Motivating Mondays

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Wow it has been too long!

Although a few Mondays have passed since I last wrote I want you all to know I have still been finding my Monday Motivation in other aspects of my life, and I hope you all have too! When I look out my window today I don’t see spring just yet, there is still snow, a heavy fog has settled down and nestled in. But in my life I have begun to clear, move forward and leave behind the state of hibernation. This week is jam packed and filled with what I like to think of as soultentions. Intentions  crafted from how I want to feel and where I want to be.

+ On Meditation

I backed this wonderful project a few weeks ago and there are only 4 days left until their goal is to be reached! Watch the trailer, feel the presence of each teacher, the gifts that are going into this film to be created and support the wonderful movement of spreading meditation to all corners of our earth. Elena Brower and Gabrielle Bernstein are just two of the many who are interviewed.

http://onmeditation.com/

+ Sexy Baby

This documentary was an eye opener to what teens are being exposed to today. To think that just a mere 7 years ago I didn’t even have a Facebook account and had no idea the power or influence of the internet. The environment that teens are in today is vulnerable, exposed and has no boundaries. The entire 50 min left me in shock and a bit worried about our future, and only fueled my desire to reach out to girls and women that we are not here to be a prop,  but rather a tool to change and heal. It is time that women and men step up to the plate and empower women and young girls in a positive and transformative way.  The last 7 years has been a blessing with the internet, but I want to be apart of movement that continues to use this tool as a means to create a supportive and loving community. Let’s not use the internet to fuel judgment, criticism or fear. If you live in Norway you can watch this on NRK direct.

+ Spiritual Teachings

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Yoga and spirituality are still relatively small here compared to the United States or Western Europe, however it is starting to creep its way into the Oslo scene, which I am very grateful for. Starting Thursday I’ll be filling my evening with a yoga class by Venerable Lobsang Nyingpo. Friday will be with Kadam Bridget Heyes and Saturday evening I will be at 8Treasures with Geshe Michael Roach. If you live in Oslo come join and be inspired. I would love to say hi to you as well : )

+ Monday Mantra: Witness. Witness where you feel fear, anxiety, love and support. Just be a witness this week and see where it takes you.

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Motivating Mondays

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Well it’s technically Tuesday here but still Monday in Hawaii! Yesterday flew by! I have a feeling that is how my week will look. And I am just fine with that, because next week is vacation! Easter break where I can read, nap and cook up yummy treats in the mountains. But to get us going this week I’ve got a bit of sugar toxicity, TEDx inspiration and a list of books that should be on everyone’s spring cleaning list.

+ Jack LaLanne

Jack LaLanne was a fitness, exercise, nutritional expert and motivational speaker born in 1914. He was a self proclaimed “sugarholic” and “junk food addict” until he turned 15 when he changed his life around and became known as the ‘godfather of fitness’. If he thought there was a sugar and junk food crisis back in 1930 I would love to hear what he has to say about 2013! He wrote numerous books and hosted plenty of nutrition and fitness shows. Recently I have been exploring the risks of sugar in our diets, and luckily this week my nutritional course will be exploring this very topic. The following clip is Jack LaLanne discussing how your life would change drastically if you cut sugar out for just 5 days. The fact that he addressed this back in the 1960’s and we are still being challenged with the same illnesses and issues is beyond me. I just hope we still wont be trying to convince people of the dangers of white sugar in 2060.

If you would like some inspiration on how to eliminate sugar from your diet and still enjoy the sweetness of life read everything Sarah Wilson has about sugar.

+ TEDx

Last week I posted this video clip on my facebook. I raved about it to everyone. I truly believe in the power of growing your own garden, eating locally sourced produce and  becoming more aware of our food products.  Ron Finley and his team are miracle workers when it comes changing small plots of land in South Central L.A and instilling food values in the community. I could listen to him talk all day. He captivated me with his first sentence.

If you are new to TEDx here is a  playlists to get you inspired and motivated.

New to Ted?

