Month: May 2020

Intuition

I used to think that intuition was an aspect of my earthly self, and that it was always just trying to connect me to my Higher Self.  It always felt more out of reach than present; even when it “hit” I wasn’t always sure with my intuition. What did it even mean to follow my intuition? What does it mean to have intuition? Did I have it? It kind of always felt a little out of reach, outside of myself.  And, yet, I also sensed that I had a capability with my intuition that was highly ‘connected’ to Source. 


Enter Kim Chestney, creator of Intuition Lab, and author whose new book, ‘Radical Intuition’, is about to hit stores! Get it in your cart on Amazon; I have!  I have been in her courses online since before Covid-19 began. I’m just now finishing up her ‘Elevate’ Advanced Intuition training. It’s been an incredible ride and I know I am still only getting started! *Stayed tuned for my own offerings down the line!

I’m telling you all if this because last week we held the intention to get to know Intuition a bit better. 

What I have come to know now is this, with all my heart and soul around intuition:

*Intuition IS my a Higher Self. 

*Intuition is Universe within me, connecting to Source around me.

*Intuition is a direct portal for information on anything and everything, including that which is beyond space and time.

*Intuition comes in many different ways.

*We each have our own unique Intuition languages; and we can still experience all the ways in which Intuition speaks, even though we may be more adapt towards one style of Intuition versus another.

*We can use/listen/feel/hear/experience Intuition everyday!

*We can use it with any questions we might have.

*Intuition only speaks to use in ways that are loving, supportive, transformative, validating, uplifting, grounding, and positive; even when addressing pain and trauma, Intuition is only ever holding the best of intentions for you and all beings. 

*I can trust my intuition; even though I still get a little nervous when practicing for others. 

* Intuition feels resonant within.

*Intuition is persistent.

In our physical practices this past week, I invited people to move Intuitively.  I invited them to move in ways that “felt” good to them.  I invited Intuitive breathing, and connecting the breath to the movement.  Does the inhale feel good here, or an exhale?  And why?  So, we went further; meaning, what was resonating for them? Intuition will always feel resonant within us.  It can be that “aha” moment, or that deep, grounding acknowledgement that you “just know”, without explanation. 

“Intuition is a Spiritual faculty and does not explain, but simply points the way.”-Florence Scovel Shinn

“Listen to your Intuition.  It will tell you everything you need to know.”-Anthony J. D’Angelo

“Intuition is seeing with the soul.”-Dean Koontz

When it comes to intuition, it does guide, and yes, without explanation. We can dig deeper into a vision and ask intuition more questions, to be more specific, but at some point we are going to have to discern the deeper meaning of what we saw, heard, experienced, sensed, or noticed from our Intuition. Our discernment, with intuition, will bring it all together for us.  

“It is thru science that we prove, but through intuition that we discover.”-Henri Poincare

It’s true, have you ever listen to that gut instinct?  Have you ever made a decision from a place that didn’t make logical sense on the outside, but it was from an inner place of deep knowing?  Henri Poincare’s quite from above really rings true for me; to stay curious and to stay open is to stay listening to Source and noticing the ways in which we are guided.

“Faith requires following the power of a whisper.”-Shannon L. Alder

I invite you to listen to those whispers in your heart. Those ones that keep coming back.  Those whispers that always resonate when you hear them.  Keep listening to those whispers in your Heart! That’s Intuition calling upon you.  So, get quiet and still this week so you can hear them! Be guided, because this Intuition is a part of you, your Higher Self.

This is the mudra that we used for unshakeable trust. Trust your Intuition!

Breathe and Believe.

Refuge

Refuge: 

Definitions:
-“a condition of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or trouble”
-“something providing shelter”

In this past week’s intention much more developed over the course of the week then I could imagine. It was a wonderful journey! And it led to some beautiful realizations.

