Cultivating patience

 
 

Spring has been slow to come in the Pacific Northwest this year. As the rain continues to fall and the temperatures stubbornly refuse to climb out of the 50s most days, I'm reminding myself often to take deep breaths and be mindful of cultivating patience, with the realization that all good things come in time. Paralleling that, the progress on our yoga/art studio (and even the finishing details on our house) are taking much longer than we had anticipated. The seasons transition at their own pace, and for just about anything of quality to come to fruition, surrendering control plays a large part.

I'm still hopeful that the studio will be complete and ready for small group, private and wedding party yoga sessions by the end of May - stay tuned!

Gratitude plays a major role in this process, too. Knowing that what we focus on grows, I have been listening to a wonderful meditation each morning to set a tone of positivity and appreciation for what I have: Morning Ritual. I've mentioned the Insight Timer app before but it's worth mentioning again, as it has so much great content for a free app. In 10 minutes, my day feels on course to be calm, grounded and positive. 

I'm also grateful to be continuing my Thursday evening classes at Vashon Bodywork. This beautiful, small studio is a wonderful venue for students to explore the benefits of yoga. If you live on Vashon, I encourage you to consider practicing in this serene space. After one 4-week series, you are eligible to drop in to future classes. 

 

 

I recently discovered a great yoga backpack at a very reasonable price. You can carry your yoga mat (or not), even strap it in place within the bag, and there's lots of room for your other stuff, too. If you're interested, go here to get 10% off with code STbY3EX.

 

 

Looking ahead, I'm excited for the trip to Kauai in a month with my two sisters and their husbands. Since our parents died in 2011 we've been dreaming of taking a trip together and we're finally doing it! So excited to get back to my favorite yoga studio there.

Welcoming spring and all the growth that it brings...

With gratitude,

 

 

 

 

Yoga for wedding and bridal parties: a perfect blend

One of my fondest memories from my 2008 wedding is the private yoga session I hosted for my sisters and other female family members and friends. The wedding was small and planning it was a lot of fun - but planning a wedding almost always brings with it some stress and tension. What more perfect way to melt away the tension than with yoga and meditation the day of or day before the wedding? 

I became a wedding celebrant in 2016 and now write personalized wedding ceremonies and officiate at weddings. Just as I prefer teaching private and small-group yoga sessions, I also specialize in small, intimate weddings - and it seems like a match made in heaven (pun intended) to blend yoga and weddings. I will be very excited when the home studio is finished and I have the perfect, peaceful woodland setting for bridal and wedding parties to relax, destress and unwind so as to become as present as possible and to make their wedding day even more memorable. A glass of bubbly and some locally made chocolate truffles after the class will add to the pampering! I hope to be able to offer this new service by June, just as wedding season begins.


I'll be starting another 4-week series at Vashon Bodywork on Thursday, March 2, 6:45 - 7:45 pm. This gorgeous, restful space provides a wonderful place to provide yourself with the self-care of a small-group yoga session. There are a couple of spaces left and I would love to see you there if you live on Vashon. Just click on the link if you'd like to try it; once you've completed a 4-week series, you are welcome to drop in for future classes.

The days are getting longer and the feeling of spring is in the air. I've been enjoying blending Yin yoga poses with Vinyasa poses in my classes and private sessions, helping people to slow down as we transition to a new season. Yin yoga involves mostly seated and supine poses that are held for 3 - 5 minutes, accessing deeper layers of facsia and the connective tissue around the joints. 

I invite you to take the time and create the space to treat yourself with care and kindness, acknowledging all there is to appreciate in your life.

With gratitude,

 

874 days, 2,973 miles and 5 rental houses later...

As those who have been following my journey of the past two+ years are aware, my husband, Michael and I have been in the process of having a home and yoga/art studio built. After traveling across the country and living in five temporary homes. I am thrilled to report that we have finally reached our goal! A week ago today, the items we packed up on September 8, 2014 were returned to us and we moved into our home. We are so grateful for our beautiful home, the view, the solitude and we are incredibly blessed. 

This month I am so busy unpacking boxes in addition to teaching yoga that I will keep things short and sweet. I encourage you to find time daily for even a few minutes of meditation, yoga and time in nature. It's much more important to maintain a daily practice, no matter how short, than to wait for a chunk of time that may not open up in your schedule for a longer practice. These days, I'm enjoying slower, more yin-style poses and am enjoying delving deeper into this style of yoga. When the world starts to feel overwhelming, take three minutes and watch the video here: Live Awake Project.

I'm appreciative to my mentors and friends, Karen Mozes and Justin Michael Williams of The Business of Yoga for including me in their email this week entitled "Being Broke is not Spiritual." The intersection of money and yoga is a touchy subject, and I applaud Justin and Karen for facing the topic with honesty and integrity.

A glimpse of the studio from the house

A glimpse of the studio from the house

We had a rare accumulation of snow last night, followed by beautiful blue skies this afternoon. Here are a few photos from our property and on our street.

Madronas in snow

Madronas in snow

 

For those on Vashon, please consider joining me for Thursday night yoga at Vashon Bodywork. It's a great way to ease into the weekend. I will also be teaching the monthly last-Wednesday-of-the-month free class at Vashon Center for the Arts on February 22.

As the days grow longer, find time to care for yourself. There is nothing more precious than time.

