The Choice

Okay, my morning practice has officially become my morning play date. Two weeks later the texture of it has changed. Less gritty expectations and sharp boxes to check; more softly hanging out with myself with a general menu of beautiful self serving possibilities. I first explore what my body has to say through therapeutic yoga and breath – no templates or videos – just allowing my body to lead, then I meditate with the hubby downstairs, then I return to our room alone to have free time. Perhaps I meditate a bit more or read or journal or take a luxurious shower or watch the sunrise. In short, I’m just hanging out with myself before the day with others begins.

That brings to mind a story.

When my first child was born (7 1/2 year old John in the blue shirt above), I remember shopping with my mother. He was just over a week old and we had accomplished what I perceived as the miracle of making purchases with a single infant in tow. It was a production worthy of many minutes worth of movie credits. Having checked out and changed his diaper, I realized he was going to be hungry very soon. And so, just as I thought we would be able to walk out of the store, we instead walked into the nursing room. I sat in one rocker feeding John and my mother sat across from me, rocking gently with her eyes closed.

I remember the quiet. The stillness. The closed in darkness of that interior room. It’s stuffy store smell. I was toasted and ready to be on our way home. I felt like we’d moved a mountain that day. Meanwhile, my son was nursing in rhythmic soothing swallows. Enamored by him briefly, I then remembered where I was, looked up at my mother (her eyes-closed-rocking-self of three grown children) and observed sharply,
“So, I guess this is what this is really about, huh? Hurry up and wait?”

To which she paused thoughtfully and then responded, “Oh, no. It’s more like… just hanging out.”

She is a wise wise soul that mother of mine.

My entire exhausted body softened. The moment arrived and I arrived in the moment. Babies, parenting, wifeing, daughtering, friending, working… it isn’t hurry up and wait. It is ALL just hanging out. My mother gave me the gift of softening into the moment. It can take so little to soften into where you are and not where your brain, judgments and beliefs are residing.

When we are tired and suffocating with to do’s, the world can become an unending list of “Hurry up and wait.” But what are we waiting for already? This is actually it. IT.

And so, when space offers itself to you, embrace it. Hanging out is available left and right if we allow it to greet us. You don’t have to prove anything. You don’t have to push yourself. The to do’s will all still be available and you won’t lose the skill of Doing. I promise. But in hanging out – whether it is putting your legs up the wall reading with kids, or sitting outside watching the spring birds on the feeder, or laying on the kitchen floor just breathing for 3 minutes, or drinking tea and feeling its warmth, or reading your book while the kids are in the bathtub – the small injections of hanging out add up.

They add up to Space.

Two days after writing everything above this closing paragraph, there are endless ways my brain wants to complete this post. And in the magic of that nonstop conveyor belt of ideas and the question “Which one do I pick already!?”, I know that tired is in charge right now. It is 2:51pm and my body is saying “All done for right now. Seriously, all done.” The spinning of my brain, the thickness in my head and throat, the warming left ear, and the very dull ache in my cheeks tells me it isn’t a moment for clarity in communication. It is a moment to consciously Stop. Be. Drink tea. Sit on the couch. Look out at the trees. Embrace the ever available choice to simplify. Allow the list of to do’s to remain the list. It isn’t going anywhere.

This will be one glorious pinnacle of my day – the silky smooth zero expectations experience of hanging out.

Be well,

The Sparkle

I explored a new level of strength in Calgary. For my body, a new realm of accuracy and stamina. For my soul, a new depth of exploration and resilience. And for my intellect, a new level of mastery in my craft. It was awesome and inspiring.

Just prior to my return home, I had a Vision of what was possible for me. Cue tinkling fairy bells, rainbows and pots of gold. I had a new experiential understanding of my capacity for more ease. More flow. More ripples spreading outward. And I knew what I needed to do to get There. I knew the steps that I needed to take to propel me forward.

Coordinates for destination entered?
Coordinates for Ultimate Ease entered.
All systems check?
And proceed to launch.

Or not.

