Behind The Asana: Episode 35 - Feminine Radiance (Part 5 - Turmeric Root)

Turmeric Root

The turmeric root has been used for thousands of years in the Ancient East. It is a big element of Ayurveda lifestyle and diet.

The benefits are multiple and turmeric can be used on many different parts of the body, in many different ways. It does aid the moon cycle a lot in balancing the hormones but also has a direct healing effect on the body. It is great applied topically to heal cuts and wounds. On a hormonal level, it balances estrogen and therefore is great to soothe endometriosis. The curcumin, primary active ingredient of the turmeric, stops the proliferation of the cells, which helps to cause cell death and then soothe and heal. It is also a great anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial and helps in the relief of polycystic syndrome. It will also help the liver release excess toxins.

The best way to use turmeric is with a healthy fat. We would recommend coconut oil or avocado to mix with turmeric when used in the preparation of a meal. Also a good tip, black pepper increases turmeric's absorption rate to 154%! To ensure that you prepare your cells and open them to the medicine of turmeric, sprinkle a little bit of black pepper in your meal or turmeric ginger tea. It will increase the efficiency of the benefits!

Bringing this beautiful and powerful knowledge to our world's daily rituals will help us achieve a deeper state of health and vitality!

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Behind The Asana: Episode 34 - Feminine Radiance (Part 4 - Red Clover Blossom)

Red Clover Blossom

This common but wonderful plant has many little known health benefits. It helps regulates and detoxify the body especially during a feminine cycle. It aids to ease the moon cycle at all stages and is very nutritive for the body. It decreases hormonal breakouts and soothes skin and inflammation during the cycle. Due to its high amount of magnesium and calcium, it is incredible used as medicine for cramps and spasms associated with menstruation. The plant builds the body up and lower the fatigue felt because of the blood loss. It is also helpful to lower PMS symptoms.

Very detoxifying, it is good for pre-conception planning. It cleanses the system of all environmental toxins and supports in shedding all the layers we don't need. As it get rids of the toxins, it prepares the uterus to welcome a baby in a new vibrant space, therefore helping in bringing a conscious child into the earth.

The red clover blossom has a good detoxifying effect on the kidneys and liver as well. It is also a great anti-cancer and tumor treatment. The studies showed great results in efficiency for the treatment of breast cancer and other female cancer. 

This very nutritive herb is great combined with nettle and raspberry leaves. Use 6 to 15 grams in one pint of water.

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Behind The Asana: Episode 33 - Feminine Radiance (Part 3 - Raspberry Leaf)

Raspberry Leaf

As you know from the name, the fruit of that plant is pretty common. Little known fact is that the leaf is the best medicinal part of the plant. Consuming the leaves in an infusion aids in all phases of a woman's moon cycle. It acts to ease uterine cramps and relaxes the uterus to get it into an ease. The raspberry leaves are recommended for women with excessive menstrual bleeding or painful cramps. It will calm the uterus and reduce the flow of blood.

The leaves are also amazing during the pregnancy for women who are experiencing cramping. It will help a healthy formation of the fetus and stop bleeding gums. It can also be used to calm contractions during labor and reduce the flow of diarrhea before the menstruation or during the pregnancy. Women have been using this plant for centuries to help bring healthy precious children into the world.

The raspberry leaf is a nutritive herb that has to be used on the course of 3 months or more to be effective. It is great combined with nettle to provide essential vitamins and minerals. It will help bring back the ease into the body, which is our birth right.

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Behind The Asana: Episode 32 - Feminine Radiance (Part 2 - Nettle)

Nettle (Urtica Dioica)

The nettle, or stinging nettle, is one of the most nourishing herb you can find. It has so many benefits on the  body, taking care of every system. The nettle nourishes the stomach, the lungs, and is also beneficial for your adrenal health. It does help the endocrine system and refills your body in iron, potassium and calcium. Plus, the production of white cells is increased, relieves menstrual cramps and helps women's general moon cycle. 

On a spiritual level, the energy of the nettle is like the one of a loving older sister. It takes care of you. The plant will help you build disease fighting agents and cleanse your body. It also has an impact on the sex hormone and the stress hormone. These two hormones have a very delicate and intricate relationship. With this plant, we can nourish these hormones and get balance back into the body. In this world, we are constantly facing stress for many different reasons and it keeps us out of our natural hormonal state, which would be rest, digest and reproduce. 

Using nettle infusions for 3 months is recommended for a cleanse or to balance your hormones back into natural state. 6 to 15 grams in a pint of water, 3 times / day. 


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Behind The Asana: Episode 31 - Feminine Radiance (Part 1)

Damiana (Turnera Diffusa)

Damiana is a plant native from Mexico that grows into a beautiful fragrant flower that you can crush in your hands.

Used as a medicine, it is known to bring deeper awareness to cells and sensations. It is used also to stimulate digestion and eliminate the toxins from the digestive system.

On a spiritual level, it enhances creativity and eases sadness through the heart chakra. Used in a group of friends, it encourages the flow of truth through the body and helps communication.

2 ounces infused in a pint of water is good on a daily basis. Keep a pot on it as you won't want to lose the delicious volatile oils. Smell, enjoy the scent and drink a cup! Then slowly get back into that natural feminine state of ease that is our natural right.

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Behind The Asana: Episode 30 - Feminine Radiance (Intro)

Welcome to this six part series about Feminine Radiance!

We will focus on the secrets of Mother Earth and plant medicine in the next few episodes. We will learn how to reach and support this state of Feminine Radiance that comes from hormonal balance. The hormones are chemical messengers throughout the body. To reach that beautifully balanced fertility, we need to reconnect with that inner wisdom that flows freely through a perfectly balanced body. To get there, we'll give you some tips on how to use the  wonderful elements nature is providing us with!

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Goddess Rising: Sierra Frost

Every week, we are unconditionally grateful to share this space here on the Passion Yoga School blog with the phenomenal ladies of the health, wellness and personal development community. This is our opportunity to connect and collaborate with these incredible movers and shakers, as they do amazing things, follow their passions, and make the world a better place. This week, Sierra Frost took the time to share her journey with us!


