Suerte

Suerte. Luck.

I hear the phrase, “You are so lucky,” quite often, especially in recent years. Typically I smile and nod my head while gently correcting, “Yes, I know I am blessed and I am so very grateful.” This is true. I have been blessed from the start of my life with a loving, supportive family and uplifting, caring friends. I have been blessed with opportunities that allow me to travel, to see more of this world, and to grow professionally, personally, and spiritually. I believe there are Divine forces at play in my life, and a few Angels sprinkling their own personal magic too. I give thanks daily to the Divine Energy of Source that flows through the ocean, the trees, the sun, the animals, myself, and others around me. I practice to live in a balance of celebrating my strengths, reflecting on ‘weaknesses’, and living humbly through each moment.

However, this is something I need to make clear, more so for you than for me.

I am not lucky. The life I am manifesting does not spring up as a string of random coincidences with no prior thought. I choose to live with intention and create my life experience deliberately, and you can too. Every single one of us has the power to create deliberately. Whether you have realized it or not, you are creating with each thought and each word you speak. This is not meant to be scary, but to help you realize the weight of your words, the importance of that mental track that runs inside your beautiful brain. The Law of Attraction is at work whether you choose to engage actively, or if you prefer to live believing that you have little to no control. When we choose to focus on health rather than illness, our bodies flourish. When we choose to focus on the weather we don’t want to occur, we are calling that in as well. For some, this may sound a little “far out”, or perhaps like some crazy “hippie shit”. I am here to tell you, along with many, many others, that it is not.

You don’t have to take my word for it, you can play with this yourself. Begin to set your intentions for your day, taking as little as five minutes to either think of or write down some of what you would like to experience that day. Personally, I prefer to write because I find it is more powerful and I enjoy reflecting on my words, seeing how they match up with my experiences, but the choice is yours. I’ll give you an example of a typical day when I was living in The States.

I wake up this morning feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and excited for the day ahead. I am excited to eat a filling, nutritious, plant-based breakfast with plenty of time. I will drive to work safely and share the road with safe, kind drivers. At work I will meet awesome people and have meaningful, synchronistic conversations. [You could stop here and pick up again later in the day, or continue for the whole day.] I will feel energized at work, being filled with delicious juices and healthy foods (Shout out to CROP Juice in Sarasota). This evening I will lead an empowering, uplifting, safe, joyful, fun yoga practice for all students who feel called. I will leave the studio in time to watch the sky be painted by the beautiful sunset, watching it with those I love. 

This will change everyday, depending on how much your routine stays the same or fluctuates each day. As you go throughout your day, simply live, focusing on the little good moments, and expressing gratitude. When you express and truly feel gratitude and appreciation, you attract more moments, people, opportunities and experiences to be grateful for! When you catch yourself worrying about something you don’t wish to happen, try to catch those thoughts and replace them with something you do want. For example, instead of, “I hope it doesn’t rain.” Try on, “I hope the skies stay clear today!” This small change in wording will change your experience.

You can start playing with this in small ways, or when trying to attract a new opportunity into your life. Currently, I am spending the summer in Costa Rica, leading adventure and service trips for teenagers throughout the country. This summer has been full of learning, growth, challenges, love, laughter, and connection. Has it all been easy? Heck, no! Am I grateful for every part of it? You bet. As I reflect back on what I wrote when thinking of my next job, it all lines up beautifully. In December of 2016 I was working and living in intentional community in The Yoga Forest in San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala. I was enjoying the experience but realized I would like to continue my work with youth. I decided that I would like a job that would pay me to travel, give me access to epic adventures, allow me to uplift and inspire others to make positive change in the world, and work with supportive, joyful, kind coworkers and supervisors. Less than two weeks later after getting clear and putting this on paper, a new friend I had just met said to me, “Have you heard of Rustic Pathways? My sister worked for them and I feel like you should check it out.” Boom. That little synchronicity put me on the path to have an amazing summer where each of those intentions I set would manifest. This job did not come to me out of luck. My experience level, my personality, and my professional skills matched what the management was looking for, and I rocked the interviews. I created the vibrational atmosphere that attracted Molly and her willingness to share this information. I spoke with confidence and knew that if this experience is what I wanted, and what would serve my soul’s growth best, then I would have it. And so it is.