In the week following my return home, I slowly noticed that my long standing daily routine of support had shapeshifted into something quite different. Instead of leaning in and enjoying the moment of pause of my early morning therapeutic yoga practice or meditation, or the 10:00 a.m. chai, or the plethora of other mini bites of support that have been a part of my world for some time now… instead of leaning into all of that goodness, the supports had morphed into another list of “to do’s.”

The morning practice had become another thing to check off the list. The chai had become a slug it down because I knew I needed the calories to keep me going until lunch. The carefully selected mid-afternoon activity of nidra or do nothing had become “What do I need to do to get myself through to dinner time?”

But I knew something was up. What was Present was a blur to what I was going to do next to get closer to ULTIMATE EASE (Go back and read that sentence again with a booming echo, please.)
In short, I was watching myself miss out on the Moment.


I had totally lost the journey and was laser focused on my destination.

As my wise sister has observed, “Our kids are as they are born. Our job as parents is to help them learn to use their powers for good and not evil.”

Amen. This holds true for my own personal walk as well.

My God given gifts of intensity and efficient execution had snuck in as the engine of this freight train called Rachel.

I was trying to use an old tool to get to a new destination. And it wasn’t working.

In recognizing the cruise control in my daily routine, I know it is time to shift things up. Like the etch-a-sketches of my childhood, it needs a shake and a reset. And to do that, I must first let go of some of the structure that I have built – structure that used to serve me in a big way – that has now instead become a crutch and a check list.

This morning, moments after journaling, I was making our bed when I found the lovely little smiley face sticker seen in the image above. It smiled up at me. And I returned the smile.

“Okay, I get it. Lighten up on yourself. You’re making this harder than it is, dear Rachel.”

This softening was followed by a brilliant insight from an incredible client this morning as she reflected upon her practice:

“If I don’t pause long enough, I might be missing untapped potential.”

Thud. That landed and I received it. I didn’t volley it back. I didn’t have a build on it response. Just silence in her brilliance.

That untapped potential is a wellspring. Mine. Your’s. All of our’s. And it is in the Pause.

Notice when your practice, your exercise, your food, or whatever else scaffolding your day is simply a box to check. And when it is the Pause. The place to play. To explore. To expand.

I fear letting go of what I’ve known in terms of my daily support rituals and playing into a deeper layer of listening and responding to the moment, but I fear even more what untapped potential I will miss out on if I do not.

What can we do together if we lean into the Pause as an opportunity to softly feel, listen and respond? It has me giddy to consider. Shivering in legs, quick in my heart and pulsing in my chest. This is my intensity of focus at its best. Gazing into the depth of infinite space to move better, to feel better and to be better. May we step lightly together on this journey.

Be well,

To Hold Dear

I have a long standing habit in my meditation practice. “Just one habit?” you may wonder. Well, undoubtedly I have way more than one but let’s go with this one for today’s pondering. Because it is in my face this morning in a crystalline kind of way.

I have a bias toward shutting down the thoughts. I don’t so much “Let them float by like clouds in the sky.” I put a chokehold and a vice grip on those puppies and knock those suckers out like a hitman on a binge ride.

Yipes. Not so yoga of me, huh? Well, it is now since I’m finally bringing voice to it and allowing it to be seen. Awareness. That’s the practice. And refinement. So, let us proceed.

I’ve known this pattern for a long time but have never been able to meet it. I confront it with my fiery judgy self – but letting go of the tendency to play whack-a-mole with my innocent childlike monkey mind has been elusive. This contributes to a cycle of love / hate with meditation since I historically have a bit of thing with “getting it right.” That thing is more and more deeply challenged as I train in this field of yoga therapy and live it in my own life.

And so we come to this morning’s practice. My husband and I meditated together for what may be the first time ever. And it was definitely my first non-nidra meditation in a long time.

The meditation bell sounded ceremoniously, we sat in textbook quiet for approximately 1 minute, and then Mira, our super duper friendly cat, began to prance around. Punctuating the 6:00am stillness of house with her little meow chirps, nuzzles, paws and general curiosity around “What is up with both of you down here??”.