+ Spring Cleaning

Tomorrow is the first day of spring! Although Norway is still covered in layers of ice and a couple feet of snow, I will still be celebrating. And although I wont be cleaning out my closet just yet and bringing out the shorts and dresses, I will be spring cleaning my mind. And I have just the right books to get me clearing, releasing, forgiving and renewing.

-Anything Danielle LaPorte but more specifically the Fire Starters and the Desire Map.

Yoga Ph.D by Carol Horton

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Return To Love– Marianne Williamson

Lets just say I will be busy!

Monday Mantra: Open Body, Open Mind. That is the beauty of life.

Happy Monday/Tuesday! xox

 

Motivating Mondays

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+ Jivamukti

I spent this past weekend at a Jivamukti workshop in Oslo. Øystein and Niclas were here in January at the Yoga Festival and their class moved and inspired me. I loved the spirituality that was weaved in between the asanas, the challenging poses that were set to perfect tunes and the energy from the instructors that brought us all into the present moment. This past weekend did not disappoint me, the class was intimately small and gave us all time to enhance our practice with guided assistance.  Saturdays class left me feeling cracked open, vulnerable but alive, while Sundays class brought be back to earth, grounded and complete. They both give yoga the energy I search for, the presence I love and push me over my own comfort zone. They create an exhilarating experience filled with possibilities.  This clip was played to start off our practice yesterday, I feel it should be a clip that is played every morning.

+ Books Worth Reading

9a2374ac57ea59a8efefcb5e22e74135I love a good book. The comfort and enjoyment I get from those pages in a novel always bring me to a state of being grounded. Unfortunately I have been neglecting it recently and choosing short articles or blog posts, a quick fix and rushing along with my day. This week I will be slowing down and letting the pages and words soak in, settle and ground me. Here are a few of my favorite past reads:

+ Instagram

My Instagram is filled with yoga, food and beautiful friends. Here are a few of my favorite accounts:

Sweat and Oranges, Amy Landry and Sarah Pohl

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+ Monday Mantra: Restore. Renew. Relax. Restore your faith in Humanity. Restore yourself.

Motivating Mondays

Monday

Monday Monday Monday! I was lucky enough this weekend to head up into the mountains and enjoy the warmish winter temperatures but a rather large storm decided to join us as well. Luckily I love storms as much as I do sunny days so I curled up next to a fire and indulged in naps, books, juices, and thought provoking shows. Hope you did something similar : )

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+ Bliss Energy Balls

Soak 2 cups of dried fruit (I love to use a combination of dates, figs, goji berries, golden raisins, and prunes) in a bowl of lukewarm water for 10 min. In the meantime place 2 cups of  nuts (I love to use a combination of walnuts, almonds and pecans), 1 cup raw cacao powder, pinch of salt and pinch of cinnamon in the food processor and blend until finely ground. Add soaked fruit until combined. The mixture may resemble bread crumbs but once you start to press them into the shape you wish they will easily stick together! Store in a glass jar or plastic container. Enjoy!

+ Makers

I stumbled upon this show last week and decided I would watch the first episode and see what it was all about. Well I ended up watching all 3. These women were the pioneers in the feminist movement that started after WWII, women who knew there was more to their lives, and who believed in nothing else but their dreams and the collective spirit of women who come together. I only wish these women had graced my history books in High school, hearing all their stories about change, the challenges women faced and how they overcame it all truly had me thinking about what my cause would be.

+ Yoga Causes

Speaking of causes I have this huge urge to go out and volunteer my time as a Yoga Teacher. I have been to both Kenya and South Africa and volunteered in the townships for two different non-profits. However I have this pull towards Africa and have always wanted to able to connect on a different level, be able to give my time, my passion with connecting to others and to be able to lend a hand in a healing process. Yoga is empowering and transforming, and all though  I don’t believe it will fix, or transform what is present in the townships today I would hope it could help someone for one moment in their day to step out of their mind and into their hearts. There are many organizations out there however I find these two very inspiring Mandala House and Africa Yoga.