With gratitude,

 
Blue and white to the north from the kitchen

Blue and white to the north from the kitchen

Don't quit your day job... it may create more space for your passion

True confession: making a living as a yoga teacher is not easy. With the help of one of my yoga mentors, Justin Michael Williams of The Business of Yoga, I'm becoming more comfortable with the importance of finding a 'day job,' one that will pay the bills and take the pressure off the idea that my passion, teaching yoga, needs to take on that role.

As I was talking to Justin he reminded me about Elizabeth Gilbert's book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, which I read about a year ago, loved - and am reading again. In the book, Gilbert makes the case for keeping your day job and allowing that to fuel your creative aspiration. Having a day job that pays the bills, even if it's not related to your creative endeavor, will give you the security to practice that endeavor with greater freedom and less stress. As Gilbert states, "I've always felt like this is so cruel to your work - to demand a regular paycheck from it, as if creativity were a government job, or a trust fund. Look, if you can manage to live comfortably off your inspiration forever, that's fantastic. That's everyone's dream, right? But don't let that dream turn into a nightmare. Financial demands can put so much pressure on the delicacies and vagaries of inspiration... What's more, there is a profound sense of honor to be found in looking after yourself, and that honor will resonate powerfully in your work; it will make your work stronger."

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this 'elephant in the room.'


I'm excited to begin a new partnership with Vashon Bodywork, where I'll be teaching two new yoga classes beginning January 5. We're calling it Introduction to Mindful Yoga and our goal with this series is to create a supportive community where you can explore, ask questions, receive personalized attention and feedback, and work toward your individual vision of how yoga can benefit your overall health. If you live on Vashon, I'd be honored to have you join me. We’re excited to offer a unique, small-group yoga experience:

Four classes over four weeks. Pre-registration required, limited to 6 people

Series 1: Thursdays from 6:45-7:45pm, Jan 5, 12, 19, 2

Series 2: Mondays from 9:45-10:45am, Jan 9, 16, 23, 30

Book now

If you're ready to try private yoga sessions, I would be honored to help you on that journey:

Private yoga sessions

Our shared home yoga/art studio will be ready sometime in the spring; for now, my husband, Michael and I are thrilled to be moving into our new home at the end of this month. What a wonderful way to begin the new year! My theme for 2017 is "Home," and I encourage you to come up with a single word or phrase that feels right to set the tone for your new year. It feels a lot more fun to me than resolutions!

I wish a year of flow and joy to you.

With gratitude,

 

 

 

Lessons from Lucie

November 8, 2016 was a tough day. It had already been a tough day, but when my husband, Michael and I came home from watching the election returns at a local community center, we encountered another shock. Our beloved rescue dog and companion since 2007, Lucie (pronounced the Italian way, Loo-chee), had died, we believe peacefully, in her sleep while we were out. Of course, I always knew the day would come – but it honestly never occurred to me that she would be taken from us so suddenly. It was so like her to exit quietly, sparing us from having to make the difficult decision that many pet owners face…

I’ve been thinking a lot in the past three weeks about why Lucie was such a special dog and how much she taught me about life. I found Lucie's profile through petfinder.com  and I often joked that I never had such an intuitive reaction to any potential online dates during my brief foray into the world of match.com, before I met Michael. The minute I saw her picture, I knew we'd be great companions and from then on, there was no doubt. She was sweet, soulful and a bit shy, especially around small children, and thunderstorms and fireworks terrified her. She was a great road-trip dog, and traveled across the country with us on our move (along with her fur sister, Miele, who was with her when she died) from Long Island to Vashon Island.

Here are a few of the lessons Lucie taught me. I’m sure that more will reveal themselves to me in the weeks and months to come as I adjust to life without her.

-       Always greet those you love at the door when they come home with enthusiasm and something meaningful. (In her case, one of her beloved toys.)

-       Respond positively to signs of love. (She always thumped her tail loudly when she heard Michael and me kiss.)

-       Look into the eyes of those you love daily and express how you feel.

-       Take time for yourself when you need it. (She was known for finding holes in fences and slipping away for a while, always returning with an air of ‘What’s the problem? I just needed some down time.”)

-       Enjoy the foods you love to the utmost. (She adored ice cream and yogurt, and we let her lick out the containers when they were empty.)

-       Be patient and kind to others. (She patiently tolerated quite a bit of ‘bullying’ from her sister, who became the alpha upon her arrival in 2010.)

-       It’s a cliché – but live each day well. I won’t say live each day like it’s your last, because then you would live it in a way you wouldn’t ordinarily, like spending every last dollar. But the truth is, any day could be your last, so make each ordinary day as extraordinary as you can, by believing in miracles and staying positive and present.


As a reminder, my private-yoga packages will be increasing in price at the start of the new year. My three-session, brand-new-student-only package is comprised of three one-hour sessions for the price of two, and provides a wonderful way for you to decide whether private yoga sessions with me are a good fit for you and to give yourself the gift of self-care. I also provide gift certificates for these sessions, so Vashon/Seattle peeps, shoot me an email if you’d like to give the gift of private yoga to yourself, a friend or family member before the price increases.

I’ve been enjoying this podcast (which is also available through Insight Meditation Timer, my favorite meditation app): Live Awake.

Wishing you a joy-filled holiday season and 2017.

With gratitude,

 

Exciting things on the horizon!

