Journey into the senses. Ahh Tuscany, the hill towns, the vineyards, the people, the pace and the scent of extra virgian olive oil being pressed. You can't beat it. Tuscany is also a place with medieval towns, art, and agriculture! Villa Borghino is an Estate outside of Lucca, Italy that oozes with color, beauty, and history. The staff that runs the Villa give you an instant feeling of being home.
I was on the phone today with my good friend Diana Goldman. She is a successful entrepreneur who runs a company called Beantown Kitchen. She is passionate about sharing vegan cuisine information and teaching others how to provide highly nutritious, easy-to-prepare and delicious meals for themselves, their friends and families . Recently she created and taught a five-week healthy cooking program designed to show particpants living at a low-income housing development that healthy vegan food can be affordable. Diana is heartfelt about her desire to reduce suffering to humans, animals and the planet and loves everything about coaching, teaching and providing people with the resources they need to live more balanced healthy lives.
We have so much in common as passionate entrepreneurs, we care about the health of our families, friends and clients, we care about our growing teen and young adult children. We love creating beautiful experiences that help people find balance in their lives. We also find it effortful, and challenging to share our goodness and love in a medium like Facebook or LinkedIn because as Diana pointed out, we have negative stories running in our heads about self-promotion. After we collectively discovered this, I asked her with curiosity if she could create a different story for herself. I see that social media could be a helpful medium for her to share her knowledge and passions with the world. Afterall, there is no question that when she is cooking and teaching she is in her element. I would call that flow in my mindfulness based eastern view. It’s a place when all things come together, and our work becomes seamless. It is our stewardship! That sort of passion is worth sharing.
Many health professionals, healers, nutritionists, doctors, psychologist want to provide their services to others, but stepping into the world of social media can feel daunting and against our historic ideas about what is right, gracious, and acceptable.
What if we were able to really tune in and ask ourselves from our highest most truthful inner source, is it true? Is it true that when we present our work on the internet we are self promoting and acting in a self-centered way? If we tune into that soft place in our hearts, that inner knowing, we might become more comfortable sharing our passions without feeling showy or inconsistent with our need to be modest or genuine about who we are.
In reality it’s quite daunting to present ourselves in social media. That means we have to look deeper at ourselves and be authentic! One of my yoga teachers Troy Hadead has been encouraging me to peel away the layers during my yoga practice, to dig a little deeper in every pose. To revisit the pose each time as if it is brand new. Applying this technique to my life off the yoga mat, I see that the challenge of sharingis caused by many layers of resistance. Michael Lee, my lead yoga teacher from Phoenix Rising reminds me that if we pay deeper attention to the body and the sensations of the body, with curiosity and openness, we may gain some awareness. I notice that my thoughts and the stories in my head are not always in service to myself and others. With awareness, perhaps Diana and my collective struggle with our historic stories about self promotion and sales might find a new pathway to love and service to others. Perhaps we can begin to discern a new relationship with the resistance of sharing ourselves on a bigger platform.
Taking this realization to a new level, right after I got off the phone today, I read that the“National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) carefully assessed how recent developments in science, medicine, and health care have affected the Center’s strategic approaches in the diverse arena of complementary and integrative health. NCCIH seeks to identify strategies for promoting health and preventing disease. Behavioral risk factors, including an unhealthy diet, being overweight or obese, living a sedentary life, smoking or using tobacco products, and the excessive consumption of alcohol, are linked to increased rates of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes. Preliminary evidence indicates that some complementary health approaches may be useful in encouraging improved self-care, an improved personal sense of well-being, and a greater commitment to a healthy lifestyle. For example, analysis of the 2012 NHIS data indicates that many people who practiced yoga reported that it motivated them to practice healthier behaviors, including eating better and exercising more regularly.”
We are both passionate about using our yoga and healthy eating knowledge to address this national crisis and guiding our clients to towards more happy, healthy and balanced lives! If social media can be helpful in this way, perhaps we ought to address the resistance and follow our hearts leading us on the path towards stewardship and service to others!
My life in Mexico?
I was born in the Sonoran Desert in a small town called Ciudad Obregon ,Sonora. At the age of 3 we moved to Mexico City where I lived with my parents until their divorce when I was 7. My Father got custody of me and my two brothers and the rest of my childhood was spent living between Europe and the USA. My dad remarried 3 more times and each wife was from a different country. Between Italy, France, Spain, England, California, Washington DC and Washington State, I journeyed through my childhood.
