Here we are in full bloom of summer; a time of high energy and activity.
The power of the sun fuels the fire element and propels us to action. The sun gives us strength, vitality, and focus and rules our digestive fire.
Clarity and radiance are born from this power.
Plus, this week we have a new moon in cancer on Tuesday, the 28th. The watery elements heighten our emotions and provides an opportunity for us to clear away what has been and open to new possibilities.
Personally, I am in the thick of these very things.
The fire and water elements that predominate right now can give way to us feeling out of sorts such as irritated, angry, and critical. We may be more sensitive, emotional, and reactive.
We may experience more inflammatory conditions…..acid reflux, skin rashes, etc. Or maybe we push ourselves too hard rather than surrendering to the pace of the body. Add to the equation the circumstances in the world around us and in our own personal lives.
What a wild ride it can be. This we know: the more we can remain calm and steady, the better off we will be. This is especially true when faced with making a difficult decision.
I am in the midst of making a decision between “the hard and the hard”.
So how do we choose between the two?
My beloved studio/barn and one plus acres of land is for sale. My Yoga and Ayurveda business is, and will remain, alive and well…online.
I have come to the point in my life where I want and need more simplicity and a financial cushion for my elder years. What I know to be true is that this decision cannot be rushed.
I have taken time over the past two years to reflect on this.
I’ve needed to get quiet and centered and clear about my intentions and the “why”.
I’ve needed to allow the time and space for the emotional roller coaster ride.
I’ve applied the teachings about the importance to go beneath the surface waves of turmoil.
I have sorted through the fears, the heartache, the letting go as well as being open to the possibilities and new beginnings.
The words from Jack Kornfield help comfort me:
“ Like a traveler on a train.
We can put down our bags.
We can relax our grip and trust
in the unfolding of life.”
In the end, when the answer comes of what is truly right for us, we will know.
There is a calm and peace way deep down inside that shows us the way.
And all will be alright.
For those of you who are facing difficult decisions at this time, my heart is with you.
May you too take all the time you can and need so you can hear the wisdom of your soul to show you the way.
One of the gifts of being a woman is our deep sense of inner knowing: our Divine Guidance. When we are tuned into our intuition we simply “know” what is right for us and what isn’t. We “know” the answers to our questions more easily and are able to sift through the muck and confusion in our minds when faced with making decisions. There is much less second guessing.
We recognize when situations and opportunities present themselves that are important for us to pay attention to. We learn to trust ourselves more. Our self-confidence improves. Our self-esteem grows. Life becomes more simple. What a relief!
Intuition: “The ability to understand something immediately without the need for conscious reasoning.”
“A thing that one knows or considers, likely from instinctive feelings rather than from conscious reasoning.”
In the past I made some of my decisions based on fear and/or confusion. Many times the choices I made were not in my best interest. I used to try and make myself be alright with certain situations and people. The truth is, there were times I was not ok, yet I let my mind override my deep intelligence. I struggled with not knowing which way to go and what to do. My attention was more focused on external things which took me away from the source of my deep strength and inner knowing. This opened me up for insecurities, unsettled feelings, and confusion. It’s not that way for me anymore. At least not very often.
To develop and access our intuition we need to tune into ourselves daily. We need to move energy and clear energetic blocks so our life-force energy, our prana, can rise up and feed the higher glands in our bodies. (The pituitary gland is the “seat” of our intuition.) We need to “clean” the mind with yogic exercises and other techniques to help us develop a more neutral, meditative mind.
We need to sit in silence.
The chatter in the mind must be quieted so we can hear the Divine’s guiding voice. Women, if you can relate to some of the struggles I have had, I invite you to come to the next Women’s Morning Retreat, dedicated to strengthening our sensitivity, our awareness, and our connection to our own highest authority: Our Intuition – “The Voice of the Soul”
Women’s Morning Retreat: Intuition of Woman,
Silence and Deep Listening
Saturday, December 7, 9-Noon
I will share the teachings and practices that have proven to be so helpful for me in navigating life and living in alignment with my own truth. Our morning together will be soulful, empowering, and relaxing. Not to mention we will most likely laugh a bit and that these practices really do work!! I can attest to that!
I hope you will consider joining me. I love sharing with and learning from other women in a calm, supportive, healing environment. That is what this morning will be about. You will leave with practices you can easily incorporate into your daily life that will set you on your way of knowing more deeply your own truth.
The retreat consists of yogic exercises, including from the Kundalini Yoga tradition, meditation, chanting, and silence. Also included: handouts, tea, snacks, and supportive e-mails.
At the Ayurveda Yoga Center, 91 Stevens Pond Road, Liberty. For more information and to register please contact: Deborah Keene at 207-589-4254 or email@example.com.
