Probably the most holistic activity I do for myself is to belly dance! Sounds strange perhaps, but let me explain a little.
This September it will be 17 years since I took my first belly dance class and 12 years since teaching my first. I signed up because I thought it would be a fun way to fitness…it has certainly been that, but that has only been a side benefit in comparison to the amazing holistically healthy other mind, body and soul benefits.
Think about these questions for a moment and what your answers would be…
When was the last time that you actually PLAYED?
How old were you when you played dress up?
Have you ever just allowed a tune, rhythm or phrase of music to enter through your ears and move your entire body?
Do you participate in any activities that make your heart soar with joy, your lips smile with delight and at the same time bring a calmness to your spirit? Was it recently?
What activities do you actively participate in to increase your self-confidence and self-esteem?
Do you have a social life with others where you can laugh freely from the depth of your being?
Did you notice I didn’t ask you any questions about your physical fitness? That’s because, with belly dance, you can be at any fitness level and make the “work out” from a class whatever you want it to be…it’s that individualized.
Perhaps it’s time to step out and see what this is about and so I invite you to
Thursday, September 4th 7 to 9pm at the Abbotsford Ballet Studio
* A Dance Jam
* Free Refreshments & Party Favours
* A Celebratory word & drum Circle
* Bazaar (Spanish Imports & Helen’s skirts)
* A special Organics Gift Basket prize draw that you can enter when you come with a friend who would like to experience a belly dance evening. The more friends you bring the more entries you receive.
It doesn’t matter whether your friends have danced before or not…the first 15 minutes of the Dance Jam will be an introduction to basic steps.
You will need to bring a full skirt & hip scarf (extras available) & drum or zils if you have them
Like most years, the past 12 months have certainly been ones of change, struggle and blessing for all, with many people saying that the world and it’s changes seem to be pushing us along at a breakneck speed….I certainly did find that to be true this year!
There were 2 big events in my life last year that pushed me to grow, change and love more! I met the beautiful woman whom my son has chosen to share his life with and fell in love with her quickly. The sparkle in her eyes, the warmth in her smile and the joy I see in my son’s face… what more could a mum want?
The 2nd being the opening of my new clinic space in Abbotsford, which isn’t as big an event as were the changes it forced me to make from within.
I’ve found this past year that in allowing myself to go with the flow of events and opportunities that life presented me with, (which by no means is an easy task) and giving up the need to know all details in advance, that’s right….just trust …life and its many gifts have flowed more easily and effortlessly. That’s not to say that it isn’t a struggle to just let go and move with the flow, it really is, but I’m finding it easier and easier as I see results coming quickly and in much better ways than I even imagined. Sounds like something out of a self-help manual, I know…I’ve read so many of them and have finally, after many years, come to the experience of just allowing the flow of good and allowing myself to be surprised by results.
In that allowing I’ve also experienced drawing new and different people into my life. People who match more closely that new path that my life appears to be flowing along. It’s been fascinating to share with and learn from them and to have made some amazing new friends.
Things surfaced this past year that forced me to look at what was working in my life and equally, what was holding me back. What was I struggling to “make” work, what experiences were sucking away at my energy…and what I had to take the difficult steps to just let go of. I’m not sure. but I think that letting go of things/people/problems/events is harder than trusting the flow, to trust that if it is meant to be then it will stay or flow back into your life and if not…well, the white flag of surrender goes up.
This past week I’ve seen quite a few articles, pictures and conversations happening around New Years Resolutions and promises…I don’t tend to make them and after the year I’ve just had I think life brings you greater blessings when you resolve to be the wonderful person that you currently are and grow from there, when you trust that things will get better and then allow life to lead you down that path of wonder (even though it may not be the path you had chosen), when you trust, when you let go, when you open yourself to receive.
Wishing you a wonderful and healthy 2014 filled with energy, peace, joy, surprises, openings and blessings!
At a soon to be announced upcoming Open House, many will have the opportunity to see what wonderful holistically healthy life choices are going to be coming available at the Abbotsford clinic!
Do you take the time to really celebrate YOU?
So often when I hear others speak of their birthdays there are comments about it being “just another day” or “I’d rather forget it” or “birthdays are for kids”… and I have to say that I completely disagree.
YOU are a unique individual that came into this world on a certain day and since that day have had an amazing impact on the people and the world around you, regardless of how old you are. If you’re not sure of what effect you’ve had upon the lives of others ask them, ask your friends and your family what it means to them to have YOU be a part of their life. I am guessing that you will learn a lot about how others see you and in a good way.
But much more important than how others see you or celebrate your existence, is how you see yourself and how you acknowledge and celebrate the person that you are. I found the following quote on Facebook and I think that it says so much about each of YOU (I would love to give credit to the author, however it wasn’t with the quote…if you know, please share)
You may not think the world needs you,
But it does….