I started each class with these words that originally came to me at the beginning of the week when tapping into the essence of this word, refuge:

“I invite you into refuge of your own heart.
To feel the innate peace in the slow movements of your body.
To know your heart as Source* itself.
To be held by the safe space of your breath.
To be guided towards the light of knowing your freedom by quieting your mind.
I invite you into the refuge of your higher self, your intuition.
This is home, 
this is love, 
this is peace, 
this is eternal freedom. 
Liberation.”

*I reference the words of my dear friend Dr. Deb Adamy, by saying, as she said in her podcast ‘Enlighten; uplift and inspire’, “When I reference source, God, or Divine, know that I want to be inclusive and honor what resonates for you. Regardless of your religious, spiritual, or atheist beliefs, people generally agree on the importance of silence and stillness”. I echo her words here, and always.

In each class, I quickly invited everyone into curiosity.  Did it feel possible for them to take refuge in their body?  In the slow movements of their body? In their breath? In their own Spiritual Heart? In their Intuition?

For me, the answer became clearer and clearer. The answer was yes. To become so mindful in connecting to the small movements, to each flow of the undulation of the breath, to be in Intimate experience with one’s body, gave the condition for shelter. Can our bodies be our refuge? Can it be that thing that provides shelter? And again, I say yes; if we allow it.

Even when our body has been violated, or has known trauma, or is in a state of constant pain and discomfort, can we still experience our body as a refuge?  I do not have as clear an answer to this question.  I imagine it determines on the perception of how one views one’s own body.  And also how one views the purpose of pain.  However, this is causing me to think of something else that I came to discover and feel throughout this week’s intention….

There is a place within each of us, a place in our spiritual heart that is Energy. This Energy cannot die, cannot be disturbed, and is made of everything that is love and peace, compassion and forgiveness.  This is Source. This is who we are. I Am That, That I Am.  I am free.

Through our breath, through our movements, through the practice, through the directing of our consciousness, and our seeking of connection and communion with that place within ourselves that is Divine, we create the condition of being our own refuge.  

I found this article and really enjoyed its offerings around refuge. One of the takeaways that stood out to me was how it was translating what I was sharing in my classes. How a lot of what I was inviting my students to take refuge in is not seen by the physical eye. It is something that can only be felt and experienced.  I obviously loved this quote that came from the article, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal”(2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV). It truly reminded me of how we simultaneously need to invite our self to trust the unseen, and to invite our self to trust the wisdom of our body, heart, breath, Spirit, Soul, Higher self, and Intuition.  

Other places of refuge that came up, especially in relationship to the practice of yoga was; chanting, spiritual texts, prayer, all the practices, mindfulness, meditation, and gratitude. Some other places in which I found myself taking refuge during this week’s intention where; the birds chirping outside when we opened our windows, the laughter of my kids, the hug of my husband, the sunlight through my bathroom window, and dance parties before bedtime!  This picture is such a CUTE depiction of a refuge! Ah, my heart. 🙂

Where do you go and what do you turn to, as places of refuge?  Is it social media, alcohol, movies, shopping, pets, reading, dancing, art, singing, running, friends, food, drugs? As my mind started pacing with ideas of what others might use as places of refuge, that guided my mind to remember to practice moderation. One of my refuge places is with chocolate. Another place of my refuge is in dance. However, if I have too much or do too much of either of these, it definitely depletes me and does not make me feel good. So, I invite you to take refuge in those things and places and people that bring great joy and happiness to you, and to do so in the most healthful of ways possible for every level and dimension of your Being.  

