We are shifting individuals, always feeling the ebb and flow of life take ahold and move us around into different situations and to different people. We know the goal is to allow for these changes, shifts and lessons to happen organically. But often we fight them. We have expectations and then are disappointed when they aren’t fulfilled the way we think they should be. We have goals and then feel less confident when they don’t come to fruition. And we choose to remain in our safe shadow rather than shining our light brightly to make way into the future with confidence, joy and self-compassion.
We inherently don’t like change, most of us. We tend to get stuck in our stories, our samskaras. Samskara derives from the Sanskrit sam (complete or joined together) and kara (action, cause, or doing). In response to internal or external stimuli, the corresponding thoughts, emotions, and reactions settle into the subconscious mind (chitta), where they form sensory impressions, or samskaras. These impressions cause us to sit on the top of the wave, providing a clear view of what is in front of us, giving the ability for us to duck out of view if we don’t like what we see coming, and stay stuck, unchanging. We feel it is safer and less hurtful. We can come up with reasons why something didn’t happen the right way or in the right time, and therefore allowing us to blame the situation or person rather than taking responsibility.
Balance in yoga can involve many components: balancing poses, left to right sides of our body, feet to head, left and right side of our mind, left side breath, right side breath. The tendency with balance poses is that we hold our breath to keep the body still, but the tension this creates has the opposite effect. So when we recognize this we ease up and breathe naturally; when the breath becomes steady and effortless, the mind and body can relax. If there lies an opportunity to really settle into to balance, then why not start with what we feel emotionally first? Because our thoughts are energy and will shift into the body, thus effecting our movements, our decisions, our very breath keeping us alive.
Pema Chodon says, “To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.”
So I encourage you to think about balance in yoga: Yin and Yang. Where can you take small steps to leave your nest, your samskara? Can you exert more effort and where can you find more ease? Can we let go, relax into the shape of the pose with less resistance? Can you use more balance in the opposite side of your body that you are working, so the left and right sides work together to create a whole?
In our lives, where does balance live in you? Love, intimacy (plutonic and romantic), spiritual connection, kindness, self-compassion and expression, creativity, work/career, family, meaningful contribution to the world for a brighter future generation- all require an awakening, a balance, and shift of equal weight to create a whole.
Finding balance leads to health. Whenever you find yourself caught off balance shift back and forth and you just may fall into an even place, illuminating the path in front of us, out of the nest but nevertheless on even feet and a smile on your face.
As always, leave me a comment but how this post makes you feel, and ways you are shifting organically....or not.
See Balance jewelry pieces here
There comes a time when we need to examine our story and how we portray ourselves to others, how we show up or don’t show up in our relationships.
Do you ever feel like you are trying your best to speak your truth, to get your point across with clarity and your own voice, only for your words to not be heard in the way you intended, or interpreted them yourself? Or is that the point- that you are talking to someone and not with someone and that is a situation (capital S) in itself?
Let me clarify- lately I have been in a conversation with someone and what appears to be out of the blue the person’s response is upset, or confusing to me or shows that s/he is even angry.
And then I do what I do- think about it. Sit in it, let it wash over me. I am choosing to be responsive when I am ready rather than overreactive quickly without giving it some thought. I ask myself a series of questions, “What was it that I said? Did I say something wrong, or confusing? Could I have been more clear? What was my tone? Also, could something be going on with that person which I don’t know about, that could be affecting how s/he is reacting to me?”
This is hard to do, I know. But I try really hard to show up, and not only make myself heard, but hear the person back. Listen in. Lean in as they say.
After a bit the air clears, I think better, and react slower. The hope is to not only get my point across better but also to understand where the person I was talking to, is coming from in his/her response as well.
So how can we teach ourselves to stop, and be in the moment of that anger, confusion, distraught place? And then act with kindness first above all else, with hopes to resolve the issue and find a way to understand each other?
It’s a practice. It isn’t easy. But nothing worth it really is, right?
Let’s support each other. Let’s be kind. Lets try to entertain an ideal that we all just want to understand the people we care about, and not only to be understood.
….Am I getting my point across well?
Have you ever thought about this question?
Perhaps you think first of your childhood. Once out of the house, you enter adulthood, and have removed yourself from familial patterns and certain habits, developing your own as you go. But then we may find ourselves unconsciously perpetuating cycles from our childhoods learned from others, including our families.