I could go on, and often do, for much longer about the Law of Attraction. If you have additional questions or would like assistance in finding the wording that feels best, please reach out. Message me via social media or shoot me an email at Noellewallwork@gmail.com. Let’s live this life the way we originally came here to. Creating deliberately, playing with the vibrations, and filling our days with joyful experiences.

With much love, light, and very little luck,

ॐ Noelle ॐIMG_1365Written in Uvita, Costa Rica. July 16, 2017

Advertisements

What sets your soul on fire?

“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” ~Jennifer Lee.

Or perhaps, be fearless in the pursuit of discovering what sets your soul on fire.

So many of us are living this life on some form of autopilot. We graduate high school and attend college or university in pursuit of a degree. For many, it doesn’t even matter what the degree is in, we are just told to obtain a four-year degree so we may become functioning members of society. The problem with this is that we enter college at the age of 18 with limited life experience, and very limited knowledge of other cultures, different ways of living life. We graduate with this degree and expect to find a job that will bring us success, happiness, money and material gains. This may bring short-term happiness, which may evolve into contentment, but I believe there is more out there.

I know quite a few people who are currently working their dream job or in school in the pursuit of what sets their soul on fire. For example, my dear friend Ashley has known since 8th grade that she would be a Physicians Assistant and she has pursued that dream fiercely. She has taken every step she needs to and her goal keeps her going through the years of long, late library nights and missing her family (Shout out to you Ash, you’re pretty inspiring).

But what about those of us who aren’t quite sure what exactly our dream is? Do we take the first full-time job that is offered to us, cling to a sense of stability, pushing off the voice of our intuition which is yearning us to dig deeper? Do you stay in this routine and hope that you will eventually start to love life, or at least, your standards will lower so you may trick yourself into happiness? With social media these days, “Keeping up with the Jones” can extend way past a small circle of friends and some feel pressured to follow the path they see so many walk before them. But I have a secret for you, maybe you’ve heard it before and maybe you haven’t… You do not need to have your life completely planned out. That’s right, you are allowed to walk your path one step at a time, unsure of any specific final destination. Follow your intuition, that Divine guidance that leads you to collect as many different experiences as you can. While you may not have clear direction at the moment, the combination of many experiences can bring you clarity on what path you do wish to walk.

I graduated college in December of 2015 with a degree in Elementary Education. In my last year of school I realized while I do want to work with children, I am not made to be in a traditional classroom 5 days a week, 8 hours a day. I continued my work coaching children in a variety of sports and yoga before I found the opportunity to move to Guatemala. In Guatemala I lived and worked at The Yoga Forest, a very unique retreat center and intentional community. The 6 months I spent in San Marcos on Lake Atitlan fueled my growth spiritually, physically, as a teacher and as a human being co-inhabiting this beautiful planet. It was here that I lived completely outdoors, experiencing the beauty and discomforts of both rainy and dry season. These six months were the first time in over 5 years that I did not work with children at all. I focused completely on teaching vinyasa and yin yoga classes as well as guiding meditations and cacao ceremonies for Ecstatic Dance. This experience was wonderful and helped me gain clarity to further shape my life. I realized that while I love teaching yoga, offering this life-changing practice in a safe and joyful manner, I do not wish to be an instructor full-time. Yoga will always be a part of my life and I hope to always spread this practice, but I prefer to teach multiple times a week as opposed to multiple times a day. I returned to the States in pursuit of a new adventure, one that would allow me to work with children while spending as much time outside as possible. Through some wonderful sycnhronicities, I found a unique opportunity to work in Costa Rica for the summer with a company called Rustic Pathways. I will be leading adventure and service trips for teenagers while getting to work with young Costa Rican children. I am so excited for this next journey and for all of the people I will meet along the way. However, this will be the first time since I began teaching yoga in October 2015 that I will not be teaching regularly. Although even as I type this I feel a smile spreading across my lips, because I know that I will have opportunities to spread this practice, even if it is in an informal approach. I am excited to be working with teenagers all summer, and for the opportunity to have a positive impact on them in such formative years. The next three months will be another collection of valuable experiences that help shape me into a more capable educator, a better (hopefully bilingual) communicator, and a well-rounded adventurer. Today I formally accepted a position with the PALI Institute in Southern California, where I will be an outdoor education instructor for the Fall 2017 season. I thrive off of these shorter term employment opportunities, because they give me the chance to meet new people, experience different ways of living and get a bit more clear on how I wish to live my life. Also, being able to live in a forest once again (The San Bernardino National Forest) fills my heart with all sorts of joy and happiness. For me, the pursuit of these experiences sets my soul on fire.