This also brought my mind circling back around to questioning where would we like to take refuge first?  For the health of our self, and all others, we would want to take refuge in those things that are most supportive, loving, and healthful for all involved.  Here is a soft example; instead of eating so much chocolate that I make myself sick, and therefore make myself unavailable to take care of the kids or to help my husband out around the house, I could first take refuge in a couple of deep breaths.  After taking a few deep breaths, if I have any chocolate in the house, I will go eat a couple of bites and enjoy them, be present with the taste, smell, and texture.  Or, maybe I choose in that moment, especially if I don’t have any chocolate in the house, to just go to the breath, feel into what is troubling me, and take it from there. These are mindfulness practices, and they reminded me of the yogic practice of brahmacharya in relationship with this concept of refuge.  Brahmacharya is often translated as celibacy, but it has a much wider meaning. Brahmacharya means “conduct consistent with Brahman” or “on the path of Brahman”.  So, through self-control, and taking refuge first in those things that are unseen, such as the breath, and our subtle body, and Spirit, we can always be in an actionable practice of fixing our inner gaze towards the Light.  It is said that thru this practice, we can come to know the Atman, the Self.

I invite you to imagine a place you can take refuge in. whether it’s a place that you’ve actually been to, or a place created through your imagination.  This is a place that lives in your spiritual heart. It is a place you can always take refuge in. It is a place of safety and shelter. It is a place where troubles disappear.

This week’s intention gave a whole new meaning to the words “shelter-in”.  Shelter inward. ♥️🙏

I will leave you with this quote that I found and loved immediately, “Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.”-Maya Angelou.

You are not alone. Take refuge in knowing this.  I am here for you, should you need me.

With all my heart, 
Shawna 

Breathe and Believe.

Rebirth:Max

Ketchup, lol! Just a little levity for your day. 
“Catch-up” for two weeks of intentions; so, yes, it’s a little long, feel free to read in the span of two days!

Two Weeks Ago:

Michael J. Fox describes his approach to living with Parkinson’s disease in this way, “If I let it affect everything, it’s going to own everything. I don’t deny or pretend it’s not there, but if I don’t allow it to be bigger than it is, then I can do everything else.”  This is an inspiring description of the power of acceptance of life as it is.

Acceptance of all of life and attempting to stay present through it all, how do we do this?  Especially when things get tough?  

In class, we used the pushpanjali mudra to embody this wisdom in our hands. Pushpa means “flower”, anjali means “hands joined together in reverence”. To see it, click here. This Mundra plants within us that sense of staying open like a blossoming flower, and allows us to appreciate life exactly as it is in the present moment, without looking back, nor looking forward, but to just be here now. One great quote from one of the many articles that I discovered through this intention is the following, “I accept everything as it is right now”. Another quote, “I am at peace as I am”.  Using the mudra and these mantras can be actions you take that support you in acceptance and staying present through anything.

In his discourse on Patanjali’s 15th sutra, first chapter, on aparigraha*, Swami Satchidananda reminds us about practicing for the “sheer joy of practicing”. And, if I can be so bold as to add to his wisdom, when we practice, to not be forcing, pushing, or expecting anything, but to just be in the practice, allow its unfolding, and therefore allow our own unfolding.

And of course, as I always like to remind myself and others, this way of acceptance is not a giving up, nor is it an end. This way of acceptance is an embracing of everything and a reminder to actually be in the moment and to be with just what you are doing as best you can. Krishna, in the Bhagavad Gita, says the following, “Let your concern be with the action alone, and never with the fruits of action. Do not let the results of your action be your motive, and do not be attached to inaction”.  I love especially that last piece; that we not be attached to inaction because it invites us to actually take action when we know the time is right, when our whole heart is in it, and when we know it is for the betterment of all beings.

*This way of action also reminded me of the Yama called aparigraha. Aparigraha is often translated as non-attachment, and non-possessiveness.  Graha means “to take, to seize, or to grab”. Pari means “on all sides”. The ‘a’ negates the word itself. So, aparigraha means “not to take hold on all sides”. As we considered surrender and letting go throughout this practice, I also felt to simultaneously be embracing ‘parigraha’, and to actually seize the moment, to take hold of it on all sides and BE IN the moment! 