For example, I know people who have fear of not having enough, not showing or receiving affection, and possibly keeping hidden secrets in themselves.
This realization is of course, not uncommon. It is important to reflect that there could be an endpoint at which negative family cycles that have thrived for generations are exhausted and can exert their influence no longer. Breaking any unwanted patterns or habits instilled in us from outside sources is possible. If we notice them, acknowledge them, and then choose to change, we can possibly overcome those values imprinted upon us long ago in order to replace them with pure love, tolerance, and conscious acceptance.
Also, as an adult, we change and move through our lives meeting new people and experiencing all kinds of relationships, events, jobs, and feelings that then paint over the previous childhood patterns. These mix and mingle in a dance until they unfold in our actions and behaviors, whether we know it or not. It is important to stop every once in a while and ask, “Why do I believe what I believe?” And is it harmful to my life experience? Is it necessary? Is it kind?
Whatever the answer, keep in mind that you have Choice. You are stronger than you know. And ultimately this is your one life to own your beliefs and experiences. Perhaps in breaking negative family cycles, you will discover that your ability to express your feelings and needs grows exponentially. Maybe as an adult, you will notice suddenly you are in a place that isn’t supportive, that isn’t a place to thrive and grow yourself, that isn’t a positive journey through this thing we call life.
Now is the time to embark upon a journey toward greater well-being that can positively impact generations to come.
Finally, in order to truly change, you must give yourself permission to change.
Blessings to you,
After coming home from a trade show a few weeks back, I was tired. Many collections designed and made, and the website updated, there was a breath of fresh air to be had. So much time spent, efforts made, product to be sent to new stores….While exhausted, I still felt inspired and driven. This company continues to be exciting and while not easy, provides a continual creativity stream which keeps me going.....inspired and curious.
I believe that where there is inspiration, there is curiosity. There is a need to wake up in the morning to see and experience more. It can help shine a light where there is no hope. Time doesn’t creep by but races; often I find hours have passed when I am making jewelry and I haven’t noticed. In the veil of inspiration, you too may feel driven, happier, and content. It can often be transformative.
Inspiration is not necessarily driven by money or self worth. Inspired people can often feel that something is driving them, that there is a power greater at work in themselves.
But let’s be real. Sometimes inspiration doesn’t come easy. In fact, it may feel completely elusive and out of reach. So the question begs itself; why are some people inspired and others not? Perhaps you are feeling at this moment, dull, uninspired, like you are doing to just do. Are you on auto-pilot? Are you ready to feel inspired?
Here is my suggestion: start small by focusing on being curious. While walking your dog, notice the sky, clouds and breeze in the trees. In the grocery store, keep your head up and your eyes watching those around you and their movements. If there is a topic you want to know more about, read, or go online and investigate it. You are exercising the part in your brain that keeps you focused, alert, and attentive. As you become more curious, you will start to become
more motivated. It's been researched- in fact higher levels of dopamine are released as you interact with something new to you. Theory is that curiosity is imperative for us; we need the motivation to explore and experience, enjoy new relationships, and acquire more knowledge to evolve as human beings.
What inspires you? Please leave a comment below or email me directly.
See some jewelry that may help with inspiration.
In my yoga classes lately I have found the need to suggest the theme of strength again and again. I see students coming in to enjoy the physical asanas, yes, but also to regain composure, breath, discipline, and ultimately find strength to move through their day.
We may find a general lack of interest or curiosity in our lives. Or perhaps it goes deeper to where we experience pressure mounting in some way at home or at work. Perhaps some of us are at a tipping point where we need to face change and are in what I call “Limbo Land,” where we aren’t sure of ourselves and where our lives are taking us. We are going through a deep challenge, an illness, a relationship breakup, and aren’t catching our breath, let alone embracing the change.
Yet when we stop and listen in, lean in to our feelings, we can see in amazement all the past trials and obstacles we have already been through. We can see the bridges we have crossed and where they took us to a new reality. In each of these times, we not only handled those situations but in most cases, unknowingly embraced the new situation with grace and with inner strength.
Pema Chodron says “You build inner strength through embracing the totality of your experience, both the delightful parts and the difficult parts. Embracing the totality of your experience is one definition of having loving-kindness for yourself.”