 

+Monday Mantra : Breathe. Connect with the earth below you and show up for yourself. Breathe

 

Friends + Friday

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Two of my favorite things are friends and Friday. What better than to bring the two together! I met Najiah in Bali at our Teacher Training and I was immediately struck by her sense of calm, the beauty of her poses and how she challenged herself every day. Every fear we were confronted with during our month together Najiah did it with a smile and with grace. She comforted us who cried, and listened to those who needed to speak, she exemplified the most invaluable lessons I have learned in Yoga, the art of giving, being selfless and love. I am beyond thrilled she is my first Friday Friend post! If you are ever in Singapore be sure to reach out for the BEST places to eat. I was only with her for 5 hours but I must have had 6 meals, it was fabulous. If I was to name the one gem Singapore has it is hands down Najiah.

+Hometown: Singapore
+Favorite destination: London or Italy
+Favorite food: Oh God. Too many. But if I had to pick one, I guess it’s real fresh sashimi.
+Favorite Yoga pose: Dancer pose. Just because it’s just so beautiful! And requires an incredible amount of both strength and flexibility! It’s all about the balance (:

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+How did you discover Yoga? Through a friend at work when I was worried I was putting on the weight in a sedentary working environment
+Why do you practice Yoga? For the calmness and serenity it brings me during and after practice. And of course for its endorphins. (:
+What inspires you? Beauty. And people who are true to themselves and others and who pursue what they truly want to do. I find there is some kinda fire and beauty in that.
+Where do you go to find calm and serenity? The Yoga Shala.
+If you had an entire day to show a loved what would you show them in Singapore? Arab St area, the Esplanade, Robertson Quay, China Town, Little India, my home.

+Where and what would you eat? Too many things oh we’d be so stuffed. Dim Sum, nasi lemak, chicken rice, hokkien mee, black pepper crab. The list is endless. Go check out ieatishootipost.sg!

+What is the best kept secret in your current city? Me. Well, okay, I believe it’s my grandmother’s cooking.

Life in a nutshell:

My morning routine is…. Snooze till I can’t snooze anymore. ):
The world needs more…. Love.
I believe in…. Being true to myself.
Love is…. Selfless.
I can’t get enough of…. Learning. About myself, life, food, yoga, anything that interests me really.
Yoga is… something I’m really thankful I found in life for helping me find some balance in a crazy world.
In 2013 I want to…. Oh gosh, I just set my goals (thankfully) few weeks ago. One of them is to practise self-love. Many a time I think I don’t appreciate myself for who I am and am too self-critical, especially when my self esteem isn’t great due to constantly being told I was never good enough since young. So this year, I’m going to tell myself I’m beautiful and give myself little treats to show self-appreciation. (:
My mantra for life is…. to be a good person, someone I’d respect and can trust.

Thank Najiah : )

Follow Najiah for inspirational updates and where she is teaching Yoga!

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Motivating Mondays

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Even though spring has not yet arrived in Norway, I feel the season is just around the corner. Maybe it’s the warmer temperature (+1 this weekend!!) Or maybe it’s the mere fact that since February 1st we have a whole 2 hours extra of sunlight today. It makes all the difference. And to me this is a sign of spring, longer days, warmer weather and cooler foods. But until all our snow has melted and I pack away my boots I am going to enjoy these last weeks of winter, enjoy my warm soups and lighting candles to burn through the night. This weeks inspiration is a mix between yoga, meditation, granola and to be willing.

+Granola

pageHomemade granola makes my heart sing. And with either homemade almond milk or Greek yogurt I can happily say I am one grateful morning person. This recipe is fun and simple. You really can add whatever you wish to your own granola. I have been experimenting lately but I’ve enjoyed this one thoroughly.

Mix :

1 Cup gluten free oats. 1/2 cup quinoa. 1/2 cup almond pulp (This was left over from making almond milk). 1/2 cup mix of sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. 1 1/2 cup mix of walnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, almonds. 1 cup mix of dried fruit. 1/4 cup coconut shavings. 2 Tbs of chia seeds

Heat:

1/4 cup coconut oil + 1/4 cup raw honey on the stove. Stir continuously until it has all melted together.

