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Rachel

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Rachel last won the day on August 31

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  1. Balance...certainly does mean different things to different people. With my somatic therapist, I am currently exploring my proclivity to seek ground...always. Trying to understand my life experiences in a way that gives me some clarity around wanting to be rooted and grounded as opposed to getting more comfortable (or just being ok with) becoming expansive and open. I read something this week that spoke to this and inspired me to dig a little deeper (I’m paraphrasing here): ”When I want to be rooted, I sit among the trees. When I want to be expansive, I sit among the stars.” Lovely. One other way I’m exploring this downward energetic tendency in balance with the upward is through yoga practices where the focus is on the heart being the place where the apana and prana meet. And of course, through breath- up and down, always. Be well. Rachel
  2. My altar is in a part of my loft that is so special to me. High ceilings, minimal visual distractions, lots of natural light, beautiful Brazilian cherry wood floors. I have my statue of Tara, along with crystals, photos of my grandmother, myself as a child, and both of my own children, as well as a few candles and my sage stick. I roll out my mat, set my cushion (or if my back is tight, stack 2 yoga blocks to kneel), and settle in. It feels like a coming home. That said, if and when I can, I also love to sit for meditation in nature- at the beach in the early morning or in the grass with trees nearby. I am always aware of my proclivity toward grounding energy, so being outdoors really helps me access that. I love this question! Hope all are well. Rachel
  3. This has been on my mind and in my heart recently, so thank you, Gillian, for making the space to share around it. Here’s I’m trying to do during difficult conversations currently: 1. Listen more, say less. My tendency is to offer help, solutions, perspective rather quickly. Sometimes those arise reactively, so I’m slowing down and listening. Especially if there is tension or disagreement, this is a more mindful use of energy and space. 2. In such moments where I feel despondent or overwhelmed by the hatred, sadness, and suffering around us, and am engaging with another about it, I try to pause and ask myself, “what would love do now?” My reacher recently led a meditation where we chanted Om Niyamaya Namaha- retorting balance within and in the natural world from a place of love. Sending you all wishes for ease in difficult conversation. Rachel
  4. Jenah- Welcome! You have landed in a soft space. I wish you peace and ease on this part of your healing journey. After an emotional trauma several years ago, I read the book Yoga for Emotional Trauma. I am guessing you know it? I also have a dear friend and yoga teacher who uses a trauma informed practice to work with women in Rikers Island, a notoriously chaotic and violent prison in NYC. Kudos to you for sharing this work with others. Be well- Rachel
  5. The early morning sun coming in through the stained glass windows in my bedroom- my house is an old Victorian, and the windows are over 100 years old. Beautiful catchers of the light. Quiet contentment indeed.
  6. I am grateful for: *continued employment allowing me to take care of myself and my children *the health of my loved ones *my brother and his family evacuating to safety from the Lightning Strike Complex Fires in Santa Cruz, CA *my quiet early mornings held sacred for meditation, journaling, and movement/exercise *air conditioning to keep us comfortable
  7. Here is the reading shared in my Sangha today, by Brigit Anna McNeill: Make a loving home within yourself. One that feels beautiful to dwell in when all else falls away. Kiss the dark corners, clear out the clutter and nourish each part of you with love and care. If your flesh home has been left to become a haunted, deserted place, through self neglect; your mind may become frightened of the voices and feelings that come from it, you may begin to avoid contact with your heart and discredit your gut. Times and spaces with softness, compassion, openness and no busyness may bring up a panic that makes you go and gorge on distractions, anything but to face the haunted, crumbled down house within.Yet deep in you, you know that hiding from yourself is no longer serving you. This home, the one in your very centre, is waiting for you to come back, so it can teach you how to become an alchemist, how to realise your strength, your beauty and your power. This home is wanting to hold the weight of you, not the ghost of you, so it can carry you and guide you. So it can be your holder, your safety, your home."
  8. Wonderful to hear you are feeling love and compassion for yourself @Gillian SangerSending love. Today I sat for my weekly zoom meditation with my sangha. My teacher spoke of making a loving home for ourselves within ourselves. It brought a sense of peace and love to my heart. One that made me soften to the difficulties I am experiencing.
  9. @Gillian Sanger I have heard that theory about survival and rejection before. Thank you for sharing it with us. Here is the dharma talk given by Jack Kornfield that I return to again and again to learn more about and contemplate the 10 Perfections. If anyone is interested in doing more of a deep dive/study group, I’m in. These are the principles I aspire to live my life by and I feel I am being gifted an opportunity to embody and integrate them at this moment. Would love to have company along the way. https://dharmaseed.org/teacher/85/talk/12969/ Be well. Rachel
  10. Compassion is in my heart today. My morning sit was (and has been) chanting the Tara mantra 108 times, calling upon her as a source of compassion. I have found the rhythm and repetition of chanting soothing and grounding as I navigate an emotional transition. Compassion is definitely what I sense in my heart today.
  11. Like everyone here, I get caught in the loop of low self worth and not enough-ness. When I really feel it rise, in times of transition, disagreement, or doubt, I try to bring a gentle awareness to it through journaling and inner child contemplations. I have found that helps create a softening around the hardness that comes along with beating myself up. I also listen to a dharma talk given by Jack Kornfield in 2011 about the 10 Perfections. Really trying to touch my true nature even when it isn't so obvious it is there. Always, always, a work in progress. Be well, all. Rachel
  12. Gillian, I thank you for your kind and soothing message. And for the reading recommendations. I’m very grateful. I have been going for long walks and visiting my favorite tree each day, which has soothed me at the edges. I’ve also been doing root based, grounding yoga practices where the flow of apana (downward flowing energy) is activated and helps to stabilize me. Sitting in daily meditations with forgiveness and acceptance at the heart. Lots of journaling and herbal tea too. As we experience life, we change. I have used previous periods of transition in my life as opportunities to explore the self and to allow for whatever change was meant to arrive through the difficulty. That is sort of where I am right now. I am looking into somatic therapy (as opposed to traditional talk therapy) as a new way to learn about patterns and the imprints from my past as well. It has been an unusual time to be in a relationship from a distance, and now for it to end at a distance is equally odd. So I’m very grateful to this community for their presence and support. Be well, everyone. Rachel
  13. Thank you so much for the feedback! It means so much, especially since you have so much expertise.
  14. I am attaching a link to one of my kids' meditations which incorporates movement. This is the first one from the Adventurous Animals series based on the Yamas and Niyamas....it is called Kind Koala and is based on the Yama of Ahimsa. Please forgive the plus at the very end, which was in my contract with Boldfish, the digital wellness platform that contracted me to create the podcast. The platform is sadly now defunct. Please also note this is the unedited (no music, perhaps a bit of background noise) version. In any event, I would love your feedback and wanted to share how I incorporated movement into the session. Be well. Rachel https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gBaMVtDN_N7iyKQYEVEUzEz1OfMWAZEY/view?usp=sharing
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