Sierra Frost is a graduate of the Healing Arts Institute in Fort Collins, CO and Passion Yoga School in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. She serves clients wanting to reconnect with their bodies and free their minds, to move onto more joyous, active lifestyles after trauma. Sierra uses a combination of modalities of yoga, massage therapy, mental health awareness, mindfulness, and neurolinguistic programming in her work. With previous experience in the field of education, she maintains an informative style of communication and enjoys clients of all ages. Sierra especially lights up when she teaches through speaking events and workshops. When Sierra is not teaching or giving bodywork, you can find her writing poetry, running marathons, volunteering, and traveling the world.

Facebook | Website


Passion Yoga School: How do you use your work as a spiritual tool?

Sierra: I believe we all have a spiritual compass. Sometimes we call this our core values, our religion, God, the universe, divinity, faith, and on and on. I believe by facilitating space for people to become aware of personal behavior patterns, we also uncover our own spirituality. When we become clear on what that is for each of us, we are able to design a lifestyle that supports our spirituality and connects us to humanity by way of knowing we ALL experience this deep essence as a compass. We can then honor our own actions, as well as the actions of others, knowing we are all doing our best with the resources we have. I practice every modality that I facilitate in my personal life. I believe to teach effectively, we need to be experiencing what we ask of our students. I know my work is a spiritual tool because I have faced my own struggles using the same practices and continue to go deeper each day. I will only ask of others what I am willing to do and be myself.

PYS: The cracks are how the light gets in. Tell us how your core wounds have inspired your work.

Sierra: I grew up being sexually abused and was put in the position of learning how to care for myself almost immediately. I experienced how our interactions with other humans can affect our lives and understanding of the world as a young child, which translated to learning what kind of world I wanted to live in and how I could use my interactions to create that world with other people. I learned to practice radical empathy through vulnerability, curiosity, and forgiveness of my family members, and ultimately myself. Upon adulthood I wanted to understand how I became a statistical anomaly in a clearer way. This motivated me to immerse myself in tangible self care skills, human development, brain science, physiology, anatomy, and philosophy of yoga. I wanted to know how stress travels through our mental, emotional, energetic, and physical bodies. I wanted to understand how divinity showed up in my personal life. I wanted to believe that I was not alone. I wanted to find the path that pushed beyond trauma, beyond what I was told, even beyond social normalcies of happiness, and into bliss. I know now this is possible. The reason behind anything I do in life is rooted in my belief that humans deserve to feel safe and have tools to create joy in this life.

PYS: What is your worst habit and what are you doing to improve it?

Sierra: My worst habit is piling on tons of commitments until I have no time or balance in my life. Sometimes it is related to attaching my worth to my accomplishments instead of knowing that I am valuable simply by being still and breathing. I have a system I created for myself to have one task per day for each facet of life. I have specific boundaries for how much time per day or week I am spending on a topic or task. This creates a space that I can address my needs in all areas, then triggers me to check in with myself and see if I am called to do more or to stop and have space. I ask people I know to hold me accountable for rest, art, and dancing because those activities rejuvenate me.

PYS: What advice would you offer to other goddesses working to actualize their potential?

Sierra: The advice I would give to other goddesses would be that no other outcome is possible besides success. When you run into an obstacle, ask everyone you know about it, research it, and use these connections and resources to move through it. We have service all around us, if we are willing to be vulnerable to say we need help, accept nobody does this life alone, and receive what is offered. The world needs your authentic passion and purpose; anything less serves no one. Be huge!!

PYS: What does your daily spiritual practice look like?

Sierra: Each evening I make sure to check my schedule for which tasks I have the next day. I plan into my schedule a grounding space where I do yoga practice, affirmations, connect to spirit through music, breath, and gratitude (mindful minutes). I revisit my spiritual plan every 3 months to rotate tools, affirmations, and mindful minutes to what serves me best according to my target goals for that season, knowing these goals are guided by my personal spiritual practice.

PYS: What secrets (past or present) have kept you from living in your truth?

Sierra: We often hide our shame and shadows from others, when these experiences are very often the fuel that manifests our destiny. Have you hidden from anything within you that has held you back in actualizing full self love?

I hid my experience of being abused for almost 20 years. It was only when I became so physically ill that I did not want to live anymore that I felt forced to share my true story with the world. I felt shame that I was not worthy of safety or love and that I needed to maintain indifference in my emotions so that I could save the world. I believed the only path to being loved was to hide what I saw as flaws. When I sense shame now, I immediately tell someone so that nothing remains secret. This is a difficult practice sometimes and I believe it grounds me to my spirituality and lifestyle.

PYS: Who inspires you? Who should we interview next?

Sierra: The people who inspire my work include Brene Brown, Elizabeth Gilbert, Louise Hay, Bessel Van Der Kolk, Jim Henry, Thomas Meyers, and the eyes of children and puppies. You should just post a lot of photos of the eyes of children and puppies looking into the reader believing that they are limitless to be anything they choose.

Student Spotlight : Margherita Feldman

PYS: When did you complete the program?

Margherita: July 2015

PYS: Tell us about how you're now living your yoga practice.

Margherita: I live my yoga practice by constantly striving to be the best version of myself. I strive to help others reach their own self-realization of greatness and wholeness.  I am always looking to expand and grow toward love and light. I share my passion for personal development with my students, friends, and family.

PYS: What was the biggest change you saw in your being after the experience?

Margherita: I feel like I have an elevated and expanded consciousness and awareness with myself and others. I am seeking growth in all areas of my life. I used to let myself feel small and feel defeated by situations that would arise. Since attending PYS, I feel more aware of myself, and I know the tools I can use to conquer any  challenges.

PYS: Please share with us your social media links and / or promotional material that we can share with the post.
instagram: @yoga_margherita

Student Spotlight : Sarah Albert

Passion Yogis - Where are they now- (4).jpg

PYS: When did you complete the program?

Sarah: March 2016

PYS: Tell us about how you're now living your yoga practice.

Sarah: Since graduating from Passion Yoga School, I have been living my yoga practice on and off the mat, in the kitchen, at new studios, through different employment opportunities, and as fiercely as possible!  I still chant the mantras we learned and have continued to read our texts and notes to stay connected to the jungle goddess you groomed me into.  From making malas, to fermenting foods, I strive to stay present, without attachment.  My understanding of yoga is that as soon as I feel I've mastered something, I become a novice all over again.  It's rocky and awesome.

PYS: What was the biggest change you saw in your being after the experience?