Combine:

Coconut/honey mixture with dry granola ingredients and stir.

Bake :

At 170 C until golden, stir every 20 min. Let cool and store in sealed container, Enjoy!

+ No Fear

This is a wonderful clip on fear, and how “People may be just socially accepted levels of insanity”. It’s genius, he explains this concept of our fear in such a concrete and effective manner. And how do we stay away from insanity? Awareness, being present and mindful. You can also call this meditation. Meditation is not sitting on a cushion and saying “OM” for 20 min. Meditation is being aware of the words that you speak in the present moment, being aware of the conversation you are having with a loved one and the conversations you have with yourself, whether that is of love or doubt. Meditation helps to quite that fear based constant chatter and brings your more peace. Here are a couple great places to start. Headspace is for those who are practical and want structure yet change in their perceptions. They do a wonderful job for beginners in bringing this concept of mindfulness into your life in a very simple and effective manner. Smiling Mind has the same concept for the young and Deepak Chopra adds in more spiritulity for those who want that aspect.

+ Inspiring Conversations

“Why We Breathe” is a wonderful exploration of yoga and the impact it has on our lives. The way I feel and think about yoga was beautifully presented in this short documentary. These are the words I wish to use to explain my passion for yoga and the way it has not only impacted my life but how it impacts everyone. I will be watching this again.

“The Conversation” with Amanda de Cadenet. I had never heard of these episodes before Friday and I am so grateful that I have now discovered it. Powerful women with a voice and a message to share. Honest, raw and inspiring. Some of my favorite were Gwyneth Paltrow, Zoe Saldana, Eva Longoria and Diane von Furstenberg. I don’t usually follow celebrities at all, I am never up to date but seeing them all in this setting and speaking about life brought them down to earth and let me see them for who they really are.

+ Monday Mantra: Be Willing. Be open. Be present. phonto(3)

What is inspiring you this week?

Motivating Mondays

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Monday again! Wow does time fly. This week is all about Love. Valentines day is this Thursday and what better way to celebrate then supporting a worthy cause, baking your sweetie/friend a treat and forgiving. Enjoy!

+ Empowering Women

This is an important topic. And 1 Billion Rising is raising the bar on spreading this message on V-Day. A global message to strike, demonstrate compassion and stand up against rape and domestic violence for women.  Miss Representation is a film that “Explores how the media’s misrepresentations of women have led to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence”. Girl Rising is a powerful movie and movement about educating girls all around the world. Let these causes inspire and motivate you this week to make a difference whether it’s in your community or on a larger scale.

+Valentine Treat

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I’ll be making these. Magic ingredient? Black Beans! This is happening. And I can’t wait.

+Forgiveness

I read Shantaram 5 years ago and loved it. It inspired me to go to India and kept me searching for more beautifully written literature. My intention this week is set on Forgiveness and after watching Elena Brower on “Mindful Smack” I too found this quote fitting.

“It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while i was chained to a wall and being tortured. I realized somehow through the screaming in my mind that even in that shackled, bloody helplessness I was still free, free to hate the men who were torturing me, or to forgive them. It doesn’t sound like much, I know, but in the flinch and bite of the chain, when it’s all you’ve got, that freedom is a universe of possibility. And the choice you make, between hating and forgiving, can become the story of your life.” -Gregory David Roberts, Shantaram

So why not start this week off with forgiving. Forgive everything and everyone. You have a choice, it’s healing, and it can change the way you perceive your thoughts.

+ Monday Mantra:  “Forgive”

How will you be celebrating this Monday? What is motivating you this week?

