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"Everything is going to be okay in the end.
If it's not okay then it's not the end."

-Unknown

What a world we live in. I have very little to say about recent events. I'm at a loss for words. Like many others I feel helpless. What can I do? What needs to be done? What needs to be undone? I have no answers and I don't even have very helpful questions. When the weight is so heavy sometimes I just have to put it down. But as I put it down I know that it can't be ignored or forgotten. This is the work of our time in history. This is the work of humanity. 

I am reminded by a friend that our world is not actually worse off than it has been in the past, but rather we are more conscious now. Our consciousness makes us less willing to put up with the darkness of ignorance, injustice, division, and hate. This reminder brings me hope. It reminds me that, just like the quote at the beginning of this email says, if it's not okay then it's not the end yet. Our story is still playing out.

Being alive at this time is no small task. Even when we don't know what to do, this is something we must realize. We are participating in the story of humanity. The question I am asking myself right now is how can I better live into that truth? May we all explore this question individually and when we gather may be explore it together. Let's gather and dance and may our dance pull forth the light of guidance from within. 

pondering in venice

 
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"There is an invisible force of loving energy always working on our behalf."
-Gabby Bernstein
 

Some days I feel connected to this invisible force and some days I wonder if it is taking the day off. As the weather heats up in Sacramento I am brought back to last year, to a hot summer day, the worst day of my life, the day I received the call about Jhonny's accident. I am brought back to the many days that followed of me sitting on my couch, numbing out to Netflix and avoiding being around people. In these moments of remembering this excruciating time I feel what feels like disconnection. But then I remember that this invisible force of loving energy manifests in many forms and, while sometimes I didn't recognize it when it was there, deep down I knew it was with me all along.

Sometimes these numbing moments in life are really just little gifts that allow us to let go and be supported. 

Setting out on this journey of seeking to live a life more in alignment with this loving energy is a courageous move. When we set out on a journey of seeking something so much bigger than us it helps to be prepared to be surprised sometimes; to be confused, stretched, expanded, knocked down, and pushed beyond what is comfortable, beyond what we know. One of the most helpful ways I have found to help me prepare for all of this is to open my heart by also opening my mind. As I open my mind to look at the world in a new way, to really consider that things may be completely different than I think they are, my heart softens and becomes more capable of not only sending love out, but at receiving love in.

And learning to receive love in is not just a pleasant skill to have, it can truly be what saves your life in the moments that one cannever really prepare for.  

Going by many names this invisible force of loving energy, is the sacred pulse of life, the divine source of all being, the web that connects and supports us all. It can show up in big ways or very subtle ways. My belief is that no matter how it shows up it is always there, available to draw from, and working on our behalf.

hands2heart

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"The very center of your heart is where life begins..."
-Rumi

At the beginning of a Qoya Class, as the teacher introduces Qoya, she often makes mention of something she calls the "pulse of life". It's the pulse that runs through any and all things. You can find it, ready to be felt, simply by placing your hand on your chest to feel the beating of your heart. You probably have also felt it beyond your chest at various times in your life, like when you are watching a sunset and your whole body just exhales, or when you get caught up in the contagious laughter of a child, or when you feel a sense of excitement as you embark on the journey of a road trip adventure. Rochelle Schieck and founder of Qoya calls all of these examples of when life expands and becomes sacred. They are moments of connection to the sacred pulse of life.

My favorite part about this sacred pulse is that it really IS always available. It doesn't necessarily take more time in our day to acknowledge and tap into it, but rather it takes intention, awareness, and willingness. When we watch a sunset the feeling can enfold us before we even know what is happening, and these moments are magical. But in any ordinary moment, sometimes all it takes is a shift in focus or awareness to get that same feeling. Qoya offers us tools and the space to practice this shifting of our focus and awareness to not only recognizing the sacred pulse of life, but to consciously ride it's wave. 

As we come together to dance let's experiment to see if through our dance we can tap into this sacred pulse. 

cr sunset dance

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"We can begin here and now, to find meaning in our lives. We can make every moment an opportunity to change and to prepare--- wholeheartedly, precisely, and with peace of mind..."
-Sogyal Rinpoche from
The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

I feel most connected to my true essence when I remember that my life has tremendous meaning and that I am here for a reason. I feel most connected to my true essence when I am living as though what I do matters. The way I remember to live with this awareness is by bringing more meaning to my daily routines through ritual and intention setting. 

The quest to find the meaning of our lives begins right now with basic and accessible steps.

  • We can remember to thank the earth for the meal we are about to eat. If we are an omnivore we can remember to thank the animal that gave it's life for our nourishment.
  • When we light a candle we can do it with the acknowledgement that the light of this candle represents the light we each have inside
  • We can make our beds in the morning to show our gratitude for having a place to sleep as well as to set the space for the next time we lay there for rest.

