Authenticity in Spirituality – Remaining You in the Woo-Woo

New Age spirituality is everywhere now. Self-love is exploding and I guess you can say being soulful is certainly #trending. Psychic mediums no longer have little shops but have hit TV shows, there are certainly more life coaches than therapists and the New Age section in your local bookstore no longer collects dust. There’s an amazing open-ness to being connected to your soul and it seems like everyone is joining the party! If you’re part of this amazing movement there’s one very important thing to do — always remain YOU in the WOO-WOO.

The importance of remaining YOU in the WOO

Practice what you preach. Authenticity in spirituality is the MOST important thing to practice and to preach to others. Spirituality is the soul’s practice. It’s your identity and your unique fingerprint in this world. It should reflect only your purest self at all times.

Remaining YOU IN THE WOO isn’t easy; it takes a lot of hard work. The ego loves to hate on your happiness and insert fear into anything it can. So the question is, how do you stay on track with your authentic self? How do you not let your ego run the show when your main shtick as being someone spiritual is all about how bad the ego is?

How can the ego get you trippin’ in spirituality?

The ego loves to trip you up in spirituality. I can name countless times my ego had me trippin’ hard in my soulful practices. Here are a few ways to identify the ego at work:

  1. The ego will make you believe that spirituality is a competition. Have you ever been in a yoga class and all of a sudden you started mentally competing against the person next to you? You felt the need to push as hard as they were and you weren’t listening to what your body was actually telling you? Oh, how the ego loves a good yoga practice and making everything an unhealthy competition.
  2. Are you running a soul inspired business? Are you a life coach or blogger? Do you find yourself comparing yourself to others who are doing the same thing? The ego aims to put you up against others and inserts feelings of jealousy and fear.
  3. Are you new to spirituality? Are you just learning about intuition and manifestation and all of the good things that go along with it? Have you had thoughts of “why am I not getting this?” or “I must not have the intuitive gifts that others have” or “I feel so connected to this but I’m afraid I’ll be judged by my friends and family for believing in this”. The ego is afraid of change and never wants you to step out of what society thinks is “normal”.

Remember one thing and one thing only — the ego is NOT THE TRUTH. The ego is nothing but fear. Keeping it in check takes practice, but is guaranteed to keep you soulfully connected to yourself and to others.

How to keep your ego in check in spirituality:

  1. Marvelous Mantras – A mantra is a positive truthful word or sentence that you repeat on the regular. It’s believed that a mantra has psychological and spiritual powers to heal. Whenever you recognize your ego speaking, say your mantra.
  2. It’s not competition – It’s collaboration – It’s not you against the world when it comes to spirituality. It’s the COMPLETE opposite. Spirituality is all about collaboration and learning from each other. It’s creating new relationships with the like-hearted and making a difference as ONE and not as a solo act. Collaboration over ego, always.
  3. Magic mindset – Be OPEN to the world around you and never let the ego second guess a miracle in the making or one happening right before you. Miracles are real, the ego isn’t.
  4. Soulful Swag – Wearing something everyday as a reminder to remain centered and authentic. Whenever I put on my Tiny Devotions Mermaid Mala in the morning I can feel the positive energy cruising through my body. When I’m faced with anxiety or my ego starts talking serious smack I grab the stone, close my eyes and speak or think my mantra.

Everyone has a soul, and it’s time to rock it in the best way possible! Be authentic in everything you do, speak and believe in. It’s not competing its collaboration. It’s community and above all it’s love. It’s the root of you and everyone else. Remain YOU in the WOO-WOO of it all!

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KELLY MISBIN BIO: Kelly Misbin is an internationally certified life coach, intuitive and medium from Brooklyn, NY. Kelly helps women who believe that they have something different and rare deep down inside of them. They’re ready to be navigated away from fear and are finally ready to come face to face with their most authentic selves. They’re ready to fix old wounds, accept the truth, discover magic and reach towards their goals or just reach towards being present in who they are and what they’re meant to do.

