Ursula Bonner

Meet Ursula Bonner! Ursula is the owner & designer of Find Your Shakti, a spiritual jewelry company. Growing up in a hippie version of Stars Hollow (New Hope, PA), she grew up playing in the creek, wandering among the trees, and spending the summer in the salty, sea air. As she got older, she pursued many passions including a deep interest in Psychology (specifically in how we heal our traumas) and tech (she worked on the Business team and as an Expert at the eponymous fruit tech company.

During a particularly rough patch she lost the connection that she loved through her various roles, and realized that she needed to get in touch with inner wild woman & let the spirit of the trees, the moon, & the sea back in. It was during this time, she discovered meditation (out of necessity, really!) and began mala making. It was in learning about crystal vibrations, connecting with the smooth, sweet scent of sandalwood, and setting intentions knot by knot that she began to forge the deepest connections with herself and others. Find Your Shakti (Shakti: the spirit of the divine, feminine energy) is a mission-based business for empowering badass, bold, & beautiful connection.

What rocks your bliss? 

Rocks, literally (gem joke)! Also, driving on the back roads with the windows down, blasting the chili peppers, and taking my poodle through the Starbucks drive-thru for whip cream. 

Describe your perfect day. 

My perfect day would start with cuddles from my poodle, Poodle. Coffee is a must so I’d have a nice hot cup by my meditation cushion. After clearing my mind, I head to my local coffee shop, La Colombe for a draft latte and work on some new mala designs. Around lunchtime, I’d meet my wife, Jen, for lunch, and afterwards, head home to make some malas. My favorite afternoons are ones spent meeting and talking with people I meet through instagram via FindYourShaki, so lots of connecting. I am most restored by hearing others’ stories. Dinner would be home-made spaghetti and for dessert, a walk to get ice cream with Jen & Poodle. I love to end my days with inspiring read (I highly recommend Women Who Run with Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D and anything by Tara Brach). 

When do you feel most creative and alive?

I feel most creative & alive when collaborating with someone on a custom mala. One of my most inspiring mala designs came from working with a woman who was gifting the mala to her son for Christmas. He was the inspiration for the Aurora Borealis mala, and I always think of her intentions for his strength and resilience when I am knotting that piece.  

Share a huge goal you are rocking.

I’d love to make Find Your Shakti my full-time gig. Thanks to much love, generosity, & support, I am on my way! 

If you could get on a plane right now, where are you going? 

Reykjavík, especially after working on the Aurora Borealis mala, it is on my bucket list to see the Northern Lights. 

How do you handle setbacks?

Setbacks are rough, but I realized how much harder they are when you try to handle them alone. First, I remember to breathe and use some meditation techniques and then I reach out to close friend for support. Just reminding myself of the incredible support I have and how much I’ve overcome, really helps me to shift my perspective. Also really, really good chocolate (OMNOM Sea Salt). 

How do you come home to yourself? 

I have really come to find my home in Buddhism. When I need to really center and find my loving kindness, I reread quotes in a notebook I kept when I first starting reading healing books. Also, nothing brings me back to myself like a sweet cuddle with Poodle. 

What are 3 ways you rock the self LOVE?

1. I make time every day (even for a minute) to think about my journey: how far I’ve come and how grateful I am to be in the present moment (even, especially, if it’s not perfect). 

2. I dance. One of my favorite things is letting loose and just joyfully letting my body move (no matter how awkwardly!)

3. I take hot baths with epsom salts with chai tea in my favorite mug

instagram: @findyourshakti

website: findyourshakti.com

Conditional Love. The Pits.

I am a big believer that language creates our reality. It creates a responsibility for the words that come out of my mouth. And while that can seem daunting, it also is very empowering. 

As of late, I have been declaring a mantra that I love on repeat: "My natural state is abundance" (borrowed and inspired by Brooke Castillo of The Life Coach School and this game changer of a podcast on money). And the sweet wooden and oh so happy buddha I found in Ojai this past trip we took out there is holding a raw citrine crystal on my altar and that shit is working!

