Through Kindness And Compassion

I like to think that the feminization of yoga starts with the premise that we are all perfect just the way we are.  The transformation comes not in our hips and bellies, but in our attitudes about them as we learn to let go of (and thus be liberated from) society’s dictates.  We start on our yoga mats, but we take these concepts off the mat and into our daily lives – we learn to see ourselves as we really are, without judgement, and embrace the power we have to enact change through kindness and compassion.

Linda Sparrows

I’m just working on the handouts for my Because You Matter 6 week program, and I came across this quote – this is why I love yoga, and why it is an anchor for me. It’s true, if we’re able to come to ourselves with acceptance and kindness, we start to support change in the world around us simply by coming into coherence with this energy. It’s not about the physical changes or the “appearances”, it’s about how we feel inside – it’s about how deep we allow our breath to travel and how kind and gentle we can be with ourselves. It’s about being okay with making mistakes and softening our expectations, especially around ourselves.

I’m learning alot about the human condition these days, and feeling, often overwhelming waves of compassion and sometimes deep sadness. I’m choosing to allow those emotions to fuel my actions in the world. I’ve been reflecting a little more on what I can do to support myself to thrive and understanding that this is where the ripples for the greater collective start.

I offer you a short and very sweet breath practice to join me in today, only if it resonates. A little video to help to support the release of blockages inside of you, and to bring you into a place of calm, peace, compassion, and love. This practice can also potentially help to relieve anger and stress, and can be very calming for your nervous system. This pranayama (or breath practice) is called Bumblebee breath, you may be familiar with it by it’s traditional Sanskrit name, Brahmari breath. The sustained exhale that happens naturally in this practice supports the relaxation response for our whole body wellness. The toning we bring in, attunes us to the vibration of the heart.

Making your self care a top priority is important, as we’re all – yes, that includes you, processing alot right now. I sense that if your actions are grounded in kindness – that you are in alignment with what the world needs more of right now……..

Sending you love as you journey through your days,

Amber

Do you want to practice together? You can see my schedule (and find our more details) here.

Learn more about Because You Matter, a beautiful 6 week journey into your breast health and whole body wellness. Click here for more information. My next offering starts in March of this year.

Soul Wisdom Self Reflection cards, a little extra support on your journey.

A Slow Return

I have taken the last week and a half off from most of technology, being offline, and it has been bliss.

I didn’t realize how depleted and exhausted I was from this past year.

I feel so grateful as I sit down to write in these early morning hours, slowly re-emerging, to have this time with you. I wonder how you’re doing. I would love for you to truthfully answer that question, how are you actually doing?

If you’re having a hard time, you’re not alone, take your time right now if you can, and remember we are constantly in flux – learning, growing and evolving and it’s not always going to feel easeful, the wheel remember continues to spin.

If you’re doing amazing – celebrate that – please don’t dim yourself as the world needs you whole, especially right now. It’s good to feel good – and desirable – enjoy this transitory journey and try to embrace wherever you find yourself fully and completely.

I don’t often give myself complete permission to stop, put everything I’m carrying down and take a real break. I strongly recommend you bring this invitation into your own precious life, as this gift of space allowed me to actually feel the mess of this past year, and to put alot of it down so I can move forward honouring myself in the midst of it all.

I work very intimately with people, and ride the waves of not only my own experience, but within a safe container also navigate the waves of everyone in my circle of care. Without taking a break, I think we never allow the deep composting and integration to actually ever happen. No matter what you do in the world, I think sometimes we all get stuck riding the wave of our shared existence that never stops, unless we consciously decide to jump off for a while and return to our own unique holdfast.

A few weeks ago in one of my classes, we talked about this concept, looking at what holds us steady as the waves of life keep moving. Taking time everyday to feel where your roots are grounded, looking at how you show yourself compassion and softness, how are your boundaries around your own self care time? If not on a daily basis, this self reflective time is crucial at least on a monthly basis – alternatively, if we don’t take this time, we can unconsciously get pulled under or thrown against a rock – forcing us to stop in often very uncomfortable ways.

As humans we have a tendency to keep going, no matter what, and we put a strong emphasis on the way’s we’re resilient, and the ways we’re strong – I too have put alot of emphasis on these qualities, especially over the past few years. Perhaps it’s what has kept me going, seeking ways to build my own reserves and my own resources and supporting others to do the same. As we emerge in 2022 I wonder if we can continue to build our inner resources but through a lens of gentle compassion.

My amazing massage therapist (which I strongly recommend we ALL have one in our circle of care), asked me if perhaps I could learn to be comfortable in mess. She told me I could show up mess and all – and it would still be more than enough, that it wouldn’t make me less. Growing up in a home where people didn’t expect alot of me, I grew up expecting ALOT from me. I have decided to put that story down, and to show up exactly as I am without expectations, but instead with compassion – mess and all.

I definitely don’t know all the answers, but I am honest as I extend my hand out to you offering to help you find the answers – and to perhaps remember we don’t actually need to always know the answers but rather allow the journey to simply unfold.