When we see that fork in the road ahead, we may tense up in anticipation, not sure of the right path, whether we can “deal with it” or find our inner strength. Let us change the conversation in our heads to instead keep going, to believe we are being guided into a loving situation. Choose to be kind to ourselves and to love both ourselves and the resistance we are feeling at any given moment. Even in moments of being overwhelmed, we can stop and feel the moment. Embrace the deep feelings arising and choose to persevere. We can offer ourselves loving kindness and compassion, and remember we are stronger than we know. In this way we become more attuned to seeing when we are falling for the bait, when we are getting caught in the “emotional undertow.”
The truth is, whether we are inherently ready, sometimes life pushes us into the change. Why not find strength in both the delightful parts and the difficult parts, and to love yourself along the way. Imagine yourself grabbing your hand, and calming leading you across that bridge out of Limbo Land and into a new reality, a better you, all with love and grace.
In the Cape Cod Area and want to come to my yoga class? Click here to get the latest schedule.
Want to see some jewelry that may bring you inner strength? Click here to shop
My dear friend recently told me to “blaze my own trail.” I had to think about that. What a concept, right?! I thought this was really appropriate in a first month of the year when so many people look outside of themselves to better themselves. Weight loss, smoking cessation, quitting drinking, meeting a boyfriend/girlfriend, changing jobs, the list goes on.
So what if we chose to look inward, to get quiet, hit the pause button in our minds, and listened in to what we really need vs. what we want? You may surprise yourself. What you think you need may not be so. What if we chose, again, rather than waited, to blaze our own trail?
The recent #Metoo and #TimesUp movement also comes to mind with this phrase. What can you just not tolerate anymore in your own life? Where is it time to take ahold of the reins and do it yourself??
It’s time, more than anything, to get quiet. Sit down, close your eyes, and meditate, even for 5 minutes. See how your mind entertains you and continually come back to your breath rather than hanging on to any one thought. Eventually you may feel something in your gut, or hear a word/or phrase that pierces through the chatter. Listen in, tune in to yourself. What is it?
It’s hard I know, But this is where the work really begins. This is where, you put yourself first and foremost in the spotlight. PAY ATTENTION. Honor what is working for you in your life, and what simply needs to be let go of. How about not following the same path and stepping away from that path, to make your own trail?
Here's one way to start blazing your own trail:
As 2017 comes to an end, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for reading my blog and contributing to the conversation. Thank you! I read every single comment (on the blog and in person) and appreciate all you have to say. You inspire my creativity in jewelry making and yoga teaching.
In the new year I hope to bring you more about jewelry and all it can offer you. I hope my blogs will continue to brighten your day and provide insight for gifts, new information on trends, and all-things-jewelry (and sometimes yoga!)
I would love to know what topics you are interested in. Please tell me in the comments below what you would like to discuss next year, or contact me directly.
Scroll down to read any blogs you may have missed this year. And I will leave this quote with you. Notice the color......and check out my January blog to find out what it means!
Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun. ~Mary Lou Cook
All Right! It's "that time of the year" as they say, and I am happy to announce my holiday events coming your way. (More in the works: click here to see most current events)
Newton Holiday Art Fair
Saturday, December 2, 10am-5pm
Newton City Hall, Newton, MA
Love Live Local Holiday Festival
Sunday, December 3, Noon-5pm
Cape Cod Community Center, Dennis, MA
Centerville Yoga Trunk Show
Friday, December 8-Tuesday, December 12
Open during normal business hours
Tired of wearing all black? Need a pop of color? Prepare to move into the season with jewelry-inspired tones which reflect the vibrancy, class and beauty of YOU. You are inspired. You are unique. We have got the jewelry for you! Think ruby, sapphire, emerald, amethyst and even clear crystal tones.....here are a few ideas to bring classy color into your outfit and keep up on the trend of jeweled tones in jewelry.
Halloween is one of my favorite days. It's a perfect excuse to dress up in fun costumes, have parties, and the best, most widely socially accepted excuse for eating candy.
