Listening to Tony Robbins, Life Coach extraordinare, and Iyanla Vanzant, creator of The TV show Fix My Life and incredible speaker, they both focused on the same practice at the core of spiritual growth and living in alignment with your true purpose…connecting with your heart (your intuition, God, the universe). One of my mentors, Sonia Tully, has taught me a very similar practice that I use all the time to get guidance and I love it because it’s quick, easy and so clear.
Tony describes choosing something in your life that you’re struggling with at a level of 7 out of 10. Closing your eyes and putting your hand on your heart and bringing to mind 3 separate experiences you are grateful for e.g. The birth of your child, achieving a goal or a special time with friends. Then once you’ve got yourself into the state (vibration) of gratitude you ask your heart what to do about the problem you are facing and listen for the guidance.
Iyanla talks about being in the God space in prayer, feeling completely connected and at one with creation. She emphasises that your intuition is key to the choices you make and is how we receive guidance from God. Oprah says if you’re out of alignment with your higher purpose God hits you first with a pebble, then if you don’t listen the rock gets bigger and bigger until it’s a boulder. This is a metaphor for the intuitive nudges we get that we ignore, for example if you bring on a new business partner you may have some misgivings but ignore them. Then a few things start to go wrong in your business, but you soldier on. Eventually the business may fail and you go bankrupt (the boulder!). This is not a punishment from God or the universe, it’s purely because that situation or relationship, in the form it’s in, it’s untenable for you and out of alignment with your deepest desires. So eventually it has to break down completely if you don’t listen and act on the red flags.
Sonia, my mentor, teaches a beautiful tool called ‘My heads says….and my heart says….’ Choose something your worried about or struggling with, then speak out loud ‘my head says….’ and say all the thoughts and stuff your head is saying to you e.g. I’m not sure I can do this, am I good enough? What will they say? Etc. Then take a deep breath, put your hand on your heart and tune in – then say ‘my heart says…’ and allow the words to come naturally. Can you feel the difference in energy of your head and your heart? What do they both feel like?
I love that there is so much emphasis on how essential it is to connect to your heart and your intuition. That is the space we create from and heal in.
Sending love ❤️
Image credit: upliftconnect.com
In this video I explain what people pleasing is (I should know, I’m an expert!) and how it can lead to autoimmune disease – as it did for me. I learned how to set boundaries in order to take care of myself and heal myself from the disease to please. Thank goodness!!
Country music is, I find, especially emotional and passionate. The performers were incredible, loving and heartfelt. They connected with my heart and literally broke it open with their words and intention. Once the tears started to flow there was no stopping them. I realised it wasn’t just the music that was making me cry, it was the catalyst for me to release my emotions.
It reminded me very much of my stay in India where I lived in an ashram and joined in with a 7 day Bhakti yoga celebration; Bhakti yoga is the practice of chanting as a way of connecting to the divine. We were in Vrindavan, which is the birthplace of the Hindu God Krishna, Krishna is the lover God! He had many women, gopis, who were in love with him and folllowed him around. So for days we listened to stories and chanted together culminating in the final day when an ecstatic, love fest, dance party broke out! The high vibration energy and the love between us all was palpable – we were connected to each other and to the divine and it was an incredible dance and flow of beauty and love – as you can see in the photo.
Listening to the Nashville concert had a similar effect of joining everyone in the room by the heart. I realised, as the tears were running down my face, that I’ve kept my heart on lock down for a long time now. My heart was badly broken and with the best intentions of protecting it I unconsciously put it carefully in a safe place, on lock down. As the music played and my emotions flooded to the surface I could feel my heart cracking open and allowing in the love and the pain. It felt good and scary and exhausting, a huge relief.
It felt so much better to experience the emotions, not that it was comfortable, than to shut them down. Feeling is being alive. My whole body shifted, my shoulders relaxed and I could move more freely. The audience stood up and danced for the last few songs, it’s no accident that music and dancing are intrinsically connected. When the emotion is coming up moving your body helps it move through you and out, hence ‘e-motion’. Dancing is an awesome way to do this, moving your hips and shoulders, often the places in the body emotion and tension gets stuck. One of my yoga teachers told me that if I’m feeling uninspired with my home practice, to turn on some tunes and just move my body in any way that feels good – I do this all the time and I love it! Try it… 😘
As a yoga teacher people often tell me they want to do yoga, but are nervous of going to a class having never done it before. This video is a very gentle introduction to yoga that you can do at home with no one watching. It introduces you to breathing with your movements, gentle stretching and a deep relaxation at the end.
Even though I’m a yoga teacher I still find it difficult sometimes to get on my mat to practice. Sometimes I’m uninspired, or don’t want to be alone and so incredibly present with myself and my feelings. Bringing my interrupted awareness to my breath and my body, as we do in yoga, can feel raw and challenging as the emotions and thoughts I’ve been ignoring come up to the surface. This may not feel comfortable in the moment but is so essential and cleansing – to move the energy of those thoughts and emotions through and eventually out of my body.
That’s one of the many reasons I love following yoga videos at home – I feel like I’m not doing it alone and the teacher on the screen is supporting and guiding me. I hope you have a similar experience.
It was a day of things going a little awry and then synchronistically working out perfectly.
I was planning on going to my morning Sivananda yoga class at the ashram in Putney, as I trained in this very soothing, classical style in India. I didn’t sleep well at last night so was waking and sleeping till late in the morning and missed my class. Not to be thwarted I decided to go along to a later class a local studio I haven’t been to before, a Yin class. I thought Yin, a very slow style of yoga where the poses are held for long periods of time, would suit me perfectly as I am recovering from chronic fatigue and so have been doing very little exercise recently.
The poses were a range of steady holding and gently flowing, it was physically harder than I expected to hold still for so long! I was very impressed by the teacher’s knowledge both in the realm of the spiritual and physical. The piece of information which stuck in my mind most and turned on a light bulb of understanding was her explanation of the iliopsoas.
She explained the iliopsoas is the only muscle that is attached to both the lower limbs and the torso (the spine) making its way down through the pelvis, it is actually the deepest muscle in the human body. In yoga it is known as the ‘muscle of the soul’ as it holds emotional as well as physical tension. When we are relaxed in life and feel able to express ourselves our hips tend to be more open, when we are in flight or fight response (stress) our hips become tighter and movement is reduced. This is why when practicing hip openers in yoga, especially in a yin yoga class (where we held a low lunge for at least 5 minutes!), often emotions and hidden frustrations come bubbling up to the surface.
This was my experience exactly, I knew that my right hip was especially tight, and I attributed it to difficult emotions connected to close male relationships in my life (right side of the body represents yang/ masculine energy). While holding the stretch on the right side the wave of emotions was overwhelming so much so that I feared I might cry out if I didn’t release the pose and take a break.
I loved the teacher’s beautiful, soulful and anatomically correct explanation of why the emotions are caught up in the hip area. I breathed through the emotions, through the discomfort in an effort to let go as much as I could. Often in a deep hip opener I can feel the resistance building in my body almost like very small convulsion and if I stay with it and breathe through it my body releases the blocked energy and I can relax and let go a little deeper.
This class, this teacher, this pose and this explanation were exactly what I need to heal and nourish myself today. And the bonus prize was the studio are offering a £25 unlimited pass for 2 weeks for newbies – so much to be grateful for in the flow of synchronicity.