Farewell to our fourth rental house on Vashon

Farewell to our fourth rental house on Vashon

This month’s news is intentionally short and sweet. As I write, my husband, Michael and I are scrambling to move to yet another rental house, having learned that our new house and studio will not be ready for us until sometime between December 30 and January 5, and having to move on from our sweet little farmhouse rental of the past six months. So off we’ll go tomorrow to our fifth rental house in two years, and we are very grateful to have found it. The adventure continues, with the process of making the walls smooth and beautiful beginning this week! I'm very much looking forward to opening the studio in early 2017, so look for upcoming news of a grand opening event.

Always something new to learn about the process of building a new home

Always something new to learn about the process of building a new home

 

I’m also very much looking forward to co-hosting this retreat in mid-January with Susan Lynch at the Lavender Hill Farm and would love to hear from any Vashon/Seattle women friends who have even a glimmer of interest, as I went last year as an attendee and found the experience to be very valuable. I’m happy to chat on the phone with anyone who’d like more information.

I’m also excited to have been invited to teach yoga at this retreat, either in March or April. The retreat will be at a beautiful, boutique hotel on Isla Mujeres, off the coast of Cancun, Mexico. Eight – twelve lucky people will have the opportunity to practice yoga twice a day and enjoy delicious food, relaxation and excursions to nearby attractions. I'd love for you to join me! Please let me know if you'd like to talk on the phone or for me to send an email with more details. Right now we are determining the level of interest and whether a week in March or April 2017 would be the most viable date for the most people. Let me know if escaping to an island paradise during the cold, dreary days of March or April for six days of sun, fun and yoga sounds amazing to you!

My three-session, brand-new-student-only package will be increasing in price at the start of the new year. This package is comprised of three one-hour sessions for the price of two, and provides a wonderful way for you to decide whether private yoga sessions with me are a good fit for you. I also provide gift certificates for these sessions, so Vashon/Seattle peeps, shoot me an email if you’d like to give the gift of private yoga to yourself, a friend or family member before the price increases. Private yoga sessions are an amazing gift of self-care.

As we head into the holiday season, I wish you much peace, time with family and friends and a delicious Thanksgiving. Breathe deeply, focus on what matters most to you, and be kind – to yourself as much as to others.

With gratitude,

 

P.S. You may recall that I attempted to play the Minamalism game for the whole month of October, and eliminate 496 items from my home. I made it until mid-month, than ran out of things to declutter, unless I had started in on my husband's stuff - but there will be a lot more minimizing to come in January in the new house!

Why Quality Matters

In the past year I've focused on identifying my core desired feelings, as outlined by Danielle LaPorte in one of my favorite personal development books, The Desire Map. Danielle’s method is to identify the three-to-five most desired feelings in every area of life (lifestyle, body/wellness, creativity/learning, relationship/society, essence/spirituality) and make all decisions based on whether they fulfill those feelings. This makes a lot more sense to me than having some arbitrary goal and hoping it brings fulfillment. If I had to pick only one of my core desired feelings, it would be quality.

I remember my maternal grandmother instilling this value in me. She was very elegant and always beautifully dressed, and I recall her teaching my sisters and me, “It's much better to have a few high-quality items of clothing than a closet full of junk.” In the interest of that philosophy, along with Brooke and Ben McAlary of Slow Your Home, I’m playing the Minamalism game through the month of October to help me weed out things that no longer serve the level of quality I desire in my life. I love the idea of letting go of one more thing each day, from the first to the 31st. That’s a total of 496 items! I’ll let you know next month if I was able to do it.

I couldn’t agree more with what Rebecca West says in her book, Happy Starts at Home: “You know that if you fill up on junk food, there is no room left for whole foods. In the same way, if you fill your home with stuff that people hand you but you don’t want and with junk that you bought on sale, there is no room left in your home for quality possessions that bring you love and joy. You end up surrounded by stuff but void of anything of value. Your eating, exercising and general health habits follow suit.”

Living a life of quality doesn’t have to mean you spend more; it actually costs less. This is a fantastic website on which to find items that last a lifetime: Buy Me Once. Fewer, higher-quality items in your home leads to more serenity, peace and calm within yourself, which leaves space for you to focus on what really matters: the people you love and the experiences you want to have.

View from front door of the studio

View from front door of the studio

With the time to move into our new home now less than 90 days away, my husband, Michael, and I are so grateful for the opportunity to curate and mindfully select every item that goes into it to fulfill our vision of the life we want to live.

As the rainy season begins, we love watching rain drip from the roof into the stones in the swale below.

As the rainy season begins, we love watching rain drip from the roof into the stones in the swale below.

Corner window of the studio, still covered with outside paper but soon to be replaced with a beautiful Actual window!

Corner window of the studio, still covered with outside paper but soon to be replaced with a beautiful Actual window!

In much the same way, I’m grateful for the opportunity to have a ‘bonsai business model’ – a business model I recently heard about and realized I’ve been creating without even knowing it. The six tenets of a bonsai-model business are:

#1: Business is alive

#2: Shape trumps size

#3: Caring fosters growth

#4: Harmony over hegemony

#5: Grounded in identity

#6 Destined for beauty

Learn more at Bonsai Business Model Tenets and Shanna Mann.

I love working one-on-one with private yoga clients because it allows me to share my gifts and help them in the most meaningful, authentic way possible. I’m so fortunate to have wonderful clients!

Upcoming events:

I also carefully curate which workshops and retreats to participate in. I’m excited to be doing a monthly Aromatic Yoga Experience class in partnership with two dynamic ladies, Alex King Lentz and Kara Louise Dowdall, and would love to see Vashon and Seattle-area friends there. Here’s the info to register for this month’s class: Verlocal

I’m also co-hosting the January Hestia winter retreat with the spectacular Susan Lynch, shamanic practitioner, teacher, editor and poet. The retreat will take place over Martin Luther King weekend at the beautiful Lavender Hill Farm, the ideal setting for a reflective start to the new year.

