female empowerment

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.

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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 power...it 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 differently...to 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 experience...it 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.

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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. 

Goddess Rising: Jade Alectra

Getting to connect and share with so many amazing women from around the world is such a joy in this day and age. Cultivating collaboration and honesty is something that brings people together and we are so blessed to get to do so every Wednesday as part of the Goddess Rising series, and this week, Jade Alectra joined our series to share with us!

Jade Alectra is 28 years old and was born on October 1st 1987 in the middle of the Whittier Earthquake with a magnitude of 6.0 and has been making waves ever since. With a background of basketball and pole vaulting, Jade was taught by coaches to work the body until failure or she wasn't actually working. Jade carried this into her relationships and workouts after the sports stopped and was not able to listen to her body when her knee dislocated. A year of depression and overeating and 35 pounds later, forced her to find a way to save herself. Yoga found her right at the moment of giving up and she has continued down its beautiful path for the past 4 years, leading her accidentally to Teacher Training. She now teaches at Equinox, as well as privately and her passion lies in leading yoga retreats to Mexico and Kauai. She is excited for her next retreat this August 1-5th which she is co-teaching with Stephanie Birch.

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

Jade Alectra: When I give Savasana adjustments, I get 'messages' for some of the people that I work on. One lady I was drawn to give a adjustment to and her whole face tensed up and she seemed to be very uncomfortable and in pain. I kept going regardless. I left her while her face was still twisted and contorted in pain and finished the other students adjustments. After class I asked to speak to her and I asked what she felt while I was working on her. She said that she felt all of her pain building up into wherever my hands were, and when I finally left her, she said she "felt the smile come back over her face." We both cried. I was in Kauai on my last yoga retreat 7 months ago, and I was adjusting a beautiful girl whose mother had committed suicide 2 years before, and on this particular morning, it was cloudy at sunrise for the one and only time. The other mornings it was bright and sunny. At the moment that I pressed my hands onto her shoulders, the sun suddenly pierced through the clouds and fell across her face. I heard almost a whisper and repeated the line instantly to her "The sun is your mom." Its a very odd thing but when the words climb into my throat I have to give them to whoever they are for without letting my own judgements or thoughts get in the way. Just simply gifting them as they come. I don't quite understand it but I am beginning to trust it more and more and trust myself more and more and it magnifies in intensity. 

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

Jade: It took me a very long time (sometimes I am still remembering) to understand that the heart was not meant to resemble this perfectly intact formation. It was meant to be broken into a thousand tiny cracks that represented the times that we felt the most. That we were most alive. If you focus too closely on each individual piece, it just looks like a shattered mess, but the further back you pull and gain perspective over sight, the more you realize what you are is this beautiful mosaic of loving and heartbreaking. I suffered a very devastating and surprising break up this past June, and I will never forget a moment when my belly and cheek was crumpled on the wooden floor of my room and I was sobbing. Someone commented on my post on instagram that "Pain brings you to the present moment like nothing else." And I realized right then and there that I had never felt more alive than that moment when I was completely broken wide open. This is the very basis of every yoga class I teach and every interaction I share with another, as well as and most importantly beginning with myself. I want people and myself firstly, to keep stripping down the layers we have pressed against our skins comprised of the words and opinions of others and our reactions to these thoughts. My mind also went through a crazy change through this break up because it was the first time I sobbed and didn't wipe the tears or hide them. I remember crying to the server at Coco's and just letting the tears gush down my face and never once wiped them. We are here to feel and breathe and love and leave and just experience it all. So I try to bring my most authentic self whether thats a Jade that is standing tall, or a Jade that keeps a hand pressed against her heart to keep it together, and allow people to see me grow though what I go through. To know that we are never alone no matter how much our minds try and convince us of it. To always seek the truth in every moment, no matter how it makes us feel. As Caroline Myss says, "We thrive in truth," and I have out this to the absolute test over the past 3 years and it is life changingly true. 

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

Jade: My worst habit is the way I love what ever decides to notice me first. I am often times catching myself feeling so pathetically wanting love. This year of my life is the first time I am finally taking the hard path back to myself. It feels like I am unraveling 28 years of bad behaviors of loving men that were unavailable emotionally, or were not loving to me. I realized that I am craving a love that is in my very own palms, I just keep handing it out to others before taking care of myself. Its like holding water while you are trying to find people to drink yours all the while being severely dehydrated and legitimately feeling confusion of why you feel sick when you are giving out water. It has to start with you. I am getting a tattoo that says, 'I am mine. Before I am every anyone else's.' I want to feel those words get etched into my skin so that I may never forget myself again. It is a tough thing to correct a pattern that is decades old but it is the most romantic thing I've ever felt; falling in love with myself. For both the flaws and the perfect stitches that make up who and what I am. I also read a ton of amazing authors, and I carry a journal with me always. I speak the truth, even if my voice shakes. Even if it is silently admitted only in my journal. The words need to come out somehow. 

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

Jade: The first step to recognizing your power is to lighten your load of all the bullshit that isn't who you are. That takes the form of people and family and things, possessions you've had for years, and sometimes 'best' friends. I have a simple rule that dictates if you are going to be and stay in my life or not: Does it shrink you or expand you? If your lover or best friend is in any way holding you back, you are not walking your authentic path. Because the soul of who you are knows truly what is real and what is not and this costs you dearly to keep up this facade from yourself when you know deep down the simple truth. They are no longer compatible with your path. Let go of any of the things you cling to if they are weighing you down. Start to step more surely into who you are and banish those that no longer understand you out from your present. One of my favorite pieces by Jeanette Leblanc says "And that, my dear, is bound to make some people crazy uncomfortable. It will make them pull back and push away. Because the way you dance with your shadows and your steadfast commitment to your light will push them into spaces that are fascinating and compelling and utterly terrifying." This piece is about the 'Too Much girl' and how we need the ones that feel 'too much'. I have felt like an alien for so many years because I love so intensely and it has been liberating to throw away the desire to be understood by everyone. I am not meant to be easy. To be understood at first glance. I am layers and waves and all kinds of colors and lights and darks. And I am taking my time to understand myself while I am single and at the most concentrated dose of myself, and I urge other goddess and babes and warriors to explore themselves alone. To know truly who they are through the beauty AND the pain but not to make it a hitching post. To feel the weather but not get stuck in it by choice and convince yourself its romantic to feel so broken. This is not your one story; your one identity. Do not concentrate on a piece and convince yourself it is the whole. 

PYS: What does your daily spiritual practice look like?

My spiritual practice actually starts with not answering text messages when I dont want to. It pisses quite a bit of people off but it keeps me feeling like I belong to myself, and that I run on my own time. I respect my energy. I voice memo my amazing sister and friend Stephanie Birch (@StephyNow) about all of the classes I teach and we discuss life and love and all of the darks and lights and whatever we are going through we share with the other and its such an empowering friendship like no other I have ever experienced. I feel like I am supposed to be a good 'yogi' and respond with meditation or breath work or even flowing alone, but at the moment that is not where I am focusing my inwardness. It happens in the food I choose to eat which includes pizza of course, and the drives I take late into the night where I drive a loop and sometimes through an intense canyon in the hills behind my house. It can be going to my favorite beach and just losing myself in being alone with the waves. I am at a very non-traditional place in my life at the moment.  

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

Jade: This is the first time I am writing these words publicly and they are not easy to say. Even this sentence and the one before it are my stalling to not have to write them publicly but I am here to be real so here goes nothing. When I turned 25, I had a world of hope inside of me. I felt like I had finally 'found myself' and felt very strong for the first time in my entire life. This year ended up being the hardest of my life as I had the shit beat out of me one night while leaving a club because I was trying to leave and some guy started asking me in very lewd ways to hook up with him. I had never seen him in my life and he was being insanely aggressive. I tried to leave and it turned into a full on brawl in which I was ripped to the ground by my hair and soccer kicked as hard as they could as well as stepped on, on my head and back. I was down there for so long getting completely mauled that I had time to think about the fact that I was probably going to die this way because there was no one there to help me. No one to make it stop, and I could barely cover my face. I have nerve damage on my lower back and can't feel too much in that area, as if I need a physical reminder of that attack. Later that same year, I was raped. It was the year of my body being trespassed and invaded. I am still working to recover her. She is strong and soft but hurt and sometimes confused at the why. But as Caroline Myss says, to ask why me is to give up your power because that question has no real answer, and definitely none that will take the pain away just by hearing it. For a while I would flirt with the brief thought of not wanting to be here anymore. But I fought for myself and I am here today standing taller and running my fingers over my scars with fondness and love because I have been able to relate to so many more people because I had the courage to feel myself in such an honest way. I hope people see a little bit of themselves in both my darkness and lights and have the courage to pursue their own truths.  

PYS: Who inspires you?

JadeStephanie Birch is my every day inspiration, and love but you have thankfully already interview her so I would say her teacher Diana Vitantonio, who is now my teacher as well. She's a woman who knows the true beauty of her soul and is so much love to be felt. 

Goddess Rising: Danielle Paige

Every week, we are given the amazing opportunity to connect and collaborate with an amazing woman from the health, wellness and personal development community. This is our chance to share this space with just a few of the incredible ladies around the world who are making change as they follow their passion. This week, Danielle Paige answered our questions for us!

Danielle Paige is an Intuitive Astrologer, Healer, and Spiritual Teacher who specializes in helping women understand the energy they were born under so they can clear blockages, find their purpose, and so much more! She uses your personal birth chart as a map of your soul and blends her astrological background with her intuitive abilities for a practical and soulful approach to helping you live a happier life.

She has been featured inThe Numinous, The WellnessWonderland, Over The Moon Magazine, The Purpose Fairy, JMag - JDates online magazine, Delish, Blog Talk Radio, Soul School by Inner Hue and she has made several appearances on the Marilu Show with Marilu Henner as her go-to Astrologer.

Danielle is also the creator of SOULcial Media Circle, a monthly virtual drum circle that helps people connect back to the cycles of the Universe. She has done retreats from Venice, CA to Florence, Italy and just completed her Moon Goddess Retreat in Hawaii in June.

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

Danielle Paige: I believe everything in life can be a tool to help us so with my work I tap into the "invisible" and make it practical. I use astrology as a tool to understand your soul contract.

When I pull up a birth chart I can see someone's purpose, their behavioral patterns, their energy and help guide them to their highest good. It's not about seeing every outcome of their life. That I cannot do nor do I try to pretend because we all have free will every second of our lives.

I use my intuition (my connection with spirit) and astrology to help align people with their true self and move away from all those fears and limitations that we often pick up over time just by being human.

Astrology is a magical tool to help you become more in tune with the cycles that you're under so that you can understand how you're evolving....and when you do this it helps you as not only a human but also on the soul level as well. Remember, we are multidimensional beings, all limitations are an illusion. 

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

Danielle: Ever since I was little I always felt alone. I've had this emptiness inside of me that was unexplainable. I always had wonderful and supportive parents but it didn't matter, it was something that I felt inside. It's not always something that you always just shake.

When I was young this manifested into depression partly from the emptiness but also because I didn't realize how sensitive I was and I would pick up on people's energy all the time so I had no idea of knowing what was mine and what was theirs. I just took it all in like a sponge.

Later in my 20's this manifested into an eating disorder. I think on some level I always knew there was "more" but I never knew what that was. The pain inside (even though everything on the outside probably looked fine) was still there and I ended up taking a semester off of college and going to a treatment center to get help. It was there that I started to realize the strength that I had. I saw people that were suffering for years and I used that as a mirror, I told myself I had too many things in life to do that I had to get a handle on this, and I did. It took many years to really learn to love my body and there are moments even today that I judge myself in the mirror but I have the tools know to remind myself of my divinity when my ego acts up.

