From My Heart to Yours

From my heart to yours as we close out this incredibly interesting & transformative 2016:

May this holiday season open your heart and mind to new possibilities
May this time of year allow you space to reflect on all that has been
May you find compassion and forgiveness for yourself and others as you reflect

May you become more aware of what it is you truly desire
May you find courage to take a step in that direction
May you be fearless in letting go of what you do not need

May you spend time with those who lift you higher
May you experience the unfolding of love as it expands
May you awaken deep within that light that shines the brightest

May you Remember the Truth of who you are
May that Truth align you with Love and Humility
May you create more magic that enriches your life

May you be curious enough to ask questions
May you be humble enough to hear them
May you rest in the stillness of that knowing

May you be inspired and empowered constantly
May you take time for stillness
May you simply BE and know without a doubt – that is enough!

From my heart to yours, I am so grateful for your presence in my life
May our paths cross again soon

with much love & light
Brenda

That’s Good, That’s Bad – I Love this, I Hate that….. Judging how I Judge


That’s Good, That’s Bad – I Love this, I Hate that….. Judging how I Judge

Over the years, I’ve noticed that I vote on a lot of things in my life and in other peoples’ lives as well. I used to believe that my views and beliefs were ‘right’ and if you didn’t agree or see my point of view, well, then perhaps you just didn’t understand everything.

In these tumultuous times we are in, I find it’s more and more challenging to be steady in my heart watching events and situations unfold. I’m judging so much of what I see that brutalizes our hearts, minds and bodies especially in circumstances where freedom, life and Mother Earth are at risk. How can humans treat each other with such calous disdain and cruelty? How can others stand back and allow it? How did we even get to this point of indifference and intolerance? Wow – my heart and mind are racing to the finish line.

I wonder at how over the years I have been so rigid and hardened in my beliefs that it could actually harm others and myself in the process. I would expend a lot of emotional energy fixing my friends and their lives and all the time I was in constant judgement at how they could stay in unhealthy relationships.

I would look at someone and unconsciously assess their value or worth in my mind based upon how I ‘saw’ them in that moment. I now realize that it had absolutely nothing to do with ‘them’ but rather I was judging what they triggered in me. (I will address ‘triggers’ in a future blog newsletter).

I believe it’s a human condition to judge things and people. I feel we must be present and fully engaged in our lives to cultivate an awareness of our habits and patterns. It also takes a soft heart and a kind overview as we surrender judgement and find more clarity and understanding.

I have used judgement over my life to distract myself from looking within and doing my internal focused work. I’ve also used judgement to sabatoge my growth and understanding. Interestingly enough – I would judge myself for judging! How bizarre is that!

I find the ability to not judge comes much easier for me in my professional life and work. I can allow much more space and honouring for strangers. When it comes to my family and close relationships, it’s more challenging. I fall into the trap of believing I know what is ‘best’ for everyone – and how to go about changing their lives to fit my ideas of ‘best’. Again, as I write this, I’m laughing at my efforts to control others and life. My greatest teachers, my biggest growth opportunities come to me through my relationships where I am most open and vulnerable.

Judging ourselves or another shuts down our ability to be compassionate and loving. It stops the emotional unwinding and closes us off from our greatest ally – our heart. When we judge, we cannot love. When we judge, we cannot unconditionally accept what is showing up. As we judge something or someone, we cannot possibly have empathy for them until we release the judgement.

Interesting journey…. to learn to be more aware – more accepting – more loving – more honouring without needing to inject our beliefs, values or desires on what is showing up. To look at ourselves and see drama can be a distraction. To look and see such vast opportunity to heal.

At, DevaTree School of Yoga, two amazing women have instilled and taught me the value of stepping back with an expansive view and an open heart to all things life. The phrase we use purposefully is, “Isn’t that interesting”.

There are going to be things in life that are just not ‘right’ for you. Using discernment and knowing that it’s not in your best interests to do this or that or spend time with someone will create a healthy boundary for you and hopefully diminish the need for more judging.

When we look at someone, we have absolutely no idea who they are, what they’ve been through, where they are going and what their life journey is all about. We certainly can make a conscious choice for ourselves but we can’t honestly believe we know what is right for everyone else or the Divine timing of anything.

Now, I’m not stating that I have this whole human emotional journey thing figured out. In fact, as I’ve gotten older I realize that ‘life truly is exactly what it is’ and it’s my perceptions, beliefs and willingness to accept it that affects my life experience. My response to life, the situation, challenge or person will determine my emotional price.

I believe judgement can teach us to be more aware of ourselves and our lives. It can open the door to learning about our issues and blockages. It can allow us to be more kind, compassionate and loving. When we blend our human judging nature with our desire to grow spiritually in loving connection to all life, we can use our life challenges to be guide posts to awakening and not hammers to pound and belittle.

So, the next time you catch yourself judging, Love yourself even through the judging and use it as a tool for your empowerment to change old ways of being and beliefs that no longer serve you.

Are you judging me now? Isn’t that interesting!