I invite you to consider ways in which you can bring more quality into your own life, to nurture and enrich you on every level.

With gratitude,

 

P.S. I was delighted to have a guest blog post this month on audibleyoga.com - check it out!

Refocusing

The fall season conjures up mixed feelings for me. Since it portends winter (not my favorite season) there’s an element of trepidation; yet, it also feels to me like the time for a ‘new year,’ much more so than the one that begins in January. This time of year I find myself refocusing, and this year, in particular, feeling more clarity about where my journey is leading me; more aligned with what I am here to do.

I’ve found tremendous value in identifying my ‘core desired feelings,’ and in living my life from making choices that allow me to feel them. This concept was introduced to me by reading The Desire Map. Very different from the usual process of setting goals and working toward them with the hope that they will bring fulfillment, the process of honing in on my core desired feelings was fascinating. My core desired feelings: Ease, connection, quality, simplicity, prosperity. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to read the book and be open to how this approach can change your life.

Since I love organizing tools, I just ordered The Desire Map planner for 2017, and want to share it with you if you are looking for a great way to plan and organize in the coming new year. This planner helps you plan your days and weeks according to how you most want to feel, and to have those feelings front and center – keeping you focused on what matters most to you. Check it out here: Desire Map Planner 2017.

In addition to having my podcast with Rachel Waldron (Inner Space), many of you know that I’m a podcast enthusiast. Here are two I found especially meaningful this month. The Lively Show episode relates to tuning in to intuition and living in the flow; the Pivot episode reveals that our world is moving more and more in the direction of a relationship economy, where human-to-human interaction is highly valued: The Lively Show   The Pivot Podcast.

Under the skylight of the future studio. The green covering behind me will soon be replaced with a beautiful, new window that will allow even more light to stream in.

Under the skylight of the future studio. The green covering behind me will soon be replaced with a beautiful, new window that will allow even more light to stream in.

September 8 marks the two-year anniversary of the day my husband and I moved out of our East coast home and made the leap to our new life on the west coast. In four months, we’ll finally be moving into our new home and studio – a physical representation of those core feelings and values that matter most to us. By year’s end, we will finally be living there and in early 2017 I plan to have an open house to introduce Vashon to the studio!

While I continue to love offering private yoga sessions, I’m excited about the program I’ve developed called Spaciousness Mentorship. I’d welcome the opportunity to have a “15/15” talk with you: I share the concept of this program with you for 15 minutes in exchange for your honest feedback, then you share a topic of your choice with me for 15 minutes of my honest feedback. Sound fun? Hit reply and let’s schedule it.

Finally, I'm excited to be a guest on the Women's Virtual Success Summit on Sunday, September 4 at 1 pm and on Blazing Women Entrepreneurs podcast on Tuesday, September 6.

With gratitude,

 

Making progress

As one with a tendency to think I’m never quite doing enough, it can be a challenge to recognize the progress I’ve made. I’ve learned so much in the past year about how to slow down, take stock, be more kind to myself – to enjoy and celebrate the small wins along the journey. In fact, what I’ve learned for certain is that taking small steps every day is what creates true, lasting progress.

One of the people who have helped me in this area is Cailen Ascher, a wonderful coach with whom I worked 1x1 for the past five months. Cailen is brilliant at helping women gain clarity about their ‘zone of genius’ and take steps to maximize their gifts. If you’d like to check out her website and offerings (she does both 1x1 and group coaching), head to cailenascher.com

Along the lines of acknowledging that true success takes time, Cailen shared this great article with me that I’d like to share with you “Why Successful People Take 10 Years to ‘Succeed Overnight’” The images alone are inspiring, and I love this: “Knock down that first domino and you're well on your way to impacting thousands of people and living a rich life. Half the journey is beginning it.” What journey can you begin today with one small step toward a richer life?

Another resource that has made such a difference for me in keeping me focused and on-track is a book recommended by my sister Anne Herrick, Essentialism, by Gary McKweon. My favorite quote: "If it isn't a clear YES, then it's a clear NO."

I’m super-excited to announce a new endeavor I’m starting: I will be a Wedding Celebrant, helping couples from all walks of life to create unique, personalized wedding ceremonies and officiating at their wedding. (I’ll officially become a Certified Life Cycle Celebrant next month.) I have always been fascinated by stories of how couples met each other, and see this coordinating beautifully with my yoga work: creating sacred space, mindfulness and presence. And, I can be the wedding celebrant who offers a yoga class to the wedding party! I'll share my website as soon as it's ready. In the meantime, let me know if you have a family member or friend who's planning to get married and who might like to chat with me about officiating at their wedding.

For those in Seattle and on Vashon, please join me on Tuesday, August 9 for this fun event: Rooftop Yoga and Artisan Tea.

As visual representation of progress, I can't think of a better one to share than my husband’s first quilt. Michael makes quilts from men’s shirts and ties. Below are photos of three steps: a single square from August 2015; a collection of unpieced squares from the same month; and today, the beautiful, nearly completed project. The back of the quilt is also gorgeous, made from Japanese kimono fabric. When the quilt is completely finished, I'll share a photo where you can see the back, too. Michael met a fantastic woman on the island who is an incredible tailor and she has been helping him with the process. It's been wonderful to witness their collaborative progress!