Over. And over.

Now, as Mira has established already, I don’t typically meditate downstairs so something physical – not mental – was a newer distraction for me.

“Bah!!! Mira. Why do you have to be so sweet and loving? You’re driving me nutso…. grrr. Oh well, it’s just Mira.”

…Insert pregnant pause in Mind and Self…

“Yes, it is Mira.”

And the subsequent stillness swept back over like a quiet wave.

A lightbulb illuminated the quiet of my typically busier brain.

Acknowledge her. It. Whatever. I’ve known for quite a while now that the sensations and fears deep in me desire acknowledgement. I’m growing more and more adept at catching the need for that in my everyday life.

And I’ve also heard that direction over and over in guided meditation, “Acknowledge it. And let it go.”

But ‘acknowledge’ in the microcosm of meditation hadn’t landed as a practical experience yet. Being told something and experiencing it as a Truth are entirely different levels of learning. Feeling a shift is the ultimate lesson and reinforcement for staying the course (or alternatively altering course).

This arrival at a new felt Truth didn’t make this meditation perfect by any means. But it gave it solid earth to nestle into.

“This is hard.” beautiful child Rachel quipped at being back on the cushion again. Not ‘liking’ the still present busyness of a brain that I know has quieted substantially from where it started. Wanting to fidget. Fighting the discomfort as I did with my whole body tantrums of toddlerdom.

“Yes, this is hard.” came the reply from the softer space.

Thought acknowledged. Loved. Held as dear as that inner child.

And so I watched it shimmer as it dissipated. Dissolving back into that from which it came. Merely ripples remaining from the fish that glided past.

See, love and discover – with the support of acknowledgement – what just might let go of you.

Be well,

YogaFest 2018 and more (of course)

Once again, hello Calgary! I’m back for two more weeks of yoga therapy training in this two year adventure. A Chinook has come through so my snow pants aren’t biting back negative temps… yet. I’ve got two weeks here so keep your fingers crossed for me that the warm’ish front sticks around. (Hope you guys are enjoying the fresh snow back in NC!)

Once again, I’m also in a space where my teachers are challenging me to see even more as I watch how people are moving well and where they can move even better. They’re challenging me to recognize my biases in how I see movement, connection and synchrony in joints, and the whole of a person. They’re challenging me (for what feels like the millionth time) to go beyond my default patterns – of movement and being – to keep getting better. And better.

Allow me to share a direct quote from my primary teacher:

“You are REALLY good. But don’t you want to be GREAT? What could you do with GREAT?
Can you imagine that?”

To which my inner cranky child replies (fortunately not out loud):

“Geez, that sounds like more work. I’ve already done A LOT of work. Can’t you see that!? I strongly dislike work. Of course, I am signed up for this training for the full two years (and paid in full) so I suppose the work is already happening. Might as well go for GREAT.”

And although I make it sound nonchalant in my acquiescence, there is no doubt that I want to be flashing letters, neon lights, Hollywood sign visual impact:

Capital “G” Great.

I should clarify. This is not about wanting to be a big, well known yoga therapist who teaches classes in my fancy yoga clothes for huge online streaming audiences. Nope. There are teachers for that but they are not this girl. Yet, I do want Capital “G” Great and for good reason.

As I get better, I can help my clients more efficiently (which means faster). As my clients feel better and move better, they can live their lives more fully. They can have energy to play with their kids and grandkids once more, they can rationally talk to colleagues instead of argue with them due to exhaustion, and they can get back to walking, hiking and the general playfulness that can be a part of all of our lives. Most of all, they can spread more goodness throughout the world. You see, when we feel better, we’re generally kinder to ourselves and those around us.

Yes, kindness. It is a big deal. So, in fact, I am going for capital “G” Great.

The annoying (and kind of hilarious) part of this all is that my old great is my new good. And so there is more. A new great that awaits me. Always more.

It’s just like our bodies. We can will our way through most anything. Or, we can explore what it is like to step by step, diligently and consistently do what we are actually capable of doing without grip, or brace, or strain. Stepping from good into great takes one baby step at a time.
It is real and it is game changing.

