For more stories of badass women, meet Sarah, Sam, and Summer.

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.

Badass Women: Sam


Today, a post for Alive in the Fire's Badass Women series... I'd like to introduce you to Sam

She is a talented journalist living in New York City and working as the Senior Editor of MarieClaire.com. I know Sam from journalism class during our Northwestern days and since then I've been following her incredible writing pursuits, admiring the hard work she's dedicated to build her successful career. I love Sam's wonderful sense of humor and the way she lives every moment to the fullest. 

'Life without the boring stuff,' as she describes it on her Instagram bio... that truly captures the way Sam shares her story, and her fearless and beautiful spirit.


Photos in this post courtesy of Sam.

What makes you a badass?

Oh man, to label myself as a badass is a bit scary—but diving right in! I think being true to myself makes me pretty badass. Cliché, maybe, but in my industry (media) and in life in general, carving your own path without being so influenced by what others are doing or how others might be presenting themselves is a necessity to being happy and positive and the best version of you. I used to worry about how others perceived me—I come off pretty young, I think, because of my attitude towards life and how I carry myself, and I thought that might be a detriment in my career. But anyone who knows me knows how driven and motivated I am—you don't have to be a miserable human who delights in others' failures in order to succeed and do well in your career!  



How did you get where you are today? 

I live in NYC—one of the best cities in the world, IMO—and I work at a pretty sweet gig (Senior Editor at MarieClaire.com) day in and day out. Northwestern got me the skills and the connections for that job, but I think attitude goes a long way in terms of where I've gotten in life. I think many people who have worked with me know that they should never mistake my kindness and happiness for weakness. I know when to put my foot down or make my argument. But having the understanding that we're all humans working towards something that touches others in a cool way—and that we all want it to be the best—is half the battle. And the reason I'm doing what I do every day. 



What do you do for yourself to rejuvenate?

To rejuvenate, I love sitting by a beach. You know those people who can't sit still on vacations, who always have to be doing something? That's not me at all. I could sit on a chair, with a cool drink, for days. But if I'm not able to get away, just walking around the city—doing my own thing on no schedule for an entire day—that's like pushing the reset button. 

What advice do you have for others who are looking to find happiness and become fully empowered?


It's hard to take people seriously when they say "be yourself." But knowing that your self can change—and that that's okay—is a big part of being happy and in tune with who you are. You don't have to stay the same person you were a year, a month, or even 10 days ago. You're allowed (and encouraged!) to change and grow any day or every day. I also think a keen understanding of what makes you truly happy—not just the stuff you *want* to be the stuff that makes you happy, but those things that actually do—is a big part of growing up and realizing your worth and value. Not everyone's thing can be your thing and not everyone has to "get" you—but the good people in your life will and should support you. 



How do you plan to continue your baddass-ery? 

Man, right now, I'm just seeing where life takes me! I feel like I've gotten really philosophical or happy hippy dippy in this thing, but it's actually just about enjoying life and having fun. That's what I try to do (with varying degrees of success) every single day. And I hope by writing and working on projects that reach others—that either inspire them or make them laugh or think or nod their head in agreement—that I continue to impact others' lives in at least some small way. 



Thank you, Sam, for being a part of the Badass Women series here on Alive in the Fire. Cheers!

The Badass Women series is inspired by women in my life who are courageously pursuing their dreams and doing what makes them most happy. Women who aren't afraid to take risks. Or maybe they are, but they do it anyway. Women who are teachers, mothers, writers, warriors, business owners, leaders, artists, yogini goddesses... beautiful women of all ages, shapes, backgrounds, who have experienced a diversity of successes and struggles in life. 

You can also check out my post in the series, and stay tuned for posts featuring other incredible women. Namaste.

My Fearless Year

Photos by LucidReflections.

Today, I’m celebrating my 27th birthday! :)

My intention this year is to embrace fearlessness.


I’m challenging myself to try new things, to release and heal old hurts, and shift away from fear and toward love. 27 will be my fearless year.