That feeling of being alone as well as that hunch that I was here to do something larger was part of my learning about my connection to spirit. You see, the reason why I always felt alone was because I was disconnected from source. We all are in a way but mine (all I can do is speak for myself) was deep. I was always intuitive but I didn't really know anything beyond that. It took years of self discovery and then starting at age 30 during my Saturn Return where my entire life completely changed and I had to go in a different direction. This is when I really started stepping into my purpose. We all do, we can't truly become who we are destined to be before that because we have certain lessons to learn. It's just a timing thing.

This is where the light started...from my wound of feeling alone. Today when I feel that it's now my clue to let me know that I'm feeling disconnected from source...which is ultimately, disconnected from myself and my own love. So I go back to mediation, chakra cleansing, prayer, silence, self care, relaxing. I come back into alignment with my SOUL not my ego. It's a beautiful thing but was also a source of lots of pain growing up. But then again....isn't that how most healers find themselves?? :) 

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

Danielle: Oh this is an easy one! I'm actually really assertive and have a lot of masculine energy. Meaning I can run a business, do tasks, fix things, and push my energy out all day long! The term boss lady is kinda my middle name! lol.

Don't get me wrong, this is great and we need masculine energy to balance ourselves but I'm also learning how to receive, how to step back, how to allow, how to pause, how to be more gentle. I'm definitely fierce and that's great but I also have a side of me that's tender and sensitive. She's been hiding for a long time and now I allow that part of myself to show up more often. It's how I relate to my clients, I treat everyone like family (I have a moon in Cancer so it's part of my being!) and it's one of my greatest strengths that I'm discovering as well. 

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

Danielle: I would say stop comparing. It's so easy to these days especially with social media but most of what we see online is not real. I try my very best to always be myself! Actually, I am probably too honest as most of my followers know. (You never know what is gonna come out of my mouth! haha!) But be careful about putting others on a pedestal that may or may not be true. I can read energy so I see it all day long on social media. There are tons of amazing people out there but there are also people who have a following and are not in touch with themselves so it's not all authentic. Just don't compare because you don't always know the real story.

I will also add which goes along with what I said above and that's listen to your intuition. The truth is most of us know what to do. Of course there are always situations where we are confused and need guidance and that's ok but in reality if we listen to the soft voice in our hearts we will know the answers.

PYS: What does your daily spiritual practice look like?

Danielle: My spiritual practice is always changing. I am someone that needs diversity so I don't do it the same time every day but it does always involve these at some level: Kundalini yoga, chakra cleansing, meditation, prayer, salt baths, quiet/alone time and most importantly and this is a biggie because you can do all the spiritual practice all day long but it doesn't matter if when you get out into the world you forget it all. I practice trying to be my best self every day.

Now, I'm not going to sit here and pretend like I'm Mother Teresa because that is far from the truth but I do believe I'm good human and I try to see the good in people. Not everyone will be able to be on the same page as you and being spiritual doesn't mean you stay in touch with people that are not in alignment with your path, quite the contrary.

At the end of the day if when you do something you can ask yourself is this for my highest good and out of my highest good and if the answer is yes then you are light years ahead of most of the world. :)

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

Danielle: Wow, this is a great question. Here is the irony.....for me what has held me back is trust/faith. Yes I realize this is the basis for what I do because I wouldn't be able to even communicate with spirit if I didn't trust in something greater than myself but my path has been nothing that is traditional and it's been very hard being thrown in with the "Joneses" when you are far from that.

It's ok now and I love who I am and how I see things differently, however, doubting my abilities and doubting that things will happen even though it's a on a longer human timeline that most people I know has been really hard.

It's funny because I can say I trust myself so much, in fact I trust myself more than most people, however, the Universe always knows what we need to work on and whereas that may be someone else's lesson mine has been to trust the intuitive, psychic, and mediumship gifts that I have. Say what?! Yes, I've had to learn, one that I even have these, who knew?! And two, that I can trust myself to receive this information, that everything I need is inside of me and I don't have to look outside of myself to connect with them. The trusting in the invisible is something that comes naturally to me but at the same time is hard because I have such a strong logical mind, hence the astrology that the Universe designed for me to work with....they knew this was my way in to spirit. Oh how smart they are! Always :)

PYS: Who inspires you?

Danielle: Katie Dalebout inspires me so much! This girl is wise beyond her years and just published her book, Let it Out! She is such a connector, wise soul, and someone that we will be hearing her name about for years to come. She's only just gotten started!!! Love that girl!

Goddess Rising: Devin Strickler from Mystic Moons Tarot

Every week, we are so blessed to be able to share the space here with incredible women from around the world who do great things in the personal development, health and wellness communities. This is our opportunity to connect and collaborate with a few fabulous women as they follow their passion.

This Wednesday, we had Devin Strickler from Mystic Moons Tarot to share with us!

I'm Devin - creator, path finder, spiritualist, mother to a son, lover to a wonderful man and a mover/shaker. Though I've been held by the world for such a short time, I have already lived so fully. I've shifted skins more times than I can count - from a twelve year old entrepreneur, building my own horse riding business, to a chaplain's assistant in the US Army. And again, to a wife, to a single mother, to a lover, back to wife and now to a spiritual guide. I think this is why I'm so called to coach, and to teach. Because I've experienced...

My journey into the practice of tarot reading evolved as you might expect. My mother passed away in 2008, and shortly after, I was deployed to Haiti, to help with the earthquake relief. Just outside the entrance to our camp, there was a Haitian woman who practiced spirituality like I had never seen. It wasn't Christianity or Catholicism - it was magic; it was something you can make with your hands.

I was enchanted by the pureness and the intuitive flow of it all. A great shift moved through me, and I began grabbing hold of the pieces that I had been fumbling to catch my entire life. I had come home. Upon returning to the states, I started my tarot business by reading from pop up booths around town. In 2015, I opened an Etsy shop and began offering phone, email & handwritten readings to people from all over the world. Now working through Storenvy and Acuity Scheduling I still offer phone readings and Skype on top doing coaching - everything from Tarot and Oracle 101 to Spiritual and Life.

You and I, we were meant to do this together. I believe in the power of intuition, in chance, in everything unfolding as it should. You're here for a reason . Dear one, don't worry. We've got this. I'll catch you.

Website | Book sessions/readings | Instagram

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

Devin Harris: I love to use Tarot/Oracle for healing. These cards aren't meant to point blame or fingers, but they will guide and tell. Regardless of whether a client or individual comes to me for a reading or session, I want to make sure they leave me feeling supported - love - and worthy. I also enjoy teaching people of the power of meditation and manifestation. Magic isn't just for the fairy tales and little kids - magic is all around, just like healing.

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

Devin: All my life I played the victim, I suffered with some heavy anxiety - comparison issues and more as a young child on into my teens and then when I was 19 after the loss of my mother to a one year battle of cancer, I was raped. Raped while serving in the military at my first duty station. It was a complicated time, one that forced me to step out of the mold I'd grown so accustom to and really find ownership in myself. There was a lot of pain, there was a lot of suffering - a lot of 'cracks' were formed. At one point or another I thought of suicide. Of ending it all, but something - perhaps even just the sheer fear of death held me back. I ended up seeking comfort in a man who later became my husband, no my ex after 5 years of marriage - I had grown but not enough and I still allowed myself to be suppressed, I allowed myself to with 'without magic'. It was when I was a single mom for a year struggling literally to make ends meet that I came into my heart, my mind, my body, my spirit...my self. I learned what true strength was - resilience, and that never back down attitude. I found spirit - I explored things I left alone back all those years from youth, on through the military and even my deployment. I allowed the magic to sprinkle itself everywhere in my life and throughout the nooks and crooks.

I found my husband, my true soul mate.

I found my work - my passion for giving back and being OF SERVICE.

I found myself,

I found my peace.

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

Devin: STRESS!

I smile while writing this because doesn't everyone have an addiction? Whether it's drugs, reality TV, working out...the list goes on. Stress is my drug because it makes me feel in control, it makes me feel like my worrying over something might be one small part of the bigger outcome I desire.

It never is :)

But I'm learning that, each day is a new day - I'll keep tugging on my serenity to remind me of my core truth, peace.

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

Devin: You are the best you that any YOU could ever be. It is the core that matters, not the outward appearances, not the accomplishments, not the details - it's YOU. You are Divine. You are incredible and by your mere existence in this world, you've done something. Trust that, believe that - receive that. And go on sister - go on!

PYS: What does your daily spiritual practice look like?

Devin: Well if you don't count chasing around my 2 almost 3 year old...hectic. I wake up wanting to serve. I am a proud stay at home mom of 1, hopefully to be soon here 2 (we've been trying to get pregnant for awhile now) but I make time for me. It doesn't happen every day, but I do try my best. Doing this little questionnaire right now is actually that for me today before I hustle off to eat, clean, prepare for client sessions and more. But I daily meditate, sometimes in bed before sleep - sometimes in the shower or sometimes in the ACTUAL space I've set up for it. I pull cards, I am of service to others both client and individual - energy for energy. I love my husband as hard as I can every day, same with my son, as kids grow up so fast and I am here. My presence is my power as Gabrielle Bernstein says, and I honor that about myself. I'm on Instagram my social media account daily updating, pulling cards, holding flash sales, supporting small shops/artist, I jump on Periscope usually daily Mon-Sat with content, meditation, prayer or free to the public readings. My practice is my own and like each new day, each new day in my practice is different from the other - but that is what I like :) 

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

Devin: I don't think there is a wrong answer to this question but in an odd way I felt strange when I said in my mind, "no". I don't think there are though truly and perhaps it was just the sheer word, secret, that is throwing my inner and outer self/mind for a loop. I'm very transparent on social media, and in real life. I'm humble to a fault and I think that is my main struggle day to day (which goes hand in hand with some of my anxiety and stress, most of which I've grown past or out of), but I say to a fault because I daily HAVE to - literally have to - remind myself of my worth. I give and give and give so much, sometimes I forget me. 

PYS: Who inspires you?

Devin: Oh gosh! Can I say my mom? By now you know (due to previous questions) she's past away - back in 2008, but truly she does. She was amazing. Her story incredible and I miss her dearly. Right now I'm a bit out of my league to PEOPLE who inspire me, I am inspired by action or actions. Good people doing good things. I wish we could interview Karma and get her side of the story, or even the Earth. 

Goddess Rising: Meagan Ruppert

Every week, we get to share this space with an incredible woman from the health, wellness and personal development community. This is our chance to connect and collaborate with some amazing ladies from around the world as they follow their passion. This Wednesday, we got Meagan Ruppert, founder of Return to Roots Gathering and Ascending Circles, to share with us.

I am a visionary business coach and the founder of Return to Roots Gathering, a hoop dance, yoga, flow arts, and music festival that creates a space for conscious, spiritual, and community transformation.

My awakening happened when I discovered hoop dance in 2008. The empowerment and self-love that came out of my hoop practice inspired me to start Return to Roots Gathering in 2011. While I had no production experience, nor any professional connections that did either, I took action in faith – knowing that this project was much bigger than myself and that I would be divinely guided through the process. Now in it’s 5th year, this event was one of the first East Coast Transformational Festival, drawing people from around the world.

In addition to producing Return to Roots Gathering, I am a business coach for conscious entrepreneurs in my business, Ascending Circles. My purpose on this planet is to inspire awakened beings to take bold action in their lives and in the world through entrepreneurship and to be ambassadors of the evolving consciousness on planet earth, so that they can create their ultimate reality.