I invite you to look deeply at your own life choices, are you making them for yourself, or for others? Are you basing your happiness on your material goods, or on the feelings you experience throughout your days? If you are not truly happy, what small changes can you begin to make? How can you be more true to yourself? Really listen to your intuition and the guidance your Inner Being offers. If you love your stability GOOD! Keep on living the life you are creating if it is making you happy. But if you are choosing this stability because you think that is what you are supposed to be doing, check in, and give yourself the permission to be unsure. Allow yourself to wander, to try on new hobbies, new interests, new people and relationships. You don’t learn without making mistakes. As Abraham Hicks often says, “How can you know what you do want, without first knowing what you don’t want?” Allow yourself to gain this clarity without being afraid of having experiences that aren’t perfect, or maybe seem without purpose. Every person, situation, and place we experience has it’s purpose. It’s up to you to find out what that purpose is.

What sets your soul on fire may change from year to year, or even from day-to-day. The most important thing you can remember is that this change is okay! Your path is allowed to change and evolve just as YOU change and evolve. Let it be windy and twisty, and maybe even make some circles. Know that you don’t need to defend or explain your path to anyone else, because no one will ever walk yours, just as you will not walk anyone else’s. At this point in my journey what sets my soul on fire is my refusal to settle for contentment, because I know true happiness is out there for all of us to experience. And that includes you.

 

Photograph: Madison Wallwork

Namaste

 

Choose to live the meaning of Namaste in each situation, not just at the end of each yoga class. It’s simple: I know there is good, pure love, a deeper soul inside of me. This piece of pure goodness, of soul, acknowledges the good in others. But are we really doing that? Are you in the practice of acknowledging the Divine Spirit of love that resides within each sentient being? Until recently I have not been, and this is a change I am making in my spiritual practice. No matter what the situation you find yourself in, give yourself the opportunity to step back and recognize this deeper part of the soul, and speak to that. Instead of reacting angrily towards a loved one or stranger in the car next to you, remind yourself that they too are a being of light, working their way through this life with just as many complex emotions, thoughts, and relationships as you. You have the opportunity to transform Namaste from an abstract concept into a way of living. Living with this mindfulness will help you develop empathy for others, becoming a kinder and softer individual. This world needs more kindness, we need more love. The more you actively seek out the good and love in others,the more it will be shown to you. As always, like attracts like, what we put out into this world will be directly reflected back into our experience.

With love and light,

Noelleॐ

Words from the Stars

I stand at the edge of the ocean, gazing up to the Heavens,

the sand gives  a bit.

My feet sink through the moist grains to connect with our Mother

The stars dance through the sky, winking and glimmering as Spirit plays amongst the constellations

As I breathe in Spirit I raise my arms, inviting the healing energy of Love to guide me in my decisions, in my interactions with others.

Forever striving to be a conduit for light, a beacon of Source Energy, forever flowing, always growing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Photography by Madison Wallwork

Talkin’ bout a Revolution

The other day I had a conversation that shocked and angered me. I was speaking to a beautiful young woman when she brought up weight, asking if she looked too fat to be wearing just yoga pants and a sports bra. My mouth dropped as I looked at her, standing around 5’5″ and weighing 130 pounds. When I told her that she looked fantastic she informed me that her boyfriend has been trying to get her to lose weight, sending her different exercise videos and diets to try. She seemed genuinely surprised as I pointed out many of her wonderful features, explaining to her that it is awesome to have weight and muscle on our bodies.