WEBSITE: www.kellymisbin.com

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/kellymisbin/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/KellyMisbin

Calling All Yogis! Take the Quiz

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What each Sacred Identity type does at a Yoga Class

 

The Boho Child (ENFP): Becomes besties with everyone around them in 5 minutes or less.

The Shaman (INFP): Calmly lights sage sticks ? cleanses the space.

The Truth Seeker (ISTJ): Just here for the Savasana.

The Yogi (ESFP): In the corner concentrating on nailing that Handstand Scorpion.

The Guru (ENFJ): Making friends with first-timers and teaching them the moves before class even starts.

The Life Coach (INFJ): Hosts a counselling session in the bathroom.

The Goddess (ESFJ): Calmly people watches ? learns.

The Light Worker (ISFJ): Walks around helping classmates nail down their poses.

The Gypset (ISFP): Crushing on the hot dude beside her.

The Risk Taker (ESTP): One-Handed Tree-Posing.

The Student (ISTP): Takes the advanced class on their first go.

The Warrior (ESTJ): Makes slightly inappropriate jokes for anyone who will listen.

The Planner (ENTJ): Somehow networks the entire class and wakes up with ten job offers.

The Creator (ENTP): Secretly wishes she was teaching the class.

The Sage (INTP): Accidentally wandered out of class and ended up in another town.

The Manifester (INTJ): Takes scheduled hydration breaks and basks in their happy place.

What’s your Sacred Identity?

Take the quiz here to find out, and share your results below!

 

Cheers to New Beginnings

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Lora Hogan: 3 Lessons I’ve Learned Teaching Yoga

LoraHogan-159Yoga changed my life before I became a yoga teacher. Then I became a yoga teacher. And I discovered how my life is transformed on a daily basis.

If there are elements of the yoga practice that seem hard for you to grasp, they will be uncovered for you as you teach. If there are poses that are difficult for you to master, they will find a place of balance as you teach. If there are any fears you are trying to hide, they will come out as you teach. Because, in order to be a great teacher, you truly have to be willing to dive in with your whole self…and watch, feel, and learn from what unfolds. Here are three of the greatest lessons I’ve learned since becoming a yoga teacher:

 1) Never assume. They say to practice compassion because “everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” The problem is you can’t always outwardly SEE the battle. I still recall the yoga class (as described on Yogaaudacious) where I broke down and suddenly started sobbing during savasana. I had looked perfect. I was 22. Perfectly skinny. Smiled a lot. Able to master poses that now I can’t even begin to find my way into. But inside I was suffering. Not everyone is struggling to recover from an eating disorder or sexual assault. But everyone has something going on. The marine who can kick up so easily into hand-stand may be battling with PTSD. The (seemingly) overweight yogi may be the strongest and most flexible of the bunch. The skinny runner may have shin splints and ended up in yoga class out of frustration. The mother may have had her daughter throw up in her hair that morning. The elderly woman may have a sister fighting terminal cancer. In fact, the young woman could even be recovering from cancer herself. YOU JUST DON’T know. And you can never know. Unless a student tells you something, do not assume anything about their body, their mind, their hearts. Always ask questions. And ask again and again. Because every day, every moment, is different for us all. Never assume you already know your students…because you will never know what each class may be like and what may have motivated him/her to come to the yoga mat that day.

2) Your students are your best teachers. Learn. Always learn. Learn from your students. To teach you must know. You must practice and seek out answers to your students’ questions. You must have a dedicated home practice. You must take advanced trainings and workshops. But, most importantly, you must watch your students. You must listen. You must treat every class as an opportunity to grow. How can you be better at teaching? What can you learn in each moment? Observe. Listen. Discover. Your students will tell you more than you could ever have thought possible. They may ask a question for which you have no answer. Or they may show up and actually BE a teacher you have studied with before. But your students believe you have something valuable to offer. So you must deliver. Time and time again. And if you ever stumble in class your students are there for you. They will help you get back on track. Because they are there for you, just as you are there for them. It is our duty to grow with our classes. We learn best when we learn together. Your students are there to teach you, just as much as you are there to teach them.

