I asked him, What was your favorite part about school? Without a flinch, “summer!” Ha. This is how a recent chat went down with my boyfriend. Me on the other hand, I loved all of school. So much so, I saved old paperwork and played teacher during the summer breaks. Insert all the neighborhood kids lined up in lawn chairs surrounding the pool as I paced the front, I think waving a stick, as I gestured into understanding 1 + 2 using 3 trees in the yard. Think there was a clue back then that teaching was a life gift I was meant to share? I mean, come on, what kid takes a break from swimming to teach? Yep! This one.
As life progressed from 3rd grade, the love of learning stayed with me. I satiated all that teachers were willing to share, the stories that books would etch in my heart, and the wisdom that nature seeped into my cells. You see, my only wish through all the years of sitting at desks, was that the walls would come down and we would be under the blanket of the sky learning from the teacher that never judges or holds anything back. Mother Earth and all of her creatures!
In my life’s work, I use her sage teachings wisely, along with spirit animals, all the elements and much more on my path as a shamanic practitioner, energy life coach & yoga teacher. And, I continue to be the most eager of students as I learn throughout all of the Seasons. So I guess, you could say that summer was one of my favorite parts of school too.
With Earth Day just around the corner on April 22nd, may you find moments to step out into my most favorite classroom, the one without walls.
See you on your yoga mat or elsewhere as I continue to share my hearts love ~ teaching!
P.S. Earth Day Yoga Saturday, April 22nd 9am Ottertail (we will be on the beach if mother nature’s warmth gives us a hug or inside…with the windows open)
The snow crunched under my snowshoes as I ventured through the woods. Nina was frolicking all the while picking up on every animal track in her nose vicinity. We were both in nature bliss. Just what my body, mind & soul was craving after a week of mental dervish — I could have sworn the universe was on a tilt-a-whirl all week. And I just knew within my bones that I needed to ground myself. To feel the earth hug my feet.
All was fine and dandy, the trek had worked, so I turned for home and eventually trudged up the hill behind the house. I called for Nina to join me. She looked at me from afar and then turned the opposite way. Despite my calls, she was determined to track those unwavering scents. And what did I do, I lost my cool. Anger, fear, and almost all out rage bubbled inside. It took me over. I called for her louder. Ya, like that was going to work after she clearly had looked at me and turned away. Rationally, I knew the loud yelling was getting me nowhere but it was as if a giant fire had been ignited and there was no water in site to douse it (if only I had realized the snow all around me I could have face planted in it to put out the flames — but alas, that would have been too easy). Instead, I raged. I feared. I realize now I was raging from all of the unpatriotic chess moves that were played this past week. My rage was fueled by the consumption of global fear and anger.
I know I am sensitive. I know we are all connected. And clearly, I was picking up on the collective human consciousness.
And while I once listened to the band Rage Against the Machine, I’d rather not rage against the brilliance of my DNA — for the DNA gets all out of alignment when we allow strong emotions such as anger or fear to flood our system. So I made a new call (this time to myself) to override the emotional hijacking and return to my heart’s code.
To activate this love in an instant, I turned to yoga. I left Nina outside and I fell to the ground in child’s pose. I thanked the earth for holding me. I asked her to take my anger and I channeled that fire into compassion, gratitude and peace. Yes. Peace. I switched my thoughts, went home to my breath, allowed my body to feel, and guess whose nose soon pressed against the sliding glass window? Yep, Nina chose to come home to momma at peace…not angry momma. Go figure!?
Until our peace laden paths cross again,
Hugs. Tears. Yoga. Music. Nature. Animals.
In no particular order,
all have helped soothe my soul.
For I have been in mourning.
I have been sad for the anger that rests in people’s hearts.
I have been sad for the fear that leads many in the place of love.
But mostly, I have been sad for the segregation. For within the
depths of my soul; I know & believe that we are all ONE.
And thankfully, gratitude for that belief is winning over the sad darkness.
Gratitude for a heart-wide-open yoga community that comes together to move, feel, and heal.
For the first time ever, I was close to canceling yoga class so I could mourn in solitude. Because the last thing I could see myself doing was talking. And when I teach, inspiring words tend to naturally flow from my lips. But instead of canceling class, I turned to music to speak for me.
Along with the hugs, tears, yoga, nature, & animals…maybe some of the music below will soothe your soul.