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

Meagan Ruppert: For me, my work is simply an extension of my spirit. The work I do is me fulfilling soul purpose. Building a successful business requires FAITH and so each time I take a giant leap forward, I am trusting that all will fall into place, which it almost always does. :)

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

Meagan: Oh gosh. Haha - every time a crack happens my business grows leaps and bounds as a result. I've been transitioning through one the last 6-8 weeks, so I'm excited to see how it develops. ;)

The biggest wound I have healed through my work was when I began Return to Roots Gathering. I was on the mend from drug and alcohol dependencies. It was a challenging time for me because I had to admit some pretty intense stuff to myself. Things I'd been pushing deep down with substance. In order to support my transition away from dependency, I began hoop dancing every single day as a means for meditation. I began eating right, connecting deeper with people who lifted me up and inspired me, and taking care of myself on a level I'd never experienced. About 4 months into this process, the idea for creating a space for healing, connection and awakening through hoop dance and movement came through me during my hoop practice. That night Return to Roots Gathering was born. No experience, no connection, nothing. Just a vision. 4 months later, the first event went off beautifully and the event is now going into it's 6th year, maintaining the integrity of healing, connection and awakening. 

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

Meagan: My worst habit is consistency. This hinders me because I'll build up momentum and then the momentum falls off because I get sidetracked or move my attention elsewhere. I've improved hugely around this in the last two years to a point where I am able to follow through much longer so I can see thing through to completion. What's worked really well for me is 1) Forgiving myself. Rather than beating myself up for it, which can result in a pity party and not getting back on track for even longer, I now take notice and recommit. I'll do this as many times as I need to in order to see the task or project through to completion. 2) I started training for half marathons. My business coach has a program that has clients on a training plan for running 13.1 miles. I was never a runner but I saw how following through on a plan could help. What I learned was that I could see my patterns through my training. Finishing the daily assigned work outs helped me to get better at getting my work done and staying on it. When I would run 8 miles, I couldn't just stop at mile 7 and go do something else. I had to run that last mile so I could get home! So this mindset did translate over to my business. 

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

Meagan: Don't try to do it alone. Get a mentor or find a mastermind group to support you through it. Until I hired a mentor, my success was mediocre. My stuff was sticking but it wasn't paying the bills - literally and figuratively. I spent many years DIY'ing my business, so I experienced a lot of trial and error. It was REALLY hard and I definitely wasted a lot of time stuck because of my mindset. Invest in yourself and don't let your self-doubt keep you from showing up. Your works is SO IMPORTANT in this world but it won't make a difference if you don't step into your power and potential. 

PYS: What does your daily spiritual practice look like?

Meagan: On a good day my practice is meditation first thing upon waking then an hour of yoga, hooping and dance. On other days, it's just a short meditation in the morning, 15 minutes of stretching. Every day I try to take random 1 minute breaks to breathe and reconnect with my heart so I can stay in alignment with my WHY. And also, I'll throw on some music and shake it out so my energy doesn't get stagnant. Movement is my medicine. :)

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

Meagan: Definitely. The story I shared about the beginning of Return to Roots was definitely the opening up to the shadows I'd been keeping deep down below. I stifled my uniqueness to fit into a mold and "be normal". I hid the truth of who I was because I wanted to be accepted by people. Even the realization of drug and alcohol addiction alone was dark. But bringing this stuff to the surface, though hard, was a process of lightening my load. Today, I am moving through fears around intimacy. This goes deeper than just sex. It's intimacy with self, with work, with friends and so on. I am opening up to getting closer. I am a Pisces and so I tend to hang out in the ethers and not let a lot of people in because I don't want to be judged by them, be accountable to them, . I see how this hinders me and I see how this was a defense mechanism to protect me in the past when people did judge me for being different. Getting vulnerable and allowing people to see the WHOLE me has been scary and liberating at the same time. I'm enjoying the process!

PYS: Who inspires you?

Meagan: SO MANY PEOPLE. I love watching women step into power more an more as the days progress. But if you are looking for your next interviewee, I would say Prema Lee Gureri. She's an amazing woman! She's a Vedic Astrologer and coach. She's my soul mentor and I think she'd be a great fit!

Goddess Rising: Heather Waxman

Every week, we are so incredibly blessed to share this space with some of the incredible women from the health, wellness and personal development community. This is our chance to connect and collaborate with some amazing ladies from around the world as they follow their passion. This Wednesday, we are pleased to welcome Heather Waxman to the blog!

Hi! My name is Heather Waxman and really, I am a truth-seeker. In myself, in everything I do, and in everyone I meet, I seek truth. Deep, but true. In the professional realm, I am an Amazon best-selling author, spiritual life coach, meditation guide, and singer-songwriter. My super power is helping women unpack and transform their emotional + behavioral patterns through spiritual practice, song, and meditation. It is my heartfelt belief that when we can clean up our thoughts and clean up our energy bodies of these subconscious memories and patterns, we can live truly radiant + peaceful lives. 

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

Heather Waxman: My work is always my spiritual tool because it helps me to see myself in the other person, and that amps up my compassion for myself, for my clients, and for my loved ones. What I teach my clients I have healed or am still transforming within myself. My clients are absolute treasures to me, and they inspire me to show up even more fully for myself.

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

Heather: We are all cracked. Ha! But seriously...we are. That's what we have in common. That's what we share. We need to have the courage to take off the masks of "I am this" or "I am that" and show up...just as you IN your own energy. That is enough.

My core wounds have inspired every single area of my work. And they continue to. After struggling for 7 years with anorexia nervosa, over-exercising, and binge eating and trying one outpatient treatment form and therapy after another, I was getting nowhere. My soul was crying out for something more. So, I cried and I asked and I was led to commit to a spiritual practice recovery program.

I stumbled my way through and when I finally felt food and body freedom three years later, wrote BODYpeace with my dear friend Kasey Arena, which is our 30-day guidebook to finding lasting peace with food and your body. We used our deep struggles with food and exercise addiction to help those going through it too pair spiritual practice and practical action steps together for a deep, nourishing, and pleasure-filled plan to lasting transformation in your mind and body.

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

Heather: Jealousy. When I was younger and all the way through college, I felt like an outcast. I had friends but never had a *core* group of friends that made me feel like I belonged. I was constantly putting on certain masks so that I could be accepted into a certain group, instead of allowing myself to express myself fully as I was. I did the same with my family, taking on the role of "the co-dependent good girl." I was a hot mess, really.

This constant striving to be something I wasn't made me feel like I wasn't good enough and I would inevitably end up resenting someone in my group of friends or family, or idolizing someone and putting them on a pedestal. I went through this nasty cycle of idolizing someone and then hating them - making them special and then making myself special. I did this for 22 years, and I do my best to be patient with myself when it happens. But sometimes, I'm very hard on myself. That being said, I've come light years from where I was and I credit this practice to moving through jealousy:

1.) Activate your awareness.

When I can first become aware of the jealousy, I can allow it to begin to transform.

2.) Feel the jealousy.

This can be the hardest part for me. I can get very hard on myself and judge myself for feeling jealous, which only allows the feeling to persist. I'm working on it.

3.) Allow the jealousy to be a flashlight for you, shining a big spotlight on your own potential.

When I'm jealous of someone, it's because I'm feeling insecure and holding onto a belief that I'm not worthy of having what I admire in someone else. So, I tell myself this mantra: "I believe, I can, I am" and I tell the person who is triggering jealousy in me, "You believe, you can, you are. Thank you."

4.) Forgive yourself.

This is everything. Forgiveness is what sets me free from the chains of that jealousy and resentment and idolatry. I close my eyes, hold my younger self that doesn't feel valued (sometimes she's 6 and sometimes she's 26), and tell her that it's okay to be herself and that she has done nothing wrong. My favorite mantra for this is, "You've done nothing wrong. I forgive you."

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

Heather: Let your emotions guide you instead of letting your emotions destroy you.

PYS: What does your daily spiritual practice look like?

Heather: I truly consider my life my spiritual practice BUT there are some more structured things that I do on the daily to keep myself feeling calm, confident and connected.

In the morning, I wake up and make some hot lemon water and then go to my meditation space with my cat (depending on the day, she will sit on my lap).

I'm currently practicing an amazing Kundalini yoga kriya called Morning Kriya, which cleans the energy centers, balances the digestive and nervous systems, and sets the navel center (solar plexus area) so I can be strong, clear-headed, and focused throughout my day. I'll then workout and break a sweat in some form.

I am a devoted Kundalini yogi, so I take another 90 minutes in the middle of the day to practice a full Kundalni yoga kriya. This is really important for me, since I'm constantly interacting with other people's energy fields and working directly on them. My spiritual practice is numero uno. When I do it, I'm me. When I don't, I'm not me.

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

Heather: I am a deeply sensitive person, and for so long I would beat myself up and ask myself, "What is wrong with me?" because I could just feel everything so deeply - my own feelings and emotions, the feelings and emotions of others, the energy of the room, the energy of the world in general.

Before I came to committed spiritual practice, I had no idea what was going on inside of me and that's why I turned to addiction. I had to cope somehow, so I coped in the best way that I knew how. I felt so ashamed of being "weak" and feeling things so deeply. I never talked about it. Now, I am proud of being so sensitive and I know it to be my greatest strength. It helps me heal and understand myself and, therefore, be able to understand others and help them heal too. My sensitivity is my compass through life.

PYS: Who inspires you?

Heather: Oh man. Do you have a year? Ha!

I admire people - especially women - who are fierce and graceful truth-seekers. As of late, my teacher Guru Jagat has been my greatest inspiration. She is a remarkable teacher of the technology of Kundalini yoga and endlessly inspires me in how she lives, loves, and leads her life. She shakes me awake every time. Also, my dear friend Devin Harris. She is a devoted mom and healer, and the way she gives of herself, nurtures herself, and cares for her son kind of blows my mind. You should totally interview them both. The incredible musician Tori Kelly is also a massive inspiration of mine. 

Goddess Rising: Alisha Hawrylyszyn Frank

Every week, we are so incredibly blessed to able to share space with an incredible woman from the health, wellness and personal development community. This is our chance to connect and collaborate with some amazing ladies from around the world, and this week, we were able to share with Alisha Hawrylyszyn Frank.

I used to be miserable without any direction in my life. I was self-destructive with drugs, alcohol and loveless relationships, which led me to understand that I honestly hated myself. When I discovered how to become fiercely optimistic my life completely turned around allowing me to become truly happy. Now, I help facilitate the discovery of self-love with individuals pursuing positive change & inner growth, which allows them to find direction in their lives.

Hello! I’m Alisha Hawrylyszyn Frank (pronounced har-a-lish-in frank). I am a life coach, Reiki Master, yoga instructor, intuitive healer and writer.

When I was nineteen years old I almost lost my life due to liver failure brought on by a drug overdose. This experience gave me the strength to leave the gorgeous state of Michigan to find adventure (and myself). I landed in NYC where I resided for over a decade while simultaneously traveling the world for months at a time. Today, I live between San Diego, California & New York City in complete bliss.

My life from the outside looking in may have looked picture perfect back in the day - life of the party at all the trendiest spots (without ever waiting in a line). But I was really just part of a vicious cycle where being self-destructive & unhappy was thought to be cool and I was seriously doleful.

I needed to make changes in my life but everything seemed so intertwined and complex. I had no idea where to start! I began to read books and speak to professionals but I quickly realized that these steps were keeping me in the past and not pushing me forward into the future. So, this is where I started to trust myself. I put together what I needed in order for me to thrive & be happy. Today, I am proud to say that I love myself and I share this love with every single person I meet.

These days I am dedicated to empowering people and showing them how to become fiercely optimistic. I use a combination of techniques I have developed along the way as well as knowledge I picked-up through obtaining a NYU coaching certificate, an Indigenous Studies degree and years of education under the discipline of Swami Omkarananda.

I love all beings (especially bunnies), being near the water, cruising in my VW Beetle with the music turned up, taking photographs and giving thanks each & every day for all my blessings.

Website | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

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

Alisha Hawrylyszyn Frank: As a healer my work is very spiritual. I am constantly giving thanks to the Divine and keeping my communication flowing. Throughout my day I connect to the Universal Life Energy through Reiki to share the energy of the Universe with those that I come in contact with.