Everything Happens for a Reason

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A couple days ago was my 3 year anniversary of being bitten by a puff adder, and I posted this picture on facebook as a reminder to myself that I STILL have a leg and how grateful I am to be living the life I have now. Well I got numerous responses on the photo and people asking me how/what/when/why. So I thought I would repost this article I wrote for the ROAR in the Winter 2011 issue that answers all those questions and more : )

“My sneakers are looking sad and with a full nine months of use they are looking worn and shabby but nonetheless loved. No longer a shade of pink but rather a heather grey and dirty brown, I have worn these shoes like no other. But you’re probably wondering why on earth I would write about this. Well those shoes have been through a lot. And I feel a blog post is what I owe them. Nine months ago I bought them, excited about my trip to South Africa and the runs I would get out of them to the beaches, the safari animals I would walk with them in and the backpacking that it would travel with me for. But instead of doing all that it took me on a journey like no other. A journey where I was wearing the sneakers on the day I was bitten by a snake, the day I took my first step, the day I went back to school, the day I graduated (well half the day) the day I moved to Hawaii, the day I started my first job and recently the day I ran for the first time in nine months.  And it might be because of all those ‘first’ days of momentous occasions that I was having such a hard time buying myself a new pair. But I did. So the sneakers are now retiring but before they do that I will let you in on the day they became my better half.

I had the day off from work on February 3rd 2010. I remember exactly what I did. I woke up and told David we needed to do something different. By noon I had just finished making brownies, cookies and BLTs for lunch. Around 3 o’clock we decided to do something before I was going to come home and cook the whole house a family dinner. I wanted to go to the beach, David proposed a hike, we compromised and decided to do both. We were getting good at this whole relationship thing. It was warm, and I felt hiking in South Africa made it appropriate to wear shorts and sneakers. Big mistake. One because the snake bit me right above the sneakers and two because I wore those shorts for two weeks.  We parked the car at the bottom of Chapman’s peak and started our way up an unpaved trail, and four meters into the hike it bit me. I thought it was a bee sting, it was sharp, stung and felt small….but heavy. As I tried to move my ankle I looked down to swat what was hurting me and what I saw changed my life. A puff adder was hooked onto my leg; it pulled it self out and what I thought felt like 10 minutes was a mere second. I can’t decide if it was out of shock, disgust or if it really was the venom but my eyesight got blurry, I felt sick and mad that I had to go to the doctor again. (I had been a few times already for being sick that first month) I looked at David and I saw anxiety, he told me not to move and that he would carry me. Being a damsel in distress at times I felt like this would be the best opportunity to get away with getting carried down a mountain. As soon as he picked me up I began to go in and out of consciousness. I recall feeling sick, nauseous and that was it. I was out. What I thought was 1 hour was actually 16 hours and as I woke up in Intensive Care it hit me just how nasty of a snake it really truly was. What happened in the next 10 days was a series of events that consisted of lots of tears, a bucket of joy, a dollop of anxiety, a splash of honesty and a whole heap of hope.

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My mother flew down from Norway to help David and I deal with our sticky situation. I guess being bitten by a snake is rare but loosing a limb and dying from it isn’t. My mother being the optimist she was told me everyday to look on the bright side. David being the realist took the burden of asking a million questions a day to the doctors. The questions I didn’t want answers too, and let’s be the honest the questions my mother was avoiding. With the support and love of my family and friends I was able to leave that hospital in high spirits. And with the help of a button and an on call nurse and surgeon I was able to leave the hospital with a leg and a bag full of vitamins and pain killers. But what was the magic to this scenario? Well it was patience. Patience from my doctors deciding that we should wait 5 days rather than amputate it then and there, patience from my mother to not call my father to come down, and patience from David to wanting me home.

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Intensive Care was a dream. I had three course meals, massages, daily baths, and endless people to talk too. What was challenging was coming home. Realizing that I had no strength and pain in my left leg and the inability to walk was a struggle. In the next 7 weeks I challenged not only myself but everyone in that house. I was lucky enough to go to physical therapy three times a week, and have wonderful housemates who carried me from the bed to the dinner table so I could still enjoy a meal with the family I had there.

And as my trip came to an end, I put on my sneakers and walked on to the plane. Devastated to be leaving what I had in Cape Town but excited to see where these sneakers would take me. I went home, graduated from college, moved to a new state and started my first job. And along that long path I wore those unfashionable shoes to every function, class, errand and even some parties so that I could heal my leg. And it’s healing every single day.