Four ~ Deuter
Hands ~ Jewel
Killing the Blues ~ Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
Gold in Them Hills ~ Katie Melua
Our Day Will Come ~ Amy Winehouse
Never Too Late ~ Three Days Grace
Light ~ Al Green
High Tide or Low Tide ~ Ben Harper, Jack Johnson & Friends
Sound of Invisible Waters ~ Deuter
Haven’t Met You Yet ~ Michael Buble
Somewhere Over the Rainbow ~ Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
Kindred Spirit ~ Deuter
Keep Your Head Up ~ Andy Grammer
In love & light always ~ Wendy
As the clouds swirled and the rain surrounded women from south to north and east to west, their unique souls gathered as ONE. The winds headed the call of Spirit as rain clouds were pealed away and held to the perimeter of the sacred land.
An opening, a window, a valley towards clarity had been created. They stood in a portal of awakening. Voices shared wisdom, hands brought healing, music guided them to move their hips and dance on mother earth’s belly, and then they heard the undeniable vibration.
Awake! Awake to the power & beauty that lies within!
They stood in the middle of Mother Nature’s Portal.
They were being called back to the root of the feminine. To their goddess essence.
The Women’s Awakening Festival image was seen everywhere as the feminine stood on the inverted lotus flower patiently awaiting no longer to rise from the false sense of self that had been lingering amongst her family & friends. She was ready to be authentic, vulnerably raw, and uniquely herself. She held a spiral of goddess energy in her hands and once released into the universe; there would be no turning back. She would speak her truth. She would awaken to the intuitive gifts guiding her to heal so she may in turn help the world flow with the grace of nature.
Until our paths cross again my sweet friends,
…To be human is to become visible while carrying what is hidden as a gift to others… ~ David Whyte
The wisdom of nature’s spirit guides will always keep me curious and in awe like a little girl realizing for the first time there is a man in the moon. I live in a place where nature smiles on me daily yet my soul reminds me when needed of my love for the energy amidst majestic mountains. Thus, I decided to heed my inner calling as I ventured to the Evergreen, Colorado area. The night before I hopped on the non-stop jet, that was to take me lurching through the sky, I turned to my Oracle Cards. I asked a simple question: “What do I need to make my trip soul fulfilling?”
The card I turned was “Meadow: Vulnerability” — It is time to step out into the expanse unknown and expose your true self in all aspects of your life. Oh how true that rang for me! As I’ve been truly shedding the safety zone of who I used to be & am fully letting my colors shine of nature girl – shamanic yoga – spirit guide believer – and inspirational mover and shaker for others to shine!
Let me digress for one moment. Oracle Cards. Maybe they are new to you? You may have heard of Tarot Cards? The cards are wisdom cards used to help with spiritual guidance. I once read the difference between the two described as: Tarot Cards follow a set structure to guide you while Oracle Cards are like the rebel without a cause. There is no set structure to follow and you can let your wild hair down and make up your own rules as you receive intuitive & spiritual guidance. I resemble those comments so I’ve recently welcomed a relationship with Oracle Cards.
The deck in which I pulled Meadow has 48 cards and they are called “Earth Magic”. Oh ya! Now, you know why they are my favorite.
Ok, back to the story. So, I finally land my butt on that magical jet plane which is streaming me across great Grandfather Sky and I decide to pull out the cards. I ask a very similar question and then:
Shuffle. Shuffle. Shuffle.
Guess what card turns? Yep, Meadow!
Fast forward a bit to our safe arrival to the wonderful chalet in the mountains. I introduce my dear friend and traveling buddy to the Earth Magic cards our first morning (post coffee of course). And, guess what card I pulled (after much shuffling)? Yep, Meadow! Did you remember that there are 48 cards…yes at this point I needed to double check myself…but I was beginning to get the intuitively guided spiritual message the cards were laying down for me.
On that day 3 of the obligatory Meadow card, we decided to head to Indian Hills Hot Springs. It is raw, natural and maybe a bit old school for those of you who like posh hot spring establishments, but for this nature chick, it was perfect. I slid into a hot pool in a cave surrounded by dark rock covered walls. As I gazed up, my power animal guide Jaguar showed up. She was so clear I thought for sure someone had drawn her face in chalk (insert disclaimer: even as a spiritually guided shamanic practitioner, there are times when things are so crystal clear that I have to wipe my eyes in questioning if I just made that up in my mind). Nope, I could see her on the cave wall and no one had been into those steamy pools with chalk. As I was spending time getting an intuitive message from my dear spirit guide friend, my gaze shifted to the left and a falcon appeared. Falcon? Was it a falcon or condor? I didn’t have google images with me in that dark cave so I just asked “Show me if you are a falcon” and the nose started to point down indicating – yes indeed – it was a falcon.
