On New Year’s Day 2017, I read this passage:
“Of all the things that exist, we breathe and wake and turn it into song.”
There is a Buddhist precept that asks us to be mindful of how rare it is to find ourselves in human form on Earth. It is really a beautiful view of life that offers us the chance to feel enormous appreciation for the fact that we are here as individual spirits filled with consciousness, drinking water and chopping wood.
It asks us to look about at the ant and antelope, at the worm and the butterfly, at the dog and the castrated bull, at the hawk and the wild lonely tiger, at the hundred-year-old oak and the thousand-year-old patch of ocean. It asks us to understand that no other life form has the consciousness of being that we are privileged to. It asks us to recognize that of all the endless species of plants and animals and minerals that make up the Earth, a very small portion of life has the wakefulness of spirit that we call “being human.”
That I can rise from some depth of awareness to express this to you and that you can receive me in this instant is part of our precious human birth. You could have been an ant. I could have been an anteater. You could have been rain. I could have been a lick of salt. But we were blessed – in this time, in this place – to be human beings, alive in rare ways we often take for granted.
All of this to say, this precious human birth is unrepeatable. So what will you do today, knowing that you are one of the rarest forms of life to ever walk the Earth? How will you carry yourself? What will you do with your hands? What will you ask and of whom?
Tomorrow you could die and become an ant, and someone will be setting traps for you. But today you are precious and rare and awake. It ushers us into grateful living. It makes hesitation useless. Grateful and awake, ask what you need to know now. Say what you feel now. Love what you love now.
— Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening
2017 has been the most…
beautiful year of my life.
In January I attended a ceremony of gratitude and danced with excitement, exclaiming out loud the dreams I was bringing to life in the coming year. With laughter, I experienced the magic of imagination and play.
In February I unearthed a wounded little one who felt lost and placed her within my heart. I promised her I would learn how to love her and committed deeply to the journey of giving her the love she needed to feel whole. I welcomed the teaching of grief into my heart.
In March I dove into consciousness, unraveling how I came to believe life was the way I saw it, stepping into my emotions on a deeper level and welcoming a closer relationship with my intuition. I nourished myself in a deeper way with the herbs of Chinese Medicine and read books like The Untethered Soul, The Power of Now, The Yoga Sutras, and Daring Greatly, by Brene Brown
In April I traveled to Bali to hold a yoga retreat. I dreamed of this trip and it effortlessly came together. And then, like a volcano, it erupted. It didn’t go as well as I had hoped. It rocked friendships I thought were strong. I saw sides of myself I didn’t like and acted in ways others didn’t like much either. For months I allowed my smallest self to be a victim to circumstances. I made myself small. I hid in shame. I stayed in Bali for 2 months to heal my broken heart. And yes, there were monkeys, and palm trees, and beautiful sights. But heartbreak is heartbreak, you know? And from the ashes of this experience I found humility.
In May I traveled to Malaysia, reconnected with a friend I made in 2008, and put myself on a mountain to sit in silence for 10 long days. I saw my resilience on that journey. I came face to face with my ability to withstand discomfort and find the beauty within it. I left feeling cleansed.
In June I came home to a community whose arms were open for me and I found the safety of loving friends who were there to elevate me higher. I was reminded that the ability to teach and write and share my soul is one of the greatest gifts I’ve been given. I found yoga nidra and the teacher who would hold me to my highest even when it hurt.
In July I fell in love with an Italian Soap Opera star (true story) and it broke my heart open again. I learned that to trust myself and in others was the greatest work of my 20’s and maybe of my life.
In August I cashed a big check and moved out of my rent-controlled Venice Beach apartment, where I lived for 3 years (the longest I’ve lived in one home since I was 17). I cut my hair off and tossed out 10 years of journals I had been carrying – pages full of stories, limiting beliefs, heart-breaks, and illusions. I learned the freedom of letting go.
In September I went home to my roots, turned crates of summer tomatoes into sauce and said goodbye to my childhood. I turned 30. I moved to Europe. I ate a lot of croissants, switched to cappuccinos, and slept on boats and in gothic castles.
I moved into a seaside apartment in a small town off the coast of Croatia to learn the wisdom of the stars and the magic of the earth. I dove deep into my soul and my psyche. I unearthed the most painful emotions of my heart – a dark attic full of cobwebs and feelings I never knew existed. And I was held by 12 of the most powerful teachers I was given the opportunity to learn from. I felt the power of sisterhood in a completely new way.
In October I left Croatia for Rome, secretly hoping for a storybook love-story and instead discovering friendships bigger than galaxies. I was kicked out of the Pantheon for meditating. I celebrated the new moon in a castle on a mountaintop. I sang joyful medicine songs on my walks to the local bakery, had hot chocolate so thick it could only be enjoyed with a spoon and ate the best pizza in the world.
I laughed more than I ever knew possible and deepened my well of trust in the universe.
And then I moved to Costa Brava. I lived in a home that can be described with no words other than “a dream,” with a friend who made me her family.
And I sat. I sat uncomfortably for hours breathing through insecurities and fears, unraveling coping mechanisms and escape routes. I experienced Angelic presence and a complete re-wiring of my mental patterning.
In November we traveled to Marrakech and with a black scorpio sky above us we set intentions to face our shadows and bravely be who the world needs us to be. I vowed to face my fears of being seen and love myself unconditionally.
And close to December, I came home again with a heart full of love and gratitude for the community that supports me. I came home to friends who have opened their arms, hearts and doors to me with no expectation or judgement, who truly want me to do my work, to grow and to thrive.
I have spent the last month of 2017 recalibrating myself to the pace of Los Angeles, diving into Yoga Nidra and healing in a whole new way. I feel even more full of inspiration and am brimming with ideas.
And in the year to come… I fully expect and welcome more – more learning, unraveling, discovery, insight, and wisdom. I welcome more opportunities to teach and share what I have learned and grown into.
My calendar has me scheduled to travel next week to New York to work closely with a client to shift their house into a healing home. We’ll be diving into the pantry, grocery store, kitchen and soul with The Illumination Cleanse, a 30-day program that draws together nutrition, yoga and yoga nidra to attune your body and lifestyle to healing.
In April I travel to Ecuador to host a yoga nidra and astrology retreat at Wild Child Village. The Spring Awakening Retreat lands during the Aries New Moon and includes ceremony, celebration and relaxation. Interested?? There are TWO spots left!
My heart is calling me back to Italy and a women’s retreat is coming together with my dear sister Jai Chaund Kuar in August (stay on the lookout for news on that coming out soon!). I plan to spend much of September back in Spain with my dearest friends.
Two of my oldest friends are getting married this year, so I know I’ll be back to the East Coast quite a bit, too… and in between that, I am open to the unfolding.
I am grateful for the hardest heartbreaks I experienced this year because without them I would not have the capacity to understand the truest gifts of being alive. I am so deeply grateful for every angel that came into my life this year and every being who has opened their home, heart and mind to me and let me in to learn. For every person who has given me the gift of their presence and given me a space to share my own heart: Thank you. I love you and am truly honored to share this Earth with you.
If 2017 has taught me one thing it is this: heal yourself. Do the work to stand up against every false story that tells you that you are stuck, a victim, or bound by your genes, your family or your circumstances. You are so worthy of an incredible life that is full of beauty and love and peace and calm. You are alive and it’s a total gift.
So often people wait until their life crumbles to change – but what if we just take it on ourselves to grow and evolve when we’re in our highest? What world could we possibly create? I choose to make 2018 the year I find out. Join me – Please don’t be a stranger when the clock strikes midnight – let’s get closer this year and experience even more truth in months to come. ❤️