My anchor word for this year is “Gentle”, starting with myself. I am learning the true strength and power found in the well of gentleness. In so many ways we’re all redefining ourselves right now, this is an evolution of a lifetime, but right now it is being presented clearly as a directive to all of us.

As we transition into the year ahead, can we allow a slow return.

What is your holdfast and can you return to it throughout the year ahead.

Is there a quality that resonates in your heart as an anchor word for this chapter of your life?

Have you taken some time to celebrate the pivotal moments of this past year, and to let go of what doesn’t need to travel with you into the year ahead.

Can you acknowledge any areas of your life that might feel a little messy right now, and smile upon them for the lessons they contain, allowing them to shine some light on maybe what needs your attention, rather than shoving them deeper into the shadows.

Have you clearly identified the dreams you’d like to welcome into your reality? Planting soul seeds for this next year.

As I slowly re-emerge after a restful and very needed break, know I wrap you in a blanket of gentle compassion, as we allow the year ahead to unfold in all of it’s mystery and wonder.

Much love,

Amber

If you’d like to practice with me on zoom, my virtual classes start back up this month, you can see the schedule and register here.

If the class times don’t suit your schedule – you can still register and I’ll send you a recording of the class so you can practice when it easefully fits into your day.

Registration for my Spring Virtual Breast Health Program is now open, click here for more details.

If you’d like a gentle companion on your path you may find our Soul Wisdom cards supportive. As we move into 2022, Jessica and I have decided to donate a percentage of our sales every month to Lanark County Interval House, a support in our community that is very dear to our hearts. It is our prayer all people have a safe place to go, and the support they need to remember their own worth and to thrive.

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Inclusivity In A Confusing Time

“I am here to keep becoming truer, more beautiful versions of myself again and again forever. To be alive is to be in a perpetual state of revolution. Whether I Like it or not, pain is the fuel of revolution. Everything I need to become the woman (human) I’m meant to be next is inside my feelings now. Life is alchemy, and emotions are the fire that turns me to gold. I will continue to become only if I resist extinguishing myself a million times a day. If I can sit in the fire of my own feelings, I will keep becoming.”

Glennon Doyle

Becoming a more truer version of ourselves, perhaps that is the biggest learning of this pandemic. I have never questioned my values, my relationships, my integrity, my responsibilities, and the people and things that I love and care about, so much as during the past year. 

My whole life has pivoted, in ways that were necessary both professionally and personally.

 I listened to a video the other day, with Simon Sinek, which seemed to encapsulate exactly what I was feeling.  We can’t go back to the way things were, that is the nature of change.  Many people talk about when things go back to normal, when things are stable again – but you know the truth is, life isn’t stable.  And I wonder what the heck is normal?  In the history of my life, I  don’t think I could ever describe my life as “normal”, nor would I truthfully want to. 

We are constantly changing, and resisting that change only limits our growth.  Can we be creative in how we move with the flow of life, especially when the waters are a little extra choppy.  I urge you to look at how you respond in times of crisis in your own life, be honest with yourself here.

 Then I urge you to look at the ways you keep yourself resourced?  On a daily basis.  How do you fill yourself back up?

 People are feeling a lot of different emotions, and if you’re anything like me you are feeling not only your own often intense waves, but also the ripple effects of those around you.  My anchors keep reminding me to be a little extra gentle right now, and I want to remind you to do the same. 

One of the saddest things I am attuning to these days is all of the division.  What makes your decisions more right than anybody else?  For you, absolutely, but for them?  For them, the only person that knows their whole story and understands their reasoning – is them.  So please, maybe ask more questions, and be a little extra gentle right now. 

As I make decisions in my own life with the ways I am in service, I am really sitting with it all.  I feel we should all have the space to speak our truth, and to not face judgement for that truth – is that not how we grow stronger in ourselves, and as a community?  As humans it is my hopes we would have empathy for one another, especially during times of crises. 

I was vaccinated so I could see my mom who lives in a different city from me, probably for the last time.  I was told I would not have been able to have touched her had I not made that choice, and potentially not even be able to be with her – I knew that was how I could best reach her.  I have an autoimmune disorder which added to this picture, and made all these decisions a little more complex, none of this has been easy.

To the best of my ability I sit with all sides of this story we’re moving through globally, I certainly don’t have clarity and am not afraid to admit I don’t know what the best thing to do is, I am confused – I sense like many. 

 I often sit long and quietly with all of this.

 I have had conversations around holding in person classes again, and I started to cry as I imagined myself on one side of the fence, and people I have held safe space for over the years, people dear to my heart – on the other side of the fence because they made a different choice in alignment with who they are and what they need.

I have decided to continue with my online classes as we move through the fall and winter, a safe neutral space where people can just be held. 

I don’t want to exclude anyone, or add to the division, especially holding classes responsibly with the intention to  help us all to heal and to find our way again.  For me, I need to sit with this all a little longer, so I can move with integrity, honouring the deep respect I feel in my soul for all of you, and staying anchored with compassion regardless of what and who shows up. 