My friend and I had a great chat about the significance of Falcon spirit guide messages on our drive back to the beautiful mountain abode and of course their guidance was spot on for me.
After a restful nights sleep, our bodies were craving movement after soaking for so long in the hot springs the day before. So we asked our host for a hiking trail recommendation. And guess where she said? “Elk Meadow”. You hadn’t forgotten about the Meadow card of vulnerability yet had you? Well, I hadn’t!
Soon after our chat with our wonderful host & coffee was satiated into our cells, we plopped down on the deck floor with the great sky as our witness (and I believe there were 3 deer resting in the sun behind us too…no kidding…they had to take in what was about to happen next). I shuffle the Oracle cards and jokingly say to my friend “wouldn’t it be absolutely crazy if I pulled Meadow again?”
Shuffle. Shuffle. Shuffle.
I spread the cards and grabbed the one that was calling to me. Yep! Meadow again!! We both looked at each other with eyes as big as an owl on alert and just then…a falcon flies over our heads. A falcon!
We were laughing so hard with spiritual awe, joy, and just pure giddiness with how magical and obvious life can be when you just ask AND listen. My girlfriend paused for a moment between her snorts of laughing and says:
“And..Cue Falcon Man“.
He must have been around the corner somewhere.
Always grateful to the great mysterious Universe and all of her spiritual helpers. Especially grateful to those sweet spirit animals who know I am watching and listening as they show up to make this life journey special, powerful, and in flow with all that is.
Until our sacred paths cross next time,
P.S. After we hiked that beautiful Elk Meadow trail, I felt my raw vulnerability exposed under the guise of nature’s help. The next day the Meadow card was not selected. I had heeded her wisdom.
Our hands fold together at the end of yoga class as our soft gaze looks up into the mystery of the world. The energy is pulsating through the room as we collectivity have shifted it to being a sacred place of utter acceptance and honor.
We then silently bow our heads saying to each other “namaste”.
This is the scene at the end of every yoga class I guide. But even off of the yoga mat, when that sacred word is spoken or written, I instantly feel a calm peace wash over me. For the depth of its meaning is forever etched into the sweet memory of my mind, body, & spirit.
“The light & love in me honors the light & love in you”
How can it get any more real than light and love? For some though, seeing themselves as pure light and love may be hard to grasp.
I have guided so many yoga newbies on their journey in the midst of conservative small towns and have many times witnessed people sit in silence when the word namaste is spoken.
Maybe the silence is the fear of the unknown; “what am I really saying?” Maybe someone has a soar throat. Or maybe, the cat got their tongue.
When I started to fully embrace the beauty of sharing namaste with others, this is what I knew I was truly saying to them from the depths of my soul.
I see you.
I feel you.
Who I am honors who you are.
You are pure beauty.
I hold sacred space as you speak your truth.
I see your light through the darkness
We ALL want to be loved. We ALL want to be accepted. We ALL want judgement to leave this world forever. So my dear friends, let NAMASTE ring from your lips and be typed in your texts.
Until our paths cross again.
In love & sparkly light,
The Billie extended family was all together on Thanksgiving. It is during those packed house family gatherings that the wooden sign I gifted my parents rings true:
“as far as anyone knows, we are a nice normal family”.
Ahh the irony in the gift. While I would say that we are all nice (well almost all of us), all normal? …that would be difficult to sell the most liberal of jurors. But, the uniqueness that we each possess is what makes me love them even more. For if the household was full of a bunch of Wendy’s …oh my…you wouldn’t know what to think as you saw the house floating away by the guidance of magical unicorns.
And suffice to say, one of my brother-in-law’s isn’t a firm unicorn believer.
The morning after games ensued into the wee hours, my sis and I slid sleepily into the kitchen wearing the same shirt with these words boldly plastered across our chests:
Wake Up and Be Awesome
Well, my sis wasn’t looking sleepy as she had already donned her makeup and looked glorious like she always does but yes, I was the one with the hair reaching the heights of the ceiling thanks to the curly hair war with the pillow (hence the cropping of the photo in this blog post).
But I digress. Back to the story.
The unicorn non-believer brother-in-law takes one look at us as he sips his coffee and emphatically states “I could never wear that shirt. I’m not a morning person”.
