Sign Up For Soul School

This guest blog post was written by Kelly Trach. A little bit about Kelly: "I was sick for almost a decade with chronic illness. So, I used myself as a guinea pig, and experimented to find the exact solution for self-healing. Think: Tim Ferriss meets functional medicine. Now, I teach others how to make healing happen. " Kelly offers digital coaching through online books and courses with a specific focus on healing through food. 

Read her post below. 

I was on the checkout page three times before I actually hit “register.”

You know, it's when you complete all the input fields and chicken out when you need to add your credit card details.

Fast forward a few hours later and I was grabbing coffee with a pal. Alex was sharing about her upcoming meditation weekend and then she asked me: “Are you doing any programs?”

After a long pause, I said: “Well, there’s this program I want to do!” (Talk about synchronicity in action). “I’ve been following Jacki and MB’s work for years. Some people just draw you in like a magnet, you know?” Bliss crafters, grounded role models, and women who show up fully expressed - I wanted in.

Alex was like: “Kelly, you should just sign up. Your eyes really light up when you talk about it.”

Ok, got it.

Duly noted.

Sign from the Universe accepted.

When I got home, I hit “register” for real this time. Credit card deets and all.

You see, I had “goal coaching with Jacki Carr” and “Rock Your Bliss retreats” written in my goals for a while. Year after year, I wrote these goals down in my Desire Map, my trusty black Moleskine, and my detailed 10-year, 5-year, and 1-year goals saved in Evernote. Yet, I always held back from actually doing it.

I always believed that my dolla dolla bills were well invested in education - like university tuition, business school, and a good graphing calculator.

But what about soul school? And your education on who you really are?

Hello, perspective shift. Turns out, I needed legitimate core values more than I needed that fancy TI-84.

And holy moly, did I experience some major shift.

7 Weeks to Bliss enabled me:

  • To get rid of a lot of crap I was mentally and physically holding on to. I’m talking about five garbage bags full of clothes and belongings that represented my former life. I hauled them right off to the local women’s shelter.
  • To figure out my core values and how to lead from that space. ‘Cause, I’ve written down core values before and they never stuck. They always sound like words I pulled from a pamphlet, like “leadership” and “passion.” Truthfully, I’m more about “possibility” and “realness.”

  • To stop hiding. I rebranded my business with my own name, started sharing on Instagram stories, and published my book. It all clicked when I realized that my voice is my power (which landed so perfectly during our “speak” week).

  • To find folks that “get it” and share the same values. Rock Your Bliss is truly a movement and once you’re a part of the bliss crafting tribe, you’ll feel it.

7 Weeks to Bliss equipped me with a whole new perspective on how I should lead my life and who I need to show up as in the world.

Sometimes, you just need to find the people that speak your lingo, hold space like no other and are real enough to admit they are also doing the work. So, if MB, Jacki, Jenny or any of the Rock Your Bliss tribe members look like your kind of people, then sign up, take the plunge, and do it.

Soul school is so worth it.

-Kelly Trach

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Put It In Your Vision

This beautiful guest post was written by one of our favorite blisscrafters, Alli Armstrong. Alli explores how celebrating the biggest of jumps in life and love comes with shedding and reforming our patterns and relationships. Alli is a store manager for lululemon in Portland, Maine. 

At lululemon, we often talk about a vision we have for our life somewhere down the line. 1 year, 3 years, 10 years, 20 years, doesn’t matter the distance. Every now and then I'll either experience something, or get really quiet and imagine what I want, and I'll say to myself to put it in the vision. Own a house where I can smell the ocean from my front yard by the time I'm 35? Put it in the vision. I do it for short term things too. Back in January I wrote down that three years from now I would be a brand new store manager at lululemon in California and I would drive to work with the windows down blasting Beyoncé.

Though I was in a role at my store in Boston that I enjoyed, I was itching for the next one and a change of scenery. Two weeks later, a stretch assignment for 6 weeks opened up in Boston. It was a dream job. I went for it and got it. That stretch assignment opened the door to an opportunity to become an assistant store manager at a store south of the city. I threw my name in the hat and I got it. I hustled in an uber to the nearest auto mile, took a day to look, went back the next day and put $1000 down on a car, split between two cards and drove it home. Nailed it.

