5 Days, 5 Nights, 5 Elements

As I sat on a rigid stone surrounded by sea, tears of joy blowing in the wind, being kissed by the sun, I realized this experience, this practice, this opportunity is changing my life. It is changing me and I will never be the same and it is clear there is no going back. The understanding and freedom I feel is real, true and certain and this is the way I want to continue to live.I have found sanctuary within. This deep immersion into the elements has awakened a dormant wisdom that I believe is inherent in each one of us. I feel more grounded, connected, passionate, easeful and wise than ever before. The Elemental Teachings are so simple yet so very profound. Heading back to the mainland I feel rejuvenated and eager to share what I have learned through a comprehensive and accessible training (being designed as I write). Look out for Elemental Wisdoms Immersion coming soon! It is my purpose, passion and honor to lead you along this journey internally and externally.

LIVE LOVE - mesa

Incoming Tide - A Study of Water

Reflective, still, dynamic, clear, calming, peaceful, flexible, unstoppable, fierce, patient, refreshing, buoyant, illusive, free-flowing, responsive, influencing, cool, conductive, expansive, healing, vital, powerful. When manipulated by current, tide and wind it's patterns create a dance, it's sounds create a song. The teachings found in this sacred element bring deep gratitude to a gift so often taken for granted. May we honor, protect and appreciate this brilliant, formless friend.

Fiddleheads & New Moons

Oh you delicious (high protein) baby fern how I love thee. The unfurled fronds of the wild ostrich fern have made their dramatic ascent from beneath the forest for our annual enjoyment and as a great symbol of rebirth. As I eat these precious gems on this fog-filled evening under a new moon I am encouraged to embrace the unknown & to meet the now with openess; of heart, eyes and mind. Knowing deep down in the sweet, seed center of my heart that I am always able to start over, to begin again with more honor, integrity and kindness then the time before. Nothing says new beginnings like RIGHT NOW! 

No Surf, No Downward Facing Dog, No Problem!

 Rocking my land legs at Camden Hills State Park.

Rocking my land legs at Camden Hills State Park.

After 6 months of significant pain in my right shoulder I decided to reach out for help as an act of self-care. I was advices by my dear friend Lily Dougher (owner of Breathing Room Yoga Studio, South Portland) to visit with an acupuncturist within the community (Gabe Schiff-Verre of Oceanpoint Acupuncture, South Portland). I went on Tuesday for a 90min session that included acupuncture (an ancient form of Chinese complementary medicine that involves pricking the skin or tissues with needles) along with electric stimulation (elicitation of muscle contraction using electric impulses) and cupping message (an ancient form of therapy in which a local suction is created on the skin to mobilize blood flow in order to promote healing.) After the session was complete I felt extremely relaxed and comforted by the fact that I was being proactive in my healing. I shared with Gabe that I was planning on going to a yoga class and then out for a sunset surf after our session. He looked at me as if I had 4 head, and replied “and you are trying to heal your shoulder?”. I laughed and asked what he advised. He suggested no surfing and no downward facing dog for a while. First hearing this news really bummed me out but then I acknowledged how violent I was being to myself.  I was pushing through pain for the sake of pleasure in the moment (an old habit of mine) and going against the deepest teaching of yoga, non-violence. When thinking about it from this perspective it was clear to me that in order to heal I must rest the region of my body that is sending me a clear message of suffering. I must honor the pain if I wish to sustain health. I will hold myself accountable and remain out of downdog and off my longboard for the next week or so. I see  this as an opportunity to deepen my practice  and to get back on my land legs, exploring via bike and hike, while crossing my fingers that there are no waves for a week or two ;)

A Woodland Walk

I am spending a lot of time exploring trails and waterways to provide my offerings. This particular day I stumbled upon Richmond Woods AKA Chipmunk City. These 60 some acres of preserved land in Cape Elizabeth just 10 minutes outside of down town Portland makes for a great, super accessible, quick escape from the concrete. Ideal for some Hike Yoga! As I entered onto the dirt path the sun emerged. A hawk (the spirit animal of my late grandfather) sat perched upon a fallen tree. As I got a bit too close for comfort (yet the closest I have ever gotten to a hawk) he sailed skyward with snack in claw. I continue to where he once was and found the remains of his snack, a fresh bloody talon. 

Emerged in nature, emerged in the cycle of life I followed the direction he flew which led me to a massive boulder, basking in the sun. This moment inspired my bones to flow through some yoga postures guided by a swarming bumblebee. Ms. Bumble eventually invited me onward to visit with one of so many chipmunk friends. 

This particular buddy allowed me so close. We looked into each other's eyes and shared voices. Sitting for quite some time in observance, until he decided to go home. As he ducked into his tree house I gave thanks and moved on. Turning the final bend of my woodland walk, there she sat, perched proper in the radiant light, The Feral One was present (”The Feral Warrior” a tale to come...) and she guided me home, within.

Welcome to the Nest Egg

I will be spending the summer in an artists dream. I have been invited by the universe and the beautiful Zeile August Dougher to enter the Nest Egg for a 3 month, an  Artist In Residence Program in Portland, ME. I have been granted this time and space to create and explore, rest and recalibrate, practice and grow. I write to your from the Nest Egg filled with gratitude.

Med-8-tation

Want to give meditating a shot but don't know where to begin? Let's make it simple...

1. Eliminate Excuses (go to the bathroom, get a drink of water, put on comfy clothes. drape a blanket over you...)

2. Sacred Space (find a space that feels special & sit yourself down, your seat does not need to look any particular way, the most important thing is that it is comfortable so that the body is not distracting the mind)

3. Close Eyes (if it causes tension or anxiety simply set you gaze on one particular point, perhaps the flame of a candle)

4. Connect Energies (Shift the body in any way it is asking to moved as an invitation to releasing surface tension and then systematically align the body connecting the 2 oppsosing energies, your roots and your lift. Feel for your sitting bones (the 2 pointy bones in your bottom that connect you to the earth, you may need to wiggle around or move some flesh out of the way to feel firm connection), tuck the tailbone, lengthen the spin, draw shoulders back and down, elongate the neck and lift skyward through the crown of the head)

5. Soften (invite a sense of softening throughout the entire physical body and mind especially in the face and the belly)

6. 3 Cleansing Breaths (deep inhales through the nose followed by sighing exhales through the mouth)

7. Receiving Breath (simple guide your present awareness to the effortless breath that moves in and out of your body beyond your control)

8. Permission (give yourself permission to receive and connect to the universal current in stillness)

HUG MORE, STRESS LESS.

If you know me you know one of my favorite hobbies is hugging (and rumor has it I'm pretty good at it)! Not only do I love hugs because it is a beautiful embrace providing comfort and connection but I believe it to be medicine. And now my belief has been back by science! When we hug oxytocin is released which increases serotonin and dopamine for a calming effect along with cortisol and norepinephrine which reduce stress.  And these effects last beyond physical contact. Never underestimate the power of a hug. 

Feelin' Funky...

I don't know about you but I have been feeling funky lately (not James Brown funky) foggy, heavy, uncomfortable, doubtful funky. As many of us know May is MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH, as I move through this funk I honor all others in a similar space and thank The Great Mama Earth for her rainy days, giving me permission to rest. Everyday I am learning, from my inner teacher, nature and all of you beautiful creatures. Today let us practice meeting resistance with softness (words of Sophie Sunrise) and that we are not alone (words of Kayla Matarese). The sun and the moon will shine again, just in time for PADDLE FOR LIFE on Saturday May 7. It's not to late to register (http://mesalifestyle.com/). Join me in this celebration of The Amazing Andrew Delp to honor the funk as part of this incredible human experience.