Lesson #4: We’re Divinely Made for Connection
During my Dissection Course with Gil Hedley last month (yes, I’m talking about cadavers), I intimately saw, touched, and explored the layers and systems that make up our human form, at least in the physical sense after passing.
Everything is connected.
Perhaps this feels cliche and we’ve heard it before – but I invite you now, in this moment to consider its truth.
When I approached the 3 gurneys that first morning, each with a donor body covered by sheets of gauze, alongside my new community of 20 students and teachers – I hesitated. My senses became overwhelmed, but my spirit felt so completely still.
I knew once we intervened, this form would never be the same. We were about to separate that which by design is absolutely interconnected and whole.
We invent separation where there is none.
Gil calls the scalpel a liar for its ability to cut through and parse apart the layers of the body that do not function independently from each other.
For ease of study, we label and separate and learn. But, ultimately, true learning comes from connections, systems, and seeing influence in action. Understanding.
As much as I felt fascinated by the layers of skin, fascia, muscle, organs – the branches of nerves and vascular supply throughout, the cellular complexity and magic in the entire form that I couldn’t even see with my own eyes, holding a human brain in my own hands – I became more enthralled observing my own reactions and responses, the relationships and stories unfolding within my team in the lab, and the conversations in our daily circle.
Gil’s poetry and patience made this experience unforgettable, tender, and spiritually awakening for me.
My practice and teaching feel enriched and opened to new depths. My imagery skills now have a tactile reality and memory, stored in my hands, heart and mind. I will never be the same.
Please remember, you are whole and we are connected.
It’s how we’ve been made.
Lesson #5: Rip The Bandaid (aka Saying No)
A favorite saying? “Nothing in nature blooms all year.”
Sometimes we gotta rip the bandaid and say no more. I won’t stand for this. I need change. No, thank you.
Destruction is powerful and necessary. Death is inevitable – and I don’t mean just the last big hurrah before we pass from this earthly world.
I’m talking the kind of threshold we each have for certain commitments, people, or circumstances before we bust. We see plants bloom and wither and go dormant – we need these cycles, too. (See Lesson #2)
During a practice with Ann Maxwell of SomaYoga, she used the imagery of laying back in corpse pose, savasana, as a rehearsal or ‘practicing the little deaths’ as a way for us to prepare for the big ones. They will happen.
Speak up or walk away.
No, thank you.
And then it’s done. Or rather, we’ve granted ourselves a new beginning.
We step into the space we’ve created, and choose again.
From the day to day responsibility and power of setting clear boundaries – I could write for days on this one – to big life changing decisions – let’s remember that we are in charge of our own lives, shall we?
What project or commitment or relationship needs to end?
You probably know deep in your guts and heart and soul where it’s long overdue to rip that bandaid.
How does this make space for your YES?
Lesson #6: Reframing – I Am
I Am writing this story even though it makes me a wee bit uncomfortable.
One day at SYTAR, the yoga therapy conference I mentioned, I found myself talking to someone about whether or not I’d be going to graduate school. You see, I’ve researched programs for years and while I have a strong desire to get that piece of paper and the wisdom that comes with it – I keep getting a gut ‘no’ or at least ‘not yet’.
And immediately, I heard a voice in my mind proclaim, “You sound like a f—- broken record.”
Angst, near tears, and a walk outside led me to an honest, vulnerable and eventually humorous talk with colleagues over dinner. I sat with that voice all day. Being permeable. Detaching.
The next morning, during an unplanned ‘sample’ Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy session, I heard that voice say “I don’t trust my power.” Ok, I’m listening. What is this echo deep in my psyche that’s threatening to topple all of my well-laid plans of career advancement, years of confidence, and my burning desires to creating meaningful work?
I needed to increase my capacity, my threshold.
Danielle LaPorte wrote, “You will be called to expand.”
My ‘container’ or identity was being challenged. Could I hack it? Was I ready? I chose to be strengthened rather than crushed – and I took a long hard look at these moments and it helped me get really clear about where to spend my time and energy.
Enough futzing around, it’s time to really hone my craft. Expand.
It helped, too, that I got a few sweet surprises that weekend that affirmed my path and gifts. Networking, new connections, met a publisher and several authors, had the opportunity to teach a PT and professor a bit of Franklin Method…all seeds being planted for future fruits.
One of the women over there > gave me some incredible advice over dinner and made feel seen, admired, known and talented. She pondered with me whether it was even necessary to enroll in grad school, based on what I truly envisioned for myself and my career.
YES to connecting and clarity.
Be open to the signs and support all around you.
The best way I can describe this phenomenon (meaning, ahem, the voices) is a growth spurt.
When we venture into new territory or the ‘next level’ of our evolution or career or embodiment, we must anticipate these voices and love on them until they quiet down again, so we can get back to our work and living, thank you very much. Growth spurts hurt sometimes.
We’re designed for creativity and change, all of us.
I’d never before talked about my desire to write with such passion and full disclosure. I suddenly, in a moment of eureka, changed my language from, “I want to write,” to “I’m writing.”
So Hum – I Am
I’d always thought I’d keep it a secret if we started a family until I was certain and fairly far along – and here I was telling friends that we were beginning to plan for a child. (Nope, not pregnant yet.)
When you talk about your desires, what might happen if you use present, ‘being’ language?
Taking action trumps intentions. (And yes, it takes long seasons of time with similar themes of study to really develop an idea, a body of work – I couldn’t possibly have written nearly the same quality of book 7 years ago than I *hope* I can today.) I’ve had book ideas coming out of my ears since 2010, on my flight back from my first visit to New Zealand. I even have an entire book outlined already. The title? Pooping Makes Me Happy: movement, yoga therapy and imagery to remedy constipation and other gut issues – trademark, copyright, what have you on this gem of literary genius. Dibs on the colon.
It’s time and I trust the process that is unfolding. Although, I’m not yet clear if my first work will be about poo.
And so it is.
I’d love to hear which of these insights you needed to hear most today.
Trust your power and the process that is awakening. Practice.
Here’s to your growing capacity to engage with life,
PS: Want to dive in with free audio meditations and imagery? Go here to get my Free Audio Collection.
PPS: Do you desire support in reaching your body, movement or teaching goals? Go here to see who I best serve with my 1:1 online teaching programs and discern if it’s a good fit for us to work together. Hope to hear from you soon. XO