Sarah: Perhaps the largest shift I have witnessed since returning home is my blind faith in following my heart.  I quit my salary job, changed my diet, and have noticed my social groups changing immensely.  I've taught over 115 hours these past  7 months, and last week alone I reached over 70 students. I immerse myself in the conscious community, volunteer for retreats, and participate in more spaces.  Since leading a ceremony for the full moon in Costa Rica to pray for clean water, I've conducted two hour gatherings for the summer solstice and fall equinox.    I'm working with the energy body and trying to keep myself accountable to be a student of the world.  Kundalini has called my name, and I've been meditating to the Japji for the past 47 days, with a commitment to add another 20 minute global sadhana to my daily practice to praise universal oneness.  Whenever I slip up and notice the negative chatter coming back to gossip or self-harm, I reach for the skills on my yogi tool-(festival, sparkle, feathered)-belt.

PYS: Please share with us your social media links and / or promotional material that we can share with the post.

Sarah: I don't have a website just for teaching yet, but I do have some links to other endeavors:

Student Spotlight : Sarah Hardy

PYS: When did you complete the program?

Sarah: August 2016

PYS: Tell us about how you're now living your yoga practice.

Sarah: Wow, everything in my life has changed so much. Not just my yoga practice as in asana but my spirituality. Passion yoga has helped take me to the next level.
Other than the obvious teaching Monday nights to a group of incredible beginner women and men who I get to help shape into rad yogis and share some teachings and practices of YOGA... every day i do my best to choose LOVE over fear and hate. Love above all else. I recognize patterns in myself that without Passion Yoga school i would have never been able to realize and move past. I have a daily asana practice and i do my best (although there is room for improvement) to nourish my body and mind with healthy choices.... but honestly sometimes you just need to watch reality TV and sometimes you need ice cream for supper. Everything in moderation. ;) <3

PYS: What was the biggest change you saw in your being after the experience?

Sarah: My confidence. I am not afraid anymore to ask questions, I am not afraid to put myself out there to the world.
Before Passion Yoga School I compared myself to EVERYONE every pretty girl i saw on instagram or google, and i judged (myself the hardest) and now i have learned that i don't need to do that, i can love myself AND everyone else <3

PYS: Please share with us your social media links and / or promotional material that we can share with the post.

instagram is richsoulyoga_ (my website for my retreats isn't live yet when it will be i will let you know, its for now my insta is perfect
insta @theprairieyogi Facebook @theprairieyogi


Student Spotlight : Beth Ryan

PYS: When did you complete the program?

Beth: summer 2016

PYS: Tell us about how you're now living your yoga practice.

Beth: I take class every chance I get and teach 5 classes a week, but I'm mostly living my yoga practice in my relationships-- with other people and with myself.  I'm working on being more compassionate and more calm, I find myself doing pranayama breathing several times a day if I feel overwhelmed or if I just need a moment to myself!

PYS: What was the biggest change you saw in your being after the experience?

Beth: My perspective and my emotional maturity has changed.  After Costa Rica, I feel like I've been born again and I'm seeing things more clearly.  It's only the beginning and I'm excited for my future.

PYS: Please share with us your social media links and / or promotional material that we can share with the post.,

Beth: I'm currently running an interview series on my Facebook page called "Purpose" talking to women in Omaha about issues that are important to women.  Meeting the extraordinary women in Costa Rica helped inspire me to keep my word, finish this project, and get it out into the world.  There is much work for us women to do in the world, no more time for holding back.

Student Spotlight : Lesley Sawyer

PYS: When did you complete the program?

Lesley: March 2016

PYS: Tell us about how you're now living your yoga practice.

Lesley: I incorporate yoga into every aspect of my life now. Whether it be cooking, teaching, laughing, breathing, everything is yoga. I travel and teach workshops at various festivals and am doing community donation based classes in my hometown. I'm seeking to open my own studio in the near future.

PYS: What was the biggest change you saw in your being after the experience?

Lesley: I am more aware of myself and my surroundings and how I react to situations. I have more control of my heart and mind and it is more difficult to shake my peace.

PYS: Please share with us your social media links and / or promotional material that we can share with the post.


Student Spotlight : Shelby Burnsed

PYS: When did you complete the program?

Shelby: March 2016

PYS: Tell us about how you're now living your yoga practice.

Shelby: Through intentional living, I am able to live yoga on and off the mat. I get to share my heart by teaching weekly, donation based classes in my community and creating space for education, inspiration, and connection with God.

PYS: What was the biggest change you saw in your being after the experience?

Shelby: The awareness of my purpose in the world was brought to life after Passion Yoga School. I discovered true self-love and the importance of self-care. The best and biggest change I've noticed is my ability to recognize God in myself and every person I meet.

PYS: Please share with us your social media links and / or promotional material that we can share with the post.

FB: Health Works
IG: @shelbeachyogi

Student Spotlight : Danielle Walter Nolan

PYS: When did you complete the program?

Danielle: July 2016

PYS: Tell us about how you're now living your yoga practice.

Danielle: I immediately followed my yoga teacher training with a thai massage course taught by Julie Hickey. I actually just had an interview today and will soon be teaching yoga at a local studio and Thai Massage at the same place. Before I came to this teacher training I had already begun implementing more yoga into my daily routine, which definitely lead me to the Passion Yoga School. Now that I've taken the training I am continuing to implement ALL forms of yoga into my life, not just asana, but pranayama, chanting, reading sacred texts, etc. And some days it may just be breathing deeply when writing emails but I feel SO much better and more mindful about my life, journey, and work. I am also excited to be continuing my yogic path with more training in the future!

PYS: What was the biggest change you saw in your being after the experience?

Danielle: The biggest change I see in myself – what a loaded question! Before I came to Costa Rica I thought I had already gone through hell, not that we went through hell, but it was an emotional hell, emotional love, and everything in between! LOL, and well, I guess for me, I had to step back and look at myself head on, square in the eyes, to begin my transformation, and I had not done that before. It was always other people looking at me with questions, answers, reason’s why, etc. This program taught me to do my own dirty work, and without judgment. It's a continual process but I am forever grateful for the journey we all took together. I'm seeing now with BOTH eyes open, I've learned there's a much larger world out there that I’m ready to fully dive into. The vision that I see for me now is much different, but it's actually much better that I had ever imagined.

PYS: Please share with us your social media links and / or promotional material that we can share with the post.