My first week in my new role I found myself on the highway, windows down blasting Beyoncé driving to work. I had a moment where I realized I was truly living into the vision I had written down to myself. I was still in Massachusetts, but I love Massachusetts, and I had the Beyoncé and the car part down. It felt surreal and exactly right at the same time.

That very same day, I found myself both hands on the wheel, crying driving home from work. I fell into an abyss. I knew I had had a good thing going at my store in Boston, and I worried I had prematurely left one of the best things I would ever be a part of. I’m aware of what that may sound like, coming from a 23 year old speaking about a job she loved. But damn, these people in this store were my family. I spent more time in that store than in any apartment I've ever lived in. I coped with almost every major life event in that back room. I turned to the people on that team to remind me who I was every time I forgot. I handed my heart over to my teammates and they held it in their hands over and over again.  And I reminded them who they were and held their hearts. I witnessed so much growth and rebirth of so many inspiring people. Man, if walls could talk. I was a fixture in that store for five years. I felt I had ushered in five generations of that store, and I panicked thinking, why did I ever want a change of scenery?

A couple weeks after being in my new store someone asked me if leaving my store was hard, and I told them it was one of the hardest things I've ever done. It was hard because I knew somewhere deep down that I would leave Boston soon. And I did. I recently started a new role opening a lululemon in Portland, Maine. I moved up here one week ago, and I’ve been thinking about the grief that comes with growth. Nobody died, everyone is a phone call away, I am thrilled to be up here. I’m familiar with challenges that are handed to you with no take backs. I understand the grief and growth that comes from illness, death, debt, etc. but I was unfamiliar with this kind of growth that is of our own choosing. It took everything I had in me to do each interview and make plans and find an apartment up here. In my gut, it’s right. If it weren’t, I wouldn’t have moved forward. Luckily, I can’t get away with anything with myself. It just took my heart a little longer to catch up.

I guess that's the other part of living into your vision. It's the thorn in the rose in a change of scenery, a new adventure. It’s the thrill of feeling like you’re living into what you want and the tears of fear five hours later that it will never be as good as it was. I read a quote that I felt in my bones: No one warns you about the amount of mourning in growth.” It would be too easy if you could bring everyone with you. Hell, I would bring the barista at Pavement, my favorite bartender from Back Bay Social Club, and all of my favorite yoga, spin and boxing teachers if it were up to me. After many tears and hugs and reminiscing, I felt ready to carry the torch. We created something really special in Boston and now it’s up to me to create it here. I’ll create a space where people are held and heard and supported and pushed because that’s how I was taught to do it. And the world needs more of that, especially right now.

I’ve officially been here for a week. I wrote part of this post standing in my kitchen with an Allagash beer, keeping one eye on my mac and cheese on the stove. The knob on the cold water in my shower broke off while I was 100% naked in it, so I have two temperatures: piping hot or piping hot. I got my dresser for $0 on the street in Scituate. I located a phenomenal taco and margarita bar at the end of my street, and I’m sleeping like a baby.

I’m a store manager now and I drive with the windows down. I’m in love with my apartment and the vibes in this small city. I’ll be here for a few years. One day I’ll be in a new city, maybe in California, maybe somewhere that hasn’t occurred to me yet, and I’ll laugh thinking about how scared I was to move to Maine, and cry about what I am leaving behind here. And so it goes. What I know for sure is that it’s the jump and the personal growth and the pride and the fun and the camaraderie that comes with taking these leaps that outweighs any fear and grief. I’ll do it over and over again. It’s been a hell of a year. Cheers to the unknown.

“I understand now that I’m not a mess but a deeply feeling person in a messy world. I explain that now, when someone asks me why I cry so often, I say, “for the same reason I laugh so often - because I’m paying attention.” -Glennon Doyle Melton, Love Warrior

-Alli Armstrong

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Trust

Welcome home, and by home, I mean welcome to your own inner sense of knowing. Welcome to that place inside you that has never wavered. Welcome to that place of belonging, especially to what we cannot explain or should ever have to. Welcome to that place where you have always been the one you have been seeking. Welcome to the grace of being an breathing, pulsing, fully alive human being. Welcome to your center, your alignment, your soul. This is home. 