As I walked away from that conversation I felt hopeful that I had a positive effect on her view of herself, but I yearn to have a larger positive effect that reaches many. For over five years I viewed my body in a very harsh, negative light. I spoke to myself in a way I would never speak to any of my friends, which is pretty wonky considering our most important relationship is with ourselves. We have the ability to be our own biggest cheerleader, but unfortunately we can also be our worst enemy. For a period of my life I was my own worst enemy, convincing myself that I was not only ugly on the outside, but that I had nothing to offer with my personality either. Speaking to myself in such a negative manner for quite a few years took a serious toll on my mental and physical health. Midway through 2013 I finally became aware of how I spoke to myself, how badly I was making myself feel every time I grabbed the skin I called love handles. I didn’t enjoy exercise because I spent my whole time at the gym wondering what others were thinking of my body- Did my thighs look jiggly? Was I flat in all the wrong places? How could I get my body to look like hers?  After attending Bonnaroo in 2013- four days of no makeup, minimal washing, and car windows for mirrors, something shifted inside of me. I attribute the catalyst of that change to two very good friends of mine who were so confused as to why I felt the need to wear makeup. They saw a beauty within me that I was blind to at the time. Their love helped to clear away some of the fog that clouded my vision. When I got home I started working on changing my relationship with myself. My first step in this process was looking myself in the eyes each day and telling myself, “I love you.” It sounds simple enough but man, it felt weird at first! I tried to do this each time I was in my bathroom at home, and then I delved a little deeper. I began standing naked in front of my mirror daily, listing different things I loved about my body as I brought my hands to those areas. This was incredibly hard during the beginning because I felt inauthentic. Looking back, I am so grateful to myself for continuing this practice despite feeling silly and pretty fake. It took time, but eventually I started to believe my own words, feeling sparks of self-love. This was a gradual process, progressing over many months filled with days of disbelief, tears, smiles, transformation, and most importantly growth. Hell, it still is a process! To this day I am offered opportunities to work through difficult, darker thoughts. Meredith Marple shared her words which resonated with me strongly, “The act of loving yourself isn’t an end point. The relationship with yourself is the continual act of climbing your mountains and discovering hidden valleys you didn’t know you had.” I have had to recommit to a life of self-love quite a few times, but by focusing on the recommitment rather than a seeming failure or step backwards I am still making strides, growing and transforming. I invite you to make a commitment to yourself, whether it’s to say one positive comment to yourself a day, or to stop yourself short when you start to degrade yourself. Little steps, micro movements in the right direction can truly change your life.

So we’ve covered a bit about self-love, I got vulnerable with you, and hopefully gave you some applicable tips on how to improve your relationship with yourself. Now let’s talk about how we allow others to speak to us. For the most part, there is no reason to comment on another person’s weight. In a situation where someone is genuinely concerned for a loved one’s health it may be best to step in help them develop a plan to achieve optimum health. However, if you are in a relationship (a friendship or romantic relationship) with someone who asks you to change your body in order for them to be happy, they are not truly happy with themselves. Often it is much easier to point out flaws in others without realizing that each person in our experience is somehow a reflection of ourselves. If you are continuously attracting friends or partners who degrade you or tear you down, ask yourself, “How am I treating myself? What type of example or standard am I setting for my loved ones?” The phrase, ‘We accept the love we think we deserve,’ rings quite true. It is difficult to attract people who recognize your full beauty if you are not acknowledging your own self worth.

I think it’s time we not only change how we let others speak to us, but also how we speak to others. Everyday we are bombarded with images and videos that promote skinniness, tight bodies and perfectly done makeup. Males are just as susceptible to body image issues as they are taught that masculinity means muscles, getting big and being tough. But what most magazines, Instagram accounts, and various media sources don’t talk about is the myriad of different body types on this Earth. Every single person is built slightly differently. A variety of heights, metabolic rates and weight distributions make it extremely difficult (not to mention unnecessary) for everyone to fit in one definition of beautiful. When we notice that someone has been losing weight, most compliment with, “You’re looking so skinny! Tell me your secrets, what have you been eating?” But what about complimenting someone’s health? What if we start to disregard weight and instead focus on the variety of positive effects exercise and eating healthy has for our bodies? Personally I have been trying to make this shift, but still catch myself reverting back to shallow compliments from time to time. I am pleased to say that by bringing awareness to the way I speak about others’ bodies I have been able to give more effective, empowering compliments.