3) Always be authentically you. David Mamet said “Always tell the truth — it’s the easiest thing to remember. “ Similarly, always BE YOU. Fully you. Your students will come to your class for you. Some students will not come to your class because of you. But the only way to truly succeed in yoga is to be your most authentic self possible. To love yourself enough to show up fully, unapologetically, in each and every moment of every class. There will be students who will not like you. Someone may say you are “too high energy” or that they don’t like your music, your sequencing, your smile, or eagerness. But the very thing that will set you apart in the yoga world, that will make you the best teacher possible, is to love yourself so much that you can be 100% yourself in each and every class. Because being you is the easiest thing to do. And it will inspire all your students to go out and be their true selves–on and off the mat.

 LoraHogan-19LORA HOGAN, a yoga teacher, motivational speaker, and author provides yoga for runners, athletes and everyBODY. Founder of #PassLove, Lora also lectures on improving your wellness business, finding and living your passion, and self-love. Lora wants to challenge your body, connect you to the present, and promote self-esteem and compassion. Whether an Ironman, yoga teacher, or just starting the journey, Lora helps take the practice to the next level–on and off the mat. Lora’s yoga classes and workshops nationwide include Lora Love Flows, Yoga to Unstuck Yourself, Yoga for Creativity and Yoga for Athletes.

Website: www.lorahogan.com

Blog: www.lorahogan.com/blog 

Instagram: @lora_hogan

Twitter: @lora_hogan

Facebook: Facebook.com/DailySouthernSunshine

Pinterest: Pinterest.com/LoraHogan

What’s my Purpose? 5 Ways to Align with your Destiny

photoAh, it’s that big question that enters our mind at some point in life! What’s my purpose here on this planet, why am I here, what am I supposed to do, and where do I find the answers? Never fear, fear will only take you further from your true calling! Many things in life seem daunting and overwhelming. Particularly trying to figure out what it is that were meant to truly do or be. However, part of our task while were here is to seek the answers, explore life and all its many facets. So how do we begin the journey and discover our purpose rather thansulking in the shadows? Here are 5 suggestions for you to connect to your callingand align with your destiny.

1. In stillness we receive. Take some time to become quiet whether it be through meditation, sitting in nature, or simply lying down and breathing in deeply until a feeling of deep calm washes over your entire being. These are the moments when we can truly and deeply connect to what our deepest desires are and to hear ourselves clearly. When we remove all the extraneous noise, we can hear our true nature calling us into action!

2. When your out and about exploring life, when your interacting with others, when your alone and have a complete and total feeling of contentment. Pay attention to these moments. Most likely your sensing something deeper than you realize. These moments are like tiny seeds being planted for future growth. All of the tiny little moments that take your breath away, send shivers through your body, make your heart skip a beat, and remind you that life is magical. You are aligning with your destiny in these moments

3. Getting very clear on your vision. Something that makes your heart sing, that you have a deep passion for, and that you truly without a doubt whole heartedly believe in!

4. Know that your right where you need to be for the lessons to come through. Most likely what your experiencing is something that you will be teaching and sharing in the future. Obstacles are meant to teach us, to build us, and to show us how to be more fluid in life. All of these lessons are meant to be lived in order for you to understand them and connect to what your purpose is.

5. Allow yourself to evolve, to be of service without any expectations from anyone, align with your higher self through service and be love! When you know what your life’s work is you’ll have a feeling of alignment with self and others. You will fall completely and madly in love with what you do and this will ripple out into the world! You will know 100% what your purpose is because it will show up as a calling or highest purpose. Everyone of us has a higher purpose or calling in life. And everyone has a beautiful talent or service to share with the world. You will know when the heart sings loudly and all else will make way for your destiny to unfold and be revealed! Enjoy the ride!