If more space in your life for what feels like progress to YOU resonates, I invite you to spend time on the phone with me in a complimentary 30-minute Spaciousness Session. I know how it feels to be stuck in a place where it feels like you’re not making much progress – yet you just know there is more out there for you. I’ve also felt how it’s possible to shift this to a life of greater possibility and authenticity (and seen this shift in other women I’ve worked with). I’d be honored to help you get more clarity on such a shift in your own life. Click here: Complimentary Spaciousness Session.


It bears repeating: small steps add up to lasting progress and success - and there is more meaning and purpose to be found along the way. I wish you great joy on your journey, whatever it may be and wherever it takes you.

With gratitude,

 

 

Staying grounded

Summer is my favorite season, but it can also be a time that causes me to lose focus, feel more distracted and have an increased sense of being ‘all over the place.’ Being out more in the open expanse of sky and water seems to bring a need to consciously come back to center, to feeling more grounded.

It takes courage to quiet the noise in our minds, to find the stillness within that takes us to a place that allows us to connect with who we really are and the life we really want. It’s so much easier, in many ways, to allow ourselves to be distracted, to doubt our journey, to revert to the familiar. That kind of quiet courage requires starting from a place of rooted faith and certainty, often with no visible evidence – and then taking the leap into the unknown onto a path that’s different than the one we might have imagined – or that others expect us to take.

 
Tree pose has always been one of my favorite poses, and this time of year it feels especially fantastic to do it outside. Try it – there’s nothing like it to help you feel grounded and connected to the earth.

Tree pose has always been one of my favorite poses, and this time of year it feels especially fantastic to do it outside. Try it – there’s nothing like it to help you feel grounded and connected to the earth.

 

I’m excited to share the first few photos of the shared studio that my husband, Michael and I are having built on our property, near our home. We are in the home stretch (pun intended) and will be moving in in November. The thousands of decisions that go along with the home-building process can be unnerving, for sure, but talk about a sense of grounding – seeing these buildings rise out of the earth has been an incredible experience. I’m continually coming up with ideas for how we can both use the studio (Michael is a quilting artist) and how we can utilize it to help create a greater sense of community and connection with our neighbors on Vashon/Maury Island.

The southeast corner of the studio. Note the corner window (currently covered with 'frog skin,' and the newly added skylight.

The southeast corner of the studio. Note the corner window (currently covered with 'frog skin,' and the newly added skylight.

The exterior of the studio, with its 'frogskin' to protect it from the weather until the siding goes on.

The exterior of the studio, with its 'frogskin' to protect it from the weather until the siding goes on.

most recent shot of the exterior, with rain screen, which creates 'air' between the inner and outer exterior walls, being applied.

most recent shot of the exterior, with rain screen, which creates 'air' between the inner and outer exterior walls, being applied.

Northeast corner, which will be a large sliding glass door and window, letting in lots of natural light.

Northeast corner, which will be a large sliding glass door and window, letting in lots of natural light.

I’ve updated the Offerings page of my website; please take a few minutes to see my exciting new services. I'd love to have a complimentary 30-minute chat on the phone with you if you feel any of these would be a good fit for you.

Hot off the press: Inner Space is now a podcast on iTunes! Please subscribe and let me know how you like it.

For those on Vashon, I’ll be doing yoga in Ober Park this summer on Saturday July 23 and August 20 from 8 – 9 am.  Unless it’s pouring rain, it will take place. Register at the link above, bring your mat and let's do yoga close to nature!

If you're thinking ahead to some self-care to stay more grounded this fall, check out my friend and yoga colleague Janet Wenger's fantastic yoga retreat in Mexico.

With gratitude,

 

 

Spaciousness: Why it's so important

Occasionally, when I hand my business card to someone they ask: “Spaciousness? What’s that?” So, I thought it was time for a deeper explanation, especially since I’m ready to share with you a fantastic new process to create more space for joy in your life – and I think that you’ll be blown away by how valuable it is.

With the pace of life in today’s world, I see so many people living their lives on auto-pilot, frazzled and unfocused, and without much fulfillment. It can feel like the walls are closing in on us, like everything is a blur – even like we’ve forgotten what really matters to us. I passionately believe that every single one of us is here on this earth for a specific purpose, yet unless we find a way to give ourselves the space to discover and live that purpose, our time here won’t have much meaning. And that is incredibly sad.

I can remember sitting at my desk at my last '9 - 5' job on the East Coast, feeling like I knew there had to be so much more. Fast forward to today as I write this, living on a beautiful Pacific Northwest island only 20 minutes from Seattle, while my wonderful husband prepares a delicious dinner with local ingredients. Even though I turned 60 this year, it feels like life is just beginning.

Yoga and meditation are amazing tools to help in facilitating the process of discovering who we really are and what we are here to do – it’s no coincidence that both have exploded in popularity in the past decade. Check out this study if you’re the kind of person who likes proof and enjoys statistics: Yoga in America Study 2016. People are longing for their lives to have meaning beyond a paycheck, material possessions and a couple of stolen hours a week spent doing something that makes their heart sing.

There are many incredible books available that help facilitate this process of discovery, too; my all-time favorite, as I’ve mentioned here before, is The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer. Another book I recently discovered is Yoga and the Pursuit of Happiness by Sam Chase and one I look forward to reading is What’s in the Way, is the Way.