Trust is defined as the firm belief in truth. I define trust as the knowing before you know. It's that quiet place inside that often is tempered, easily forgotten, and most often conveniently ignored. At least that how it often shows up for me. But then I have also recently rediscovered that trust is how I got here. There have been so many things in my life that if I would have listened to them, things would have stayed small, been different, I would have felt less joy, loved less and fought more. Trust for me is the choice to melt into: to become apart of, to let go, to honor where you're at and to love deeply there. Trust is where we THRIVE

Where does TRUST live in YOU? Where does it feel effortless? Where can you surrender into the unknowing in order to reveal what is already waiting? 

I just finished reading Mark Nepo's stunning novel, The Exquisite Risk, and among it's many library pages [I took A LOT of beautiful notes alongside reading this one] I found this poignant reminder about trust

"The value in considering all this is not to calibrate or pre-plan how we might react to change when we face it tomorrow. For being deliberate or methodical will not always help us negotiate life. However, if we can bring attention and focus to the ways we habitually relate to change, we can be sincere practitioners of what it means to be ALIVE. Then, when faced with change, we might react more fluidly, the way a jazz musician practices scales, so that when asked to improvise, he moves up and down the notes more naturally without any thought as to where the notes are. In this way, we are asked to trust that, like a serious musician, our practice will soak into us, so that we will engage change more deeply and more naturally when it comes upon us."

TRUST: Week Seven

This final week explores the ways in which we TRUST. The ways in which we come home to ourselves, over and over and over again. We unfold the ways to forgive and surrender and move with intention into the spaces we already have inside of us. 

This week is really a soul salve to share space with other women who, as we all are, constantly renegotiating their way back to that internal sense of knowing and holding room in our vision for what we deeply trust within. 

- Jenny Lynn Wood

Want to dig deeper into this work with an entire tribe of radical humans? Join Mary Beth LaRue and Jacki Carr in their 7 Weeks to Bliss (click to register) online program beginning September 11th, 2017.  

P.S. use promo code: "jennybliss" for 10% off your registration

Speak & See

Our language has power; deep and resounding. Our words create our reality and contribute to our interactions, sense of worth, and how we built and maintain our relationships with everyone and everything. So it's interesting to dive into how we have used language in our life and how we can choose to re-examine how we think and speak about who we are and what we have to offer the world. 

A small, yet profound (for me), lesson I learned about language emerged a few months ago. I have lived in Los Angeles for over 6 years now and it's been a rough ride. I have never moved so much, fought for so much, worked so hard, been defeated so often, and learned so much about how resilient I am. Los Angeles and I weren't on good terms. I was often harsh, critical, outright abusive in my language about this place I really wanted to FEEL like home. I was in active revolt about being here and my language reflected those thoughts. I didn't even want to use the word home to represent my experience of living here. This wasn't home, it was temporary and I was always confused about why that was true. I was fighting to stay, fighting to be in relationship, fighting to belong, fighting to build a home to create within, and yet it felt so elusive. I remember one day, after hearing myself talk about all the reasons this was not home that I had a major epiphany about my language. I wasn't calling this place my home, so it was perfectly logically for me to continue to deny that it is my home. In that moment, I chose to shift my language around this place and let me tell you, it made all the difference. Now don't get me wrong there are still things here that irk me, frustrate me, and challenge me, but now I find myself softening in those places. I find a sense of compassion and let the beauty of where I live and the life I've created here replace the feeling that this is not home, because when I speak from a place of choice, I truly feel at home here. 

What you say matters, it creates everything around you. Language creates our experience and allows us to live into our choices. Nothing about Los Angeles changed, I just re-framed my experience of living here and suddenly H O M E emerged. 

What have you created with your language? 

What stories are on repeat? 

What are you committing to and why? 