For you are unique
Like no one that has ever been before
Or will come after
No one can speak with your voice
Say your peace
Smile your Smile
Or shine your light
No one can take your place
For it is yours alone to fill
If you are not there to shine your light
Who knows how many strangers
Will lose their way
As they try to pass by your empty space
In the darkness
And while birthdays are a wonderful way to celebrate the day you came to this world I think celebrating YOU each and every day is more empowering.
Ways to celebrate YOU … how do you do it? or how would you like to do it? Come over to my Facebook page and join the discussion or post your ideas here!
So we’ve entered the holiday season…the time you’re meant to be merrier and brighter…but
Are you struggling to bring your mental and physical energy up to the same level as previous years?
Perhaps the tank is empty.
December, for most, seems to be an incredibly busy month. Not just in all that needs doing but it seems as though everything is busier…more commercials on TV, louder and busier atmospheres in the stores, increased traffic to slog through in the dark and the rain, added shopping to do (in your already limited spare time), school concerts, family and work gatherings, the list is endless….
If you are enjoying a stress free life with little to no demands on your time and energies you likely sail through the month…but for most, already facing increased stress at work, added responsibilities at home and life’s daily and ever increasing burdens, your gas tank is likely already close to “E”. It’s then difficult to find that extra energy needed to really enjoy yourself through the holidays.
- What if you took an hour just for yourself, what would happen?
- If you stepped into an atmosphere of relaxation and restoration, would it be ok?
- Do you think that if you took one hour to relax, with the added benefits of a session, that the needle on your gas tank would move?
- How would you face the holiday season if you took that hour?
Book in and see for yourself….it’s guaranteed to make a difference!
Visit the link to choose your restorative hour (click here)
There are so many pathways to natural health & healing. I’ve had the good fortune to meet many fabulous practitioners and in the past months have been presented with the golden opportunity to learn about the amazing gift horses have to share with us. From the first time I visited Wisteria Acres and met Krista and her herd of special horses I was filled with a sense of peace. This beautiful space vibrates with gentle, healing energy…Please enjoy the following guest blog written by Krista Brown
Although I have a few childhood memories of horses – like the times I would stuff my 7-year old fist full of rich lush grass through the pasture fence that ran behind our home to feed the neighbouring horses. Or, the many pictures of horses I would draw as a child. Or, the very first time I hoisted my young teenage body into a saddle at a dude ranch somewhere out in the Ottawa-Valley – I never really heard ‘the call’ to these wise, intuitive and sentient beings until many years later as I was about to step into my fourth decade on this planet
As prey animals, survival above all else governs the horse. As a means of survival horses have a highly refined ability to sense the feelings of their herd mates, predators, and people who share their space. As explained by Linda Kohanov in her book, Riding Between the Worlds – wild horses will often graze unconcerned as a lion, who has recently eaten a big meal, walks right through their pasture. Yet when an agile carnivore is on the prowl, the herd will scatter long before the cat can get close.
As ego-based humans we’re not always so transparent. Many of us have been conditioned to wear a ‘mask’ – to conceal our anger with a smile, or our anxiety with a veneer of confidence. For the ever intuitive horse, this creates incongruence – the emotions they sense don’t match with what they see. In the process of sorting through this incongruence, the horse will mirror back to you your emotions. Hence, offering us the gift of self-awareness and an invitation to live more authentically.
A CASE EXAMPLE
– a woman (we’ll call Beth) came seeking guidance for a particularly difficult relationship issue she was facing. Beth considered herself to be the “strong one” in the family; always holding everyone together. She admitted though, that she was feeling overwhelmed with the current situation. Yet she was determined to “work through this as quickly as possible and move on!” she said with conviction and confidence.
Cassi, our young mare, was her chosen equine guide and together they stepped into the arena; Beth looking for clarity and guidance as to the next step on her healing journey. After walking in a large circle, Cassi made her way back to Beth and then dropped to the ground and rolled over on her back. I explained to Beth that as an animal of prey, Cassi was putting herself in a very vulnerable position by lying down and exposing her belly. I invited Beth to consider how this may relate to her current situation. As Beth quietly pondered, Cassi returned to her feet and blew-out a release of tension. Beth then nodded her head and with a resigned smile gave voice to Cassi’s message – “release and surrender”. Over the course of Beth’s session Cassi would repeat this message three times! A very poignant reminder that sometimes we must release and surrender to life, rather than trying to push our way through it.
As Beth walked toward the center of the arena and then turned her attention back toward Cassi, as if right on cue Cassi erupted into a gallop, encircling Beth at safe distance as she bucked and kicked into the air. After just a couple of rounds Cassi came to rest a good distance away from Beth, winded and trying to catch her breath. There was a momentary pause before Beth began to walk toward Cassi. Again Cassi erupted into a flurry of galloping bucks and kicks that encircled Beth as she stood looking on. And once again, Cassi came to rest a good distance away from Beth, winded and trying to catch her breath. At that moment Beth looked to me and said “that’s what it feels like inside – like a tornado”. I invited her to acknowledge and embrace the tornado inside so Cassi no longer had to mirror it for her. “Bring your awareness into your body and let yourself feel the emotion, and then let it all go” I urged her. No sooner did tears spring from Beth’s eyes, and Cassi’s body posture softened – she lowered her head and blew-out another release of tension and quietly walked toward Beth. Together they stood in quiet reflection, Cassi holding sacred space for Beth to release all that was no longer serving her highest good.