Yet, I’ve come to realize, these tools are not enough. I am so excited to share some of the teachings that have made a tremendous impact on my life. These scientific energetic processes clear negative energy and blockages so that you can feel more confident, certain, connected and have way more energy to do the things you really love doing. Imagine what it would be like to remove all the negative self doubt and have a full and restful night's sleep! I have a limited number of openings available to do this work and would love to talk with you to see how I can help support you in living your most exceptional life. Click on the link below this video if you’d like to know more:

Let's chat about how I can support you in living your most exceptional life!

For those on Vashon, I’ll be doing yoga in Ober Park this summer on Saturday June 18, July 23 and August 20 from 8 – 9 am. Please join me for yoga close to nature. Unless it’s pouring rain, it will take place!

Through June 2016, I have a few openings for 12 weeks of weekly private sessions at a reduced rate for Vashon residents. You'd commit to 12 weekly sessions and there is also a complimentary first session. If overcoming overwhelm and creating space in your life for what matters most to you by summer's end resonates with you, let's talk!

With gratitude,

 

 

Redefining Family

The concept of family and what it means has been transformed in recent years, but most definitions still describe family as ‘a group of people who share common ancestors’ and ‘a group of people all living in one household,’ or ‘a group of things that are similar.’

I define family as a group of people who support and want the best for one another. I’ve been blessed with wonderful friends all my life who are family. I’m also incredibly fortunate to work with both my sisters and my niece in our business with Nerium International, which is so rewarding. The many other heart-centered women I’ve met through working with this company have become family now, too. We uplift and cheer one another on. Best of all, the only way to be successful in this business is to help others succeed. That’s a humane business model that resonates with ‘family.’

Sometimes the best support we can give is the support and grace we give to ourselves. I don’t know about you, but I know I can tend to be hard on myself and to expect more of myself than I expect of others. This can lead to a feeling of overwhelm, stress and depletion – none of which is supporting being our best.

You’ll enjoy hearing Robert Session’s take on the importance of family and community on this episode of The One You Feed podcast http://www.oneyoufeed.net/robert-sessions/. Sessions, the author of Becoming Real: Authenticity in an Age of Distractions, states “Human beings are the most hyper-social creatures on the planet. What people desire is authenticity – a deep sense of being real. I believe that many people cannot attain this illusive quality of being… because of the myriad distractions that keep them from a genuine quest and keep them looking in the wrong places.”

You are an important part of my community and family, too. I’d love to support you in your yoga and personal development journey, and there are several ways I can do that. For those on Vashon, my six-week course at CoreCentric Elite Personal Training Center http://www.corecentrictraining.com/ begins on Friday, June 3, 8 – 9:15 am. This six-week introduction is open to brand-new students as well as those who wish to reconnect with the fundamentals of alignment in flow-style yoga. You are never too old or too ‘tight’ to begin. After taking this course, you will find yourself calmer, more focused, grounded, flexible and stronger. Make it a priority to step into your best self!

I also have several openings for private sessions available. I’m creating and testing a new private yoga program and would love to work with you 1:1 to tailor the practice to your needs. You’d commit one hour a week for 12 weeks. I’m offering the program at a reduced rate with a complimentary first session. Click here to contact me if you’re interested.

I’m currently studying a new modality I’m very excited to be able to offer soon to my community/family no matter where you live – more on that in upcoming months.

Finally, enjoy this great advice from The Chopra Center for creating calm in an instant: https://shar.es/1eYjVH

Here are a few photos of my household family: My wonderful husband, Michael, on the front porch of the sweet rental house we’re currently living in, and my beloved dogs, Lucie and Miele. By next month, I’ll be ready to share some photos of our home-in-progress!

 

With gratitude,

 

 

Flexibility: It's so much more than physical

 

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the spiritual, mental and emotional benefits of flexibility that yoga has brought to my life. In flexibility, we can access the present moment with so much more ease – and bring so much more ease to everything. We tend to think primarily about the physical aspects in regard to flexibility in yoga. Are our hips open enough so that we can we take our knee to the side in tree pose? Do we have enough flexibility in our hamstrings to touch our toes in a forward bend? 

As many of you know, my husband, Michael and I (along with our two dogs, Lucie and Miele) have been in temporary living situations for a year and a half now while our new home is being built. We’ve been incredibly fortunate to find rental homes directly on beautiful Puget Sound as we acclimate to our new island life. Yet, long-term rentals are hard to come by on the island, and we are preparing to move to our fourth (and thankfully, final) rental house.

It’s been an amazing adventure, and, don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world – but I’m very aware of how a lifestyle that emphasizes yoga and meditation are contributing greatly to my ability to remain flexible and centered through this tumultuous process. As someone for whom the concept of a clear, strong, stable home space feels essential to well-being, this situation has definitely been challenging. I’m convinced that the ability to maintain a flexible attitude is directly connected to more joy, harmony and happiness – and, most importantly, the ability to remain present – what we are all seeking.

Everyone has challenging situations, and some, of course, are more challenging than others. If we can lean into the situation or circumstance from a place of flexibility, from a lack of resistance and an ability to remain open, many miracles, large and small, start to become apparent. It’s a daily, ongoing process; as Jonathan Fields of http://www.goodlifeproject.com/ says, “There is no ‘there-there.” In other words, we never arrive at a place where these tools, teachings and practices no longer serve us in our journey or we stop growing. Be sure to listen to one of my favorite episodes, the one with Neil Pasricha.