Already in 2015, I’ve made some bold moves… 

  • teaching more yoga, including workshops and up to 3 classes in a single day
  • re-branding Alive in the Fire
  • dyeing my hair purple
  • moving
  • making new friends
  • doing several boudoir photo shoots
  • being willing to cry on my yoga mat
  • quit the 9-to-5 and gone freelance
  • started a series on Alive in the Fire all about badass women


And I’ve got some amazing things in the works, too…like taking back my maiden name (!!!), leading a kirtan chanting class, exploring my purpose and how it relates to my career, and trying scary new things, like shooting a gun and driving a manual transmission car.



Releasing fear is a powerful practice. Even just in the last few weeks, I’ve been starting to practice more awareness and mindfulness – taking the time to notice, what do I really fear?

I’m ready to release my fear of change, my fear of not being good enough, and my fear of being seen. I’m ready to love my body more. I’m ready for open communication, expressing my needs, and taking great care of myself.



This ‘fearless year’ is inspired in part by my 40-day yoga challenge, my friend Beth who completed a fearless year, and a few amazing books. Check out May Cause Miracles by Gabrielle Berstein and Yoga Girl by Rachel Brathen—these strong women have powerful words. Their writing has helped me reflect on what I fear and how fear cripples me, so that I can create new habits. In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting more on this topic and I hope you’ll follow along and share your input.

PS A very happy birthday to my twin sis, too! <3


Summer Sunglasses from Firmoo (And a Giveaway!)

 

Who doesn’t want free sunglasses in summer?!

I am grateful that Firmoo reached out and offered me the chance to try a new pair. I picked these awesome purple shades – I could not resist! I love how often getting the chance to write about a product on my blog encourages me to pick something a little more wild than I might normally choose :)

Of course I went with these badass purple shades – they are great for lounging poolside, going for evening walks, and summer hikes with friends!



I highly recommend Firmoo; they have an awesome website with lots of choices for glasses and sunglasses, which you can order with or without a prescription. Their website is easy to use, and they’ve got this handy feature where you can upload a picture of yourself and see what you’d look like wearing a certain pair of frames (it’s called their Virtual Try-On feature).

 

GIVEAWAY! Firmoo is giving away 5 free sets of frames to Alive in the Fire readers! If you would like a pair, please leave a comment below or send me an email at aliveinthefire at gmail dot com and I'll gift you the code :)

PS Check out this other pair of sunglasses I reviewed for Firmoo a while ago. Happy shopping, yogis!

All Bodies are Beautiful

Video via Kickstarter.

I love this project, and I can so relate to what Taryn, the creator says:

"Women and girls are constantly held back and lead to believe they’re not as good as they should be. Why? Because every day we feel we’re being judged on our appearance and how far away it is from an unachievable ideal.

Lose weight, reduce wrinkles, fight cellulite; we’re constantly told to fight a battle to be someone other than who we are."


With Embrace, Taryn seeks to explore body image and encourage people around the world to shift their thinking. What a beautiful story, and a beautiful goal!

In yoga, we seek to embody our bodies -- to connect with our own physicality, to nurture, to release, and ultimately to love our bodies.

I encourage you to check out the Body Image Movement, and I hope you'll truly hear me when I say: you are beautiful.

Namaste.

Made: An E-Course Adventure Through Faith and Creativity

 

A few of my fellow blogging friends have put together an incredible e-course on what it means to be a Christian artist. The class is called MADE, and it's a beautiful collaboration headed up by the talented Beth Morey, one my lovely sponsored yogis. The group features artists of all kinds-- writers, painters, photographers, hula hoopers, doodlers-- and anyone is encouraged to join (no artistic experience required!).

Photo via Pinterest.

Here's a little more info about the course, and how you can sign up:

Made is a brand new e-course created by Christian creatives for Christian creatives, exploring what it means to be a person who makes things who believe she or he was, in turn, made by God. Twelve teachers are leading us on an adventure through faith and creativity over the course of 4 months and more than 16 workshops.