 These decisions are complicated, especially when we’re faced with hurt hearts because people, it seems these days, often don’t even want to take the time to really listen to your story.  Many are also scared to be honest and talk about being confused or decisions made – for fear of rejection. 

We all have our stories, and can we try to hear eachother, especially when it’s not comfortable  – it’s when we need it most.

Sending you so much love on your journey,

With a gentle heart

Amber

If you’d like to join me online for a class you can register by clicking on the days you’d like to join, and you can purchase class passes here

I will continue to hold some outdoor forest classes, private sessions, and move with fluidity through these changing times – the changing times of an entire life lived. I will eventually return to in person classes, but I need more time to sit with this all.

Supporting you with some soul nourishment and self-reflection, Jessica and I created our soul wisdom cards, made with love from our hearts to yours.  Find out more here.

Spring Renewal – Wednesday Wellness Reflection

It’s hard to believe it was a year ago everything changed, I remember thinking about closing the studio for a week or two, trusting we’d be back in our little sacred space in no time.   A huge learning for me, and a process that continues.

Spring is a powerful time to honour the introspective winter months we’ve just moved through, as we begin to awaken like our natural world around us.   This is a time of renewal and a time to set clear intentions as we plant new seeds in the fertile ground, awakening.

Over the next 6 months we’ll be experiencing a slow increase in the abundance of sunlight, we’ll be witnessing new growth all around us,  and we’ll be feeling into an expansion in yang energy (a more outward and active energy).

Allow this to be a slow emergence if you can, I’m here to remind you there is no urgency, this is especially important this year as we have experienced and continue to navigate so much change on a micro and macro level.

Spring is a time we consider new beginnings, the birth of ideas, we cultivate hope, embrace joy, honour the space we need to thrive, and it’s also a good time to lay the groundwork for things you’d like to grow and create.

Sometimes, however,  spring is also filled with anxiety over percieved expectations, or an urgency to get moving.  Sometimes we can feel agitated inside, without understanding the why.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed, turn to the practices you know nourish you – let them be your anchor, and be gentle with yourself – especially this year.

When we consider our spring cleaning; we need to spend time with our homes, our gardens and yards, our bodies, and it’s important to remember to also consider the clearing, cleansing and expression of your emotional truths.  This  is often the hardest part of our spring cleaning regime – but critical to your continued growth and expansion as a human.

As winters ice breaks up and the snow melts,  we are offered an invitation to honour the flow of the currents moving at their own pace.  Sitting with the waters of spring we can witness the nourishment of new growth, in ourselves and in the land, or perhaps reflecting on the growth and impact of this past year.

As we tend to and consider our responsibility in the care of the earth,  I wonder if in that process you can also surrender to earths fertile energy and allow it to also support you –  the planting of seeds within and around us, that may one day, with care and commitment,  come to fruition.

Hold those seeds in your heart and breathe fresh energy into them.

Wishing you a beautiful spring,

Much love

Amber

xo

If you’d like to practice with me I teach weekly online zoom classes , as well, as a response to COVID, I have created, and continue to create, a video library and a weekly video subscription.

Don’t ever hesitate to reach out, my support is here holding you in my heart.

 

Ahimsa – Can we be kind to ourselves?

Yogic greetings to YOU!

Sending you the biggest cyber hugs I can possibly manage today……

I wanted to share a little practice, a meditation for cultivating ahimsa – or nonviolence.

When we consider what violence is for us, we need to reflect on the potent power and effects of our body actions, our body language, how we listen (or not) to others and our selves, our words and the tone which we express them.  We need to consciously consider the foods we nourish – or not – our bodies with and the effects of these choices, the thoughts and the stories we tell ourselves, the people we surround ourselves by.  We also need to consider how patient and gentle we are with ourselves through changes in our lives and during times of uncertainty.  This is when we need to be extra gentle.

I invite you to bring mindful attention to this concept of nonharming, and understanding it’s thread in your own life.

During this time of change, I’ve been spending some time revisiting the ethics of yoga.  The foundation and roots of these amazing and ancient practices, which invite yoga to not only be a practice on your mat, but if it resonates for you, also a conscious way of living off your mat.   

To view the practice click here

This particular practice I found in a treasure called Mudras For Healing And Transformation, by Joseph and Lilian Le Page, this phenomenal book was introduced to me to by one of the  many incredible inspirations in my life, Kathleen Burr.  Kathleen is a phenomenal yogi, and a very dear friend.  She teaches us about resilience and trauma informed yoga, as well as powerful ways for us to remember to care for ourselves.  She  offered our teachers at Surya Daya a beautiful and nurturing afternoon of self care last year and it is our plans to have her back to hold a community offering when it is safe to do so.

I invite you to come into a comfortable seated position, and give yourself some time to explore this beautiful meditation practice.

Much love, Amber

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