Living with intention can be as big or as small as we want it to be.
We can bring meaning to every single thing if that makes us happy. Or we can have a few points throughout our day that bring us back, slow us down, and remind us that there is a bigger picture. 

This Saturday we will be dancing with this theme of Living with Intention. In the simplest terms what this means is that we will explore how it feels in our bodies to physically move from a place of intention. But the invitation will also be there to honor our bodies as a portal to accessing our truth, our higher consciousness, our higher understanding--- to honor our bodies as a way to embody our highest intentions and to maybe even experience how this impacts the way we live our lives. 

This is a pretty big subject. If you feel the call to go deeper together I offer private sessions where we incorporate movement, meditation, and ritual to support you in your journey. Visit Services to learn more about one on one sessions.

living with intention

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"Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today
to get through this thing called life."
-Prince 

I would never have considered myself a huge Prince fan. Of course I knew of him for as long as I can remember. I liked the music of his that I knew. I had nothing against him. He just wasn't as present in my Walkman as Whitney Houston, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, or TLC. So I would not have expected to have been so affected by his passing. But I think when a true icon dies, the planet shakes and the light dims. It is in these times that we are all asked to rise up and shine a little brighter to make up for the light we lost. 

My dear friend and the Qoya resident astrologer Virginia Rosenberg said in a recent forecast "...regardless of what tragedies may occur, regardless of a sense of inefficacy or meaninglessness that may linger in these times, we cannot succumb to hopelessness. Now, more than ever, we must take the reigns and own our ability to shine courageous light into this world."

Feeling the unsteadiness of the earth in which I tread and the lack of clarity in the path I walk, I am aware that hopelessness is an option. But it is not an option I am willing to take. I have been held up time and again by the love and support of the collective. So how could I choose hopelessness when (after everything) I am still here? I have learned that I do not have to feel like my strongest self to still be useful. I do not have to be confident in my efficacy to still make a difference. I just need to show up, take one step at a time, and to trust that what I truly need in order to keep going will present itself.  

One step at a time... we gather, we dance, we witness, and we are seen. 

dancing through unknown

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"Your heart can never be extinguished, the flame that burns inside of you is in no way mutable. It is your internal pilot light, sparked upon your birth, the gas; your soul flowing through you."
-James Ray, psychic astrologer

As psychic astrologer James Ray says in his article, the solar eclipse that occurred on March 8th "[was] the beginning of a period where we can feel as if the sun doesn’t exist." This coupled with the new moon of March 8th and it actually feels like there was no moon either.  As I sit here typing, I feel very much in this darkness. No sun, no moon. Stuck in the cocoon, unable to reach the light. But slowly the moon waxes and we approach the full moon again. The full moon of March 23rd happens days within the Spring Equinox (March 20th) where our days shift from being more dark than light to more light than dark. Does your inner story reflects this? I know mine does. 

It is not a secret that this last year has been the darkest of my life. The day my husband died a piece of me died. It's actually difficult for me to look at pictures of myself from before his passing because that girl is gone as well. Mourning the loss of him and the loss of her, it's been the great winter of my life. Reading the article by James Ray gives me some hope and insight. As I have swam and continue to swim in the soupy darkness of this loss, I now find myself in sync with the seasons, the moon, the eclipse and putting my faith in the lighter days and nights that are coming.

We all live through our own seasons of darkness and death. We all lose parts of ourselves or parts of our lives as they die off. Sometimes this is a welcome process, sometimes it is not so welcome. Regardless of its welcomeness the cycle of life and death is universal. This Sunday is an invitation to honor the process, to experiment with trusting the flow that the light will come again, and to summon the courage to step back into the light. Because while it is widely accepted that it takes courage to dive into the darkness, it also takes courage to emerge back into the light.

bow at labrynth

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Happy International Women's Day!!!

Today is a day for us to celebrate the powerful women in our history and our lives. It is a day to honor all the brave souls who have stood up for women's rights and the equality of humans of all genders over the generations. It is a day for us to commit to continuing the quest of creating balance between the masculine and the feminine in our world and however they manifest in our men, women, boys, girls, and the many people who fall somewhere outside of these labels. There is still so much work to do, especially on a global scale.

Everyday and especially today, I encourage each of us to acknowledge the lineage of women we come from: in our family, our friends, our cultures, our professions, and beyond. 

To the women I share this life with and to the non-women who support us in our embodiment, I love you all so much.