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

Alisha: I have suffered through much in this lifetime, which I talk about through my Instagram account and blog. I now have the ability to find compassion for everyone I come in contact with because I see that things aren't always as they seem. We put on a lot of different faces because our society has yet to create a supportive and loving environment for people to be honest. This is where we all come in! It's important for us not to be judgmental because one's journey may require a different route.

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

Alisha: My worst habit at the moment is making sure to eat well. I am a very busy person so I eat a lot on the go, which doesn't always leave room for healthy food. I am now incorporating more green juices and teas to keep up my health. Health is wealth!

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

Alisha: Believe in yourself and trust your intuition. You are amazing and magical. Now is the time to share your gifts with others.

PYS: What does your daily spiritual practice look like?

Alisha: I wake up between 3-5am to meditate for at least 20-minutes. This starts my day off right and connects me to the Self.

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

Alisha: I am very open about my experiences, which has liberated my soul. I post openly on social media and my blog so that others know that they are not alone. 

PYS: Who inspires you?

Alisha: Honestly, every single being inspires me from the happy-go-lucky dog walking down the street to the upset clerk at the super market. We are so blessed to be able to observes one another and share our gifts with the world.

Goddess Rising: Stephanie Birch

Every week, we are so blessed to share this space here on the Passion Yoga School blog with some of the incredible ladies of the health, wellness and personal development community. This is our chance to connect and collaborate with these incredible movers and shakers, as they do great things, follow their passions and make the world a better place. This week, Stephanie Birch took the time to share her thoughts with us!

"I came for the sweat and found a way of life." I was hooked from my very first yoga class. As a longtime athlete, yoga was the perfect dose of physical exertion I longed for after a lifetime of sports and playing tough. It wasn’t until after I had my son that I truly began to connect with yoga as a way of life. Yoga became my breath on and off the mat, it has strengthened my mind and body, soften my shell, teaches me to live in the present, and it serves as a conduit to my Soul's purpose.

In my everyday life, I am a play-at-home mom, yoga teacher, life photographer, writer, fire-starter, online contributor, Soul Activist, Tahoe-lover, a sucker for dark chocolate, dark beer, coffee, cartwheels, boardgames, and a life well-lived barefoot and pants-less. “No pants are the best pants,” is the norm in our household. You can practice online with me at www.oneOeight.tv or in Sacramento, California. You can find me writing wide-open heart as a wanna-be comedian and squealing on my best days at www.stephynow.com.
 

Instagram | Twitter | Website

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

Stephanie Birch: My work is really doing the work, no bypassing or excusing my own self-devotion. It is about showing up to the very lessons and themes I teach in a yoga class. I don't fall back on traditional texts, regurgitated cues, or lessons from another. That wouldn't be real for me. It is important for me to actively participate in this practice than cover my tracks or basis with longitude of experience.

My job, as a teacher, is to coach people to feel in a yoga class. To get absolutely in touch with themselves by challenging the physical, mental, and emotional bodies. I refuse to teach people from a place of fear or that there is only way to practice yoga. We do a disservice to teach that yoga (especially, asana) is a one-way system, as if all bodies are built the same, they are not. Alignment brings awareness, it does not keep you safe. It's important to empower people to be responsible for their practice, it's that dedication and self-awareness that keeps them encouraged. I am passionate about getting people to really fuck up the insides and get to know themselves deeply, discovering that they are their greatest teacher. It is not my job to make their time on the mat "good or bad" or that they're doing it "right or wrong." As if practicing one or two limbs of the "yoga path" is not enough, it's more than enough. It's a personal practice and the system is designed to connect you to your highest self.

It's about empowering my students, evolving the practice, and always teaching from a place of fierce love. That means getting downright uncomfortable to understand the deepest depths of ourselves, our relationships, and our lives. 

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

Stephanie: My wounds have brought me here. They have given birth to a life of getting fucking real. I used to be such a pretender, people-pleaser, and not say too much or make a stink and it furthered a career of self-doubt and staying small. My pain has been useful in my survival, overcoming the very things I thought would drown me. Going through depression, as a new mom, put our family in a tail-spin. It is not something that just goes away, it's often resting on shoulder, waiting, plotting, and planning to take it's grip again. It's taken a lot of work to get here and I'm grateful for it. My world changed when I began to understand that the Soul is both light and dark and that love is the inclusion of every emotion, it unlocks the part of you that tethered herself to traumas, abuse, and victim-hood that, although painful, gave me purpose to understanding myself. Pain is a beautiful motivator. We can sink or rise with it.

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

Stephanie: I challenge others and myself to get out of the box of labeling things as "good" or bad" - we need to change our relationship to a gradient scale of "goodness" factor. I used to believe I was a "bad yogi" because I ate meat, drink alcohol, and don't perfectly align with the traditional teachings of the yoga path. There's a lot of shaming that goes on the yoga world and I say, "fuck that noise." It's taken years to understand myself and trust myself in this process and it certainly required me to knock down the "guru" and pedestal complexes. My worst habit, if you will, is second-guessing my intuition or not following my gut-checks with people, relationships, and teachings. Every time, I allow my intellectual to step in above my intuition, it takes the wind out of me. My practice is truly is trust and love myself deeply -- and say "no" a hell of a lot more. 

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

Stephanie: Trust yourself. Know yourself. Love yourself. I follow along the lines of not asking for advice or giving advice. If there is someone that is coming to me for advice, I lead with questions, understanding, and charge the conversation to bring forth answers he/she already has within. We are such an advice-giving and seeking culture. We already know deep down what we need to do and most of the time, if not all, it means we need to listen to ourselves. Trust ourselves. Tune-in to this inner-knowing and guidance. We are always being guided and that means we must tune out the external to uncover our greatest potential.

PYS: What does your daily spiritual practice look like?

Stephanie: My spiritual practice is to have a human experience in this life. To live out life's ups and downs, trials and errors, and everything between. I believe that we are put on this earth to have a human experience, we are already spiritual Beings. 

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

Stephanie: I think one that comes to mind, that isn't necessarily secretive, is growing up with the belief I wasn't ever going to amount to much more than a full-time job, paying bills, and calling it a life. I grew up in a low-middle class family, it's the average American story. My dad worked himself to the bone and my mom stayed home to raise 5 kids. Without being taught, per se, many of us mimic our parents and the "should-do" life. Working yourself to the bone in a job you hate because you have mouths to feed is a scary place to be, it's a trap. I openly talk about this trap and use it to encourage my path to grow and make my contribution to the world by not falling back into generational patterns and belief systems. It's how we change the world, moving away from the tribe and into your own way of life. Taking charge of my life is not easy, by any means, but it's absolutely necessary.

PYS: Who inspires you?

Stephanie: I am inspired by fire-starters and fire-breathers. Women who roar and rage. The ones in-touch with their primal, animalistic selves, speak in truths, and dance in flames. This woman, who is my sister, coach and friend, Diana Vitantonio. Belly to belly.

Goddess Rising: Margherita Feldman

Every week, we are so blessed to share this space with an amazing woman from the health, wellness and personal development community. This is our chance to connect and collaborate and this week, we are thrilled to have our very own Passion Yoga School graduate, Margherita Feldman!

I was introduced to yoga at a young age in Montessori School and was continually drawn back for the peace, joy, and light it brought to my life. I began a regular practice in 2012 as a way to exercise and relax. I stayed with yoga because of the physical, emotional, and spiritual healing it brought. After graduating college with a degree in Hospitality and Event Administration, I went into the Caribbean jungle of Costa Rica to Passion Yoga School with Adi Shakti for my ryt200. This completely transformed my practice and my life. In Costa Rica, I also received reiki initiation. I have had additional training in anatomy, nutrition, and alignment. I immediately began teaching children’s yoga, hot yoga, and all levels vinyasa flow. I now live in on the beach in California, where I teach yoga to the community. I also enjoy any flow therapy such as hula hoop, dance, and trapeze. Using Yoga, meditation, and reiki, I have found incredible healing!

Website | Graffiti Seed | Instagram | Twitter

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

Margherita Feldman: Yoga, reiki, and meditation have become a great spiritual tool for me. I am finding deeper connection to my highest potential every day. I have begun unraveling the layers of conditioning from society. I was brought up to believe I needed society's approval. Through my work, I realize all that is important to me is to be is a happy, healthy, and connected to my source. I grow closer everyday. I love when my work helps others to connect with their spiritual centers as they discover a light burning inside.

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

Margherita: Without my core wounds, I would not be the beaming light I am today. I suffered much childhood pain: death of a parent, child abuse, unstable living environments, etc. This led me to trouble in my teenage years with drugs and unhealthy relationships. I was lost and in so much pain. I wanted healing. I craved the light.
Through this, I started to move towards the light and promote self healing. I realized how yoga was healing me inside and out. I wanted to continue to heal myself so I could share this magic with others. I am so proud to be healthy, happy, healing, growing, and evolving everyday! 

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

Margherita: Currently my worst habit is being worried, confused, and feeling uncertain. I have noticed myself getting clouded by other's opinions or not being fully confident in my own. I know that my intuition knows all the right answers for my journey. If I can sit with myself and really listen to my soul, the answers will become clear. Recently I have let my mind race with worried or anxious thoughts.

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

Margherita: You can do and be anything in this world! Whatever your heart desires: talk about it, write about it, post about it, and move your life around it! Ask yourself at the honest core of your being: What is it that is most important to you in life? Once you have found this answer, you must be brave enough to build your life around it. Find the tapas, or discipline, to keep you on the path that creates the life you want to live! You truly can be the best version of yourself with dedication to your practice.

PYS: What does your daily spiritual practice look like?

Margherita: My daily spiritual practice is crucial for me to have a "full" day. I feel incomplete if I have not done one of the following: Spend at least 30 minutes in nature- hiking, beach walking, etc. One hour yoga practice. Journaling or writing letters to friends. Meditating/ chanting/ both. Reading spiritual articles and books is also good to my soul.

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

Margherita: I have often hidden from guilt and insecurities. I have approached monstrous feelings of guilt and shame from my childhood. I felt like I was not good enough to be loved as child. This carried over in to my adult life as I accepted many relationships that were unhealthy for me. I did not believe I was deserving of love, because I did not fully love myself. Through yoga and many other healing practices, I have begun a practice of self-love. It takes daily work, but I am committed to facing my demons to promote healing!

PYS: Who inspires you?

Margherita: Melanie Coons inspires me! She is an amazing health-foods chef, gymnastics coach, and yogi! She is always radiating positivity!

Goddess Rising: Natasha Casanova

Every week, we have the opportunity to connect and collaborate with incredible women from around the world as they do amazing things. This is our chance to share space with some amazing ladies from the health, wellness and personal development community as they follow their passion. This week, Natasha Casanova took the time to tell us about what inspires her in her business, Kathmandu Yogi, and talk to us about their upcoming Kickstarter campaign.

Natasha: I have been a yogi for over 10 years. My first teacher, and introduction to eastern philosophy, was studying under Lois Steinberg, Phd, an advanced Iyengar Yoga Instructor with over 35 years of practice under BKS Iyengar. I met Lois while completing my undergraduate degree at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in Communications in 2002. I then met and became a student of Lama Ole Nydahl, an accomplished Tibetan buddhist master who has founded over 700 lay Buddhist centers all around the globe over the last 40 years at the behest of the great H.H. 16th Gyalwa Karmapa.

In August of 2014, I founded Kathmandu Yogi, a purveyor of ethically made, limited edition meditation and yoga accessories handcrafted by artisans in Nepal. Prior to establishing Kathmandu Yogi, I worked as a marketing and communications professional in the nonprofit, arts, public relations and retail management sectors.