Curious? It is quite empowering to learn that one is anything but helpless when it comes to pain and feeling generally stuck. If you want to play a bit, I have an opportunity to share. Mark your calendar:

The 7th annual YogaFest NC
Saturday, April 7, 2018
McKimmon Center, Raleigh NC

I’m pleased to share that I am a part of YogaFest this year. I’ll be offering a one hour therapeutic yoga class based around my teaching principles for decreasing pain and increasing resiliency. I’ll also be hosting a 20 minute mini-lecture to directly discuss and answer questions regarding moving with intention and efficiency. This is a beautifully organized conference that benefits the local not for profit You Call This Yoga through a day of classes from 40 area yoga teachers, mini lectures, and an end of day culminating nidra and gong bath . Registration including an early bird special is available here.

Please consider joining the fun and coming to see me and the full lineup of teachers this year. I have no doubt that my belly will be fluttering with butterflies as I take this baby step along the path toward my new Great – whatever that ends up looking like. Come along with me and we can find out together. I’m ever so joyful to have familiar faces and hearts along the way with me.

Be well,

The Exchange

Just before the holiday, a dear client says to me,
“I’ve noticed something about your writing recently… it’s changed.”

I tilt my head as I’ve found I do when I feel my nervous system flare in
R-E-D A-L-E-R-T.

Apparently I’ve been in a similar spot before and the ambiguity of “What will he say next!?” stimulates a protective response from my brain. A flood of warmth in my head and chest, frozen breath, and an internal shower of cortisol signal my reptilian desire to F-R-E-E-Z-E. All systems check for camouflage. That awesome part of my brain thinks that if I just stay really really still then maybe he won’t see me anymore.

Next, I regain access to my thinking brain and an entertaining monologue runs through at warp speed. “”Oh crud… is my writing better? Is it worse? Did I offend someone? Did I use too much thinly veiled profanity? Oh, I’m the worst. The pits! My business is done for! I should stop writing now! I’ll never write again!”


Cue a breath. Arrive back in my body and smile at my zoom zoom mind. (This step is also known as the capital P “Pause” or softening.)

Mere seconds after his statement, I reply “How has it changed?”

“Well… it feels like you come from a deep foundation of… shame.”

I half smile. I quietly chuckle. I pause again to check in with my heartbeat in my chest and my feet touching the floor.

I reply, “Well, yes. That’s probably true. And I think we all come from that place… until we see it, invite it in, feel it and then it doesn’t fuel our fire in the same way any longer.”

My mind floats momentarily to an amazing TED talk by Brené Brown. I share it here for your viewing and consideration. It is titled Listening to Shame:

To the incredible client who spurred this reflection and to all of my clients that allow me to see ever more of them, myself and the world, I am humbly grateful.

As we head into the New Year, my intention is to continue being honest with you. To educate on how very possible it is to feel better no matter who you are. To allow others to own their healing as I have owned my own physical and mental soothing. To have fun helping my tenacious clients to rediscover their strength, their adaptability and their brilliance. To encourage curiosity and playfulness in myself and those around me. To have compassion as I run up against myself in the moments of now guilt (formerly shame) and to soften on and within myself in the way that allows a wellspring of joy to funnel outward – and onward.

I recently provided a testimonial for one of my incredible mentors, Calgary based Dawn Ross. It highlights how my mental outlook has shifted as I’ve learned to move more skillfully in this body of mine.

Working with Dawn has meant coming home again. I spent years wanting to be anywhere else but in this body. Without realizing it, I beat myself down with telling myself how I should be, how it should move, what it should be doing. As a yoga teacher, I used my yoga practice to escape instead of to come home to my body. And in that growing anxiety, I started to experience physical pain as well.

This pain culminated with breaking one foot when I was 5 months pregnant with my third babe and then breaking the other foot when that same babe was 15 months old. When I saw myself as broken and unfixable, Dawn saw my perfection and potential. She saw that I was doing the absolute best I could in the moment with the skills I had at that time. She stepped in to translate for my own quiet, soft and ever-intelligent voice of wisdom. I couldn’t hear that voice for so long because it was buried under my anger and frustration with myself. She gave it sound when I could not yet.

