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.
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