And while I feel so grateful, there is a part of me that has entered into overwhelm in the past few weeks. My calendar is full and I feel alive in the offerings I have created! And, well, I might have gone down what is called the people please-ing wormhole and exercised my 'yes' way more than my 'no'. I might have really focused the abundance on career and perhaps left the other dynamic parts of myself fall to the wayside. And I feel like I have a tone with loved ones, I feel a bit frantic on the inside and I feel rushed.

Yes. I feel in a rush.

And I am going to be honest with you, when I am in a rush I am not my best self. I am answering emails too fast. I am push-y. I am a utilitarian listener, meaning I only listen for how something will connect or move me forward. Eww. 

And when I am in a rush, I love conditionally.

I said it. 

I love with expectation. I love with all the containers set. I love with conditions, you only get my love if you do x, y and z. 

And holy shit, it feels awful when you realize it.

When you realize the meetings on your calendar. The moments shared with your partner. The connection with a brand. All feel tainted with conditional drama and major expectation.

Mary Beth always says in her yoga classes that I get to attend that:

Happiness = Reality minus Expectations

Well, time to give myself a dose of reality. Time to get clear and add all of me to my calendar. I know how to do it. Yet, in the past few weeks I forgot.

And you know what is bold, courageous and so damn awesome? Forgiving yourself.

Thus. 

I forgive me. I forgive me for losing sight of what is important. I forgive me for creating abundance in reaction to what I don't have in this moment. I forgive me for loving conditionally, can you even really call that love? Answer: No.

And today, I start again. I move things in my calendar. I make note of my core values, my whole life and I give it a go. What we call a 'Take 2'...well, more like Take 37. I kiss my husband with my phone in the other room. I talk to my baby girl and make eye contact. I call my best friend and listen, all in. I create space to co-create new content with MB with my whole heart from a place of service. I lighten up on myself. I sit down and breathe for three whole minutes because that is my meditation practice. 

And I start again.

We get to. We get to check in on when things feel conditional, disconnected or perhaps rushed. And we get to start again. 

-Jacki Carr

Photo X Ginnie Coleman. Location X Meditation Mount

Photo X Ginnie Coleman. Location X Meditation Mount

 

 

Life in Airplane Mode

In preparation for a trip to the Northern Lights with Folk Rebellion I began packing my bags. I made the list above. I bought some legit cold weather shit. And I started to emotionally part ways with my technological counter parts.

Then a few hours later I drove myself to the emergency room with unbelievable pain and a fever of 103.5.

After hours in the ER and multiple rounds of blood work, x-rays and scans it became clear I would not be leaving for Canada or even the hospital for that matter.

I had something weird called sigmoid volvulus. To be frank it's basically where your colon twists in two and yes, it's as painful as it sounds. Rather than adventuring through the snowy wilderness with some of my favorite people I'd instead be bedridden, watching HGTV and talking all about poop.

I felt bad. I felt bad physically. I felt awful that my husband didn't get his long overdue vacation from work. And I mostly felt badly for disappointed my friends who were hosting the retreat and depending on me.

What do I do when I feel things I don't want to feel? I numb out. And my drug of choice is social media. I started scrolling and scrolling and scrolling. The exact thing I was so looking forward to (and was certainly scared about) leaving behind for several days.

I felt more lethargic. I felt sadder. But I made a decision: I put my phone on airplane mode. I read an entire novel in one day. I napped.. a lot. I watched "Tiny Houses." (I fucking love that show.) I went for a walk with my sweet husband and my IV to watch the sun set over downtown from a hospital window. I took a few more deep breaths even if they were full of stale hospital air.

I realized I didn't need to travel all the way to the middle of Canada to experience being unplugged. All I needed to do was make a conscious choice to be more present to this big, messy life I'm so blessed to call mine.

I missed a trip but I got to touch some gratitude deep inside of me that didn't let me get on that plane and have something worse happen.. that I'm surrounded by so much love and support and good people.. that I have a life I really want to show up for.

Peace out blisscrafters. Back on airplane mode.

- Mary Beth LaRue

 

Give Yourself Permission

I found myself in a whirlwind, one of those downward spiral days where you can't seem to muster the courage to be your own hero. Without warning, I turned against myself and that negative voice in my mind became louder and louder.

