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

 

 

On Adulting

You know the t-shirts or that meme made of frosted donuts that read 'I Can't Adult Today'? They are everywhere and I do laugh every time, and nod and agree. 

And yet, once you hit that adult phase, and you know, it is happens at a different age for everyone, you really don't have that choice to NOT adult. 

MB and I hosted a Rock Your Bliss podcast in Season 1 on this exact topic and we got a resounding response from listeners chuckling over what adulating means and how it happens. So here are a few notes on those key triggers that make us feel like total adults. 

How you know you are adulting now:

1) You pay the bills. On time. The very wise adults (like really wise) have them on auto pay!

2) You floss. Every single day. 

3) You take the vitamins. All of them. We love Vital Proteins, Smarty Pants plus MB takes extra vitamin B12 and vitamin D every day.

4) You watch documentaries now. On Netflix and you questions your life every hour after watching. Oh my word, have you seen 'Fed Up' or 'What the Health'? Thoughts?

5)  You read about gut health and get up to snuff with your probiotics. We take our health seriously with a childlike ritual with Smarty Pants (Adult) Probiotic Gummies (favorite flavor is Blueberry).

6) You read the news and nostalgically hover your arrow over the real print newspaper subscription section because there is something about the morning paper that feels so adult. 

7) We ask the hard questions and listen for the answers. Like what serves our bodies and minds now at this time, at this age and exploring discipline to change when needed.

8) We get fitted for bras. For real.

9) We care less about what 'everybody' thinks and take time to ask our favorite humans and loved ones what they think/feel/know. Relationships have relations. 

10) We spend a Saturday night in and have zero FOMO.

11) We pick yoga over happy hour. Sometimes.

12) We feel major gratitude for all the ages and steps along the way, but are pretty damn happy to be adulting. Even when it includes bills and planning and dirty diapers.

How do you know you have grown up, even just a bit and are in the practice of adulting? 

The Ones We Choose

When I was little, I knew family was made up the people I lived with. My parents and little sister taught me how to act, be and embody on a daily basis. I fully believed that they were the "end all, be all" of my capacity to love unconditionally and be seen and heard in the world around me. My younger years were spent trying to earn and stockpile lots of gold star moments with these three humans and I often found myself struggling to keep up the appearances that I could be everything for everyone. 

I've realized as of late, that I am still doing this. Secretly hoping that all three of them will turn around and say, "Oh hey there, I see you, doing that thing. Thank you." I'm still seeking those gold stars, hoping that when they see me, than I'll actually have value. And, it turns out, I do this in a lot of the relationships in my life,

 With my partner,  "Went grocery shopping and the fridge is full. Did you see?"

With my business, "That email got answered in seven seconds. Is that fast enough for you?"

With my friends, "Oh yes, I am available and can mold my schedule around your needs."

These questions become the things that propel me through my days. And I find, that often I feel depleted by these actions and once the gold stars are bestowed, they feel like an empty victory. The older I get and the more energy I spend creating a life beyond my family, the more I realized that I've been letting this outdated notion that I have to be EVERYTHING FOR EVERYONE build my calendar, soak up my time, and rule my sensitive and worthy heart space. 

I've also come to see that these three people, my family, has grown much larger than three in my adult years. The most incredible thing about growing up and growing in has been owning the choice that I put people into that definition now. The word family has expanded and grown branches and by the end of this year, I will have built an entirely new tree (with my soon-to-be husband) to grow around. My family is still those three, happily it will always be, but I also get to decide to include those people that honor those spaces that my family doesn't always see, understand or acknowledge. I get to let others in and allow them to love me in ways I didn't even know I needed or knew I could ask for. This expansion has allowed for new depths, increased intimacy and sublime devotion. The ones I choose also help me see I am whole and complete, now, gold stars excluded. 

Family has become about legacy AND choice these days, and ultimately has taught me that I am loved in infinite directions. 

Where can you expand into that makes you feel whole and complete, just as you are, now? 

- Jenny Lynn Wood