Costa Rica - 11Angel Lucia ERYT500, CHHC, RYS200, LMT
I have been teaching yoga and guiding students deeper into their own mysteries for the past 17. I run a successful yoga studio where coaching clients on holistic health and nutrition, training and mentoring teachers, and leading worldwide yoga retreats and workshops absolutely tickles my soul. Also an avid meditator, spirit junkie, and lover of hanging out deep in the woods and quietly listening to the sounds around. When I’m not in my studio I can be found strolling in nature, or relaxing with my best friend (hubby), dog, and cat! Oh yeah, and I love really good organic dark chocolate with sea salt, hanging with great friends, and Sunday bloody mary’s….just in case you were wondering! Lets surf life’s waves together! Connect with me!

Website: www.angelluciayoga.com
Facebook: AngelLuciaYoga
Instagram: @yogalovevibes

David Good on Dharma: That without which nothing can stand

633501560dcd11e39f1222000aeb0ea1_7We can go though life set on auto pilot. Waking up at the same time every day, hitting snooze twice, commuting to work with our ear buds shoved in to dull out our boredom or worse, what if you had to talk to someone we see everyday. We work, head home, watch NetFlixs and start all over again the next day. But what if we stepped off this carousel and asked ourself what do you stand for? What is our Dharma? Does life have a purpose?

This question is a big one that can sometimes induce fear because most of the time we know we are not living a life full of purpose. We sell ourselves short by compromising just to get by. What if you started with baby steps by asking ourself some valuable questions?

What if you saw fear as an opportunity to grow? 

When we look fear in the eye and realize we don’t have to react in a fight or flight response we can start to develop a capacity to handle more of life’s stresses. We can withstand anything because we know its a true opportunity being given to us to grow and get to know ourselves deeper.

Can you speak the truth?

Its going to take all your courage to stand tall and always speak the truth to everyone all the time. No more white lies. Take a deep breath and do it. If you find yourself reaching for a lie, tell the person you have to get back to them with your answer and then make sure you do. Its going to be a little rough and bumpy but people will soon value you as a person they can count on for the truth. On the flip side some people aren’t looking for the truth so be ready for that.

What if you always kept your word?

This one is big, you are going to have to learn to say no if you know you can’t do it. Practice it right now, say NO. You can’t say yes all the time and become the canceller. Soon you will get less and less invites, people will learn they can’t depend on you. Keep your word, think about it before you say yes, can you actually deliver. Become a rock in your life and others. s

Do you have teachers and mentors you can look up to and learn from?

Having teachers and mentors we set our sites on a higher value system. I am not saying teachers and mentors are perfect, actually its better if they are not. But its great to have someone to learn from. Find someone who’s values are close to what you aspire to and spend sometime with them. Successful people hang out with successful people.

Are you willing to keep learning?

Become a student of life. Gobble up books, articles, you tube videos, and take a course you always wanted to take. To really get to know what you stand for you need to get out there and discover the world a bit. Try stuff, make mistakes, learn stuff and find out what your values are. The world is waiting for you.

When we start to get clearer we can stand up a little taller because we know what we stand for. Life is going to get a lot more interesting and you are going to have to be okay with being a little uncomfortable. Living your dharma is not the safe route but its going to be a whole lot more fun.

Screen-Shot-2013-04-24-at-4.37.55-PM-250x378David’s passion is sharing his love for the practice of yoga with over 500 hours YTT, Restorative, Therapeutic and Meditation training under his belt. He asks you to meet yourself on the mat everyday. David’s teaching style is fun, inclusive and accessible to every level. Whether you are a total beginner or a seasoned enthusiast you will walk away learning something about your practice which is bound to enrich your life. Based in Toronto, but never shy to travel around the world  to share his love for yoga with as many people as he can.