"You don't do/see/experience/dream enough" 
"You aren't accomplished enough" 
"You don't have enough social media followers" 
"People don't want what you have to offer" 
"What are you doing with your life/relationship/job/brand/stories?" 
"Who do you think you are?" "
"That dream is never going to happen" 

That little voice threatens to tell me how big I am allowed to dream. It tries to force me into a very small, windowless, airless room where dreams go to be stifled.

So today, I made a date with a friend whom I truly admire and we got onto our mats. The magical space was light filled, homemade prayer flags hung from the rafters, light poured in through the windows, and the energy was collective and energetic. Our mats were faced in towards our neighbors in the back row. We were instantly asked to connect with the person across from us, a stranger immediately became a friend. Our incredibly mindful and compassionate teacher started class by asking us to examine our practice through the lens of our bodies, not our thoughts. We often let our thoughts rule our experience. The more these thoughts creep into our psyche the less room there is for dreaming, curiosity, and possibility. And I don't know about you, but I need more of those words/moments/experiences/feelings in my life.

As we moved through the physically challenging practice, using our connection to breath and the person in front of us, those voices loosened their grip. Most likely they will hide in a dark corner until I open the door and invite them inside again, but in this short hour, I let myself just be in my body, next to my friend.

Those voices are NOT YOU.

They're not YOUR TRUTH.

They're not YOUR DREAMS.

They're not your ability to CHANGE / ADAPT / CHOOSE / SOAR

Be kind and gentle with yourself. You're traveling a long and winding road, and none of us can travel it alone. Be your best friend. You are enough, just as you are.

-Jenny Wood

Mara Glatzel

Meet Mara Glatzel! MSW is an intuitive guide and energy healer for women ready to belong to themselves as they learn to identify, honor, and advocate for their needs. On her blog and in her courses, Mara facilitates conversations about what it means to show up for yourself each day and live a full, vibrant life that is aligned with your values. She is a creative leader, a wild celebrator of the sacred mundane, and expert at living in her own skin with grace and ease. At the core of her work is the desire to live a well-intentioned life, which means… more joy, grit, and vibrant imperfection to spare.

Mara is the creator of the Daily Tending Divination Deck and wildly popular e-course The Deep Exhale. Her most recent offering, Tend, is a 9-month program for women yearning for inspiration and support as they claim and prioritize their needs. 

To hang out with Mara, catch her on Instagram or sign-up to receive weekly missives filled to the brim with the absolute best of what she’s got – unfiltered vulnerability and heart-opening encouragement.

What rocks your bliss?

I am thrilled by waking up without an alarm clock and the kind of lit up conversations where you can’t help but talk with your hands and bounce up out of your seat. 

I love experiences that are complicated, delicious, and luxurious. This includes the slowest pour over coffee and cocktails made with eye-droppers and garnishes that have to be arranged with tweezers. There is something to this kind of experience that is both extra special and completely unrushed that makes me feel right at home. One of my highest values is beauty for beauty’s sake and a gorgeous aesthetic draws me in immediately. 

I am also currently madly in love with the little oceanside town that I live in and am working with a daily practice of getting outside to feel the sun on my face even though it’s freezing cold. 

Describe your perfect day.

I wake up slowly and without an alarm clock to a cup of coffee nearby. I spend an hour in the morning waking up, reading, and putzing around my house getting ready for the day. With my second cup of coffee, I dig into a couple of hours of work with music on loud and lots of space to spread out all of my notebooks and calendars and little notes that I write myself about things I want to dive into. 

Late-afternoon, I head out for a walk by the water with my sweetheart and our baby. This is the key to a really good day for me - fiery productivity throughout the core of the day bookended by slow and languid time tending to my needs and enjoying my family. After our walk, we take the baby with us out for tacos and margaritas before heading home to give her a bath, put her to bed, and snuggle up on the couch, laughing and spending time together. 

When do you feel most creative and alive?

I hit my creative sweet spot mid-morning when I am full to the brim with excitement about whatever it is that I’m focusing on. I find that I also feel most alive when I have flexibility in my daily schedule, a handle on my sugar intake, and wear something that is comfortable and easy to move in. I almost always listen to Helen Jane Long when I’m writing and I love to have a multitude of gorgeous planners and calendars around my house that keep me beautifully on task. 