Week Five: SPEAK

Week Five explores our dynamic relationship with language and how what we speak creates our world. 

If you took out a journal and wrote down I AM....what words, phrases, perceptions, assumptions come to mind? If you look at that list where can you be generous with yourself? Where have you been holding back? Where can you own all the ways in which we show up for ourselves and others? 

Consider taking responsibility for all the ways in which you are showing up. Communication lies in the listening AND the speaking. This week asks us to explore our incorrect beliefs and move into a place of compassionate understanding that these stories can be corrected, altered, and created moment-to-moment.

Week Six: SEE

This week we dive deep into vision within; exploring our six chakra, Anja, that directly relates to our intuition, perspective and imagination. This week asks us to think about all the ways in which we have forgotten who we truly are without all of our stories, assumptions, and baggage. By moving out of resistance, we are able to try on new ways of being. We become adaptable and can create a vision for the future that unfolds from our most innate values. We are asked to dream here. We are asked to create here. We are asked to have a conversation about our deepest desires and create collaborative tools with the universe to create that as our reality. 

How can you clear your lens and see things as they are, not as you perceive them to be? 

What if you asked yourself, "who am I without this thought"? 

Are you creating from habits or from intention? 

Your vision can emerge from that quiet space within where you are allowed to dream big and manifest. How can you create space to live into your most bliss-filled life? How can you create a path of permission for all the things that are burning in your heart? 

- Jenny Lynn Wood

Want to dig deeper into this work with an entire tribe of radical humans? Join Mary Beth LaRue and Jacki Carr in their 7 Weeks to Bliss (click to register) online program beginning September 11th, 2017.  

P.S. use promo code: "jennybliss" for 10% off your registration

Create & Love

Oh, the EGO. 

When I sit and ponder about the EGO, usually two things immediately occur, I feel powerLESS and my heartbeat starts to pitter-patter in a way that feels constricted: palms get sweaty. Ego, for me, has always meant power OVER, it is tied to my inability to handle change, and it usually prohibits me from shifting to accommodate risk: my EGO is ruled by F E A R. My ego is always telling me that I am not good enough, that I don't have any gifts to offer, that I'm not flexible enough, my schedule isn't full enough: enough, ENOUGH, E N O U G H [see the running theme in my language there]. The beauty of spending seven weeks with a group of super inspiring women, is that we have all come to warp the definition of Ego into something we feel controlled by instead of something to be supremely supported by. 

So it was beautiful to be able to explore a new understanding of this big "scary" word and reclaim it as our own. On our weekly call, we were able to really explore the power of honoring our EGO. Of gifting it space to breathe, to speak to us, and to try on defining it from a place of personal power and sink into our own sense of C O N F I D A N C E. From this powerful place, we can truly come to understand our gifts, our contributions, and our unique path in this world. 

So "Long live the Ego". Reclaim your power to declare your "HELL YES" and "HELL NO". The power is always available to you, because it is a part of you. 

Week Three: CREATE

Week three examines the Ego through our third chakra: the manipura chakra. The seat of our personal power. This week is all about CREATION. At first the word create seemed big, overwhelming, and out of reach. I consider myself a creative person, but most of the time don't acknowledge how creation shows up for me, or me for it. I've now come to understand create as the ultimate tool of empowerment. We are all born to create. It's innate, it's just that the specific expression is different for everyone. 

For me: I create a big, beautiful, uniquely, distinctly mine, life. I create sequences for my students to explore using their bodies as an instrument: I play that instrument to tap into my internal stillness. I co-create our home. I create trips and experiences for myself, my family, and my friends. I create a space of coziness in everything I do. I create embrace. I create my goals. I create my dreams. I create vision boards. I create paths to abundance. I create words on the page. I create in seeing what others do not see. I create boundaries to best serve my truth. I create choice to move forward.

C R E A T I O N doesn't have to look like paint on a canvas, words on the page, or grand scaled pieces of art. You are actively creating your experience, moment-to-moment. You are the artist of your life, your past/present/future. You are an expression of the universe in ecstatic motion. 

How do you CREATE? 