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 …So in honor of all those who supported me and who wrote me words of encouragement I will now go on a run. Because the feelings I get from running now are more powerful and deep than before. I now know that the small pain in my leg is not true pain but true love to remind me of how lucky I am to be here.”

Although I wrote this 2 years ago it’s still how I live my life. Patient, aware and grateful.

Thanks for all the love everyone : )

Motivating Mondays

907c13476414cb693a0cee347ae141e3I do love Mondays. Which I know sounds crazy. And I cant decide if it’s because I treat it as a clean slate for the coming week with new tasks and goals or if  it is because I can look back on last week and see where I need to revamp and renew my motivation. Either way I love a bit of motivation to get me going so why not start the week off fresh with some inspiration, some space to grow and a bit of love for this gorgeous new day!

+ Handstands with YogaUnião

I love headstands. I fell in love with them while in Bali and I’m planning on falling in Love with handstands too. I’m thinking this fresh snow we are getting this morning will be a perfect opportunity for trial and error.

+ “Are You a Servant to Your Best Self or a Slave to Your Worst?”

Elena Brower wrote this beautiful article a few years ago. However it still contains the same amount of truth and importance today.

“Conscious service is not about giving away your power; to consciously serve by being attentive in any context actually magnifies your power and magnetizes abundance in your direction.”

+ February is all about Navigating the Unexpected

I love Mystic Mamma, she compiles some of the best inspiration out there. She brings such gems to her site.

“The key will be flexibility and presence and being able to see those open doors emerge when others close because you are paying attention…Be present, be playful, be flexible, pay attention, be spontaneous, expect the unexpected, be inspired by the surprises, allow love, allow change, allow growth, and allow deep healing!”

+ Monday Mantra:  “Allow”

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What’s your Monday Motivation?

Yoga Hangover

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Oslo Yoga Festival. This being my first yoga festival I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, but I will tell you what I didn’t expect and that was the lesson of patience, surrender, and the process of allowing.

Each day started at 6 am but I decided to give myself some breathing room and ended up coming in a few hours later. This worked out great just because I ended up practicing over 6 hours of yoga each day. And I felt this every morning as I fell out of bed and every night I collapsed into bed. I decided to take advantage of all the different types of yoga while there, indulging in Kundalini, Anusara, Jivamukti, Prana Flow, AcroYoga, Tantsu and Anukalana. Each one was so unbelievably individual, beautiful, inspiring and filled with love. I had this expectation that I would be sore and in pain the next day and this feeling I would also be working through some emotions, but my expectations were just not met. Instead of the emotional experience like I had at my teacher training, these 3 days felt more physical, almost as if I was detoxing physically. Every evening I went to bed with growing pains and tension headaches, and each morning I woke up feeling hung-over. I blamed this first on dehydration and then I likened my mix of yoga classes as if I had mixed too many different types alcohol the night before. Tantsu being my full bodied red wine, AcroYoga the fun and sweet Mojito and Jivamukti being the shot of tequila I knew I would regret in the morning but was such fun in the moment.

I had brought a notebook with me, the intention being I would be so overwhelmed with new information that I just had to write it all down. I didn’t want to miss that mantra that would be uttered by the teacher or the proper alignment and sequence for the new sun salutation I was learning. But I didn’t crack open my book at all. I realized that this weekend was more than writing it all down and later reading it over and over again, it was about being in the moment, letting the flow, the feeling, the vibration and community of the class sink into my cells and letting my body breath the experience. Not living the experience again off of paper but getting on my mat a week from now and being able to tap into that stored memory of my cells, looking back into my heart and remembering the grace, spaciousness and love of the last three days.

The weekend was a blessing, a beautiful experience and as I juiced some veggies, drank bottles of water and breathed into my heart each morning I felt the yoga hangover ease and my mind calmed. I let go of expectations, writing down my feelings and sank into that space where I listened to exactly what it was my heart was saying. “Allow”