Website: http://www.davidgoodyoga.com

Facebook: David Good Yoga LOVE

Twitter: @DavidGoodYoga

YouTube: DavidGoodYoga

 

 

 

The Wellness Wonderland: My Top 5 Tips on How to Get Well and Stay There

Ilarge wanted a community of like minded people where I could be my authentic, radically real self, so I made one. This beautiful place in now more than just my corner of the internet. It has become my home. I’ve come to realize that The WellnessWonderland is more than just a blog, rather it is a state of mind where we are vibing high and life is supporting you. This is a place any of us can access anytime and here are my top five tips for dwelling there.

1) Nourish Your Body & Mind: You can’t give what you don’t already have, meaning you can’t take care of your family and friends, much less the world, if you’re not taking care of yourself. So the first step on the road to Wellness Wonderland has to be taking care of your own body. Nourishing it with self-care, healthy relationships, whole foods, enough sleep and watching your stress levels. Incorporating your own version of a meditation practice is crucial. Meditation doesn’t have to mean sitting on a pillow in silence. Meditation is merely mindfulness and can be done by being fully present while you’re at spinning class, grocery shopping, driving or chopping vegetables. Meditation doesn’t have to look a certain way. It can be as easy as a single pointed focus and becoming aware of your breath. Here’s a video I did on how to get started with meditation.

2) Be Fearlessly Authentic: Being your true self is crucial to living in your Wellness Wonderland state. When you’re not being real and you are being what society dictates you should be to get people to like you, you will feel drained. It is refreshing to be exactly who you are and trust that the people who are meant to be in your life will be drawn to the authentic energy you’re giving off and those who aren’t will fall away naturally.

3) Put Yourself in Someone Else’s Shoes: When someone tests your patience or frustrates you, recognize their perspective and realize their actions are a direct reaction to their unique circumstances that day. Meaning if someone cut you in line or overcharged you, instead of flying off the handle, return to your breath and handle the situation with the kindness you wish for when you’re having a bad day. You never know their situation and being mean back will only create more negativity. Don’t allow it to take you out of your Wellness Wonderland. Staying in your Wellness Wonderland will inspire them to get back to theirs. Like a boomerang, the more kindness you give, the more comes right back to you.

Humans are social creatures hard-wired to help each other. Instead of waiting for someone to need or ask for your help, actively seek ways you can be of service in your daily life. Whether it’s holding the door for a stranger or calling your grandmother, a random act of kindness (no matter how small) can drastically change a situation for who you help and also improve your mood. I love the quote, “When you’re feeling helpless, help someone.”

4) Get Out of Your Comfort Zone: Anything significantly positive that has happened in my life happened outside of my comfort zone. Playing small is comfortable, easy, and feels good, however the magic only happens when you step out. No one ever feels like changing the world and doing something new, however if you can forces yourself to try you’ll be blown away by what you can achieve. Challenging yourself everyday is a requirement of living in your Wellness Wonderland. This looks different for everyone. It could be putting yourself out there and meeting people or starting a blog or trying a new exercise routine. Whatever it is, it won’t feel great to begin but just like jumping into a cold pool the fear of jumping takes more energy than actually doing it and once you do you’re cold of a second and then you get used to it.

5) Know How To Return When You Step Out of Wonderland: Life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, the truth is it rains and sometimes it pours. Ups and downs are a beautiful part of life, so you’re bound to get tossed out of your Wellness Wonderland state here and there and that’s okay. True happiness  isn’t about never leaving WWonderland, rather it is knowing how to return quickly once you do. It’s common to give up when something goes wrong and spiral out of control into complete breakdown when just one thing goes wrong. For instance, you eat something you didn’t want to eat and that gives you the open door to stand in front of the fridge and eat until you feel sick and then you feel so guilty and bad about that that you do the same thing in an hour and so on. What truly having a Wellness Wonderland state of mind allows you to do is after eating that first thing you didn’t want to, coming to awareness and changing the pattern by instantly forgiving yourself. Instead of beating yourself up which perpetuates the situation, simply say to yourself, “Oh you just did your old thing again, that’s okay now you can choose to do something different.” By forgiving yourself immediately, you allow change to happen immediately not when you’ve taking yourself so far out of WWonderland that it’s much harder to return.