Here is a playlist I created for this special day. It is a collaborative list on Spotify so if there is a song that makes you feel the power of the Feminine please add it to the list. And dance, dance, dance away!

feminism for everybody

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“For fast acting relief, try slowing down.” 
-Lily Tomlin

When I plan a class theme far in advance I notice that at some point before the class this theme starts to have its way in my life. It is a type of initiation, forcing me to know the theme intimately, certifying me to teach it.
The healing goes deep.
A couple months ago the idea for this week's theme came to me:

"Slow Down to Feel More" 

Slowing down is a common suggestion in a Qoya class and it feels universal. It feels like no matter what is going on in my life this is something I could connect with. At the time of choosing this theme I didn't know how important the timing of it would actually be. March is a very full month for me. It's crunch time on some big events that need my full presence. Gratefully all of these events are labors of love. But as we all know, sometimes even labors of love can become a little overwhelming. I am grateful that this theme of slowing down has begun dancing through my life inviting me to be more present, to immerse myself more deeply into the process, to take the pressure off, and to bring all of me to the table.

I'm interested if you have also felt the medicine of this theme at play in your life... Whether you are already registered for class or are planning on coming to class, have you felt the call to slow down since you made that commitment? Have you recently begun to subscribe to the notion that "less is more", and even when you have a deadline that it's okay to stop and smell the roses? And it's okay to daydream a little bit... Or have you been more on the resistance side, struggling to stay on track with your busy schedule? Have you found yourself going through the motions and willing your way to the end of the day? 

One of the beauties of this journey of healing, remembering, and embodying is that the process begins now. To begin receiving some of the benefits we don't have to wait until after the class, the workshop, or the ceremony. We don't have to wait until after the healing session or appointment with our counselor. It simply starts when a desire is expressed, when a decision is made, or when an appointment is put on the calendar. If we slow down we can start to feel the subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) shifts already taking place once the intention has been made. 

I invite you to observe this. Whether you intend to come to Sunday's class, or to class on the 20th, or on the Costa Rica Retreat, or to any future gathering, just know that when you feel the call the work and healing has already started. The path is being prepared for the journey. And I trust with all my being that we will dance, all of us together, in the perfect moment and beyond space and time.

collective sky

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"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." 
-
Howard Thurman

You know the saying, "a picture is worth a thousand words"? 
I have never felt that to be so true as I did when I saw a picture of myself that was taken at last weekend's Qoya class. It is of me sitting on the floor setting up for class. The smile on my face is one I had not seen for a very long time. My mom validated this observation when she said she had not seen that smile for a while either. Behind this one smile are volumes of information that really are worth more than a thousand words. Looking at this picture I could see that this smile was definitely trying to to tell me something and if I had to interpret what it was trying to say I imagine the words from Howard Thurman's quote would be in there somewhere, "Ask yourself what makes you come alive and go do that." 

Qoya makes me come alive. 
Movement makes me come alive.
Sacred time with friends who are all speaking from truth and love
makes me come alive. 
Doing whatever brings out THAT smile makes me come alive.

So I ask the question: What if life really is that simple? In this crazy and complicated world, what would it be like if more of us took the advice of Thurman and did more of what makes us come alive?
Who even knows what makes them come alive?

Perhaps you know the answer to that last question or maybe the answer (that is usually constantly evolving) is not so clear. So in March through our movement we will be exploring how to follow the guidance within and connect with our animating life force. 

As always our themes are just invitations. It is your dance that will lead you where you need to or want to go. 

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"Qoya is not just an opportunity for remembering but an opportunity for embodying that remembering."
-Rochelle Schieck

Qoya is based on the idea that through movement we remember; we remember our essence of being wise, wild, and free. We trust in and honor our wisdom through yoga and remember that while we may seek outside information we need not seek outside validation. All the true answers are within, we just need to look inward. We feel and express our wildness through dance, not like "girls gone wild". But wild as in that part of us that connects us to our ancestors, our lineage, our planet. The part of us that syncs with the sun, the moon, the seasons, and each other. The part of us that moves and meanders in cycles, not straight start to finish lines. The part of us that cannot be fully tamed and is always a little out of place in environments of too much structure and expectation. We enjoy our freedom with sensual movement. Our freedom to know, understand, and enjoy our bodies. Our freedom to love and revel in their magic and mystery. Our freedom to feel good, feel comfortable, and feel pleasure in our own skin.

Qoya is an opportunity to remember these sacred aspects of ourselves, but it is also an opportunity to embody them. To give wise, wild, and free a body (our bodies!) to move through, to live through, to express and experience through. We practice through our dance and allow it to carry over to our lives.

There are still many who have not experienced a Qoya Class yet. And that is okay. Your interest is the beginning of the journey. This Sunday is perfect for the curious heart, the first timer, and the one who wants to go deeper. This Sunday we dance with the most important thread that weaves through all of Qoya and all of us, and that is Love. This Sunday, like every class, there is no way you can do it wrong. This Sunday, like every class, is about what feels true to you.

week of qoya love

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