So in honor of Halloween this month, I thought it a good idea to talk about Energy-zapping Vampires. You know them....they are the ones you most likely avoid when they call, or you get a uncomfortable feeling in your stomach when you encounter them and you aren't sure why. These people are out there and they are Energy Vampires. They take take take, and never give. They steal your light, they bring you down, they take your power in little ways until you find yourself avoiding them at all costs. (Ever seen someone and turned around quickly to walk the opposite way, your head down, as you mumble 'please don't see me, please don't see me'?) They enter your life and do not leave. When you encounter them, you can feel your blood pressure rising, your sense of security jeopardized, an “oh no” wash over you. Here are four examples of vampires.
Constant Talkers (those who talk over you, interrupt you in conversation, and don't listen to you)
Narcissists (the world revolves around me)
Victims (Poor me, everything bad happens to me, and let me tell you all about it)
Controllers (those who want to control how you feel, what you do, have opinions about everything)
Let's connect this to what I really want to talk about, crystals and stones. It is thought that a tyrant wants power over others. A 'magician' desires power over herself. Labradorite is considered a stone of magic, magic referring to clairvoyance, communication with higher guides and spirits, among other mental and intuitive abilities. So use Labradorite to connect with yourself, toward self-mastery and knowledge. Get to know yourself rather than trying to control others and disconnecting from yourself. Take back your power! This is important because once you put yourself first, and pay attention to what you have control of, instead of what you don't, you are less inclined to put up with the nonsense, to get caught up in other's people's drama.
Also Labradorite is thought to create a field of protection around the wearer. So you are strengthened when encountering vampires.
If people tell you that you are a good listener, or you find yourself listening more than talking in conversations, and you are a person with a strong sense of self but easily fatigued, you might be an Empath. For empaths these situations with the above vampires are heightened even further. Empaths can tune into another’s energy and notice if that person is off, sad, not herself. And then different than others, they can feel that energy. They have to protect themselves from that energy rubbing off on them. Empaths can be left feeling more depleted emotionally and physically. Their life force is weaker if they aren’t careful and put these protective shields in place.
So another stone for protection is Amethyst. It can help to clear your energy field of these negative influences, and becomes a perfect stone to place around your home to create a safe space. And when you wear it, you then bring that protection to your body, for enhanced state of well-being, balance, and clearing of negativity.
One more thing Amethyst can help with is those reading this who know they are emotional vampires (good for you for noticing!) and want to change it. Use this stone to help recognize your power and gain knowledge of yourself. You no longer have to play victim to your outside situations, but align what you do daily with your inner spiritual purpose.
Enjoy your Halloween however you see fit. And may you not be visited by vampires........
I was lying in bed and feeling the discomfort of early morning in knowing I had to get out of bed. I wanted to sleep in. But my clock read 6:08am and I just HAD to get out of bed, wake up the kids, make coffee and lunches, feed the dog, start a load of laundry, finish the dishes, check my emails, etc, etc., etc.
Did that raise your blood pressure a little, just reading that? I know! I completely believe in getting things done, accomplishing, and being productive. But it can be overwhelming and certainly not relaxing. These are good qualities until they are not, and life becomes about moving through the motions and not really enjoying it. Sounds all good until moments turn into hours, hours, into days, days into years and here I am wondering why time is getting faster and how did my kids become teenagers when I still feel like 25 inside????
Time keeps moving and it is up to you and me to take a moment and PAUSE.
Notice that I didn’t see “Just Breathe” or “Feel the Moment” because I think this word, PAUSE, encompasses both feelings. When you pause, you do breathe in, breathe out, and notice what is happening around you. And it can be in the middle of being productive, accomplishing, being creative, or however you spend your time.
And that is really the cornerstone of mindful meditation.
You may be thinking, why if it’s so difficult to pause? And why bother? What is the point? And the answer for me is this: Because I enjoy feeling life. I want to experience and grow. I want to be of service to others, help others on their life journeys. And I want to do it with the least “suffering” possible. I would suggest that ALL people want to end their suffering. This is a joyful thing, a worthy cause to which to devote your life: to lessen your suffering and the suffering of others.
Being self-aware, observant, mindful in your moment, and taking that PAUSE- is where it that opportunity lies. Your ability to take your life to a possibly more fulfilling, joyful, less overwhelming place could lie in that PAUSE that we choose to take not just daily, but multiple times daily.
Try it and see. Even once in your day, perhaps before you get out of bed, say to yourself, “Thank you for one more day.” and then PAUSE and reflect in that moment. See what it does for you. I look forward to hearing your comments.
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