Website | Facebook | Instagram

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

Natasha Casanova: I don’t see spirituality and work as separate things. My work is my spirituality. In fact, I think that everything we do can be spiritual. For me spirituality is realizing our own inherent potential, and I try to always keep this in mind with everything I do. The word “work” often carries a negative connotation. “Don’t work too hard.” "Take a vacation from work. " "You work too much.” We’ve all heard these statements from time to time. But work can be joyful. Work can bring benefit to both you and others if it is conscious and meaningful. I try to remember this as best I can and use meditation and daily life as my practice to do that.

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

Natasha: We all have dark stories and moments. But, I try not to focus on these and focus on the present moment, and do my best to learn from challenging experiences and not repeat the same mistakes and patterns. Of course it’s not easy to break old habits. I reflect on my behavior critically, but also try to practice compassion and patience with myself. We all have the potential to be happy and see glimpses from time to time. I look for the potential in people and situations, and view challenges as opportunities to learn and be creative

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

Natasha: I am sensitive. Too sensitive at times, unnecessarily taking things personally. But, I’m working on it! I frequently hear my teacher’s voice saying “People behave the way they feel." I’m working on developing more patience and compassion with and for others.

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

Natasha: Be fearless. Try to be here now and notice the potential in every new day and moment. Get to know yourself, and view yourself and others with curiosity instead of judgment. Look for qualities in others. It helps you recognize them in yourself. Take some time to reflect and be quite. Get to know your gut and then listen to it. We all know our own truth. We just have to be aware enough to notice it, and then have the confidence to trust it.

PYS: What does your daily spiritual practice look like?

Natasha: Meditation (specifically Tibetan Buddhist Meditation) is part of my daily spiritual practice. However, a spiritual practice extends beyond the formal practice and one’s time on the cushion. Spirituality can be practiced every moment. It’s possible to live life with awareness and intention. And that doesn’t mean we police ourselves at every moment. It means we become an observer. And just pay attention, without judgment. When we're not caught in a wave of emotion, we can think clearly and behave meaningfully. The goal of my spiritual practice (both on and off the cushion) is to maintain this awareness at all times. 

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

Natasha: At the present, I feel that nothing is keeping me from living my truth. If I would have been asked that question even a year ago my answer may have been different. It’s taken me decades to get to know myself and my truth, and it wasn’t really until after the most dramatic and difficult moments in my life that I discovered and trusted it. We can really trust that the sun comes out after the storm. No matter how big and dramatic the storm, if we can weather it and keep our integrity we will come out victorious, stronger and more stable than ever and can serve as an inspiration for others.

As a teenager I was embarrassed of so many things and never wanted to stand out. I was first generation American, the child of Cuban parents who worked very hard to rebuild their lives after coming to U.S. with nothing. I didn’t appreciate it growing up. All I wanted was to assimilate. To be just like my classmates, many of which came from very affluent communities. I didn’t like my name, I wished my parents didn’t have accents and I wished we had a nice home and cars like they did. Now I feel ashamed that I felt like that in the first place and couldn’t see how amazing my family was.

I find that women in particular have the tendency to feel ashamed, and naturally hide it from others. Men have been some of my best teachers when it comes to owning your mistakes or shortcomings. They can be unapologetic and treat mistakes with humor. We women tend to be overly apologetic without need. Everyone makes mistakes. We can also laugh it off, as our male counterparts do.

PYS: Who inspires you?

Natasha: I fall in love all the time. There are so many inspiring godesses out there inspiring others while living their truths. My latest professional crush is Cari Rogers from Tribe Healing in Chicago. She and her business partner, Ellen, started Tribe as a response to the need for a wellness community space, a place where wellness professionals could converge, collaborate and share experience and networks, and be engaged in continuous learning. These inspiring ladies basically started a wellness incubator, an innovative and very beneficial concept, creatively and resourcefully applying a concept from the tech world to the very low tech world of wellness.

PYS: Tell us about your upcoming Kickstarter campaign.

Natasha: Kathmandu Yogi was bootstrapped and this is the first time we are publicly asking for funding. On May 1, we will launch a Kicktstarter campaign with the goal of raising $15,000 to jumpstart sustainable employment opportunities for over 100 Nepali women. We presently work with one fair trade collective and if our goal is met, we will be able to establish three new partnerships. If we meet our stretch goal of $25,000 we will be able to provide sustainable work for these women to support themselves and their families for the entire summer. And anything beyond that we will be steps closer to starting our own training institute and workshop, where women will learn business and language skills and have the support they need to start their own enterprises.

Goddess Rising: Angela Simson

Every week, we are so blessed to share this space with an incredible woman from the health, wellness and personal development community. This is our chance to connect and collaborate with amazing ladies from around the world as they follow their passion. 

Angela Simson is a female health + happiness coach, writer and speaker.  She is the creator of The Gratitude Project blog which inspires thousands of women to step into their light and live their best life.  Angela is also the mind behind 30 DAYS OF SELF CARE and THE GRATITUDE TRANSFORMATION and has added cacao filled joy into many kitchens with her recipe book TREAT YOUR TASTEBUDS.  Through her time as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Angela has coached dozens of women personally through her private coaching practice and hundreds more with her online program.  

Angela is one hundred percent committed to giving women the tools to completely change their lives through small acts of gratitude, tweaks in nourishing their bodies and the power to create what they desire in their relationships, career and personal lives.  

Gratitude turns what we have into enough, sometimes we just need to clear the fog to see the magic right in front of us.  

Website | Instagram | Facebook

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

Angela Simson: I work as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, which means that daily I get to speak to people about what feeds them, not only physically but emotionally and spiritually. Being reminded daily of the importance of a spiritual practice through my clients inspires me more and more to add to mine. I coach completely intuitively, never going into a session with a plan but trusting that what needs to be spoken about will come out and it does 100% of the time.  

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

Angela: To be honest, I had no huge breaks that led me to this passion. I simply saw people living amazing lives, where they were fed, loved and cared for but still not feeling at all fulfilled. Always waiting for something, marriage, babies, a bigger house or a better car. I was pulled into coaching because I believe that many of us take for granted what we have, we allow the stresses and struggles of everyday life to take away from the greatness of what we have in front of us. When you start to use gratitude and really focus on how lucky we are to have what we have, it's difficult to be pulled down by the speed bumps of life. 

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

Angela: I'm a chronic procrastin-eater! When I have something that needs to be done and I'm looking for distraction, I eat. Always healthy and nourishing food but it's my habit to go into the kitchen and make a smoothie or bake something when there is work to be done that I don't enjoy (aka sending out invoices or doing my bookkeeping. I'm working on improving it by adding a timer to my desk, I give myself 15-30 minutes per task and then I let myself move onto something else. That way I don't feel tied down to a 3 or 4 hour task in one day, it's spread out and manageable! 

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

Angela: The Cycle of Abundance. Inhale and Exhale. Then the cycle begins - Gratitude > generosity > giving > aligning > attracting > receiving > gratitude and round it goes. I have that always on my desk reminding me that by following abundance I will attract what I need and give what is deserved.  

PYS: What does your daily spiritual practice look like?

Angela: Mornings are always different depending on what time my daughter wakes up. Meditation isn't an option when she's awake as she will be jumping all over me and prying my eye lids open. But if she sleeps in I start the day with a 10-15 minute meditation, sometimes guided and then I roll out my matt and stretch my body. If she's awake, we stay in bed for that extra 30 minutes together and cuddle, she's happy when she's in my arms with our foreheads touching. When my husband gets home from training it's our family time together and that's what fills me up inside.  

PYS: Who inspires you?

Angela: The beautiful Kate Caddle.  

Goddess Rising: Alexis Sclamberg

Every week, we are so lucky to share this space with incredible women from the health, wellness and personal development community. This is our opportunity to connect and share and this week, we are happy to have Alexis Sclamberg!

Alexis Sclamberg is a personal growth writer, speaker and the co-founder of Borrowed Wisdom, a company that offers online programs to inspire and empower individuals to manifest a life they love.

A former lawyer, Alexis has been called the “manifestation master of her generation” and is known for taking the woo-woo out of the law of attraction and breaking down complex scientific facts into simple tools for manifestation. She is at work on her first book, Borrowed Wisdom For Love and is the co-creator and host of the Borrowed Wisdom interview series.

Alexis contributes personal essays to publications including Cosmopolitan, Forbes, and The Huffington Post, and has been featured on the radio, including NPR. She is an Instructor at Barnard’s Athena Center for Leadership Studies and a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Facebook | Twitter | Borrowed Wisdom on Twitter | Borrowed Wisdom on Facebook

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

Alexis Sclamberg: My work is focused on empowering others to live their best lives by giving them the spiritual and scientific tools to actualize their heart's desires. As a result, my work forces me to think about who I am, how I want to be in the world, and how important it is to cultivate faith in the process. Actualizing our potential on this planet while honoring our humanity requires a true test of faith -- and my work reminds me of this on a daily basis.

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

Alexis: I came to my work through my own "wounds." I was inspired to immerse myself in the world of personal growth as I was struggling in my own life--I was an unhappy lawyer in an unhappy marriage. Something needed to change. In my process of discovering the tools that were effective for me in moving my life story forward, in the direction of my heart's desires, I felt inspired to share what I had learned. And voila -- my business was born.

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

Alexis: My worst habit is making meaning out of events that in themselves don't have meaning. We all create stories about what is happening in our lives -- we fill in the blanks, it's only natural. But far too often we assign meaning that hurts us, that causes needless suffering, that misconstrues others' intentions. The result is a lot of unnecessary pain and strife. What if we could see the events of our lives simply for what they are? What if we could take a step back and ask ourselves about the meaning we're assigning to events, and question that meaning? That's what I'm working on doing right now: stopping myself before I create a harmful narrative, giving myself and others the benefit of the doubt, and in essence, elevating my consciousness about the events of my life.

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

Alexis: My biggest piece of advice is this: believe that anything is possible. It is my feeling that this is the most critical piece to manifestation -- belief sets everything else in motion.

Then, if I could sneak in another piece of advice, I'd say this: we can't control the "how" of our lives -- we can set intentions and create goals, but we will never be able to control how the details of our stories unfolds, nor can we control the timeline of the unfolding. This is OK. In fact, this takes a lot of pressure off us if we let it!! Stay focused on the outcome, but know that those details are just that: details.

PYS: What does your daily spiritual practice look like?

Alexis: My daily spiritual practice starts when I wake up in the morning -- I immediately do a creative visualization meditation. This helps me plug into a different "dimension" so to speak -- I get connected to my best self, the person I want to be, and suspend time and space in doing so.

I journal before I get out of bed as well; I have a practice of writing 3 things I'm grateful for, 3 things that would make the day great, and filling in one "I am" statement. These prompts each morning help me get into a space of gratitude but also train my eye on what I want to find in my day (confirmation bias!) and help me stay really intentional about my thoughts and feelings.

I then go on my daily run to the Golden Gate Bridge -- this is one of my favorite parts of my day. Running alongside the water's edge, watching the waves lap up to shore, seeing the birds soaring above me, hearing the crunch of the gravel beneath my feet, and feeling my heart beat -- I feel I am a part of something so much bigger than myself. Getting connected to the universe in this way is an important start to my day.

Throughout my day, I like to take plenty of breaks to check in with myself (how am I feeling? what messages are my body sending me?) and spend time outside. I find that I can get so sucked into the details of my work and social life, that I can forget what really matters, and what's really going on for me. By taking breaks, I ensure that I stay aware.

Before I go to sleep, I do more journaling -- reflecting on highlights from my day, listing more things I'm grateful for and reviewing what I could have done differently. The latter helps me make critical shifts in my life.

Most importantly, I exercise my "faith" muscle all day, every day. Things happen in life that test this muscle and I find myself in a constant state of "working it out." This means that I'm looking at my life through a lens of "everything's okay, everything's working out just as it should -- even if I can't really see that right now."

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

Alexis: I'm an open book, to myself and to others. My business is based on this openness and authenticity, as is the book I'm writing now. I have found that it's not secrets that hold me up, but what to do with my vulnerabilities -- how to navigate through life given my set of challenges.

