Contemplating Our Gifts – Wednesday Wellness Reflection

Sending you a big hug today, I feel like we all could use an extra hug these days.

A few weeks ago I was blessed to be a case study for a dear friend (who happens to be my husband) who recently completed the Core Gift Discovery Workshop, to help support people to dive deeper into themselves and explore the unique gifts we all come here to share.   What I found most impactful, was that some of the more traumatic events of my life were what came through as I discovered my own core gift.  Often its these pivotal moments that don’t always make sense that inform what we commmit our lives to, where we find passion and deep inspiration.

I invite you to take some time over the next little while and contemplate a few ideas.

When do you feel at home in yourself? Or is this a foreign concept?

Contemplate the idea of purpose and gifts.  What do they mean to you personally?   This may be woven into the fabric of your working life, or it may be an area of your life where you recharge or you seem to keep going back to – fueled by passion, emotion, and a deep genuine concern.   Your working life may help to support your purpose, it’s not always that clear.

Perhaps pull out your journal and  write or sit in silent contemplation, writing and expressing without editing.  It amazes me how often we edit or script our responses – even in our personal journals.  It’s time to drop the scripting and show up – exactly as you are – life is to short to be any other way.  At this juncture in our lives, it’s also a good time to reflect on what you truly care about; what do you think deserves more of your time and energy, and does it also support the whole?

The seeds start within us and the way they are expressed are uniquely ours – but there is a reciprocity that’s necessary, like the seeds in our gardens.   It’s not always easy to recognize that those seeds are waiting for nourishment, deep inside of us, or what that nourishment needs to look like.  When we’re able to move from a place which honours what we contribute to the greater collective (no matter how small or large),  feeling deep gratitude for the seeds we contain, and then we step forward in our lives in a purposeful way – this is when magic happens.

As you ponder the presence of the seeds inside of  you, I wonder what arises?

Is there an area of your life that ignites passion inside of you or fill you with strong emotions that urge you forward?  OR is there something that keeps coming up for you, maybe like a soft whisper, wrapped in curiousity?  Hmmm if you listened to that whisper and offered that curiousity some attention, I wonder what that would look like for you?

What did those hard lessons in your life teach you?? Often the difficult lessons are when we’re shown a glimpse of what our core gifts may be, or they may evoke something so strongly inside of us, that they show us where our voice is needed.  This is not always easy, this I do understand.

I believe we all have the potential to tap into something greater than us, and our seeds which hold are gifts as sacred, are a larger and a necessary part of the whole.  As Elizabeth Gilbert reminds us (thank you Sarah), can you acknowledge any fears that hold you back, invite them along for the ride (suppressing them only gives them more power), tap in, explore, nurture what is stirring softly or loudly making itself known from within you, fear and all.

If you want to move through the core gifts discovery process, there are many amazing humans who can support you, you can go to The Core Gift Institute to find out more.

Sending you so much love, and reverence for your core gifts – whether they are shining brightly or hidden, awaiting the perfect moment to be discovered and nurtured into life.

Love Amber

xo

“Every human being is born with some sort of gift, and inclination or an instinct that can become a full-blown mastery.  We may not see our gift for what it is.  Having seen it we may choose not to accept the gift and its consequences for our life.  Or, having claimed our gift, we may not be willing to do the hard work necessry to nurture it.  But none of these evasions can alter the fact that the gift is ours.  Each of us is a master at something, and part of becoming fully alive is to discover and develop our birthright competence.” 

Parker Palmer

Wednesday Wellness Reflection

Welcome to this week’s Wednesday wellness reflection.

Beautiful YOU!

I invite you to take a moment and close your eyes, or find a calming focus point.  Tune into your breath and notice how it feels flowing in and flowing out.

Is it difficult to concentrate on that rhythm?

 Does this simple breath practice support a calm internal state or do you notice a wave of anxiety? Try if you can to just stay curious to what’s happening for you in this moment.

If your mind is wandering,  perhaps invite your attention back to your breath, consciously invite ease and peace into your body and try to be gentle with yourself.

In this space of stillness, I wonder how you’re doing? 

Take your time here, honouring however you show up right now.