Week Four: LOVE

This was probably the most difficult week of the entire course. LOVE. I feel this so deeply. I know that love is what propels me through the world. I truly believe that my purpose on this earth is to love and be loved [cue Elton John]. But really, I do. So why the screeching brakes at the mention of a whole week devoted to exploring our relationship with love. Well, love for me, is usually about outward expression. It's a light I try to shine on everyone and everything. Yes, that's a lofty life purpose, and it's always a work in progress, but I operate most authentically from this sacred mission. But, this week, was all about SELF-LOVE. Cue the screeching tires and the inevitable car crash. I know, dramatic, but true for me. That familiar voice that quietly whispers about selfishness and deservedness creeped in. That familiar and tired voice inadvertently gave me the strength I needed to forged ahead into unfamiliar territory. 

So in week four, we are asked to write a love letter to ourselves. I avoided this assignment like the plague. I put a list of excuses on a piece of paper and in my calendar to confirm that yes, I was in fact, too busy to write that letter. It almost worked, but on the day before our weekly call, I was stranded at a coffee shop for an hour and this assignment was burning a hole in my backpack. So...ok....fine...I guess I'll write it. 

If you haven't ever sat down to tell yourself how much you LOVE yourself, please stop what you are doing and write one. It will literally change everything. 

Here is mine, even though it feels deeply personal to me, I hope it helps you write one to YOU. 

Hey you. I love you because....

"You are vulnerable and brave and always trying. I love you because you show up, you see others, you make space for other people to be themselves. I love you for being in love with your family; for supporting, nurturing, and acknowledging them for your entire life. I love you for trusting; especially with Thom; for loving deeply and unabashedly with abandon. I love you for speaking up and changing [not recklessly, but thoughtfully] your life, always. It's even getting easier. In this moment with Thom; you allow him access to his fears and yours too. This renewed and deep intimacy flows from that deeply re-filled well. I love you for being in the pursuit of self-knowledge and for knowing and embracing your imperfections. I love you for being in conversation with your truth. I love you for being brave enough to leave when it doesn't serve your soul. I love you for being honest with your ever-evolving relationship with your yoga practice. I love you for being courageous enough to offer yourself as a teacher to a community you seek to serve. I love you for honoring where you are at and for taking your methodical time [even though it's doesn't always make sense to others]. I love you for your compassion and the way you are always seeking to better understand & show up deeper for others. I love you, sweet girl, exactly where you are in this moment. I love you without judgement or boundaries. I love you for your innate expression, your willingness to be broken. I love you because there is literally no one on the planet like you. I love you, I love you, I love you because you need to hear it, again...and again....and again."

- Jenny Lynn Wood

Want to dig deeper into this work with an entire tribe of radical humans? Join Mary Beth LaRue and Jacki Carr in their 7 Weeks to Bliss (click to register) online program beginning September 11th, 2017.  

P.S. use promo code: "jennybliss" for 10% off your registration

Root & Embody

When was the last time you took a deep breath? 

We breath over 900 times an hour. 

How many of those breaths in the past 60 minutes did you notice? experience? acknowledge? 

This was a profound learning for me this past month. When I really began to think about that number: 900, I became really present to the fact that I often don't notice any of them; with the exception of a yoga class, sitting in stillness in a few moments of meditation, or acknowledging silently [or out loud] my profound gratitude for everything in my life at the moment. 

When I think about taking ROOT, about settling into a foundational support system, about getting grounded, it all starts with that first breath. The first one I've chosen to acknowledge amongst those 900 others. That one breath starts it all. Then they slowly become more deep, full and expansive and I start to open up to all the possibilities that weren't present in the absent of acknowledgement. 

Starting with the breath; those big, deep, expansive ones; I have come to learn that we all need a little self-love, a little bit of time to reconnect, and an intentionally created space to check in with how we feel.