The course runs from September 1 to December 31, 2013, and will remain open through September 1, 2014. During that time you will receive heaps of inspiration for your creative faith journey as well as loads of new creative ideas to try out in your art, writing, journaling, and more!

Sign up for MADE here: http://madecourse.wordpress.com/

Photo via Pinterest.

I will be attending the course and have no doubt that it's going to be an incredibly fun, laid-back, eye-opening and creative process. Hope you'll join in!

Feel Beautiful (An All-Natural Giveaway)

 Photos by me and Cara Brostrom.

Do you get overwhelmed by our culture of magazines and celebrities and constant repetition of the question, "Am I beautiful?"

Me too.



That's why I'm bringing you a giveaway that features only natural beauty... starring: YOU! I believe you are gorgeous just the way you are. 

Yoga brings out your best features: your glowing smile, your sexy curves (whether they're muscular or not), and your calm and peaceful state of mind.



Here's what you'll win:
  • YogaEarth superfood snacks.
  • Workout wear that makes you feel like a rockstar.
  • A custom note from me. :)
  • A personalized plan for yoga workouts and a week-long meal plan that will skyrocket your health and leave you glowing.
  • The chance to share your reflections on Alive in the Fire, if you'd like!
Here's how to enter:
  • Answer this question in a comment below: What is beautiful in my life right now?
  • Check out YogaEarth and share this link with one friend on Facebook who you think could benefit from trying some new healthy snacks:  http://apps.facebook.com/yogaearth/rachelstroud (Note: if you place an order, you'll get an extra entry into the giveaway, too!)
  • For an additional entry, Tweet about the giveaway and mention @aliveinthefire and @yogaearth in your post.
Good luck and namaste, beautiful ones!

Wrap Your Arms Around Me

Photos via Pinterest and A Cup of Jo.

You could use a hug, huh?

Here's what you do.



First things first, deep breath. Air all the way from your nose to your toes.

Relax your shoulders away from your ears.

Wrap both arms around your chest, and give a little squeeze.

Or go ask that friend, lover, colleauge, family member, or stranger for one. Chances are, they need one right back.


(PS I'm sending you a big air hug right now, too!) 

Green Cleaning and Happy Memories


As you know, I'm a big fan of green products... especially the ones that support my wish to breathe free of toxic chemicals, and inspire me to clean with a smile.

When Maggie from Eco Store USA contacted me a few weeks back, I was excited to try out a few of their products, including their luxurious coconut vanilla body wash and handy all-purpose citrus cleaner.


Right away, I fell in love with the body wash. The smell takes me right back to Puerto Rico! It turns something as simple as my daily shower routine into a mini-vacation right at home :)  And of course, brings back lovely memories of all those yummy pina coladas on the beach.



Highly recommended! This would make a perfect stocking stuffer for a sister, mom or friend.

I also tried out the citrus spray cleaner, and was happily pleased with its performance. There's nothing better than being able to wipe down your kitchen counters and bathroom sink without worrying that yucky chemical residue will be left behind. As the bottle reads, "no nasty chemicals" here!



Eco Store USA has a wide selection of wonderful bath and body, household cleaning and baby care products you should check out. They even feature green pet care products! For all you stellar moms and homemakers out there, theirs is a store that's not to be missed. Also be sure to check out Eco Store USA on Twitter and Facebook.

Becoming Beautiful (A Giveaway)

 
Photo via Pinterest.
Lately I've been contemplating beauty. Questions emerge. Where does beauty come from? How is it revealed?


Can gratefulness lead us to become something new?


There are places where you go to transform yourself -- beauty from the outside in. This site brings you a selection of spas and salons, and they're offering this lovely little giveaway. Go on, enter it. You could find yourself transformed -- a whole free year of salon or spa treatments.


Then join me for a few reflections on the nature of beauty in the coming days. Feel free to speak your mind in the conversation below. 
Photo via Beth Altrogge.

Photo via  Odette NY. 
Photo via  Odette NY.