DNK Presents:

Live Adventurously Film:
Website (coming soon):

Adi Shakti's story of the heartbreak of humanitarian service

...the following is an excerpt from Resilience Through Yoga and Meditation, a book Adi co-authored with Denita Austin and other global yoga leaders. It is available at Amazon here. 

I am a blessed soul.  I have been given opportunities, hand over fist, to expand my consciousness, connect with my sisters all over the globe, and to actively pursue stillness in the nosiest of places.  I am a yoga student and teacher, committing my life to expanding my capacity for bliss, to healing the traumas of this life and others, and to supporting others in that same journey.  

In a few short years, I have traveled back and forth from India, Thailand, Cambodia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, the US, and more.  I have led groups of inspired philanthropists and yoga practitioners into corners of the globe that needed love, presence, and financial support.  I watched my efforts positively impact others, a dream, at 24, for a young professional in the nonprofit field.  I felt that my spiritual practice was growing, and that my capacity for responsibility, work, and service was infinitely expanding.  But then, there was a shift.  I would like to share my story, to illustrate how I arrived where I am, in my process of awakening.

Costa Rica 2011

The sun slowly begins to rise and the howler monkey calls shatter the stillness of dawn.  The loud morning ritual, accompanied by a steamy early morning tropical downpour, is my jungle alarm clock.  I am in Puerto Viejo, Talamanca, Costa Rica, an Afro Caribbean beach town that has recently become a magnet for backpackers, hippies, healers, and peace seekers from every corner of the Earth.  Italians, Argentines, Chinese, Canadians, Israelis, Frenchmen, Americans, and more, mostly speaking English or Spanish as the language of commerce.  The beaches are gorgeous, the jungle is full of wildlife, and the Rasta surfer men attract women from all over the globe to engage in wild partying nights of who knows what.

Upon leaving the coast and heading inland, the “real” Costa Rica is found.  Banana and pineapple plantations, large families living in small houses, children in tattered hand-me-down clothes, and farm workers earning 2$ an hour for their hard labor while enduring the many dangers of commercial agriculture.  I was contracted by a nonprofit to start an English and Enrichment program for this community.  At 22, I entered the community with an S on my chest with high hopes of saving the world.  Starting work at the local elementary school, I was frustrated and confused that the Director of the school was not receptive to my save-the-world attitude (Gasp!).  About a month or two into the project, once I spoke Spanish and was able to understand the children, I found myself having second thoughts about the meaning of what I was doing.  Who am I to assume that English is an intrinsic good?  Was my time and energy just an imperialistic effort to convert the native people into ‘better’, ‘easier to deal with’ workers for the people who are already oppressing them? This hit me hard.  Really hard.

Let me be clear, Costa Rica has identified learning English as a value.  Tourism is one of the top sources of income for the country, and an English speaking Costa Rican will most likely make more money in their life than one who only speaks Spanish. The public school system requires that the high school students pass a very challenging English competency exam to gain their diploma.  The majority of the elementary schools have English teachers, but the Limon province has typically been left behind by the Costa Rican government (a topic worth researching for an interested party).  They lack the funds to offer preparatory English classes for the elementary  school children.  

Many of my children share rooms and beds with their siblings.  Many of their parents can’t afford the $300 to buy the necessities to send them to school.  None of the parents can afford cars, few can afford bicycles for their children.  Many of their parents are illiterate.  My kids were so happy all the same. 

It was a constant battle for me to consciously check my intentions as to why I was teaching them my language.  Are my intentions to help my children live happier, more fulfilling lives?  Or are they to help my children understand that it is important to always want more, strive for more, have more, be more?  To be happier and more fulfilled, is a common human goal.  To be constantly hungry for more, is the projection of my American made, tortured brain’s struggle with inadequacy.  I did not want to push this onto my children.  Imposing the ‘grass is greener’ complex in no way helps me fulfill my goal of making them happier and more at peace human beings.

Due to my inner struggle, and outer conflict with the director at the school, I moved the program to a private center in the same community.  It is a completely voluntary program for the children.  I was there with them after school, every day.  Those who wanted to learn English and engage in the other activities I offer (yoga, art, etc) were welcome to come and play.  This allowed me to create the program more in line with my ideals, without the hoop jumping of the Costa Rican school bureaucracy. 

This experience was a struggle in keeping a constant check on my intentions.  I developed this program to fulfill a need for the community, but I must fulfill their need, not my idea of their need.  My advice for grassroots soldiers?  Empower the community leaders to be the initiators of the shift.  To be of any good to any community, you must come in wide open and ready to listen.  From that place, you can use your knowledge and experience to create a model that will work for them and with them.  

After the program was established, I moved back to my hometown, Indianapolis, Indiana to work for a company specializing in conscious international travel and global service. 

India 2013

India.  Sweet mother India.  I was heading back for my third time this year, though that was never my intention, and there are few things I crave more than the vibrant colors, foreign smiles, and polite namastes.  I journeyed with a group of 20 practitioners, who were able to meet their goal, into the red light districts of Kolkata. Collectively, the initiative raised over one million dollars to support the work of various organizations working to protect young women in Kolkata from the brutal sex trafficking industry. 

The vivid memory of the Bow bazar drop-in center will haunt me for as long as I live. Bow bazar is one of the many red-light districts sprinkled across Kolkata.  We journeyed from our air conditioned tour bus into the depths of the district, walking past brothel after brothel, seeing the vacant faces of the young women I had only dared to read about.  Their bright lips and skeptical eyes scream panic and indifference in the way that extreme contrast weaves its way throughout all of India.  I felt as though I was on a movie set, and I have never felt so removed from my own experience.

From the men smoking their cigarettes, glaring at me in a way that made me want to jump out of my skin, to the emaciated dogs hungrily grazing the piles and piles of filth lining the streets – I was removed. Then, we approached the center.

Typically, children stay in the room with their mothers while they are forced to commit unspeakable actions.  I have read that it is the equivalent of $1 for sex with a condom, and $2 for sex without.  The youngest of the girls would have been locked up in the brothels we passed, raped nearly 30 times a day by the same men that will go home to their powerless wives.  These drop in centers have a noble purpose, to give the children of the women a relatively safe place to go while their mothers are working.