While we are on the subject of body image and body shaming, I need to address a subject that I don’t think is talked about enough. In the same way you wouldn’t walk up to an acquaintance or friend and tell them to lose weight, please do not approach a thin individual and tell them they need to gain weight. When you are walking around encountering random people, have an awareness that almost everybody has a part of their body they are not comfortable with. You have no idea what each person thinks about their body. Being told repeatedly to go eat a cheeseburger or that you are too skinny can have just as detrimental of an effect as being told you are overweight, it all depends on where you are in your journey. Personally I experienced the former, along with multiple partners telling me my body would be nicer if I gained a bit of weight. The way my body runs makes it very hard for me to gain weight. I am not complaining about this, but those comments stuck with me and caused me to feel insecure about my body in a whole new way. Luckily I have realized this has just given me more opportunities to practice unconditional self-love. I am very happy with and grateful for my body, which grows stronger everyday as I fuel it with real food and healthy exercise. To this day the best compliment I can receive is, “You look so healthy and/or strong!” Knowing how those words make me feel helps me strive to share them with others, as well as myself.

I have two challenges for you on this fine Friday. The first is to change the conversations you have with yourself. When you catch yourself speaking cruelly or negatively to yourself, switch it up and replace it with a loving thought. You don’t need to make huge leaps at first. It can be something as simple as, “My hair looks nice today, I enjoy the way my outfit makes me look/feel,” or, “I did a great job on that last assignment.” Be realistic and allow yourself to start off small, with intentions to add more substance each day. My second challenge is for you to bring an awareness to the way you uplift others. Try to go a little deeper on compliments, go a week without discussing weight in casual conversation. Often we try to make others feel better by insulting a part of our own body when they bring up something they aren’t happy with. Change this! Compliment the other person and then switch up the subject, there are so many more important things to focus on besides weight.

Writing this post has made my heart extremely happy, as I feel like it’s a conversation we need to be having! If you know someone who could use a little more self love in their life pass this on, or start a conversation about it. Make a meaningful connection with others, you never know whose life you may change.

With much love and eternal light,

∞ Noelle ॐ

P.S. I’m including some Friday Funk for all you wonderful souls. Jam on Jampions!

Live Like Laura

Yesterday I received news that another beautiful soul had made her transition from our physical world much too soon. We were a few years apart in school, but during our shared time at UNF I had only wonderfully positive encounters with Laura. The first time we met she was a Freshman and I was a Junior. One of my sorority sisters introduced us on campus and I remember being blown way by how friendly and outgoing she was. She had this beautiful, genuine smile and seemed so excited about life, about her first year of college, and especially excited to meet new people. Throughout the next couple of years whenever I ran into her on campus or at a school function she would always light up, which in turn would spark a little light in me, as if my soul knew I was in for a great hug and a beautiful exchange of energy. You didn’t leave Laura’s presence without feeling lighter. She was one of those special souls who spreads joy and uplifts others just by being her.

I have been having a hard time wrapping my head around her transition and I was not very close to Laura. It causes me great pain to think of her loved ones and the feelings they are working through right now. I find comfort in knowing that a soul this bright wouldn’t leave this Earth in darkness and I hope and pray that her family and friends are able to feel her precious energy encompassing their lives. When Laura was here on Earth she made a wonderful impact on all of the lives she touched, whether it was a quick interaction or a relationship of many years. Her soul, her energy, her spirit, all that she was has not left us, but has been unleashed. While we are on Earth physically we are bound to our physical body and can make a lasting impact on those we come in contact with. Laura’s energy is now free to reach everyone simultaneously. By inviting our Angels to be an active presence in our lives they have the ability to surround us with their energy, blessing us, protecting us, and influencing our daily decisions. I spent a lot of time yesterday reading through many posts about Laura, almost all of them referencing her vivacious, outgoing personality and love for life. This inspired me to get back into a habit that I have fallen out of, simply saying hello and starting conversations with strangers. By changing the way I interact with others I had four different, wonderful conversations with individuals that I may or may not see again. I noticed one similarity in each of these conversations. The strangers I greeted seemed surprised and a little thrown off when I began talking to them. After we got through that initial awkwardness we both left with much bigger smiles than we had on before. As I walked on the beach this morning I looked up to the sky, noticing the clouds covering the sun, and I spoke to Laura. I asked her to make her presence known to all those who loved her, and before I could get through my sentence the clouds parted and the sun came shining through. My whole body was immediately covered in warmth and I felt her as a smile took over my face. As I walked, I thought and talked more with her, and found great comfort in the knowledge that her Energy has returned to the collective consciousness. I picture her great big smile as she flies through this Universe, finding pure joy in gracing our lives. I can almost see her laughing as she realizes how much more power she has now, and I know she is doing her best to embrace her loved ones in a way they can feel.