Share a huge goal you are rocking.

This year I have my heart set on buying a house. 

I’m dreaming of a new, lush sectional couch in the living room, an inviting bathtub, and a bedroom with a lot of white space and a king-sized bed. I want to paint a beech trees on the walls of a room for my daughter and her menagerie of stuffed animals, which seems to grow daily. I want a kitchen with a big hutch built out of reclaimed wood for my great grandmother’s china set. I want wood floors and a yard, and a space that I can set down roots. 

If you could get on a plane right now, where are you going?

The Pacific Northwest. I have been jonesing to travel around Washington state and up into Canada. I am aching to be surrounded by huge trees and open air. The landscape is just so stunning in that part of the country. If I could hop on a plane right this second, I would book a month in a treehouse to move and breathe and relax and absorb it all. 

How do you handle setbacks?

For so long I told myself the story that having a setback or experiencing failure meant that there was something wrong with me or that I simply wasn’t cut out for my big dreams, but the truth is that we ALL fail. Avoiding failure meant I was also avoiding some really exciting and delicious risks. I was trying to control the messiness of living under the guise of perfectionism and it just kept me stuck. 

Now, I try to anticipate failure as a potential outcome, knowing that failure is nothing more than data collection about how to do things differently next time. I remind myself that failing doesn’t mean that I am a failure, and that I am in control of the stories that I tell myself about my experiences. As an entrepreneur and mother, failure is inevitable. It doesn’t make me bad at what I do, and, in fact, I think that giving myself permission to fail makes me great at what I do. 

How do you come home to yourself?

Whenever I get lost or whipped up into a frenzy, I am in dire need of sleep, warm and nourishing foods, water, and disconnecting from my devices. These days it is easy to move too quickly or to fall into habits like eating on the go or scrolling on your phone late into the night. I reset myself by spending a couple of days keeping things really simple and focusing on being generous with tending to my needs. The key here is to do it even if I resist it, because I know in my heart of hearts that when I resist slowing down is when I need it the most. 

What are 3 ways you rock the self LOVE?

Wearing clothing that makes me feel beautiful. Getting together with other women to celebrate ourselves and lift one another up. Slow, relaxing showers. 

instagram: @maraglatzel

facebook: maraglatzel

website: www.maraglatzel.com

 

Redefining Your Everybody

“But what will everybody think?”

How often has this question stopped you dead in your tracks?

I stayed at a job, in a relationship and in a city far longer than I needed to because of those five simple words. Repeatedly.

The funny thing is that we can usually narrow our “everybody” to about 4-5 people and it usually isn’t even a sampling of people that we find inspiring. Maybe it’s your super judgmental aunt. Or your high school teacher who said you wouldn’t amount to much. One of mine was an old boss at lululemon who told me that I’d never be a successful yoga teacher.

Who wants this crew sitting at the table of your most important, soul affirming decisions?

Not I.

Here are a few ways I started to reclaim my “everybody” and shift the majority of the focus to what I wanted instead:

#1 List your muses.
I have a doc on my phone with a list of people who inspire me. In the yoga space, the recovery space, the coaching space.. But also just good eggs that are up to good shit in the this world. However, just because I look up to them doesn’t mean I’d take their opinion and forget my own. That brings me to number 2.

#2 Know Your “Move a Body” friends.
Brene Brown refers to a “move a body” friend as the friend you could tell absolutely anything and they’d never get judgmental or disgusted. You’d never have to preface anything with “but please don’t tell anyone.” This is a person whose advice you can trust wholeheartedly. I have two of these friends and neither live near me. But I could pick up the phone at 2 am and they'd be on the next flight out. To move the body, of course.

#3 Celebrate What You Love. And What You Don’t.
You can read every single self-help book under the sun. You can do a gazillion chaturangas. But unless you know who you are or what you love, you are going to be stuck in the same ol’ people pleasing, “do-it-for-the-Instagram-likes” cycle over and over again. Take time to celebrate what it is you love. You like that wall bright blue? Paint it. You want to try improv? Sign up. You don’t want to go to that party? Don’t go. If you haven’t already, start the best relationship of your life. The one with yourself.

- MB LaRue