I just smiled and said it means a lot more than being a morning person. And I love him for the confused look on his face, yet a spark of interest sparkled in his eyes, for we all wake up a little more each day.
Are you ready to Wake Up! and Be awesome?
Yoga and meditation are gateways to help you Wake Up! and Be Awesome. I’ll see you on your mat and if you are brave enough to wear the cool shirt…send me a message as I have a couple left For Sale.
In love and sparkly unicorn light,
The jaguar was roaming through tall grass perpetually searching. She was a mirror reflection of my questioning mental energy looking for the right place to call home. And then, her feline gentle eyes looked at me and said “wherever you go ~ your home is always inside yourself”.
My journey as a shamanic practitioner has been humbling and awakening. The simplistic yet powerful truth is revealed to me again and again, and as I grow, I am inspired to share the energetic wisdom with others.
I’ve always known myself to be a seeker of truth and since I landed in a small lake town of Minnesota mother earth provides the nourishment to ground me in the now.
The earth element helps us to feel at home within ourselves.
But so often, we loose our stable footing in our quest to be it all and do it all. Life moves fast and we try to move faster which can easily spin us into searching mode away from the knowing within.
I welcome you now to slow down your quest for just 8 minutes of yoga. Feel the earth and ignite the meridian energetic pathways that help connect you to the home within; making your connection with the outside world a smooth voyage.
1. Come to your hands and knees and separate your legs wide. Setting your ankles on the floor, slide your butt back to rest between and as close to your heals as your body allows. Extend your arms outstretched in front. Now, melt your stomach & chest towards the earth and bow your head down. (If your head doesn’t touch the ground, rest it on a soft pillow or folded blanket.) Feel your breath rise and fall; paying particular attention to the breath as you exhale. Be still for 5 minutes.
** Tip: Set your phone timer to a soothing quiet chime to notify you of time completion. Being startled by a loud alarm will erase some of the calm earthy opening **
I am at home with myself. I am grounded. I am connected to my current world.
Be sure to float gratitude out to the wisdom of your energetic body and the spirit world that is always by your side; particularly mother earth with this exercise.
Until our paths cross again. Shining love and light on you,
As I sit here typing, I am at the tail-end of leading (& partaking) in a Fall Yoga Detox 3-week series. I am not a rookie at seasonal detoxes but this time it seemed different. Not seemed different – it was different. I didn’t feel hungry or deprived as some of you may think pertains to a detox (ok, there was one emotional day where I really wanted a glass of wine), but I realize that was only because I wanted to be comforted. That want was fleeting because I found the comfort elsewhere.
I was comforted in the realization that I am my own best friend.
Big bold realization, right?! How about you? Do you feel all comfy cozy at home with your true self? If not, where are you seeking the external comfort?
When you cleanse out all the “false sense of security junk”, you can see clearly through the door. The door that reveals the light of your soul’s truth & in that place there will be no turning back.
Because you will realize this is the happiest of all places.
If you have been feeling the desire lately to rid your life of unwanted, mind cluttering toxins, and to step into your true joy, maybe you picked up on some of our collective energetic vibrations. For when one person does the work to heal & become their radical self, that energy helps everyone step into their unique truth.
My unique freak flag is up in the air, what about you?
Little BONUS: I’m happy to share a fun yoga detox music playlist with all of you. It is more than fun. It is powerful! Each woman who participated in the yoga detox shared a favorite song which is the compilation of the yoga playlist below. It is their way of flying their unique flag…enjoy!
Knowing – Lucinda Williams
Dream – Priscilla Ahn
Magic – Coldplay
Listen to the Lion – Van Morrison
Gimme Shelter – The Rolling Stones
A Case of You – Joni Mitchell
Fool In the Rain – Led Zeppelin
Night Moves – Bob Seger
Every Rose Has It’s Thorn – Poison
You Are for Me – Kari Jobe
The Story – Brandi Carlisle
By the Grace of God – Katy Perry
(Everything I Do) I Do for You – Bryan Adams
Hey Jude – The Beattles
1000 years – Christina Perri
How Can I Keep From Singing – Enya
Put a Little Love in Your Heart – Mary Mary
Keep the music rolling and feel free to reply to this blog with your favorite song. Your unique addition will help the authentic collective conscious flow.
Until our unique journey paths cross again,
International yoga instructor, Shamanic Practitioner, life coach, and more!