I believe that we are all from the same Source, one love, one light. Laura was truly connected with that Source as she emanated that love and light. While listening to music yesterday Be Love by Dustin Thomas came on and made me think of her immediately. I know that she will continue to shine and will only be a pure source of love for all those who invite her presence into their lives.

Keep on shining Laura, you are so very loved.

Video

Growing with Compassion

Last week I found myself in a bit of a funk and had a pretty hard time finding my way out of it. Instead of using my negative emotions as guidance to make a shift in my behavior, I began beating myself up for feeling badly. I would walk outside, stare at the ocean and berate myself for not being grateful to be surrounded by so much beauty. I searched for excuses as to why I felt so bad; maybe I was getting my period so I was feeling moody, perhaps my anger stemming from a past situation was coming up again, or maybe I just deserved to wallow. It took me a few days of journaling, tears, and some misplaced anger before I finally realized the true issue. I had fallen out of alignment with my Authentic Self, my Inner Being. Sure I can come up with all sorts of reasons about why I deserve to feel badly, most of us humans can. But no matter how many justifications I offered myself, or how much I brought myself back to past situations, I just felt worse. My goal in life is to be an uplifter, to heal others with my words that resonate and actions that radiate positivity. If I choose to be stuck in the past and wallow, am I getting any closer to these goals? No, in fact I was getting farther from them as I was not tuned in to my Emotional Guidance Scale.

One of the awesome parts of our human experience is that we get to experience a range of emotions. From joy, gratitude, love, and appreciation, to despair, grief, anger and jealousy. It is important that we don’t disregard the negative emotions, but rather hold gratitude for them, as they help us grow, learn, and bend. The more we are able to bend the less likely we are to break. I have come back into alignment with my Inner Being by recognizing my negative emotions, feeling them, and then releasing them. Previously I have tried to brush my negative emotions under an imaginary rug so I could continue to be a beacon of positive light for those in my life. This response wasn’t fair to me or to the people I was trying to uplift, because I was being inauthentic and often ended up lashing out on those who did not deserve it. After listening to many Abraham Hicks recordings and receiving valuable insights I have been able to see the good in the negative emotions. Not only in the whole, “Without rain there are no rainbows” sense (although this is true), but because these negative emotions are working to guide us back into alignment with our Inner Being. After I accept these negative emotions and work through them, I feel more connected to those around me. Sometimes I feel like people think they can’t talk to me about their negative emotions because I do come across as such a light, positively focused individual. By being vulnerable and real with others I am opening the door to so many more meaningful connections and conversations.

One of the most valuable lessons I have learned this past week is to treat myself and my growth with compassion. Becoming frustrated or angry with myself will only slow the process, and I have found this to be true on my mat as well. For a couple of months now I have been working on transitioning from crow to tripod headstand, and then back to crow. I found myself falling out, a lot, and often become frustrated. I would try to laugh it off in class but inside I would be asking my body how it wasn’t strong enough yet. That was my first mistake. While most in the Western world view yoga as a form of exercise through stretching, yoga also refers to union or oneness. To be fully practicing yoga one must find the balance and connection of their body, mind, spirit, and breath. During one practice, after I had a near face plant a thought floated into my head- yoga is not about forcing your body into a pose, but rather breathing into it, coming into alignment and allowing ease to guide your movements. As I came down from my headstand, I brought my knees to my triceps and paused, activating my lower abs through Uddiyana-bandha (an abdominal lock achieved by pulling your lower abs in and up as if they were moving back towards your spine) and allowed my breath to flow through me as I lifted my hips. A ginormous smile broke out on my face as I flew back to chaturanga dandasana (low plank). By replacing my criticism with compassion and ease I created space for myself to grow!

I love how breakthroughs on my mat so often relate to what I am going through off the mat. These breakthroughs offer me a different way to view my current situation and illuminate a new path, a path of ease and little resistance. When I start to feel frustrated with a person or situation I can step back and ask how I can change my perspective and actions to allow optimum growth. I’m sure as hell not perfect at this yet, but I’m proud of myself for developing this awareness, and I’m very content knowing that I will only continue to grow from here.