I rounded out all of these thoughts through the lovely words of swami satchidananda again, “We just spend a little happy time together, that’s all. We just talk about something or do something in the name of yoga. Yes, that is the secret. There is a joy in being together, that’s all. So that is the life of detachment.  There is no expectation. …We just come together. We are all as one family, what else do we want in this life? And that is yoga.” I especially feel resonance with these words at this time during the pandemic and physical distancing. It makes me even more grateful that we still can be coming together in yoga, in union, and sharing this wonderful practice and life together. Thank you all so much!

This past week:

From Mark Nepo and his book, “The Book of Awakening”:

“There is a vastness that quiets the soul. But sometimes we are so squarely in the midst of life’s forces that we can’t see what we are a part of.

The truth about morning is that it is the small light of the beginning breaking through, again and again. It is a wisdom so large and clear, one which carries us through our lives so quietly and completely that we seldom see it.

Day after day, we are covered with the dust and grit of what we go through. It tends to weigh us down, and then we think and scheme and problem solved. then we worry if it will all really work, and if it is the right thing to do. It all makes us dark and cluttered.
 
But despite our stubbornness of concern, we tire and must turn what has happened over to the hammock of night. This is a good thing. For no matter how unfinished we seem, the letting go into sleep is nothing short of a quiet miracle.

…We must surrender to the quieting of all intent and regret, so that the small light of the beginning can rise in us again and again.”

I attributed a metaphor to that letting go into sleep as being a letting go into the present.  And, for me, these words kept coming up, “lay it all down”.  

He went on to write in the same offering, “So whenever you feel urgency or overwhelmed, whenever you feel pressed to figure things out or to rethink the unthinkable…rest… So that the endless beginning–which soom call the voice of God–might break through what has happened. And you will wake feeling like dawn.” (*A reminder to place any other word there that resonates with you for the term God; whether it be love, collective consciousness, or other.)

I find for myself, and most likely for most people, that it is in those moments of quiet and stillness that we can hear Source speaking to us, communicating with us, and to even hear that which is Source within our own heart and Higher self.  I find that sometimes it’s through the movement of my body in the physical practice of yoga that brings me to more deeper mental quiet spaces.  And then in other moments, I need the physical stillness, and I need deep silence in order to be able to more freely step into that vastness that is within myself; that is the same as the universe.  

I invite you now to step into the vastness of the dawning of your heart. Just like that slow dawning of the sun the begins to pick up over the physical horizon, and then begins to shed its light upon everything, bringing life with the light.  

There is respite in the darkness and in that hammock of night, but I wish to leave you with that dawning… 

Here is a meditation:
As you become quiet and lay your body down to rest, whether you lie down or sit, let go and close your eyes.
Taking some slow, steady breaths and allow your hearts rhythm to slow.
Begin to imagine a vast horizon in nature and the beginning of the twilight just before the dawn.  
Watch as the hues of the beautiful myriad of colors in the sky change as the sun begins to appear.
Slowly, the sun begins to rise as if from the Earth itself.
Feel it’s light and its life and warmth against your cheeks.
Thank goodness for it’s slow, steady journey which allows us to adapt to the ever changing brightness. The slow and steady that allows us to acclimate, rather than to be shocked or overwhelmed with too much stimulus all at once. Let this be a reminder to your own lifes journey; take it slow and be gentle.
Taking in the vast expanse before you, behold a feeling of awe and wonder. Allow yourself to be amazed by life itself.
Remember all that you are a part of life. Remember how important and integral you are as a part of this whole! 
Now rest in this knowing.

Let hope, and a sense of rebirth that is that “breaking through again and again” happen every day this week, as best you can. What is dawning within you?

*On rebirth: that’s the reason I chose Maxwell’s birthday photo from 5 years ago, yesterday! Photo credit to his dad! Happy Birthday max!  Mommy loves you! 

I know there was so much more for both of these weeks, but a lot happens in the inspiration of the moment in my classes, and rarely are two ever the same, even with the same intention. So, apologies for leaving anything out. 🙂
Also, apologies for any lack of coherency here, lol!

Breathe and Believe.