When my son was young, I used to say to him often, “What you resist persists. So just stop resisting.” I hope those words had some impact on him. A wonderful book about the power of non-resistance (i.e., flexibility) is The Surrender Experiment by Michael A. Singer http://untetheredsoul.com/surrender-experiment. It’s the incredible story of how the author’s life unfolded in unexpected and wonderful ways once he made the decision to go with whatever presented itself in his life.

I’ll be offering a six-week course beginning this June, Yoga for Flexibility and Mindfulness, at CoreCentric Elite Personal Training Center http://www.corecentrictraining.com/. More details on that next month, but if you live on Vashon suffice it to say for now that the practice will increase your strength and flexibility and also increase your ‘inner flexibility.’

Being flexible and open led me to meeting my wonderful radio cohost, Rachel Waldron of http://www.waldrondesigns.com/. I’m super-excited to announce that “Inner Space,” our new radio show, will begin airing on the second Sunday of each month at 2 pm, starting on April 10 on KVSH FM, 101.9 http://www.voiceofvashon.org/. We have had a blast doing the first six episodes and are excited about future possibilities for the show. Please listen in - and let me know what you like best about it and if there are topics you'd like us to address in the future.

 

I wish you resiliency in all aspects of your life, like this strong but flexible branch that grows outside the house I’ve been renting for the past six months.

With gratitude,

 
 

Finding Stillness

It’s at times when we are busiest that the value of finding stillness is clearer than ever. No matter how ‘busy’ we are, we can all find a few moments several times every day to pause, breath consciously and reflect mindfully on our surroundings and our state of mind.

A relentless stretch of work is counter-productive and only leads to burnout. One of my favorite tools for ensuring that a few minutes of stillness are always part of my day is called the Pomodoro technique (named for the tomato-shaped timer): 25-minutes of laser-focused work on a single project followed by five minutes of creating headspace by clearing the mind, preferably outside; rinse and repeat up to three times in a row before taking a longer break, and see if you don’t find yourself more productive and less stressed. Both activities increase your ability to be mindful and stay in the present moment.

I look forward to sharing with my clients the benefits of the insights I’ve already learned in the online course I’m taking on The Science of the Private Lesson http://www.francescacervero.com/teachers, as well as those from this course I’m currently enjoying: http://www.chopra.com/online-programs/synchrodestiny. I’ve been noticing all kinds of synchronicities lately – I’d love to hear about yours!

In addition to moments of stillness, it's equally important to find moments of joy every day. A current project that's bringing me lots of fun is my collaboration with Rachel Waldron. We began recording our radio talk show, “Inner Space,” a dialogue about how our inner world reflects our outer world. We expect to be ready to start airing the show on The Voice of Vashon very soon. More great stuff to come!

For those on Vashon, please come say hello to me this Saturday, March 5, at the Vashon Health and Wellness Fair at the Vashon High School, 10 – 2 pm.

May you find moments of stillness and joy.

With gratitude,

 

Very exciting news - I had to share!

I send one newsletter a month, but this news was too exciting to wait until the March newsletter! I'm honored and so grateful to have been chosen as one of 21 semi-finalists in the Yoga Journal cover contest, and to be featured on their website. While I wasn't one of the five finalists, this is a really big accomplishment for me that I want to share with all of you. Slide to the fourth frame to see the post.

http://www.yogajournal.com/slideshow/16-yogis-know-meet-honorary-yj-cover-semifinalists/#3

Keeping it Heart-Centered

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February is often called the month of love – but why not make every month the month of love? If we all spent more time in our hearts and less in our heads, the world would be a better place.

I’ve been reading and studying about the importance of our vibration, frequency, energy – whatever you prefer to call it, it’s a hot topic these days. For some it may feel too ‘woo,’ but I really do believe and have seen the proof that when we are ‘in the flow’ and at our best, magical occurrences, or what Deepak Chopra calls ‘synchronistic coincidences,’ seem to keep popping up.

We can all benefit from following Chopra’s advice to stop several times a day and ask, “Am I aware in this moment?” With the pervasive influence of technology, mindfulness is more important than ever as we move through our day. When we come from the heart and in the moment, we increase the likelihood that miracles will unfold; when we think and try to control too much, we end up blocking the flow, feeling frustrated and missing opportunities. This is challenging work and it is ongoing, but so worth it. Yoga and meditation are incredible tools in facilitating the journey.

I’ve taken several steps towards being more present this month. When I walk my dogs with my husband in the morning, I’m leaving my phone behind. I’m closing my laptop for the day by 8 pm, and doing a digital detox on Sundays. I’m doing a sugar detox this month to increase mindfulness about eating. In January, I spent a wonderful weekend with 10 women at a stillness retreat organized by http://www.hestiaretreat.org/.

I’m also excited about two new and developing partnerships. First, I just became a teacher on Audible Yoga. They make it easy for anyone to do yoga anywhere, any time – no matter where you live. There is a free 15-day trial and you can check it out by using my teacher code 12173 by clicking on the image below. I’d love to hear your feedback. You don’t have to live on Vashon to take a class with me!

Second, Rachel Waldron of Waldron Designs and I held a workshop on January 24th to help people create calm in their interior environment. We’re excited about holding more workshops in the near future – and we’ll be starting a monthly radio show in the next few months on our local radio station, http://www.voiceofvashon.org/

Rachel and I are thrilled to announce that we are now offering in-home consultations to help people achieve this calm at home for $200. In this 60-minute consultation, we will visit and casually walk through your space(s) to discuss your problem areas, make recommendations and suggest methods that you can use to create and maintain a calmer inner environment. Contact me at emmylouherrick@gmail.com or Rachel at rachel@waldrondesigns.com to arrange your consultation.