Photo Courtesy of Sharyn Peavey Photography
Feel uplifted, shiny and bright!
Prepare for the upcoming precious season of Summer.
Friday, June 21, 6:30-8:30am
Ayurveda Yoga Center, 91 Stevens Pond Rd., Liberty
We will Align our internal rhythms and energy with that of the cosmos so that we can feel the inherent ease when we are in balance with all that there is.
Our breathing and posture practices will help us charge our own solar power, remove blocks that fetch us up, and smooth away stress, irritation and excess stickiness.
We will chant a mantra to open our hearts and calm our minds with the Solstice in mind.
The Sound vibrations of the Gong will help to dispel negativity and clear away whatever might be holding us back from living the life we want.
We will drink a nourishing beverage that will help with seasonal allergies –with a short discussion on that topic.
I develop these monthly and seasonal practices so that they are powerful enough to carry us for a few days: even weeks. I give my all to these offerings. I design them so that we are fed on every level of our being. They are for all levels – which means all levels.
Gentle enough for anyone – powerful enough for everyone!!
I hope you will come and continue to support these offerings in the “off the beaten path community” right here in the small country town of Liberty, Maine.
As a friend once said, “It may be a little out of the way, but it’s well worth the trip.”
This day on Friday, June 21, 6:30-8:30am will certainly be a celebratory morning to greet the longest day of the year. If you haven’t been here in a while or you haven’t been here before, or you come all the time, please come!
(And, my second surprise may be here by that time!!! The Gong being the first Surprise!)
Please e-mail me to hold a space. Minimum of 6 people are needed. $20-$30. Sliding scale payable at the door.
Here’s some of my reflections.
The truth is:
I spent a lot of my life not feeling good about who I was.
I held myself back time and again from doing what I really wanted to do because of it.
I lived with shame which is different from guilt.
And guilt, too.
Guilt is where we feel badly about something we did.
Shame is where we feel badly about who we are. Period.
I’ve had a ton of sleepless nights.
I’ve known anxiety really well.
I’m 62 now. I hardly struggle with those things I just wrote about.
I’m not saying I don’t get tripped up from time to time.
It’s just that when troubles do come they don’t hang around for very long.
I feel happy and healthy a good part of the time.
I sleep pretty good, too.
When I don’t sleep, at least I know why and what to do about it.
I know what was causing my anxiety and what part I was playing in making it worse.
(See Tips For Anxiety handout on my resource page)
I’ve learned that we are all made from the same elemental forces, that we are all one, and that the natural world provides law and order. I’ve learned that we need to know about our unique selves and that what we eat and how we live matters greatly.
I understand how energy moves in the body and the necessity to tend to the pranic flows.
I understand the importance of clearing and balancing the subtle body, the chakra system.
I know that stress and trauma needs to be released from the nervous system.
And…. this is the most important piece of all….
Divinity exists in all living things including each one of us.
I get that the Divine lives in me as me.
I know my worth because of it.
I live in a way that honors my divinity.
I take a stand on my behalf when it’s called for.
I got here by spending the last 47 years of my life studying, teaching, and practicing all things Yoga and Ayurveda. I got down and dirty. I self- reflected. Still do. Always will. I faced up to the truth of who I was in all of my goodness and my short comings. Just so you know, I still have plenty of shortcomings! The difference now is that I just don’t beat myself up about them.
I’ve cleared out a lot of gunk and now feel free.
I’ll never go back to the way I was.
I weave what I’ve learned and continue to learn into everything I teach. I share the teachings and my experiences in down-home practical ways. I’m me; a cowgirl at heart. My delivery is simple and earthy.
I know you have been on your own journey and had your fair share of ups and downs. You have your own story to tell.
If you are drawn to anything I’ve written and you have the slightest urge to reach out, please do. If you need help, you’ll have my support. And if you come to the studio here in Liberty you’ll have the support of others too. Not to mention what you will bring to this community. We all learn from and support each other here.
My phone number – 207-589-4254
If you are simply curious about my work or this place
you can poke around my website.
The info is all there.
I’ve got some fun programs coming up.
And weekly classes too.
In closing, I want to thank you for reading this.
It feels important to me to write it.
The seasons give way to one another. Each one beckons us to turn with them and make the gentle shift in our focus and intentions. September marks the turning towards “going in.”
September has been viewed by the elders from long ago as the beginning of a new year; differing in sentiment than January’s new year’s resolutions. I recently read a quote written by Katharine Elizabeth Fite that appeared in the 1949 Good Housekeeping,
“What we need in autumn is an emotional or spiritual shot in the arm.”
September offers us the opportunity to harvest all that we have sown during the rich growing season and now redirect our energies. Summer’s expansive, outward yang focus slowly yields to autumn’s more inward, quieter yin. Slow and gentle are key, especially this year as summer’s hold remains strong.