Jacki Carr and Mary Beth LaRue have been my teachers for years and they spent a over a year intentionally crafting a truly transformative seven-week program to cultivate an online [and offline] community of women willing to get vulnerable, bravely holding space for one another to explore their individual inner truths, while offering dynamic tools for creating choice and vision. Fueled by in-the-moment goal coaching and yogic based principles and learnings; they created a trail map for navigating a bliss-filled life. This community continues to inspire and support me day-by-day long after the course has ended. This is a four-part blog series on my exploration 7 Weeks to Bliss.

The Back to School Edition of the program starts September 11th; we would be honored to rock our bliss alongside YOU! 

Week One: ROOT

What does it mean to take root? 

It means something different for each one of us. Week One explores our foundations and asks us to get clear on creating our values to begin living into creating goals and a larger vision from this clear and grounded space. 

For me, getting rooted takes place when I am physically connected to the Earth; this usually means being barefoot, feet [or seat] planted firmly in the ground, while gifting myself a few really big breaths to tune in.

It's funny how easily the breath can take you in; that first inhale leads to the first exhale; usually shallow at start, but slowly, with each breath you can feel it gaining stride and taking on a depth and a physical softening in all the tense places within. I find that it is easiest to access deep wells of gratitude from this space of internal softening. 

From this place of supreme support, we get to explore our RIGHT to be here.

What is true for YOU? 

What I loved most about this week was learning that language helps us to get really clear about what and how words hold meaning for us as individuals. My definition of happiness may look radically different from someone else's. We spend time really digging into our words here; choosing values that refine and embody our most true selves. Language is a powerful tool from which to create choice and meaning and begins to teach us where we feel most like ourselves. 

These are the values that emerged most clearly for me.

MOVEMENT: I am happiest here; in motion. Movement can make me part of something larger than myself. It means that I am physically moving towards something, dancing, or practicing yoga. I can think most clearly here. I am my most powerful self here. When in motion, everything seems possible. So it's important to remind myself daily to create space for me to move. 

INTIMACY: I live and breath here. This is home to me. I feel most alive in relationship. Connection lives here. Tribe lives here. Eye contact, handholding, making out, hugs, trust, family, self-care and home live here. 

SIMPLICITY: For me, slowing down and honoring the simplest form infuses everything with intention. I find trust, breath, peace, and gratitude here. Tapping into simplicity allows access to surrender and the FULLness of tangible experiences. It's ease and roots and the sun in my face. It's presence and when I am here, I am most alive. 

NURTURE: I am most me when I am nurturing others. When I serve through my support, my curiosity and my gifts, this comes so easily. I love creating a home for myself and the people in my life. I was born to cultivate comfort and ease. 

RESILIENCE: One of my most consistent lessons has been that I am courageous enough to begin again. I was always in a state of upheaval every time I didn't have control. Now I realize that change means that nothing is permanent; everything is temporary and there is so much comfort to be found in that. Resilience means forward propulsion, evolution, challenge, and adaptation. I've come to see 'failure' as feedback, urging me to find other ways forward when things change. When I truly embody this value, it allows for openness and receptivity.

Week Two: EMBODY

Week two is a beautiful exploration of how we embody our values. How to begin to acknowledge how we actually create space/time/energy around living in a way that honors how we want to feel. Embodiment means using and incorporating F L O W into your way of being. How can you give yourself permission to feel deeply in order to create, moment-to-moment, a sense of freedom and space?

This week asks, can we approach everything as a creative act? I loved exploring this question; often times we are so programmed by our habitual thoughts and behaviors that we forget that we chose how we got here. We chose this job, this relationship, this day-to-day, these rituals, this family, this life. It can be so easily forgotten that we actively participated in creating how we feel right now. When we can start to create ritual around checking in, asking ourselves how we feel, and acknowledging the truth of our present reality, we can begin to use tools to curb our habitual thoughts and maybe even choose new and empowered ways of moving through the world. Embodiment asks us to truly move through our days connected to our values and gently encourages us to live into them. 

- Jenny Lynn Wood

Want to dig deeper into this work with an entire tribe of radical humans? Join Mary Beth LaRue and Jacki Carr in their 7 Weeks to Bliss (click to register) online program beginning September 11th, 2017.

P.S. use promo code: "jennybliss" for 10% off your registration