I went for a walk in the woods the other day searching for peace and quiet.  As I stepped outside however things were different, the normal quiet I have been accustomed to in the forest, had been I felt robbed, by the sound of a jackhammer echoing through the trees.

I was craving quiet as it was my first day alone at our home after 6 weeks, needing time to decompress, I had a strong desire and raw base need for silence.

With that first step I could feel my body growing more tense, annoyed at how they could ruin my time of solitude.  I traveled through irritation, to annoyance, to what seemed to be anger bubbling up inside of me.  As I walked and breathed into the whole emotional soup that was steadily brewing, I  could sense all the emotions from not just that moment, but from this past year, coming up to the surface, triggered yes, by the jackhammer – it felt like they were breaking through the stone of how I thought I was, allowing me a window into the truth of my core in this moment.

At a certain point I found myself sitting beside a tree, tears streaming down my cheeks, no longer aware of the jackhammer.

Something happened in that moment, a deep sigh of relief, for that sound that only minutes before brought up anger slowly urged me deeper – deeper into the woods and in that journey, deeper into myself.

Slowly my breath too deepened, and I could truly connect with the contact points beneath my own body as I leaned into the constant comforting support and nurturing embrace that I find only as I sit upon and connect with the earth.  As the soup simmered I sat in silence, gratitude seemed to flow through me for the workers who are simply helping my neighbours to create a home in the forest, they were not intentionally trying to steal away my silence.  Gratitude for the miracle that has brought me and my family to these healing woods.  I felt gratitude, believe it or not,  for the sound that urged me deeper inside, yes the jackhammer itself.

I was able to detach from the external distractions, realizing to immerse myself in that much needed quiet I first needed to find it in myself, regardless of what was happening around me.  There is no cave that can bring us that silence, it is what many spend their whole lives searching for, and meanwhile it’s always here patiently waiting inside.

We talk about this so often in our yoga classes, and we experience glimpses of the practice with the hopes that those glimpses will come with us as we roll up our mats.  Sometimes those distractions or external “annoyances” we attach to and blame for a practice that we feel didn’t serve us, that pulled us out of our center – however often those are the times on our mats that often serve us the most – helping us to realize sometimes how far from our own centre we have actually strayed.

With everything happening in the world, I feel the fragility of life a little more these days, recommitting to my own life experience for this brief time I have in this body.  I am also reminded to step out of the experience of I a little more often, and reflect on the bigger picture, all the pieces in the grander puzzle.

If you can, I encourage you to take a little bit of time over the next while to:

Think about your own motivations as you move through the ups and downs of your days. 

Think about the way you respond or react to life.

Consider the impact of the stress, the pain, and the uncertainty in our global community on you. Are you able to acknowledge how perhaps your feeling the feelings that are being felt outside of yourself.  Hmm, you may want to read that again, less confusing on the second read through!

Can you be gentle with yourself, and carve out windows for you – despite the jackhammers, and all the other external distractions that will assuredly arise in those moments.

Consider what triggers you, and perhaps dive deeper.

Transformation is not accomplished by tentative wading at the edge.” – Robin Wall Kimmerer

Thank you for taking the time to consider my thoughts, I hope this reflection helped you in some small way on your own journey.

Please know I’m holding you in my heart,

With so much love,

Amber

xo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want to practice with Amber on your own schedule, in the comfort of your own home, consider subscribing to her exlusive weekly wellness capsules and practice videos.  To find out more click here

Where Are Your Roots?

I am so grateful you are here as we explore this weeks Wednesday Wellness Reflection.

As I ponder our practice today the snow glistens on the tree branches and the sun is shining, nourishing the earth and the trees that take root upon her sacred ground.   Personally I love the snow (for brief windows that is),  gazing upon the magical white flakes – each so precious and so incredibly unique, hmmmm like each of us.   I consider the winter as  an invitation for a little deeper introspection, a time to cocoon so we are clear when the spring arrives.

Today I offer you the exploration of tree.  Take a few moments to connect with your breath, feeling into the rhythm you arrive with – in this moment.  Notice how you feel today, are there parts of you that need a little extra care?  Take as much time as you need here, and then when you feel ready we’ll explore this powerful posture.