PYS: Who inspires you?

Alexis: My business partner and mom, Dr. Sharon Ufberg.

Goddess Rising: Loren Lotus

Every week, we get to feature an incredible woman from around the world who is part of the health, wellness or personal development community. This is our opportunity to reach out and connect with some of the amazing women who are out there doing great things. This week, we got Loren Lotus to answer our questions.

Loren Lotus is an international, Los Angeles based, passionate Yoga instructor inspired by the spiritual traditions and Yogic teachings of India. She received her certification deep in the Caribbean jungle of Costa Rica where she studied under a teacher of Akandha affiliate and was provided with a well-rounded and holistic approach to traditional Hatha Yoga.

Her teachings incorporate the spiritual traditions of India and biomechanical alignment of Kinesiology to create styles suitable for every yoga practitioner. Loren began her own Yoga practice in college where she studied Kinesiology and her fascination of the human body first stemmed. Throughout her journey of self-study and self-realization she’s found her true passion through the teachings of Yoga and creating a space of healing and compassion for the mind, body and spirit of others. She believes Yoga is a practice not only on the mat, but also off the mat, in the kitchen, in our relationships and in everyday life. As a yoga teacher and student of life, Loren strives to share her teachings and awareness of Yoga by guiding and supporting her students through their own personal practice.

Loren currently teaches private, group and special event classes in Los Angeles, California. She travels frequently for teaching opportunities around the world and hopes to expand her practice and teaching worldwide.

Website | Facebook | Instagram

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

Loren: My work is a spiritual tool because it's also a part of the bigger practice of life!

Whether you're practicing Yoga, practicing the piano, or practicing other job-related functions, all of these items take dedicated time and expenditure of energy that require your attention. I use my work as a spiritual tool because I believe it's truly what I'm supposed to be doing here on earth, in this life, for this temporary amount of time. Just as you practice while you're taking a Yoga class, I've begun to find a practice each time I teach. Teaching and facilitating a class alone takes plenty of practice, piecing together poses, music, intentions, etc. and with each class I create, it's a representation of my being. With that, the most important part of this line of work is trusting.

Trusting that I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. Trusting that I'm capable of creating and manifesting whatever it is that I want and truly need to in order to be successful. And of course, defining "successful" to myself and not others. My idea of success may vary from someone else's in Los Angeles, but it terms of happiness, gratitude, and growth, I feel like the work I do is a huge contributing factor to my spiritual growth. 

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

Loren: Everyone has their cracks, weaknesses and wounds. It's getting through those times of challenge that create a more matured mind and soul. Whether I was a child living with my parents, in college living in a sorority, or in my 20's living on my own in a big city, each aspect of my life has come with it's own cup of tea. Most of my friends and family will probably laugh and agree that I've been (still may be) difficult, stubborn, selfish or hard to get along with at times. I realize it now looking back on some experiences and believe a lot of my past attitudes and behaviors were caused by a lack of self-awareness or respect for myself. They say how you treat others is a reflection of how you treat yourself so coming to terms with self-love, respect, awareness of myself and loved ones around me has truly expanded the purpose in the work I do now. 

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

Loren: My honest and absolute worst habit is spreading myself thin and not honoring my boundaries. Our world and culture has so much to offer that it's hard for the mind not to wander in all places wanting this and wanting that. I often find myself thinking "what if" or "what about that." Of course, this is a blessing and a curse because having this mentality has kept me driven and on the go in various aspects of my life. But to really hammer down on improving myself to be consistent and committed, I try to tune in to what my higher consciousness really needs.

It's tempting to say "Yes!" to every opportunity that arrises (and don't get me wrong, you absolutely should say Yes!) but there comes a time when you need to honor the energy and health of your body to find stillness and simplicity in your life. I really aim to be consistent by creating a schedule, sticking to it and trusting that where I am, right here, right now, is exactly where I am supposed to be. 

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

Loren: "Be your authentic self" because that's who you were meant to be in this lifetime. If you try to reach your potential by following in other people's footsteps, you'll certainly learn a lot from them along the way as they are resources, but the most crucial learning is what you learn from yourself. And when you learn new things, share that with others around you so they too can use you as a resource and learn things on their own! All we're really doing here is moving puzzle pieces around to find out our true purposes and maximize that potential in doing so. Also, wake up with the sun ;)

PYS: What does your daily spiritual practice look like?

Loren: Currently, my spiritual practice varies from day to day. While I do prefer routine, I've found that just went I start to build a routine, something will change and I need to reset my schedule all over again. I aim to commit my spiritual practice to sadhana first thing in the morning. Before I even walk into the kitchen for tea or breakfast, I roll out of bed and onto my mat on the floor. The first 15-45 minutes of my day consist of meditation, asana, pranayama and setting a conscious intention for the day. From there I'm off to teach at various studios, each studio offering a different class experience and varying encounters with people. Depending on how many classes I'm teaching that day, I've began to consider teaching as part of my spiritual practice as well. It's an opportune time for me to look inside of myself and share that with my students. Aside from my own personal asana practice on the mat, I try to remain tuned in throughout my entire day. Whether I'm eating vegetarian meals, humming mantras in Los Angeles traffic or going on a quiet hike by myself...again, I trust, what I'm doing is all apart of a higher practice. 

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

Loren: I certainly have released several secrets through my practice in order to live fully in my truth. I love the concept of Satya, truthfulness, in not only your words but your actions and thoughts. Through this, I've found the most important part of being truthful to be with myself. I've fought through my fair share of jealously, betrayal, hatred and anger in an attempt to release negative past experiences and make room for new positive ones. I've let go of childhood traumas, past relationships and hardships, and taken on a more understanding, truthful, and grateful attitude. 

PYS: Who inspires you?

Loren: I'm inspired by so many people! I feel like each person I meet along their path has something incredible to share with me and I hope to give that back to them as well. I've surprisingly found a wonderful community of Yogis via Instagram with whom I've connected with. Kelly Pender, from Colorado is also a Yoga teacher, workshop facilitator, and lover of life upon her path!

Namaste <3

Goddess Rising: Kate Caddle

Every Wednesday, we get to feature a woman from some where in the world who inspires and empowers in the health, wellness and personal development community. This week, we're talking to Kate Caddle!

Kate is a love fuelled coach, speaker, writer and yogi. Her purpose is to help vibrant women like you, reignite their spark and start living on purpose.

Through her online space, coaching sessions and speaking gigs, Kate helps you cut through overwhelm, fear and stuck stories to truly live an authentically beautiful life. Encouraging you to ask yourself the tough questions, dive deep and get your cute little butt into gear and take action.

She’s an advocate for self care, living gently and getting super comfortable in your own skin. She’s passionate about passion, and loves nothing more than seeing women live a life they love.


Website | Instagram | Facebook 

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

Kate Caddle: My clients are constantly inspiring me with their own growth, to venture deep into mine. When I see the progress they make in such a short amount of time, it reminds me of the ability within us as women to morph, grow and change, and that excites me! 

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

Kate: I couldn't agree with this more. I totally believe that everything that is given to us is a chance for us to learn and grow, and it's without a doubt that my toughest points have brought about the biggest positive shifts and awakenings of my life.

I was hit with a heavy curveball soon after I got engaged in January 2012. I was rushed to hospital with a 10cm cyst on my left ovary that was beginning to rupture. The pain was intense, and I had emergency surgery the next day. This was the first catalyst for change for me as I adjusted to my new normal.

I found out that I have severe endometriosis and that having children would be a challenge. It was tough to swallow but I was up for the challenge and completely shifted my life.

I embraced natural healing through food, yoga, meditation, spiritual healers, naturopathy, homeopathy, acupuncture - anything that felt right.

That process taught me to learn to listen to my body, and that honouring it would bring me closer to my truth.

The by-product of that, and something I never imagined, I found a completely different career path that I absolutely love.

I believe I was diverted down this path not only to improve my physical health, but to lead me to my purpose. 

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

Kate: Putting myself first is a daily challenge that I constantly have to remind myself to do, and I think thats why I'm so passionate about teaching others to do it too.

My highest value is to love and nurture others, and so when I do that, I feel amazing. But not when it comes at the cost of my own wellbeing. As I've heard it said so many times before ... How can I have anything to give if my cup is empty?

I need to consciously make an effort to do something everyday that makes me feel special. Today I'm finishing work a little early so that I can spend some time painting before my husband gets home. I love being creative and it always brings me deep contentment, and a new level of inspiration. 

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

Kate: Tune in, and do the work. And when I say work, I mean spiritual connection to yourself and to the divine (whatever that might be for you).

By establishing a loving relationship with yourself, you are able to connect to what it is you really want to do each day. That desire your heart is sharing with you.

And then, take action! As much as I believe in manifestation, we need to also bring a little yang flow into our dreams. What can you do each day towards moving you closer to your truth? Maybe it's reaching out to someone, maybe it's getting clear on your visions. But the key is to take forward motion, it doesn't matter how big or small, just keep stepping one foot in front of the other. 

PYS: What does your daily spiritual practice look like?

Kate: It changes with the seasons. I live in quite a warm climate in Australia, and in Summer (which it is right now) the sun rises at about 4:30am. I wake soon after the sun, and move my body in a loving way. (Walking my dog, pilates, yoga or a swim at the beach)

Next it's onto my morning meditation. Sometimes guided, sometimes to music and sometimes in nature. Whatever I feel I need that day.

Then I tune into how I feel, if I feel like journalling I'll grab a pen and my journal and sit for a while to write. Sometimes I feel like pulling angel cards or oracle cards.

And then I set an intention for my day, which I write down and keep at my desk.

Throughout the day I take regular breaks even for a few minutes to regroup and take some mindful breathes.

I also love to incorporate crystals and essential oils into my day and my spiritual practice.

Of an evening before bed I usually do a guided mediation and a bit of journalling or spiritual reading before drifting off into a blissful sleep. 

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

Kate: I've never really been one to consciously hide from things, I love to have everything in order - especially in my mind.

Something that has stopped me from living my truth in the past has been fear. And I'd be lying if I said I didn't still face it from time to time. But know I can recognise it for what it is, and not the 'truth' that I thought it was before.

Fear of not being good enough, of being rejected, of not making enough money, of not being worthy, of not be smart enough. Honestly the list could be endless!

But what I've realised is that I know I'm here on earth to do something great, it's bigger than me, and it's absolutely not my job to judge or scrutinise that. Whoever or whatever the higher power is, knows that there is a plan in place for me, and it's not my job to understand the plan, rather to listen to the guidance within and take steps in the direction I'm being led.

Whenever I feel myself waiver. I remind myself that this isn't about me, and I get on with what I was doing! 

PYS: Who inspires you?

Kate: Julie Parker from Beautiful You is a total goddess in action!

I'm also really inspired by Melissa Ambrossini and all the work that she is doing in guiding women to live from love.

And finally the girls from The Little Sage are divine, and I soak up everything they do!

Goddess Rising: January Newland

Every Wednesday, we are so lucky to feature an incredible woman from somewhere in the world who is doing great things to inspire and empower within the health, wellness and personal development community. This week, we are featuring January Newland who is a fitness trainer and nutrition coach! In her own words: 

I am a personal trainer, yoga teacher, nutrition educator, health coach, ocean aficionado, & Hawaii-born island-lover. I live in San Diego, with my boyfriend, our three dogs, and five chickens. Ours is a life of adventure, fun, and as much time at the beach as we can manage. My passion is helping people discover their healthiest, most radiant self through nourishing food, FUN fitness, and travel! My goal is to help you find balance in healthy living!