Katie Dalabout is the creator of the Wellness Wonderland, an infinite collection of authentic inspiration & thoughts in real-time.

Web: www.thewellnesswonderland.com

Twitter: @KatieDaleabout

Facebook: The Wellness Wonderland 

The Boho Girl’s Guide to Fail-Safe Meditation

tumblr_n11nqjet3D1qb7dwvo1_500This world is growing faster and more furious every minute. With all that we have on the agenda these days, it can become a huge headache to relax. Our ability to stay in the present gets jumbled up in technology mania; messages from all over the globe flashing across computer screens, cell phones, and television sets at a million miles a minute. What’s a Boho gal or guy to do when it’s time to zone in and focus up on some serious “me” time?

For centuries, people have used meditation as a way of zeroing-in on themselves, their desires, and the goals that they wish to achieve. It’s a spiritual practice used to elevate the understanding of our inner nature as well as a practice to establish a connection to the divine. It’s been clinically proven that meditation not only calms the body and mind, but also works to inspire creativity, improve the immune system, and even help to boost our relationships with everyone (and everything) around us.

I could list the benefits for days, but how do you get down to the crunch when there is so much that is seemingly “crunching” you? Meditation is not supposed to be difficult. By all spiritual accounts, it’s one of the simplest practices, which immediately makes it the most difficult. And it’s totally important!

To get you in the “OM” mode, here are some tried and true, bohemian certified ways to make your meditation practice as simple and consistent as possible:

1. Get comfortable. In a lot of traditions, practioners remain in a seated position, legs crossed, hands upon the knees, or in the lap. However, we’re in the new age, so as long as you are comfortable, you will find that it will be easier to connect with your practice. As such, lying down is perfectly acceptable.

2. Focus on the breath. Start off your practice by simply paying attention to the ebb and flow of your on breath (if you are a yogi, you’re already familiar with this attentiveness to the act of breathing). Notice how the breath fills your lungs, your torso, and your chest, and notice how it leaves your body. Remember, you are not in this to change these sensations. Just notice them and connect with the physical act of the sensation.

3. Get a guide. Some people find guided meditations to be very helpful. A guided meditation will involve specific breath work, or alternatively, some visualizations that will create something of a “meditation story” for your practice. If this is something that you think you will enjoy, do some research. There are several books and websites that will have some incredible guided meditations for any practitioner.

4.  Accept where you’re at. You’re going to get frustrated. Accept this. No one ever achieved anything on this planet without hard work and practice. This is the biggest thing to remember when you are meditating. Be kind to yourself, be patient with yourself, and in time, the flow will come with less effort.

5. Breathe. When in doubt, just go back to the breath. I can guarantee that your mind is going to wander from time to time, and seriously, it’s no big deal. Even the greatest spiritual teachers in our world veer onto the mental fast lane! If your mind is starting to do its own thing, just bring your attention back to the breath. Notice the sensations again. Start counting the time it takes to inhale and exhale, and you’ll be on the right track again.

Once you’ve started your practice, it’s time to add in some consistency. Pick a time of the day when it is easiest for you to take a few minutes and enjoy the process of meditating. Some prefer the morning before they get up, while others like to wait until they are about to go to sleep. Discover what works for you and then commit yourself to doing it! You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

As with all things, practice is key. Enjoy it, live it, and you will reap the benefits of meditation in every aspect of your life. I can guarantee it!

Namaste!

Lauren is a guest writer for the Huffington Post and Social Media Coordinator in Toronto.

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Twitter:@LaurenMesservey
Web: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/lauren-messervey/