If we heed nature’s callings we can reflect quietly upon what needs our attentions, what it is we long for and what is our spirit’s call.
“Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.” -Buddha
Get to know yourself deeply…..
If we know what our life’s purpose, our Dharma, is and we are not honoring our spirit’s call then ask why not. What is getting in our way? Is it fear of failing or fear of change or limiting beliefs?
If we do not know what our higher purpose is then now is a great time to sit with that question.
We can ride on Mother Nature’s back to help draw our attention back into ourselves.
When we are truly connected to the center of ourselves we are able to tap into and trust our own deep wisdom and experience the ease and joy that is our birthright.
From that place we will be guided by our bright light and live our lives to the fullest.
So, Know thyself: the teachings of Yoga and Ayurveda show us the way…..
The month of September begins that call for us to “come back home”.
Let’s celebrate the journey!!!
Autumn Equinox ~September 23
Honor this day of equal light and dark
Balance your energies with stillness and movement; silence and sound
Rise before the sun comes up
Sit in the dim with a lighted candle
Burn a sage leaf or incense
Drop into your own sweet soul
Feel the physical body and what it is making contact with; your cushion, chair seat, couch, floor….
Feel a broad, heavy base and lengthen upward thru the spine from that grounding place
Breathe in and breathe out, quietly and gently; breathe into the low belly; that deep place of knowing
Rise up and move the body; sway gently, let the movement build
Say a prayer of gratitude while you watch the day come
“Always be aware that you have the power to create the naturally stress-free and tranquil life you deserve.” -Wayne Dyer
I thought it fitting that my first blog post would be about skin. Here’s why:
My journey down this natural health and healing path began with skin care forty-five years ago this year. I was 15 at the time. Back then, My mom and I made facials with ingredients like oatmeal, cream, honey and fruit.
In my late teens, my sister Kim and I placed freshly picked, steamed burdock leaves on our faces to help heal our pimples.
(Burdock is a blood cleansing herb. Anytime we have rashes, blemishes or any other skin condition we know we need to detoxify the blood.)
We also pressed almond oil onto our skin with the back of spoons that had been warmed in cups of hot water. We would then lie upside down on an ironing board that was placed with one end on the couch cushion and the other end on the floor.
(Natural oils are very nourishing for the skin. Applying warmth and moisture helps the oils to penetrate the skin, dislodge toxins, and nourish the skin tissue all at the same time.
Inversions increase blood flow to the face which delivers oxygen and other nutrients. This helps fight free radicals and reduce inflammation that can accelerate the aging process. Going upside down is anti-gravity which means the skin hangs in the opposite direction so it’s like a natural face lift while contributing to that “glow”.)
Why is it so important to take good care of the skin?
The skin is the largest detoxifying organ of the body. The skin wraps us up, provides protection, and performs all of the functions that the other organs do. The skin tissue is living, breathing and absorbs what is in the environment around us and whatever we put on it. This means that we don’t want to put anything onto our skin that we couldn’t eat.
Like many others I have tried tons of over-the-counter products. Some products seemed to work okay, some caused rashes, redness, and irritation, some dried my skin out, and most all of them contained harmful ingredients. In the end, I always came back to my homemade, all natural cleansers, nourishing oils, and “kitchen” ingredient facials. I noticed that in the end, they seemed to work the best.
To this day I still love all things skin and continue to make, use, and sell skin care products based on Ayurvedic principles. Uptans are cleansers made from flours like chick pea, almond, and oats, and herbs such as ashwagandha and sacred basil.
My nourishing face oils are made with a variety of carrier oils such as avocado, almond, and pomegranate seed, essential oils, herbs, and vitamins.
I customize the ingredients to address individual skin types as well as specific conditions such as Dry skin in the winter (Vata), oily and congested in the spring (Kapha), and sensitive skin in the Summer (Pitta).
Simple Uptan Recipe (without herbs)
-2 tbsp. chick pea flour
-2 tbsp. almond flour
-1 tbsp. powdered milk
Mix a small amount in the palm of your hand with enough water to make a paste and apply to a warm moist face. Wash face lightly – Don’t scrub.
You can also let the uptan dry on the skin and then flake it off and rinse.
Five tips for Healthy, Radiant Skin
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate- Water is the number one nutrient needed by all the cells of the body.
- Include good quality fats in your diet like coconut oil, ghee, and olive oil.
- Eats lots of all the different colors of vegetables. Daily!
- Reduce sugar and processed foods– one of the main culprits of inflammation and skin problems
- Exercise, breathe and get outside.
I will continue to write about the skin and provide recipes in upcoming posts.
Please contact me if you wish to find out more about my products or you would like to schedule a skin care consultation.