Love and Light,
Brenda

To Be or Not to Be… Present

To Be or Not to Be … Present

I live in the future and the past a fair bit…. I’m planning what’s next (class, workshop, course, training, trip, etc) or I’m considering the experiences of the past and how they have landed me where I am in my life and my beliefs. Interesting thing – asking myself to just BE present – in this moment – at this time without wandering into what may happen or what has happened.

Yoga has been such a huge gift to me in my life. It helps me to stay with the sensations of my body or work with my breath to be in the now. It is a practice for me to allow time to unfold without trying to control it (which is my pattern). Conscious practices have aided me on so many levels – yoga, movement, dancing, meditation, breathwork, nature, etc. I learn more everyday about staying with ‘exactly what is’ and not what I want it to be or expect it to be. What a ride this continues to be.

My mom always has been and continues to be such a huge teacher for me on so many levels. Now, in her 84th year, she is having some challenges with her memory. So, when I call her and tell her I will pick her up tomorrow or we will go and do something next week, it is useless to her. She lives in the moment – she knows now. Planning something and then reminding her of it, is more for my fears and insecurities than hers. It’s a process for me to let go of control and be present with what is in front of me – off my mat – and in my day to day life.

It can be awfully painful to sit in the discomfort of not being able to change something I don’t want to happen – to see something I don’t want to admit – to be aware of something I cannot fix – and this process can bring such sadness or fear up for me. Sometimes I distract myself, I lie to myself or I get upset about little things that truly do not matter. I also get angry at the person for not meeting my expectations – for not being what I want them to be in this moment. My friends have gently encouraged me to dive deeper into the exploration to reveal my feelings – to connect with the pain and not stay stuck in the abyss of denial. In order to heal it, I must be willing to feel it (feel it in my life and how it lands in my body). I’m learning to face my life head on and be present with it all. It’s a dirt road for me – and it has many bumps.

I heard recently, ‘To Be’ is to live in your heart in the moment and ‘Not to Be’ is to live in your mind trying to control your life. I admit to both – learning day to day.

I breathe – I bring awareness to it – I feel it – I allow it to Be what it is and then move through me without judging it (for me, this is a lifelong practice).

Are you able to be present with the expansive, fun & joy-filled moments of your life as well as with the difficult, challenging and fearful moments?

How do you ride that wave of expectation to a gentle release of expectancy?

How do you stay present in a chaotic, expansive and beautiful world?

Love and Light,
Brenda

What If?

what-if

WHAT IF….
What if what we believe is real,  isn’t the whole truth?  What if what we’ve been taught was someone else’s ideas, ideals and version of the truth?  What if the reality we perceive is based on an agenda that is not in our Highest Good?  What if …

Last month, I talked about the Lion from the Wizard of Oz where there was someone hidden behind the curtain pulling the strings and presenting a version of reality that wasn’t totally true.  Sometimes, in our lives – the person behind the curtain is ourselves locked down into old patterns, beliefs and ways of being that may comfort us but don’t compel us to live more authentically. Opening this conversation is not about blaming or shaming, it’s about the potential that lies beyond what we think we already know!  It’s about opening our hearts and minds to a new way of being!

I began questioning a lot about life many years ago.  The things that I’d been taught by my family, friends and teachers had been taken in and assimilated into a world view that made sense of all the pieces I knew at that time.  And to be fair, I trust that all those who taught me, fully believed what they had imparted, and I’m grateful.

Then something would happen and turn my world upside down.  It didn’t fit into the contained life view I had acquired and protected.  Something was wrong.  There was a disonance.  No one seemed to be able to answer the why.  In fact, most of the time it was ‘swept away’ and not discussed, perhaps because it didn’t fit into a neat and tidy box.  I was perplexed.

I began to ask more and more questions.  I was on a curiosity quest for answers I didn’t know existed.  I quickly learned when to conform and not ‘rock the boat’ too much and when it seemed safe to ask the bigger questions.  What if what I believed about the world was not the whole story but someone’s version of it – based on their filters, history and beliefs?  WOW… what an expansive concept!

As I entered this realm and broached these ideas and thoughts, it was scary for me.  It felt difficult and at times disrespectful to let go of something that I had clung to, that I had shaped my life around and that had given me a safe, stable container in which to live.  Not to mention the discomfort it spread to those in my life when I challenged their engrained belief systems.

‘Question everything!’, my friend says.  I love this.  Can I be in the not-knowing and be willing to ask, does this feel right to me?  Does it resonate for me today?  Is this something that once worked, has served it’s purpose and I now can learn from it and move into a bigger perspective that is different?  Can I let go of the obligation energy to carry something that is not my truth?

To be honest, I flow back and forth.  At times, I close my eyes and let things be just as they have always been & others, I clear out the old cob webs, moving slowly from a zone of comfort to something that has no limits – no container and a vast potential.  It’s a dance…. it’s easy at times and so frustrating at times.  I am willing to be with it all as I learn, grow, shift and heal myself and my life. I will continue to question.

What about you?  Can you question what you believe (it doesn’t mean you give up your beliefs, it means you get clear and really sure of what guides your life).
Can you allow yourself space to consider a different version that feels unfamiliar?
Can you become curious in your life, your relationships, your beliefs, knowing you get to chose?
Can you consider something new and not defend the old ways simply because they are known?
WHAT IF …