I can now say that I hear my own little inner voice of wisdom and compassion. Dawn saw my potential before I could glimpse it for myself. Now I am physically the strongest and most balanced I can remember ever being. And that sense of strength and not being beaten came quickly – only 3 months or so into working with her. Since then, it has only grown. I trust my body now. And just as important, it trusts me.

I am ever grateful for Dawn’s wisdom, eyes and playfulness. I move through her sessions enamoured by my own body and what it can do and learn. Her innate talent for seeing me as both whole and unlimited for growth combined with her skill in biomechanics and movement nurture unimaginable growth across mind, body and soul. I am forever grateful. And clearly effusive!

Thank you, dear Dawn, for inviting me (and, as needed, coaxing me and kicking me in the butt) to rediscover my wholeness. Thank you. And for all of you reading this, please go see her. She is a gift to the world.
~Rachel Manetti, North Carolina

Cool, right? And surprisingly simple.

When we move better, we feel better.
When we feel better, we think better.
When we think better, we choose better.
When we choose better, we thrive.

The gift of being seen exactly as you are is priceless. It is your wholeness, your perfection and all of your competencies that allow you to thrive AND evolve into more.

For me, 2018 includes meeting whomever walks into my office with an open heart so that their pain, suffering, and shame may know that they are not alone. That they were never alone. And that we can move toward a way of more ease and less strain together. 2018 isn’t about moving faster or stronger; it is about moving smarter and thus more efficiently. And I’ve officially tested this play enough to know that when I move smarter, the faster and stronger – in body, mind and soul – comes on its own without any hustle and with some serious stamina.

There is always more. May 2018 bring it in abundance for you all.

The Exchange

On this day, the Winter Solstice, the darkness abounds. It creeps past the edges of the night and seeps into the corners of the waking day. It envelopes us with its lustrous robes and invites heaviness and depth of soul.

Seemingly in reaction and most definitely in stark contrast, our holiday season can fight the darkness with its flurry of sensory input. It can overwhelm our analyzing / categorizing / discerning brains with a plethora of sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures. Combine sensory overload with our culture’s push for “MUST. MAKE. THIS. CHRISTMAS. THING. PERFECT!!! !!!” and it can quickly become one humongous boulder to push up the hill of December.

And we all know there is more. And there is less.

The joy of the season lies not in the doing but in the feeling. Truly the feeling of what is happening. And if we are moving too fast or doing too much, we have no time to absorb the feeling.

Children know the feeling. They lack the desire to control the season and instead lean into its surges.

These surges are in fact the very sensations in your body that translate into joy (light and open) and mourning (heavy and closed). And they come in intense doses during this time of year. To feel this life is to be. And to be is to live with faith, love and trust that there is more than our small vision of perfection. There is more than our constructs of tasks and accomplishments and events. There is a broader and all encompassing perfection of feeling that invites and embraces both sadness AND joy in their rawest forms. And that releases the mindstuff of shame for our feelings in return for the gift of humility and self compassion for our feelings.

Love yourself as you love your child or your pet or your parent or nature – with infinite compassion and unconditional acceptance. In choosing to slow down and allowing the waves of feeling to crash and lap within us, may we discover Christmas – and life – anew.

Be ever so well,

Riding Truth

I sit on the couch in my living room, cat at my feet, blanket on my lap, Christmas tree to my left and an expanse of huge hard wood trees in front me dropping their leaves with all the time in the world. ‘Tis time to write…


I just took a time out from this sitting to attend to Ruthie – my 4 year old – whom I heard wailing softly in her bedroom. Rest time in our house is more aptly titled Alone Time. Some family members sleep for the hour and a half. Some play quietly. Some write their newsletters. It all depends upon the day as to how each member fills their time but each one of us has at least 90 minutes mid-day of being alone. Each kiddo must be in their room for the period. (Don’t ask me what I’ll do as they get older because I just go with now and it’s worked for the last 7 1/2 years so day by day we proceed.) Ru Girl’s norm is to play with her cars or trains, build a library or play dress up (yes, all alone and with her door closed) for the 90 minutes. But, when her body, mind, or emotions are toasted, she has a pattern of tears in the mid to late portion of the rest period. This is rare. It is only a couple of times a month that her body needs the sleep and not just the retreat from people, sounds and the plethora of mental gymnastics that encompass a day of being human.