In Sanskrit tree pose is translated as Vrikshasana, Vriksha means “tree”.  In this posture we explore balance, steady and rooted as we bring one foot against the lower leg or inner thigh of the other.  Your arms may raise from prayer pose at the heart and slowly stretch over head just as the limbs of a tree stretch up towards the sunlight. You will wend  your own way into your perfect tree today.   Some days my tree is found lying on the ground covered in moss, somedays I embody a brilliant Charlie Brown Tree, and others I rise into my favorite majestic white pine.

As you approach your practice today, I suggest you also call on the support of a chair, a tree, or wall if you’re working with your balance, being gentle with wherever you are.

To come into tree feel your feet grounded, sensing your own roots traveling from the soles of your feet down deep into the earth.  We steady ourselves on one leg, engaging the muscles so our trunk is strong – but our knee remains soft.  Our opposite leg slowly lifts either resting toes on the ground with your heel against your lower leg or ankle, or perhaps it raises up from the ground resting against the inner aspect of your calf, or it may go even higher pressed against your inner thigh.  We create stability by counter balancing our lifted leg and our sturdy trunk.  As we find strength here, our hands come up to rest at heart center in prayer pose or they may lift up towards the sky, stretching your branches out exploring.  Keep your gaze at a steady point, and don’t forget to breathe.

 I offer you some reflections to ponder in tree pose:

Where are my roots, are they solid or just skimming the surface?

Have my roots spread?  Do they continue to deepen?

When the wind blows do I stand tall, or am I blown out of the ground?

Where do my roots get their nourishment? Am I feeding my roots, or depriving them of that nourishment? 

Which roots are mine, and where have my roots become tangled with something or someone else’s?  

Am I willing to prune my tree, releasing that which stands in my way for optimal growth?  

There is a lot of medicine in the tree.  I recommend coming into the posture 2 times on each side if that resonates for you, stay focused on your roots, feel your breath, invite ease into your body as you stand strong.

“The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.” —Dalai Lama

What are you grateful for today?  Take some time, and feel your gratitude right in your heart, send it out into the world.

I am grateful for the trees; they provide shelter, oxygen to help nourish, homes for so many, medicine in it’s bark, needles, leaves, flowers and for all the bounty they offer us in numerous ways.

I am grateful for the history of my own roots, and all the rocks along the way.

With so much love from ME to YOU

Amber

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A morning walks reflection

Karma Yoga Class For Interval House

For the past 2 years, since transitioning into Surya Daya, we’ve held a karma class for Interval House on the afternoon of Christmas Eve.  I can’t imagine this year going by without holding that safe container to help support a very needed resource in our community – as well to offer you a peaceful practice of self care to nurture YOU during the holiday season.
There are so many things I miss most about our studio space.  Seeing all of your beautiful faces, holding safe space for you to explore yourself in body and mind while offering a more personal in person support, and our monthly karma classes in support of our community.
We know this year is a different year in so many ways, but the strength within our community has only grown, and the realization of how important it is to reach out when help is needed.
 I will still be holding this special class, but this year you can practice in the comfort of your own home as we move through a nourishing restorative practice together – online.
The class will be held at 1:00 pm on Thursdsay, December 24th, and the cost to register is free, but we encourage you to take some time to reflect on the importance of Interval House in our community.
In years past we have collected items for Interval House, but this year we’ll be holding this sacred space inviting you to hold the women and children, and all the supports and services at Interval House in your heart. This special class will also give you the space to compassionately take some time in silence to hold all the people in your own circle of care that perhaps need a little extra support this year (that may include you).
If you’re able we would like you to consider making a donation directly to Interval House, or you can send an e-transfer to info@suryadaya.ca with Interval House in the message and once all donations are in we’ll get it to them to help support their work and the people they offer respite to.
Sadly, this year domestic violence numbers have increased and funding for these needed resources in our community have decreased.
100% of all proceeds will go directly to Interval House.
We hope you’ll carve out this time to recieve the nourishment of our practice together, taking time to be still and connect with the peace within your heart.
To register click here (preregistration is required)
Remember, we’re all in this together,
With so much love
Amber