As we approached the center, we went through an alley and were escorted into the room by what appeared to be a security guard.  We then entered a 15X15 room packed full of young children on the floor with their school work.  We sat and listened as the children went around the room introducing themselves to us in English, and I looked to my right to see one of our passengers allowing the tears to fall down her face.  They offered us a Bollywood dance, putting the entirety of their tiny hearts into expressing themselves through the music, and I remember the faces of pride as we offered them applause as they finished.

Of the thirty children in the room, I recall only three of them being girls.  Looking around, I couldn’t help but wonder in terror.  Where are all the little girls?

This was just one of the many afternoons I spent in Kolkata.  Most of the time, I was dancing, laughing, and learning with young girls who have recently been rescued from the industry.  There are several facilities that house and protect the girls, so that their pimps are not able to steal them back into the underworld.  The majority of the funds raised supported these centers, basically orphanages, for the vulnerable girls. 

Playing with the girls, I would be in a moment of joy, connecting with their beautiful innocence in a pure and loving way.  Suddenly, my mind would be interrupted by the thoughts of what has happened to this child and the pain and loneliness they must feel. There are no words.
In Yoga, we are taught that we are one.  Sitting in the comfort of my living room, I was able to make these girls separate, those girls, in that far off country, with those strange and foreign circumstances.  There is something that washes over you as you hold THAT girl to your chest.  You are ignited, furious, peaceful, wounded, and healed.  I am still working on processing this experience.  There are so many complexities in this line of work.  I want to connect, to heal, to understand, and to love women from all across the world.  At the same time, I want to connect, to heal, to understand and to love myself.  Svadyaya, or self-inquiry, is a continued practice for me in my work abroad.  I must work from a divine place in my heart and resist the ego-driven attachment to outcomes that haunts my dreams.  I am still learning, and every day I am thankful to those wise and beautiful women I encounter out in the world who laugh at me lovingly, as a I stumble through their culture and do my best to learn, love, and heal.


I believe in living on purpose.  I have had the privilege and joy of teaching, living, traveling and serving in many corners of our majestic planet.  This is what empowered me.  I wanted the rich variety of culture, art, food, nature, mountains, beaches, architecture, and more. Variety and diversity inspired me.  I felt that I was learning, expanding, growing.  Every new step on fresh soil was a symbol of my freedom. Every time the plane hit the ground in a new country, I was filled with excitement, gratitude, and awe.  Yes, I have been granted this gift in seeing the world and expanding my awareness, but it comes with its share of trauma, loss, and burden.
I cried alone in my hotel room after playing with young girls recently rescued from prostitution rings in India.  I was physically sick after spending a day in the torture camps and counting skulls in Cambodia.  I was tearful as I sat before a little girl in Guatemala and told her that she was beautiful, smart, special, and powerful.  I wondered if that was the best thing to do as her parents were unable to put her into school or meet the hygiene requirements of the local programs.  Was I providing false hope?  In Ecuador, I watched in horror as we scooped oil from the surface of the Earth with our hands.  I felt sick and powerless knowing that I would inevitably head back to the United States to fill up my car and continue to exploit the Earth.  In Costa Rica, I traveled deep into the village of Dururpe, where I met with community leaders to discuss what they needed to support the health and culture of the BriBri tribe.

Absence of Home

One of my first deeply rooted spiritual conflicts was in the disappearance of ‘home’.  After living in Latin America for several years of my life, traveling to India a handful of times, leading groups of Westerners into horrifically heart wrenching zones of human rights violations and more, I can’t walk into my Grandpa’s kitchen in Clermont, Indiana as the same charming Indiana girl.  Things have shifted.  I am not the same in my head or heart, and my family, friends, and even husband can’t begin to grasp the extent of the pain I have witnessed or fully understand my world view.  I come home and I sit with my friends and family, listening to them talk of politics, movies, sports, music, T.V. shows and I feel drowned in indifference.  It’s hard.  Very hard.

I’m not home out in the world, either.  In Costa Rica, I am a Gringa.  In India, I am a spiritual tourist.  In New York, I am there for a weekend long conference.  It is difficult to feel fully seen.  Sometimes I wish I could go back.  I wish that I didn’t see the Amazon forest floor poisoned by petroleum mining from the gas and other products that I mindlessly enjoy.  I wish I didn’t hold that little 8 year old girl to my heart, knowing that she had just recently been rescued from an environment where she had been raped 20 plus times a day for pennies on the dollar.  I wish I hadn’t spent so much time living in the jungle, where I see what intentional conscious living could look like and the work that is involved in truly unleashing my potential for greatness. 
I was working so very hard.  My life was a continuous stream of airports, hotels, buses,  computer screens, and conferences.  It wasn’t possible for me to separate the suffering of those we met from my own suffering, and I was incurring more and more trauma as I moved throughout the world.  I heard myself selling my work and using it as a tool to build my ego.  I became ashamed.  Abroad, I was a foreigner.  At home, there was no way for me to meaningfully express the experiences that I was having abroad. Those that I grew up with and that loved me seemed so far away.  Travel does that.

I was in an identity crisis.  I was watching all of my greatest dreams manifest before me, much earlier than I had expected.  I was trusted with large sums of money to make a big difference.  I was traveling to exotic locations and serving as a leader for other women.  I was becoming the world changer that I had dreamed of being since I was a little girl.  But there was an emptiness.  Still.

In an effort to re-assert my freedom and commitment to the path, I moved back to Costa Rica. Our little jungle town is full of exotic wildlife, incredible beaches, and warm soothing Caribbean waters.  We have a wellness community here unlike anything I have ever experienced in the world.  Every moment is an invitation for awareness.  We keep each other accountable in how we spend our time, the economies that we participate in, how we make our money, and how we treat our bodies.  It is incredible, heaven.  But I was still feeling lost.

I had set my life up in a way that my external surroundings matched exactly what I wanted.  I live in paradise.  I make my money as a full time yoga teacher and conscious entrepreneur.  I travel here and there as I please.  I don’t have an alarm clock.  I live in a place of extreme beauty and have incredible friends that support me.  I have an incredibly supportive and loving husband who cares for me deeply.  I had the courage to follow my heart and create the life of my dreams.  And still empty. 

The Spiritual Path

I believe that there is a state of expansion and working towards the light where you become consumed by the dark.  Your shadow surfaces, and as you shine more light into your soul, you have no choice but to love yourself in your shame.  It is not easy work.  I am in the process of confronting my own shadow, of finding my own unshakable home and connection to God within myself, and this is where I am in my teachings to my students.  I can only offer what I have experienced myself, and I offer my programs as an opportunity to begin these deeper inquiries into the source of our suffering.