At the age of 14 I was sent to live in San Juan , Puerto Rico with my Birth mother which is where I finished High School. In my late teens I returned to Mexico City where I was discovered as a Fashion Model and I continued to travel the world playing the adventure of Fashion and Glamour.. While living in Ibiza, Spain I was invited to St Tropez, Cote D'Azur for the weekend and was met with an unfortunate accident. I crashed on a motorcycle with no helmet and was paralyzed and unable to move for a long time to come.
With a distorted purple face, a neck brace and crutches I met my first love..YOGA...I met the Yoga/Meditation Guru who changed my life in the old part of town of this magical Island.I had practiced since I was 5 with my mother who loved to do Asanas but on this little Island in the Mediterraneanis where Yoga took me by the hand and guided me in this long and wonderful journey of healing and transformation. I could not move my body then, so I would sit in meditation, prayer and affirmations , directing the PRANA (life force) up and down my spine until one day I began to see my pinky move and then each finger consequentially.
The Universe had a plan for me. To become a Yoga instructor! Little did I know at the time yet as I look back I see the messages ,the circumstances and the amazing opportunities that the world has offered me. I am eternally GRATEFUL...
After my slow recovery I moved to Florence where I lived for a few fantastic years until my Soul started nudging me to return to my ROOTS. And so I returned to America with the intention of moving to South Beach, Miami. Making a quick stop to see my long lost family, I spent a wonderful vacation in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. This is where I had my huge Spiritual Awakening.
Walking in the jungle of Yelapa ( this was in the 90s when Yelapa had no electricity, no TVS, no internet. It was PARADISE!) It was an unforgettable trip and a revelation of such truth and confirmation of the presence of a higher power and the message of my responsibility in this life time to carry out the mission of Serving, Healing and Being OK with being myself!
I did end up moving to Miami which is where I met Ashtanga Teaching and wonderful Instructors along the way. I taught there for the years to come, until getting married and having my beloved twins, who I chose to birth and raise in my Mother Country. Mexico lindo..They were born in San Miguel de Allende and then we moved to Valle de Bravo. Raising children in Mexico is luxury. Its the perfect environment for a healthy, love filled lifestyle. Children and Seniors are so very respected in my country.
When the twins turned 10 we moved to the coast. We lived in San Pancho, Sayulita and Bucerias for a few years while I worked at gorgeous resorts teaching Yoga. Imanta, Four Seasons, Tailwind Lodge, and other magnificent settings.
We now reside in the desert of Tucson. Not by choice but by accident did we land in this remote part of the world. For me, another reminder that there is a higher power orchestrating my moves, my growth and my journey.
Where is my heart? My HEART is where my SPIRIT resides. Those things that make my heart beat and soar are LOVE, COMMUNITY, SHARING, SITTING IN SILENCE WITH SPIRIT
TEACHING, GUIDING MY BELOVED EARTH TRIBE TO THE EMPTINESS WITHIN WHERE ALL AND NOTHING IS
PRESENT. TO HELP OTHERS. TO SEE CHILDREN PLAY. TO ALLOW MY INNER CHILD TO EXPLORE< TO FEEL, TO BE.
My heart rejoices when I sing and praise this magnificent life. My heart rejoices when I have " AHA moments" of awareness.
My heart is happiest when I am teaching Yoga, and holding the space for my students to feel deep withing. My heart is happy
when I am doing the service I came to BE.. A TEACHER, A MOTHER, A FRIEND, A GODDESS OF LOVE AND TRUTH.
So much planning, creativity and connection goes into each retreat. It is an ongoing, intuitive, creative, exploratory process. Each retreat site has a draw. Villa Sumaya, in Lake Atitlan had a ceremonial and historical connection that captured me a few years ago. My friend Robin Carnes, a Yoga Nidra teacher had taken a group of women retreaters to Villa Sumaya and it was on my bucket list, to be ready to take a group to this Mayan jewel. The flights and the distance was daunting, and our regular retreaters would surely be resistant to leaving the beach in favor of the lake. If their eyes could see the beautiful color of the Lake Atitlan, perhaps they would surrender to the call of this spiritual vortex located in Central America.
A calling from above while in Nosara, Costa Rica removed all obstacles and reminded me of our spiritual and deeper purpose for retreat, to come home to our true nature. Villa Sumaya and their staff, reminded us that the Mayan people are first and foremost heart centered. They taught us to slow down and to be grateful for each moment and connection and to tune into our surroundings.