My Manifesto:
I believe in learning to love yourself exactly as is, here and now, before beginning a new journey. 
I believe in yoga sessions, AND Mai-Tais. I believe the single best exercise for you is the one that makes you feel ALIVE and POWERFUL. I believe sweat is beautiful. I believe in nourishing your body through intuition rather than counting calories. I believe traditional, whole, organic foods, and that how we eat can change our bodies and have a positive effect on the world around us.I believe your best life involves feeding your soul as well as your body. I believe in less cell-phone, and more beach!


Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

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

January Newland: People often start their journey of self-improvement with exercise and diet; but many times there's deeper work to be done with self-esteem, confidence, letting go of outside ideals, finding and trusting our own instincts. To me, this is where the good stuff happens, on the more spiritual path. You can follow any diet or exercise program, but if you learn to truly nourish and take care of your whole being, you'll find a new level of happiness and freedom. This is the work that I love to do!

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

January: Well, I was that person who was eating "all the right things" and working out several times a day, basically grinding away at trying to get into this skinnier body that I thought would somehow make me happy once I had it. But really, I had a lot of inner work to do on myself. Once I sought help with wounds from the past through energetic cord cutting, and good old fashioned therapy, it made all the difference. Getting to a better place in my head helped me get to the better place in my relationship with food, workouts, and my body.

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

January: Comparing myself to others. It's a dirty one - I know that we are all truly INCOMPARABLE to each other; we're extremely beautifully unique beings. Yet still, I fall into the habit of looking at the details of other people similar to me and comparing. I'm working on it just through the awareness of doing it, and meditating on self-love and appreciation of my own beautiful path!

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

January: Patience, and trusting your own journey. It ties into not comparing yourself or your journey to anyone else's. I think we hinder our own growth by freaking out that we need to be more or faster or better or... something that we aren't already right now.

We have so many things in the world now that measure us by numbers - number of followers, weight on the scale, website ranking, body fat percentage, grade point average, income earned. And those things can be helpful, but I find more and more in my experience that the really delicious, juicy stuff in life has no numbers, but instead, feelings... It's the relationships with those you love, the qualities that define you like kindness & compassion, the experiences you have, that can't be measured by numbers. 

PYS: What does your daily spiritual practice look like?

January: My spiritual practice is usually about conscious movement... whether through a long morning walk with my pups, a home yoga practice, or a workout on my own to listen in to my own body's needs for the day. I am focusing on practicing more stillness as well, with a few sitting meditation sessions per week. I think another important part of my spiritual practice is simply focusing on gratitude for all the wonderful things in my life, small to big. And working through the monkey-mind chatter that's always there in my head to get back to those gratitude thoughts, all throughout the day.

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

January: That I teach this radical self love and nourishment to women because I'm great at coaching it; but I'm only good at coaching it because it comes from a place of knowing the lack of self-love and nourishment all-to-well. 

PYS: Who inspires you?

January: Stephanie Birch, a yoga teacher in Sacramento, my mom, Melanie Granfors, who is a trainer of therapy dogs and rescuer of old dogs from shelters.

Goddess Rising: Tarryn Slade

Every week, we are incredibly blessed to feature a different woman from the health, wellness and personal development community. This is our opportunity to connect with some of the amazing women around the world as they inspire and empower. This week, we are happy to feature Tarryn Slade!

My name is Tarryn Slade, I am 27 years old and live in Brisbane Australia. I have always been a spiritually minded being but truly began my work as a Lightworker & Clairvoyant Healer in 2014 when I began my healing practice. To me their is no greater joy or passion in life than connecting & consciously living to your true, higher, authentic self and helping awaken, heal & inspire others to do the same during their time here on Earth.

WebsiteIGFB 

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

Tarryn Slade: I suffered Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for almost 10 years and during that time I spiraled in deep depression, anxiety and fear... I even contemplated suicide on numerous occasions as I was so desperately unhappy. I felt lost, unloveable & insecure... I felt like I had no direction in life, that no one knew what I was going through, that no one really SAW me... I just wanted to feel like people cared, that my life matter, that I was of value and could be of service to the world.... I wanted someone to look at me and say "You can do this, I believe in you"... but most of all I wanted to be able to love & believe in myself.

And now that is what I offer through my work, together with the Angels & Guides, we connect and channel into the blockages, the hurts, the stagnant energy and provide messages of healing hope, of clarity and inspiration. Through my spiritual work, I am inspired to help awaken people to their higher callings and generate a conscious positive mindset of positive, loving self-nurturing & self-belief.

For we need the darkness to see the light, by lighting our own way too illuminate the paths of others. We rise in being our authentic selves. Our true soul selves.... And this inspires my work constantly.

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

Tarryn: My worst habit is procrastinating and waiting for someone to tell me I'm worthy and it's okay, that I can do this... The old "I believe in you" that I was searching for, for 10 years, can still rear its ugly head. When this happens, I drop into self-parenting through meditation, asking my inner child what is wrong and really tuning in to see why I'm feeling this way. I then switch my thinking to positive reassurance only, soothing myself with positive self beliefs that I can do this, and removing limiting self-beliefs.

I acknowledge that resistance I feel during these times is necessary and preparing me to launch and propel forward and to acknowledge my habit of self doubt as an indication that change and wonderful new opportunities are entering my life for me to embrace.

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

Tarryn: Find a wonderful mentor, someone whom you respect and admire, who has already actualized their potential and connect with them to help you break down the action steps you need to take on your own journey. Someone who you trust and who will be able to inspire & nurture you on your journey while still motivating you and holding you accountable.

Don't wait until you are ready, because you will never be. Just take one step at a time. Do a class, take a course, read a book, take a trip... And eventually you'll realise that each one of these was something that began setting you into motion toward actualizing your potential.

PYS: What does your daily spiritual practice look like?

Tarryn: Every morning I wake and list three things I am grateful for before I get out of bed. I eat a healthy breakfast, play with my dogs and as I get ready each day I have a positive quote stuck to my mirror that I read every day that says "Hey you, yes you. I want you to really look at yourself. Past the insecurities, past everything you think is wrong. You are beautiful. Have a beautifully blessed day xoxo".

Each day I choose to focus on the positives, if a negative thought enters my head or feeling comes over me I make a conscious effort to replace it with three positive thoughts. I practice mindfulness through my breathing and my choices in food and my actions.

Love, respect, gratitude & compassion are four majorly important components in my daily spiritual practice, in particular, self love.

Taking time out to meditate, do the things I like, replenish my energies, doing a card reading, resting, rejuvenating are high atop my list daily with spiritual practice, for through my suffering CFS I learnt first hand you are no good to help anyone if you aren't functioning okay. One of my favorite analogy's to share with people is the 'Airplane Analogy' and goes a little something like this:

When you're on an airplane taxing the runaway and the airhostess is taking you through the emergency instructions they ask you in the event on an emergency if the air masks should fall to place your own on first securely before helping others... why? Because you won't be able to help anyone if you're passed out.

So just like life, it is so important to make sure you are okay, that you are taking care of you, through Mind Body Spirit, so that your foundations are set to be of service to others.

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

Tarryn: Fear of failure & vulnerability has always been something that held me back in self-love... But through recent times I have learnt to not see it as a failure, rather an opportunity to grow and I have come to realize that everyone, no matter who you are, feels vulnerable in life and its about acknowledging when you are feeling shame and vulnerability and championing these through self-love, unconditional self-love.

Self- love can mean many things, too. It's about our self-talk, keeping this positive & encouraging. It's about the foods we choose to consume, its about exercising, its about taking time out for spiritual practice be that healing, meditation, a reading... It's about being kind & gentle with yourself, patient and loving... For you are always going to be with yourself and that's a relationship that deserves love, respect, trust & nurturing.

PYS: Who inspires you?

Tarryn: Peta Kelly, Alexi Panos & Preston Smiles are all incredible souls sharing their light with the world!

Goddess Rising: Caitlin Nowland from Wabi-Sabi Well

The Goddess Rising series is our opportunity to connect with amazing women from around the world who are part of the wellness, health and personal development community. This week, we are so happy to have Caitlin from Wabi-Sabi Well!

Caitlin Nowland is co-creator of Wabi-Sabi Well and lives in Byron Bay, Australia with her husband Loren and their two little wildlings, Oliver and Isla. Wabi-Sabi Well is, in essence, holistic feel good fitness. It's cross-training like you’ve never seen before- a one-stop-shop to cover all of your mind + body bases. The Wabi-Sabi Well method is a comprehensive, holistic formula fusing metabolism-boosting movement, mindfulness, bioenergetic techniques and deep relaxation. The method integrates not just the physical, but also the emotional and spiritual elements to help you reconnect and return to a healthy state of balance, harmony and well being. It’s the antidote to perfection-seeking, bikini bootcamps and will leave you feeling liberated, motivated, and wildly free. www.wabisabiwell.com 

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

Caitlin: Wabi-Sabi well was essentially born out of necessity- and it has continued to grow and evolve that way too- Brieann [Caitlin's co-creator at Wabi-Sabi Well] and I are sort of like spiritual gangster guinea pigs! The work we create is directly born out of our own learnings, experimentations and explorations into what really works for us. So our process of creating and sharing Wabi-Sabi Well is inextricably linked to our spiritual growth and learning. It's a constant evolution.

A bit of a backstory: Brieann originally began offering personal training sessions with her holistic approach- a mashup of "what works"- a mix of metabolism boosting movement (cardio, core, strength, toning and conditioning), mindful movement (yoga, stretching, flexibility, myofacial release and postural realignment) and deep relaxation techniques (think guided meditation, sound healing and powerful bioenergetic techniques.)

When I first met Brieann and experienced her method of training it literally knocked my socks off. I’ve tried pretty much every fitness fad there is. Not out of desperation or necessity, but because I just like trying new things. I’m one of those people who is always looking for A Better Way. And I found it.

When I met Brieann and got a taste of her method, it hit home in a way that no other workout ever had. And I knew it would hit home for SO many people. I just wanted to help Brieann share it with the world. Spread the Wabi-Sabi gospel and create a fitness and wellness revolution. I initially planned to be backstage, hopefully making a little magic behind the scenes, but Brieann had other plans. She grabbed the cane and pulled me onto the stage beside her. And I’m glad she did. It has forced me to be brave. It forced me to fully commit to my dreams. It brought to the surface just how passionate I am about sharing this work.

As we've continued to refine the Wabi-Sabi Well method and to grow and expand our offerings (including recipes, meditations and spiritual practices) it's all rooted in our personal experimentation and research. So this work is very personal to both of us- a curated tool kit that evolves along with us! 

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

Caitlin: Like so many girls, later in my teenage years I struggled with an eating disorder and depression. Binging, purging, calculus level calorie counting, obsessively exercising, yep, yep, yep. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. Midway through my freshman year in college, my GPA was picture-perfect, my diet was calculated down to the square root of sweet f all and my body (and personality) had all but faded away. My family intervened and I withdrew from classes to seek help. Psychologists and psychiatrists and prescriptions helped bridge the gap, but one day I woke up and couldn’t tell how I felt. Through the fog of anti-depressants and mood regulators, I just couldn’t feel… anything.

I realised that in my case (and I GET that this isn’t the case for everyone) that I had to decide to be happy. I had to wake up and fight for it every day by making decisions and choices that contributed to happiness. I didn’t know how to do this, I didn’t have the tools. At all. But I decided I’d just figure it out. Unwinding negative patterns and obsessive behaviour? It ain’t easy, sister. I’m sure many of you know that all too well.

Simultaneously, in the space of 4 years I contracted mononucleosis, Epstein Barr virus, Dengue Fever and finally, Lyme Disease. These diseases literally brought me to my knees and changed my life forever. For the better. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true.

So here I was, battered, bruised, broken and depleted on pretty much every level possible. I had some serious healing to do. As I slowly rebuilt my immune system over the next 10 years I happily committed to whatever it took – antibiotics, Chinese medicine, homeopathy, naturopathy, vitamin injections, IVs, hot baths, ginger tea and wet socks, GI tests, Vitamin C flushes, elimination diets, you name it, I did it. Fully. Committed.