In 2015, it became clear to me that my work was to dive directly into my own healing, rather than unsuccessfully working to heal myself through changing others. I know that international service will always be a part of my work, but it needs to manifest from a place of wholeness within my own heart. Reaching outward to fill an inner gap is not the path, and my career shifted. I began a Yoga Teacher Training and Self Empowerment Course here in Costa Rica that allows me to support other women in working towards wholeness. We work together as a community to heal our own hearts, so that we can become clearer about our own life’s work. This clarity brings a significant transition in our lifestyle, and after we fumble through this transition - we are in an empowered state of living. We can offer to the world from a place of divine inspiration, rather than a confused muddled attempt to heal ourselves through unconscious service to others. 

With deep spiritual inquiry, we begin to understand the potential of our own vital life force energy.  Are we using this energy to promote our deepest purpose?  Are we fulfilling our duties in this life to the best of our ability. We begin take responsibility for our internal condition.  Beginning to ask ourselves these questions can lead to a bit of a spiritual crisis, and only those willing to evaluate their life’s journey in a profound way should begin this work.
We do deep work here.  During teacher training, many students connect at a soul level with their teachers, fellow students, and with themselves.  There is a shift that happens when people come together with a goal like spiritual transformation, and it can be difficult to integrate into your previously normal life once you return home.  It is difficult to share the experience that you had with the people you love, and this could create a challenge for you to work through. 
People often ask me if yoga is in conflict with their religion.  I think that yoga can fit harmoniously within any faith, with one catch.  If you believe that your dance with God is the only path to peace, you will be forced to surrender this, as you walk down the path of Yoga.  If you are prepared to welcome everything into your heart as a reflection of the divine, then this could be a path for you.  The most important thing that you learn as you evolve along your spiritual journey is that we are all one.  We live in an existence where we are all a manifestation of the same divinity, and it is only our human confusion and illusion of separateness that breeds pain, isolation, and suffering. 

As you turn towards the light, you will begin to integrate spiritual truths.  You will inherently be challenged by this truth, and it can be a challenge to integrate new levels of awareness into your previous way of being.  This is why it is so very important to have a Sangha, or spiritual community, and a teacher that can guide and support you as you face roadblocks.  You are not alone, and you may be doing the best thing that you will ever do for yourself.  Just be aware.  Once you turn towards the light, there is no going back!

Practice and Resilience

The more that I travel, the more that everything looks the same.  I see God consistently behind it all.  The deeper that I dive into my spiritual practice, the more that I see the common denominator in all places.  Physical beauty, cultural beauty, you name it.  It is all of the same essence.  The work is inward.  I needed to create my dream life to recognize this, yet again.  I’m certain that there is nothing else that I could possibly ask for in this material world.  God has supported me fully in providing all of my needs so that I can focus on the spiritual realm.  What a gift. 

So I sit.  I pray.  I meditate.  I try to shed the layers of my personality that separate me from others.  I practice.  I teach.  The joy washes over me, and then it leaves.  It comes again, and then I am left hungry, angry, isolated, frustrated.  And then, the light comes back.  It is my work to build this light within my own soul.  To dwell in a state of knowing, abundance, and bliss.  Adjusting the physical world is not enough.  

It is said that as women we are the crystals of the planet. We absorb all of the negativity, the pain, the isolation of the injustices. It is then our work to filter that energy through our own energetic system to restore harmony in our own lives and around the world. A daily spiritual practice is our commitment to consistent renewal. We take what we absorb throughout our lives and commit to moving it through us. We must commit to taking our external lessons as tools for inner personal transformation. The work is internal. The change is internal. The freedom is internal. 

Bliss is an inside job. 

Service is Sexy ! 2016 Highlight Reel...

What a year it has been for Passion Yoga School. 

Over 130 teachers trained, we opened a Women’s Sanctuary in Cocles, and have grown emotionally. Almost died like 10 times.... but we made it.

Seva (Selfless service) is sexy, and Passion gives back. Here is a highlight reel of the ways we were able to be of service this year. 

1 - BriBri Cen Cinai

In collaboration with The Village Experience & BarnRaisers of Indiana - we were able to construct a Cen Cinae in the small BriBri pueblo of Durupe. After many trips out to the jungle, meetings with the BriBri Elders, approval from municipality and more - it FINALLY happened! 
The center will serve FIVE communities  Bribri, Katsi, Dururpe, Boca Uren, and Santa Elena in the zone. This will support the children and the mothers. 

The project has prioritized honoring the CULTURE of the BriBri in every way possible, and it was a project born from the desires of the elders. You should see the handwritten budget they made me...  :D

You can learn more about the project here:


2 - Classroom in India

Passion has NEARLY funded a complete classroom for a small Elementary School we support near Rishikesh. A couple of years ago, one of our groups funded a Water Station for the school as well - you can check that out here. Photos of classroom to come once construction is complete.

3 - Computers for Caribe Azul in Playa Chiquita

With our international partners, the BarnRaisers, we were able to donate 10 computers to the Elementary School in Playa Chiquita with 8 more coming after Christmas.

4 - Playground in Carbon

We were able to construct a playground for Carbon 1, the elementary school where I taught English back in 2011. Thank you BarnRaisers ! (It even got installed in the RAIN !)


5 - Playground in Puerto Viejo

In collaboration with community businesses and generous community members, we were able to fund the Play de Puerto Viejo in town center. We had so much fun installing, planting, painting, and playing together! 

6 - la escuela de puerto viejo & cin cinae puerto viejo

We donated / installed a swing set, re-finished the tables and chairs in the classrooms, and offered in kind donations (a ton of soccer balls and more) to the school in March.

We also painted the new building on site at the Cin Cinae and updated their playground. :)

7 - Escuelita Lero Lero Projects

With our Passion programs, we were able to offer service days and funds to Escuilita Lero Lero to get them rolling on Organic Gardening and beautification of Jetsie’s new school! YES!


A BIG THANK YOU to everyone that attended our programs, put together fundraisers, donated on the side, offered their hands in service - and made this work possible.

Seva is Sexy. Conscious Business is Sexy. You are Sexy.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.  


Are you awesome and want to give me money to do more cool stuff with? Most specifically... finish the classroom in India and get some more things rolling at the Puerto Viejo playground.