I’m looking forward to starting “The Science of the Private Lessonhttp://www.francescacervero.com this month, developing the unique skills that will allow me to best serve my private yoga clients. If you live on Vashon or in the Seattle/Tacoma area, don't forget about my special package for brand-new private students only - reply to this email to schedule a complimentary 30-minute phone consultation to see if we'd be a good fit to work together. Also, my 1:00 pm Tuesday class at the Vashon Athletic Club will now be on Monday.

The next book I’ll be reading: http://www.artofattention.com/book/

Everything I’m doing is feeling in alignment with my heart, my purpose and what brings me joy. I wish the same for you

With gratitude,

 


 

Mind-blowing resources about time and money – and an exciting, new partnership

 

2015 was a huge year for me: My first full year on Vashon Island, the year of laying the foundation for my two businesses and beginning the building of the brand-new house my husband and I are manifesting. 2016 will be the year everything builds from the foundation!

I’ve thought a lot over the past year about the concepts of time and money, and made a number of discoveries about how our limiting beliefs affect abundance in these areas in our lives. One thought that I find particularly striking is that, while we can nearly always find ways to create more money, time is, in many ways, the more precious resource.

I reframed many of my thoughts around money in the past year, creating a much more positive mindset about it – but I hadn’t realized, until I read The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks (thank you, Cailen Ascher for giving it to me), that the same kind of mindset shift is equally important regarding time. I’ve often felt rushed and said things such as “I don’t have enough time for that,” or “I can’t control the clock,” (ouch!).

What an eye-opener this book was – specifically, chapter 6: “Living in Einstein Time: Creating Time for the Full Expression of Your Genius.” I’m still trying to wrap my head around the concept of Einstein vs. Newtonian time. Hendricks states “The Newtonian view says there’s only a finite amount of time, and it must be carefully portioned out so there will be enough of it to do the things we need to do. The Newtonian paradigm assumes that there’s a scarcity of time…”

“When you make the shift to Einstein Time, you experience a major surge in your productivity, creativity, and enjoyment. The shift takes place the moment you embrace one profoundly simple truth:

You're where time comes from.”

Huh? Oh, yes - the present moment! As I said, I’m still processing the concept – but I’m totally intrigued by it and can’t believe I’ve never heard about it before. Hendricks goes on to say, “Newtonian dualism pits us against time… Such a view is dangerous to our health, disastrous for our business, and ruinous to our relationships with family and friends. That’s why I urge you to adopt Einstein Time. Not only is it a new paradigm; it can literally be a lifesaver.”

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I’m very excited to be partnering with Rachel Waldron, an award-winning interior designer and new friend on Vashon. Rachel is not only very talented but a hell of a lot of fun to hang out with and crazy-productive. On January 24th, we will be co-hosting a workshop on Creating Calm at Home. Feel free to click on the link to the Facebook event for more information. Whether or not you have a Facebook account, the event information is visible on the page. We look forward to seeing you there!

We’re also holding a Simplify Your Life challenge. Every month of 2016, we will post a challenge for that month that will help us all think about how we live, how we want to live, and how to achieve our goals. More about Rachel's work here: http://www.waldrondesigns.com/

2016 is going to be an incredible year – I can feel it! I’d love to help support you in your 2016 journey with private yoga sessions. I’m offering a special package to brand-new students only – click here to schedule a complimentary 30-minute phone consultation to see if we’d be a good fit to work together: http://www.emilyherrickyoga.com/contact/

One more amazing read to change your life (thank you to my sister Anne):

A Happy Pocket Full of Money: Infinite Wealth and Abundance in the Here and Now by David Cameron Gikandi

A wonderful thought from Jillian Michaels in the February 2016 issue of Live Happy magazine: Do something selfish every day. More at http://www.livehappy.com/

 

With gratitude,

 


 

Community - It's all about giving

 

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, for so many reasons. I love the food, the emphasis on time with family and friends over things, and the opportunity to reflect, even more than usual, on gratitude for the abundance in our lives. 

Now that I've lived in the Vashon, WA community for over a year, I feel especially grateful for the amazing community here. The community my husband, Michael, and I sensed on our visits prior to moving is one of the primary reasons we chose Vashon. I'm excited about finding more ways to contribute to the community, sharing my gifts as a yoga teacher and as someone who values simplicity and an emphasis on home, family, friends, local food and wellness.

I've discovered several wonderful podcasts in the past month that I'd like to share:

http://www.slowyourhome.com/

http://valueofsimple.com/

http://www.becomingminimalist.com/

I recently had a Skype session with Joel Zaslofsky of Value of Simple, who is spearheading a movement called SimpleREV, designed to create community gatherings to promote a simpler, slower life. I'm exploring the possibility of hosting or cohosting a Vashon chapter. I'm incredibly impressed with Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist, who has just started a foundation called The Hope Effect, dedicated to changing how the world cares for orphans. Joshua and his wife started the nonprofit as a result of deemphasizing material possessions in their lives and refocusing their priorities on doing good in the world. In Joshua's words, "Our lives are bigger than the things that we own."

I wish you and your family and friends a Thanksgiving filled with joy, warmth, laughter, delicious food and gratitude. Take the time to breathe in the beauty around you and appreciate the richness of your community, wherever you live.

With gratitude,

Emily