And then there is my colorful internal thought train in reaction to her wailing:
“Bah! Ru is crying. Don’t wake Nora up! It’s so frustrating when this happens. I’m trying to write my newsletter and this is by far the best time to do it (since I’ve avoided it for a week or so). How totally inconsiderate of her!”

Simultaneously, my heart speeds up in my chest and crawls up toward my throat. The blood in my head starts pulsing more intently and my eyes squint. Oh boy. My reptilian brain through these awesome signals of my nervous system firing ON ON ON says “Your very survival is threatened right now! You will self destruct if all does not right itself!!!”

Seriously? Yes, seriously. My nervous and limbic system think this is life or death and I can even feel the tension and stiffness in my neck from my classic freeze response.

Sigh. Oh, sweet Rachel, you glorious mammal of the animal kingdom.

I think you and I are both pretty clear that this is not life or death. I’m just frustrated (that word is more socially acceptable than what I wanted to write) that I’m not getting my way.

And so, the Practice that is now innate to me kicks in next. Pause and feel me and how my body is reacting. Sit with it and notice the discomfort and rigidity. Then breathe and notice how the slightest softening comes on its own. I don’t have to consciously DO anything for this release. As I sit in my muck and see myself honestly while feeling my body as well, the rigidity of my “rightness” softens just a hint.

Scars and all are bathed in the light of the Christmas tree. And – who knew? – the leaves and trees are still there outside the window.

As I soften inward, I now physically go to Ru. I explain to her that her body is telling us it is tired through her frustration with some buttons. I help her get the dress on that she wants to wear for her rest. (Yes, you read that correctly.) And then I tuck her in (again – we already did this before rest time) and she closes her eyes and surrenders.

This holiday season, lean in to those around you. Lean in to sharing your story, sharing your truth, sharing your trust. Lean in to the fact that we’re all doing our best that we know how to do right now. Lean in to feeling your body when the self-judgment starts to shake its heavy and loud shackles. And lean in when you can watch another person embrace support or love, and you can see opportunity to mirror their grace in your own being.

Be ever so well,

Time to Be

My expansive gratitude this Thanksgiving is in the release of perfection and the embrace of what is here. I sit in untethered awe at the windows and doors that I am opening and that are opening by the winds that swirl around me. I reflect with intense depth of sensation – feeling it cascade from heart down into my belly – for those that carried me before I could carry myself. Parents, grandparents, siblings, dear friends, husband, children, teachers… they provided the space that was safe for me to ultimately step out of doing and into being. And for that, I am eternally grateful. And forever more me.

“Watching morning break, I realize again that darkness doesn’t kill the light – it defines it. I believe that now. For years, I didn’t. I believed that I was my failures, mistakes, misjudgments, shortcomings and wrongs. But I’m not those things. I am the light that shines from my faith, my courage, my willingness to be vulnerable and to be responsible and accountable. Moments of darkness only highlight that truth these days. I’m moving beyond shame. I’m basking in the light of my own recovery and the brilliance that comes from allowing myself to be seen as I am, warts and all. I’m not just those warts, either – I’m the frog who wears them, gradually becoming a prince.”
– Richard Wagamese, Embers

For this crazy, heartbreaking, joy filled thing we call life together, I thank you for being you. Beautiful, perfect, amazing and unlimited potential… YOU.