They simply use feelings as information and once Beth was able to let her guard down and acknowledge and express how she was truly feeling, Cassi felt comfortable enough to stand in her presence.
Horses can also highlight our unrecognized strengths as well as help us to hone our skills as authentic leaders and conscious partners, in our personal relationships as well as in our career.
Horse live by, and are a part of the natural rhythms of the earth. In their presence we become grounded and our frenzied pace slows to allow us to come back into sync with the natural world. There, we can tap into that deeper part of ourselves where wisdom, meaning and intuition reside.
Whether you are seeking healing and guidance on a physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual level, horses are the catalyst to our own higher consciousness. We needn’t look outside of ourselves for answers. Our truth lies within.
Join me as we become one with the herd and stand poised on the brink of Self-discovery.
Krista and her very special herd of equine guides – Romeo, Cassi, Cricket, & Leo, work with adults of all ages in private sessions and in group retreats at beautiful Wisteria Acres Wellness & Retreats in Langley, BC. No horse experience is required.
I’ve always been that way
I’ve learned to live with it that way
Uh oh! Change? No, I can’t/won’t/don’t want to!
a constant companion in life
one thing we can absolutely rely on to happen
I’m often amazed with how many clients don’t notice anymore, the pain or stress held in their bodies. Usually because it’s been there for so long that they’ve come to accept it as part of the way they have to live. Pain, stress or dis-ease in the body or the mind are NOT our natural state…a vibrant well-being is. BUT, is it in our best interests to seek that state of well-being?
To take notice of and make a change in our physical or emotional being takes us out of our comfort zone and we often, through fear, expend vast amounts of futile energy avoiding that. It requires that we let go of the familiar, move out of the stagnant waters and…adapt to something new. We all seek pleasure rather than pain and will avoid change because, let’s be honest, it’s often uncomfortable, overwhelming and really, quite inconvenient at times. As a natural health/holistic practitioner I will often observe how a client’s body is hanging on to stress and emotion through the physical pain they are experiencing. What I’ve found interesting is when clients stop sessions as they are starting to experience the positive changes in their lives…sometimes it’s just too distressing for them to let go of the comfort zone. When giving a massage it’s interesting to feel the muscles open up and release under my hand as a client talks about their stress. It seems in the sharing of what is upsetting them their body releases its restriction and pain. They don’t necessarily have to talk; sometimes that release comes through some deep and heavy sighs. Some people are ready for that step, to release the stress and the pain and move forward into the change that brings into their lives.
So what if we approached change with a completely different attitude? Knowing that it’s inevitable, what would happen if we took hold and steered that ship of change rather than letting it steer us? Do you think that’s possible?
As humans we experience growth and development through change (we watch our children do it every day). Life constantly presents us with new opportunities, opens doors to new possibilities and experiences. We may not be able to see the positive side of the new opportunity but regardless, the door is going to be opened to us and, whether willingly or kicking and screaming, we will have to walk or be dragged through it. Perhaps embracing and relaxing into the experience would be easier. Yes, that does require trust that the change is going to be for the better and at times also requires of us a HUGE leap of faith.
Through relaxation techniques such as Meditation, Reiki, Craniosacral therapy, Relaxation Massage, etc. the body and mind are offered an opportunity to fully relax. The mind is given the chance to quiet itself, stop weighing the pros and cons of the changes coming (or that have recently transpired) and be totally present in the NOW. It’s in that relaxed and quiet space that our energy isn’t scattered over time or thoughts, and we are able to embrace life, as it is presenting itself to us that day. We can often move above the fear and self-doubt that keeps us stuck and resigned in our current situation and reach into that courageous place that we all have deep within us. Taking that relaxed space for our mind can sometimes allow us a peek into the positive gift an upcoming change is presenting us with. It may give us the chance to connect with our Spirit and allow us to accept guidance in accepting change. As the mind is relaxing our body is often letting go of tension, stress and pain…double bonus!
I often find that Spring in itself brings a sense of renewal, rebirth and new possibilities … that is why for the Month of March health session (see previous post) I have invited clients (old and new) to try something different…experience a health session they haven’t experienced before…take a chance on NOT having your “usual” session and open the door to what something else may provide you with. A safe gentle step into change that just may open other doors. When you walk in and experience your session I invite you to close the door on the mind chatter and demands you’re experiencing in the “outside” world (just for a while). I encourage you to allow some of your senses to switch gear… dimmed lights and candles instead of glaring fluorescents, quiet music instead of chatter, a peaceful and unobtrusive atmosphere… I might even tempt you to lie down, put your feet up and be calm and quiet for a little while… Go ahead….take the leap!
Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal ~Arthur Shopenhauer