Send me an email please at . THANK YOU! (501c3 receipts available for donations over $500)

Goddess Rising: Jess Tomlinson

Every week, we are unconditionally grateful to share this space here on the Passion Yoga School blog with the phenomenal ladies of the health, wellness and personal development community. This is our opportunity to connect and collaborate with these incredible movers and shakers, as they do amazing things, follow their passions, and make the world a better place. This week, Jess Tomlinson took the time to share her journey with us!

Jess Tomlinson adores supporting ambitious single women who have been successful in business but are secretly longing for love. Through her private and group coaching and international retreats, Jess helps women relax into their Radiant Feminine so that they can powerfully and easily attract the deep, meaningful, supportive partnership they deserve.

Jess has been leading women's empowerment groups for more than 5 years and is honored to have co-produced a local TEDxWomen event, TEDxFremontEastWomen, in her hometown of Las Vegas for 3 consecutive years. Her expert advice has been shared on multiple media outlets including alongside Byron Katie on WNPR as well as on live TV for Las Vegas' NBC affiliate station, to name a few. Jess was also featured as one of the Top 5 Empowered Women Entrepreneurs in Luxury Las Vegas Magazine.

Facebook | Instagram | Website

Passion Yoga School: How do you use your work as a spiritual tool?

Jess Tomlinson: I love supporting women in recognizing that relationships can be the source of our greatest spiritual awakening! Heartbreak and love can either shut us down, or wake us up. Through my work, I guide women into recognizing their deepest desires and show them how these very desires are what a man longs to fulfill! It's quite amazing the breakthroughs and understanding about how masculine and feminine dynamics work, when my clients open themselves up to this new way of nurturing relationships. Since my clients are ambitious women, they are often operating from the place of "decision maker" (masculine) and aren't able to ease out of this role in relationships. Once they learn how to let go, relax into their feminine and trust...the man they have always dreamed of usually shows up! It's a beautiful spiritual experience when a woman realizes that all she's ever desired lives with her greater feminine just takes a bit of fine tuning.

PYS: The cracks are how the light gets in. Tell us how your core wounds have inspired your work.

Jess: The moments that have left me lifeless, unsure how to go on and frustrated have been from heartbreak. I spent most of my life operating as a leader, making decisions and busting ass in corporate America. I was afraid to be beautiful, because I thought that wouldn't make me smart. So, I downplayed my beauty, put on layers of "smart" protection and marched on. Little did I know that this way of operating was actually keeping me from receiving the partnership I so desperately desired. One where the man would take control, adore me and support my endless array of emotions. I would deny support from men in the simplest ways...if they wanted to open the door, I would rush to do it first, for example. I was so terrified of being seen as weak. Thank goodness after a 2 1/2 year relationship will a tall, dark and handsome doctor (I thought I had it made)...he didn't show up for Christmas even though he had bought a plane ticket, and my world forever changed. I vowed to do things understand what was going wrong. He later came back and proposed...and I believe it was because I had begun honoring my desires and my feminine power and beauty. I declined his proposal, but am so grateful for the was the most powerful, clear decision to say "no" that I have made to this day. Now, I'm so inspired to teach women what I have learned so that they can powerfully and effortlessly attract a man who will honor their feminine beauty and support them in what they desire.

PYS: What is your worst habit and what are you doing to improve it?

Jess: My worst habit is dimming my light. While I am a confident woman, I often hold back for fear of being too much, stealing the opportunity for other women to shine, or because I'm worried what I say doesn't matter much. It's so interesting because I've been on multiple stages, spoken in front of thousands, and yet, in intimate settings or with other people who I believe are really smart, I hold back. Because of this, I have been honoring my Radiant light by speaking up in groups when I feel the urge. Reminding myself that it actually doesn't matter if the comment benefits the group, instead, simply speaking up honors my voice and is a reminder to my soul that I matter. 

PYS: What advice would you offer to other goddesses working to actualize their potential?

Jess: Be gentle on yourself. My coaching style is very different in the sense that much of it is about softening instead of "doing something." We have enough to do in this world, and we don't spend enough time just BEING. One analogy I love to give my clients is to treat themselves as if they were a child, or someone you love dearly...if you wouldn't speak to a child or a loved one in the way you speak to yourself, soften your self talk. I see the Radiant Light in you!

PYS: What does your daily spiritual practice look like?

Jess: My spiritual practice happens mostly in the shower! I set my cell phone on the bathroom counter (something I learned from a boyfriend) and play music from my Amazon Prime account, usually the Devi Prayer. Then, I spray essential oils in the shower, put my hands on my heart, take a deep breath, and say a prayer for my day. Another part of my daily practice, because I am a relationship coach, is to observe men that I see while out and about and appreciate something about them...anything. Whether it is the kindness of their eyes, the way they offered to help a woman lift her bag into the overhead compartment on a plane, or even the lower tone of their voice. It's amazing how this practice alone has allowed me to attract deep, spiritual, loving relationships.

PYS: What secrets (past or present) have kept you from living in your truth?

Jess: I'm a pretty tell-all person, however one thing that I've been hiding lately is my recent break-up. Since I'm a relationship coach, I have a fear of being seen as a fraud when my own relationships end, even though they are the very things that make me a great relationship coach because I learn so much! My latest relationship was the most beautiful experience I've ever had with a man. I felt cherished. Taken care of. He truly stepped up as a man so that I could relax into my feminine. It was divine. I quit my corporate job and was ready to more where he lived (different state)...even though it was his suggestion, he ended up breaking up with me a week after I quit my job. It was devastating, heartbreaking and I am still processing this experience. In fact, just writing this is getting me excited to speak about it more so we can all heal our collective love wounds together!  

PYS: Who inspires you?

Jess: Sooo many people inspire me! However, one person is coming to mind right now...I interviewed her during my tele summit, The Me Time Movement Summit, and finally met her in person just recently. She is a beautiful women. I cried just being around her because I felt truly seen (those are powerful people!). Her name is Libby Crow.

Goddess Rising: Haley Night

Every week, we get to share this space with an inspiring woman from the health, wellness and self development community. It is such a lovely opportunity to be able to connect and build with so many compelling women from around the world as they follow their passion. This Wednesday, we give thanks for Haley Night, a spiritual business mentor, sharing her journey with us.

