personal development

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.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PYS: What does your daily spiritual practice look like?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PYS: Who inspires you?

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

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

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: 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: 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.
 

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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: 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.

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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: 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.

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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!