But what I struggled with was slowing down (and here’s where the whole “being happy” thing comes back around). I derived my sense of happiness and self worth through what I could control and what I could achieve. Throwing myself into work, smashing sales targets, never turning off, having my iPhone permanently attached to my hand, multitasking like my life depended on it, hair always perfectly coiffed, cultivating Barbi feet by wearing high heels (always), networking, hosting fundraisers, overdoing the whole social butterfly thing… (sound familiar?) It’s an attitude and a canon of behaviour that our society champions. Dream, believe… but mostly, bust your butt and achieve. Because you’re simply not enough just as you are. So despite all my healthy eating, supplements, treatments, et al., the Lyme Disease resurfaced. Something was missing from my heal-thyself strategy.

Ironically, the last piece of the puzzle wasn’t to do with my physical body in a direct sense. The last piece of the puzzle was a major mental shift. Getting out of the Type-A, achievement addicted, adrenal state. Transitioning from always DOING – always feeding my need to achieve (and temporarily soothing my sense of “I am not enough”) – to just BEING. Simply slowing down sealed the deal for my body and mind to realign and get back on track. Which has in turn, allowed me to manifest a truly fulfilling life.

Now, I say simply, but it was anything but. It’s an ongoing commitment, an ongoing learning curve. Like all chronic over-achievers, I still have to be super conscious of staying in the slow lane on a day to day basis. (Daily conversation with self: Put ya blinker on, girl, and get out of the passing lane. Go on now.)

So here's the thing- I’m not special in any of this. My story is a carbon copy of a thousand other stories. I’d venture to say that more people feel overwhelmed, depleted and addicted to achievement than not. And most would be able to recognise that something isn’t right. But it’s hard to know where to start. How to do it differently. How to break through these super staunch beliefs about The Way Things Are Done… and about ourselves.

So that’s what inspires me. I want it to be easy. I want Wabi-Sabi Well to be a resource for people to tap into. A one-stop-shop for What Works. For breaking free of what’s holding you down or holding you back or keeping you stuck in a space of “I am not enough.” All your need-to-knows for living life fully. Minus the trial and error.

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

Caitlin: I'm an achievement addict! To do lists, ticking boxes, productivity are my kryptonite. I am co-owner of three different businesses and have two young kids so with a full plate and lots of balls to juggle, I can get stuck in a cycle of prioritising productivity at the expense of lightness, fun, adventure, pleasure and freedom. Two things help. ONE- setting clear boundaries. At the end of the day I write down the 3-4 most important things that must get done the next day, and then a second list of bonus tasks. When I sit down to work the next day I'm already clear on what needs to be done. That gives me clarity, a sense of direction and purpose and also a little momentum. I'm not sitting at my desk fretting, I'm already in flow getting things done. Using a pomodoro timer to give myself an exact time in which to get tasks done is also really helpful (and satisfying). Not constantly checking email and social media is also essential. The aim is to check in twice a day- of course that doesn't always happen, but it's an intention. TWO- When faced with a choice (like clearing my inbox versus going to the beach with my family) I take Gretchen Rubin's advice and "choose the bigger life". Such a powerful phrase and when posed as a question, (as in, "which option feels like I'd be living a bigger life") it makes things crystal clear. 

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

Caitlin: Meditate. Introduce as much ritual and reverence into your life as you can. Smudge everythang. Journal. Dance. Chant. Drink Reishi mushroom hot cacao. Anoint yourself with rose oil. Desire Map (Danielle LaPorte's system). Be intentional. Read, write, think. Share. Smile. Make friends that uplift and enliven you. Trust yourself. Trust your body. Trust your journey. Give yourself over to presence. But most of all, let desire and delight lead the way. 

PYS: What does your daily spiritual practice look like?

Caitlin: I meditate every morning- I rotate between vipassana meditation (sidenote: I love Tara Brach's guided vipassana stye meditations!) and Kundalini meditations which I really jam on- lots of mantra and mudras. I let my intuition guide me in terms of what type of meditation to do. I feel like vipassana meditation is beautiful maintenance meditation and I tend to gravitate to Kundalini meditations when I feel I need to shift energy, shake things up or reset my vibe.

I'm a big fan of Danielle LaPorte's work and use her Desire Map system for setting intentions for my year and each day I check in with my intentions by writing down my Core Desired Feelings. My spiritual practice really bleeds into the practical aspects of my life- I let my CDFs guide and shape my to do list for the day. It's a really profound way to stay in touch with your inner guidance and stay on course with what you really desire to manifest in your life.

And of course, GRATITUDE. I write down what I'm grateful for every day. I love Shawn Achor's approach to gratitude- he suggests to write down three things you're grateful for from the last 24 hours. I think this is so powerful for a few reasons. First, it can be really easy to slip into a gratitude rut- repeating the same "big" things every day (my health, my family, etc., etc.,) and using Achor's approach keeps your gratitude fresh, relevant, and calls your attention to the little bijous in your day- the tiny gems that you might otherwise not notice. You start celebrating the small things that you deeply grateful for. You keep your eyes peeled, so to speak, for all the the many blessings in your life. And this attitude of gratitude expands and sets you up to receive even more to be grateful for. As Dr. Habib Sadhegi says, "Feeling is the language of the universe," so feeling grateful and recognising all that you have to be grateful for invites more of the good stuff into your life. 

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

Caitlin: I'd say that in general I haven't hidden from things that some people would be ashamed of...and if I did hide, it was very temporary. I've tended to use the challenges and shadows in my life as the impetus for change. From depression and eating disorders to lyme disease and type-A adrenaline and achievement addiction...all of it became a learning, a catalyst, a call to return to my soul self. I faced each struggle head on and grew through it. My feeling has always been that you can't get around the shadows, you have to walk THROUGH them to really experience cathartic change. Life is contraction and expansion. If we don't fully experience the contraction and find the courage to move through it, we can't burst forth into bloom.

PYS: Who inspires you?

Caitlin: Oh wow, so many women inspire me! I am a huge, huge fan of the work that these ladies bring into the world: Tara Brach, Danielle LaPorte, Fiji McAlpine, Meagan Currie, Elizabeth Gilbert, Marianne Williamson, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Natalie from Style+Spirit, my kundalini yoga teacher, HarJiwan/Jacinta Csutoros, Reine DuBois, my amazing integrative naturopath, my amazing kinesiologist Tara Shields, the ladies from Shemana Elixers, Madgi from Bahgsu Jewels...and the list goes on! 

Goddess Rising: Rima Danielle Jomaa

We are so excited to be launching our new series today, Goddess Rising, which focuses on women in the health, wellness and personal development community. Over the next several weeks, we are going to be bringing interviews to you from women around the world who inspire, empower and live a life full of passion.

This week, we are so happy to introduce our first guest, Rima Danielle Jomaa.

Rima is from Los Angeles, and now lives and works between sunny San Clemente, California & Santa Teresa, Costa Rica (where she hosts/organizes yoga & wellness retreats). She is a Marriage and Family Therapist, a certified yoga instructor, a healthy lifestyle blogger & an entrepreneur. In her private practice, Rima also practices Reiki energy healing, utilizes hypnotherapy, and guides others through mindfulness and meditation in combination with traditional therapeutic methods. Rima gives clients the tools and skills to reclaim their health, happiness, and freedom.

Visit Rima on Instagram & Twitter at @rima_danielle or check out her blog to learn more: www.RimaTheJungleGirl.com. Her complete list of social media links can be found on her blog.

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

Rima: My work emanates from the path on which I myself am following, and so it is an extension of what I learn & experience, and that can be transformed into teachings for others to apply to their life.

What that means is that as I evolve, so does my work. We all have the capacity to be effective teachers or healers for others at any stage in our spiritual development because there's always someone at a similar level as us that can benefit from what we can offer. As we evolve, we attract different kinds of people that need what we can provide.

Similarly, I learn so much from my students and clients that it's a constant reciprocation of energy that's expanding and changing. It's very spiritually influenced because the safe space we create therapists & yoga teachers gives our clients & students the space & tools to explore their own spirituality.

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

Rima: My core wounds span back centuries, as we are constantly reincarnating and playing out our karmic debts. We've all experienced lifetimes of pain and suffering in one way or another, and our work on this Earth, in terms of our soul's evolution, is to find the joy, the fun, and the freedom in life regardless of all of our perceived difficulties and limitations. Otherwise, we spend our time here repetitively cycling the same thoughts and anxieties, creating fear, until we die and reborn working out the same issues.

We are here to play, and I truly believe that. I've been able to use various forms of therapy (I'm a marriage and family therapist myself), such as hypnotherapy, Past Life Regression therapy, and group therapy to help me understand why I chose this particular life is and what my role is within it.

"To change my tribe" - that manifests differently in each moment. From a cultural standpoint, I've faced many challenges as a woman (overcoming deep-rooted feelings of guilt, shame, and fear) and I've started remembering my power and strength as a divine feminine being, with abilities to effect change within myself and my community. I hope to inspire this "remembering of Self" in others as we all come into our True Power to live happy and free and to afford that for others humans & sentient beings.

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

Rima: My worst habit is not sticking to a daily routine. As an entrepreneur, I am constantly buzzing from this task to that and I often forget to take care of myself in ways I should. That might look like skipping meals, not drinking enough water, or getting too hyper focused on certain tasks and neglecting others. To fix this tendency, I've been setting intentions to sleep early and rise early. First thing I do when I wake up is a daily health routine which includes tongue scraping, flossing, drinking lemon water, face yoga (to get my face muscles toned!), and cleaning up the house. This way, I start my day refreshed, with a clear space, and in the right direction.

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

Rima: "Get clear on your intentions so the Universe can hear, understand, & manifest them into form. Then work hard & show up. The Universe will align Itself for you in the most magnificent of ways."

Also, be fearless.

PYS: What does your daily spiritual practice look like?

Rima: It is constantly evolving and as I mentioned above, lack of a routine is my worst habit. This doesn't mean I'm not spiritual, it just means that I don't have a typical "Day-In-The-Life-of-Rima" scenario. My morning routine is what I mentioned above and then I set out my schedule and agenda for the day. Yoga is usually a part of that and a great way to practice spirituality, however, I work to take yoga off the mat and find presence in each moment. That's the way I truly connect to spirit - in each moment, when I breathe air, when I feel (anything), when I am - I feel blessed and grateful. As I prepare my food each day, I feel gratitude for the organic food we have access to and for the vegan lifestyle that's changed my life. I'm constantly aware of all of the good and beauty that's around me as I work hard to change the things that aren't in line with my highest Self. That balance is where I try to reside, and where I can feel spirit within me.

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

Rima: Through therapy, I've learned to live an authentic life that's honest and pure. I stopped playing different roles in different places and tuned in to who RIMA is. Finding that has enabled me to be honest and open in every situation, even if I perceive it to be scary or difficult. This practice over the last couple of years has led to very specific and divine opportunities appearing in my life. I don't always say what I feel as there's a dark tendency within me to be angry and afraid at the state of the world and the actions of those around me, but I have learned to embrace and use my darkness rather than hide from it or try to tuck it away. We all have within us darkness and light and we have the ability to choose how we act. One of my favorite song lyrics is "My bright is too slight to hold back all my dark". While I don't feel that way specifically, I do feel like most people fool themselves into believing they're "good" people without allowing space to realize we all have the capacity to lean towards good or evil and we must make conscious decisions each moment of the day that are good. It's not inevitable that we're one or the other and it's not black and white.

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

Rima: My best friend and soul sister - Alexis Franklin - THE Yoga Warrior Goddess. Not only is she kind, beautiful & talented, but she's extremely hard working and organized. Though we live physically far from one another, her and I have formed a strong bond - both an emotional one and a professional one - which I'm so grateful for because each day, she inspires me to work harder and continue following my passions.