Be well,


There is a fire that is kindling inside of me. As my center of self settles into this messy beautiful dance of being – and deeply supporting others as they explore less pain and more ease – I become more and more familiar with the shameful voice that wants to extinguish that persistence. The voice that questions “What exactly, little Missy, do you think you have of value to add to the amazing teachers out there?” And, simultaneously, I become more and more familiar with the soft voice of purity and wisdom that affirms “All is well, Rachel. Step sweetly into courage and discomfort.” Excuse my language here but I am lovingly dubbing this second voice:
“See my shi!, own my shi!.”

Although quite frankly this loving and sweet voice never curses. That’s my fiery judgment layer on top of it.

Yup. Here I am.

Speaking of stepping into discomfort, I had the distinct pleasure of working with a group of 9 PTs and OTs last week in sharing therapeutic yoga. (Yes, I hear the paradox in that sentence and both sides are truth.) These incredible practitioners slowed down, felt in and embraced less is more in a beautiful way. One of the awesome points that I heard from them is that rehab is just the beginning to health. Ah, yes – if we can step into the space of being in our bodies for awareness and real power, what wisdom and longevity do they have to offer us?
We do not know our own potential to feel better.

I’ve also reflected with a couple of PTs recently on how we’re not taught how our bodies move. We learn how to read books, how to read numbers and equations, and perhaps how to read music but no standard education teaches us how to read and trust our bodies.

Say what?

If you’re ready to learn more about this amazing body and how it is working for you in ways you don’t even realize, I have a limited number of spots available in a pop-up therapeutic / hatha fusion class. Come explore what it is like to move with more ease, spaciousness and acceptance of what is.

Saturday, November 18th at Long Life Wellness Center
with Rachel Manetti of Pure Resilience Yoga
1:30-3:00 p.m.
Hatha / Therapeutic Yoga ($20)
Following the tenets of my therapeutic yoga private work, we’ll explore movement, stillness and breath to downshift out of the head and arrive in the wisdom of our bodies. There can be a tendency to use yoga as well as other physical movement to escape our everyday. In this practice, ground into the awesome reality of your body and its golden potential. Please email me to register.

Be well,

Hot Spot

My left ear is burning right now. If you were to see it, it would be poker red hot. I haven’t looked at it in a mirror but I know this sensation well. There is also a slight numbness in my jaw and a needle like tension around T2-T3 in my upper back. I feel thick in my head, mouth and throat. I am cold. Wrapped up in a sweater and blanket even though it is a lovely and mild fall day.

So what is up? It sounds like symptoms to some virus coming on. But they’re not. These are all familiar sensations. In fact, they’re not bad at all. They’re very low level anxiety. And they are my body’s way of saying that in this case:

“You know what you have to do. And until you do it, I am going to try to get your attention over and over and over again in all the most unpleasant ways possible. Because, hey Rachel, you don’t actually notice me when I am quiet. You only notice me when I’m cranky so I’ll be as cranky as possible. Until you take care of that thing you have to do.”

To which my mind’s reply is something like:
“Body! I hear you! But I don’t know what the heck I need to do. You say ‘You know what you have to do.’ but I don’t! I don’t know at all!”

This exclamation is actually quite similar to a 2 year old’s tantrum.

And it’s baloney. (I did just search that to ensure I’m spelling it correctly for this context.) I know exactly what I have to do but I don’t like it. I don’t like the discomfort of feeling this way – avoiding the “to do” with all my dig in my heels might – but I don’t want the discomfort that I associate with the “to do” itself either. 

I could totally throw up my hands and dig my heels in deeper avoiding THE action. I affectionately call that my “Screw it” response. “If I push through and ignore it then maybe it will go away.” And it might. For a while. But undoubtedly it will be back.

Or I can take a breath, support myself with whatever I need to feel just a tad more ease in that very moment – hot tea, my therapeutic yoga practice, a warm sweater, my husband beside me, talking with a friend, a nidra, meditation, a warm bath, watching the kids play – whatever – and I can then step humbly into “being-within-action.”

In short, when the time is right and I have my feet on the ground, I can have courage. I’ve tested this play over and over and I know the discomfort of pre-action is actually a totally different breed than the discomfort of being-within-action. And I also know that the space on the other side of action…. that space is blessed stillness.

Here I go.

Be well,