Haley Night is a spiritual business mentor who works with heart-centered women entrepreneurs to help them to build their business through the deepening of their spiritual practice. The guiding principle of her business and the work that she does is that your business is nothing more than a reflection of your own internal condition. A former ivy league psychotherapist, she works with her clients 1:1, at retreats and through group masterminds using a combination of mindset coaching, energetic healing, spiritual guidance and intuitive business strategy work. Haley's free guided meditation to magnify your manifesting can be found here.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram 

Passion Yoga School: How do you use your work as a spiritual tool?

Haley Night: The work that I do as an entrepreneur and my spiritual path are one in the same. I lead by the guiding principle that your business (or career, relationship, etc.) is only as healthy as you are. This means that the only way to have success in business is to follow your path, deepen your intuition and put yourself first.

When you're an entrepreneur, your business is going to reflect back to you all of the dark corners in your life that you previously decided not to work on. It brings up the stuff you've been ignoring. My work invited me to go deeper into my own healing, fiercely and unapologetically. 

PYS: The cracks are how the light gets in. Tell us how your core wounds have inspired your work.

Haley: The wounds that I've experienced in my life haven't just inspired my work, they ARE my work. When you're on a spiritual path, you are forever healing; we pull back a new layer as we unfold and step further onto our paths as light workers. It is then our divine responsibility to share openly about our own healing.

My core wounds and the work I will forever be doing to heal are exactly what attracts the women to me who most need my support. We are constantly teaching to others what we are currently healing ourselves. So many women, especially healers and coaches, believe that they have to be "healed" or have it all together in order to teach others. This is a teaching from the patriarchy that is no longer serving us as women. Now is the time to step forward. Right now.

Having been trained as a psychotherapist in the ivy league systems for years, I went through a process of picking up stories about lack and stringent boundaries that has taken years to unlearn. It is my belief that the more vulnerable we are as healers in the world, the more we empower other women to do the same. Sharing your story is the most powerful thing you can do. 

PYS: What is your worst habit and what are you doing to improve it?

Haley: I've been on an almost life-long journey of healing my body image and the diet-binge cycle that had been consistently pulling my away from my path towards truth. One of the behaviors that I continue to struggle within this area is consistently nourishing my body in the morning, despite intuitively knowing how much better I feel when I do. What helps me with this is to actually decide on a few different breakfast options the night before. I don't like to "decide" definitively as this is a diet habit from the past. However, knowing what some options are and slowing down enough in the morning to remember that my body requires and deserves nourishment is the action I'm taking. Most importantly: If I don't eat breakfast I don't beat myself up for that. I love myself enough to know that skipping breakfast isn't the end of the world. Beating myself up around engaging in a habit that I'm trying to change is often worse than the habit itself. I've learned through my training that when we're engaging in a behavior, it's nothing more than a symptom that there's an emotion we're trying to avoid. So, I slow down and I turn within and figure out what's going on. That's the work.

PYS: What advice would you offer to other goddesses working to actualize their potential?

Haley: To the goddesses, sisters and priestesses out there who are stepping onto this path, I thank you with a deep bow because the world needs you. Avoid choosing an idol or a guru. When you try to follow someone else's path or teachings too closely you are closing yourself off to realizing your full potential as a light worker. True actualization comes from an openness to learn from a myriad of teachers and then releasing all of that and asking Spirit how to integrate this work into your own unique approach. Be authentic and vulnerable.

I also offer to these women the truth of simplicity around one of the most important principles we have to learn; surrender. It's nothing more than acknowledging that we don't know.

PYS: What does your daily spiritual practice look like?

Haley: My daily practice is whatever intuitively feels good to me on any given day. For me personally, when I try to follow a "routine" it ends up feeling like something to check off a list and defeats the purpose. 

I start my day in stillness, simply checking in with where I'm at and deciding what I need. Sometimes that's not much at all, and other times it includes an hour or so of ritual. The only constant is that I ask spirit to work through me and I acknowledge that I'm not in charge.

Some practices that I truly love are lighting a candle, anointing with oil, playing with my crystals, pulling angel cards and meditating. This is always changing and I love learning new things. Spirituality, to me, is like being a kid in a candy store! It's so fun, there is so much out there to learn and you get to pick and choose what intuitively feels good.

PYS: What secrets (past or present) have kept you from living in your truth?

Haley: Our secrets are what keeps us stuck and sick. They fill us with such potent shame and isolation. When you're IN the darkness, a secret can feel safe and seductive even; especially to those of us craving a deep need for control.

In the past, my eating disorder was a secret. Many people will relate to the fact of how equally good and painful it is to keep secrets around eating disorders. It's a part of the cycle of control. This secret kept me in chains for over a decade. Healing begins when we practice radical honesty with our loved ones. For me, this extended beyond that to opening up vulnerably to the world. There are so many women out there who are still hiding this secret, so I'm serving as a voice for them.

A secret that I've recently started to talk about is an unhealthy relationship that I left with someone who was actively struggling with substance abuse. When you're in a relationship with an addict you begin to lose track of the many, many secrets; lies you're telling yourself especially. This relationship, although one of the most painful experiences of my life, is part of what guided me to deepen on my spiritual path. I look at this "secret" as one that ultimately helped me to live my truth in a deeper way. Removing myself from this situation was the most empowering decision I've made in my life and I'm incredibly proud of that.

PYS: Who inspires you?

Haley: Every single woman on her spiritual path, or considering a path are who inspire me the most in this world. Women like my sister Evan, who share different beliefs than I, also inspire me. So often those on a spiritual path begin to surround themselves with people who have similar belief systems. Having sisters who can engage with us deeply around differing beliefs is important and for me, has actually deepened our relationship.

My spiritual mentor, Jennifer Cain, inspires me deeply with her wisdom of the divine feminine and radical vulnerability. Her work has changed my life. The modern mystic mother-daughter duo, Traci and Kayla Hines, are incredible and helped me to fully embrace my gifts. I am deeply inspired by their work. My dear friend Kate Dalebout, an author and podcaster, inspires me every day. She is one of the most authentic women I've ever met and is willing to go deep and do the work. One of my mentors, Emily Aube, opened me up to the world of angels and is emerging as an incredible leader in the spiritual world. She is a fierce advocate for anxiety recovery and is interested in a dialogue that I'm very passionate about; looking at the gaps in mental health treatment around spiritual gifts being mislabeled as pathology.