I’m including a video in this week’s post, because I’m super stoked about how much progress I’ve made, and even more excited about what’s to come.

Love and light,

∞ Noelle ॐ

 

Vulnerability

To most in my life, I believe I seem very happy, positive, and always smiling. What many don’t realize is that being positive does not mean I have no negative experiences, it means that I believe in the good despite of the bad. I am strong in my faith that I experience every situation to grow in one way or another. While in high school I battled depression, having a great life and nothing to seemingly be sad about only compounded my feelings by adding a tremendous amount of guilt on my shoulders. I felt ungrateful and would try to rationalize my sadness away, but that did not change the way I felt. I needed to find a way to truly love my self, which came within the next few years. Now looking back at my younger self I wish I could give her a large hug and explain that many of my fellow teens feel similarly, it’s just that no one talked about it.

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my journey of self-love and growth since this dark time, but it doesn’t stop old thought trains from running through my head once in a while. This is one of the reasons I am so passionate about helping others see the bright side, radiating positivity, and being kind to every stranger I meet, you truly never know what someone else is going through. In the fall of 2015 I found myself in a very dark place mentally. I am grateful that I chose to continue writing during this time. Now I am looking back through my journal and as I read through I can see my thought process change, I read the hard work I put in to not allow myself to slip farther into the darkness. And I am so damn proud of myself. Today, I’m taking it one step further by sharing one of the poems I wrote back in October. Maybe my words will help someone else and maybe they’ll just sit on this page unnoticed, but either way it feels good to stand up high on the mountain and look down into the valley where I used to be. Hopefully I can help someone else get out of their own valley.

Today

Today I will crumble

Tomorrow I’ll be bright, tomorrow I will love

But today, tonight, I allow myself to crumble.

Tomorrow I will laugh, tomorrow I will shine,

But tonight, I will crumble.

Tonight I will feel the emotions I have stuffed up tight, the ones leaking out of the corners of my eyes.

Today I will crumble

I will crumble with love

I will crumble under self-compassion

No pity, no fear, but love.

The energy of love weighing deep on my soul.

Today I might crumble, but tomorrow, tomorrow I will RISE.

Rise Phoenix, Rise

Following Your Intuition

We all have Divine Guidance inside of us, and despite many’s beliefs its very accessible. Some call it a gut feeling, following your heart, or having faith. The first time I followed my intuition I hadn’t even heard of the word intuition. At that point I felt very compelled to make a drastic change in my life, one that many didn’t understand, including myself at the time. I was in a loving, supportive, stable relationship for about a year and a half when I started having this strong gut feeling that I needed to end it. For the first week or two I tried ignoring it, thinking maybe this was hormonal and wondering if I was going a little crazy. The man I was with had helped me grow, learn, and begin to love myself when I had been stuck in a dark place. It wouldn’t be fair of me to end our relationship after he had helped me so much, and I still loved him and enjoyed being with him. I tried to rationalize staying with him anyway I could. But the more I tried to ignore these internal nudges the more down I began to feel. I felt like I was being unfaithful to him, lying to him by not being clear on my feelings. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I was also being unfaithful to myself. I spent hours discussing my feelings with various friends, trying to get as many different perspectives as I could on the situation. At the end it didn’t matter what any of my well-meaning friends said. I needed to take action so I would no longer feel so dark and heavy. The day I ended that relationship was hard, unplanned, and full of sadness. As he walked away I began to feel fear, wondering if I had made a huge mistake. I also felt an intense amount of guilt, knowing how hurt and confused he was by my sudden decision. I am a very empathetic person, to those interested in astrology I am a true Pisces. That being said, I have issues being unkind to strangers, so causing someone I love pain was tearing me apart. It also didn’t help that when I tried to explain my thought process to others, many of them considered me crazy and insensitive. Others’ reactions helped me learn a crucial lesson though, that the way others’ perceive you has much more to do with their own life experience than your own. Just because someone else sees you as mean, stupid, silly, or crazy, does not mean that you are! Everyone in this life is perceiving situations through their own eyes with no knowledge of your inner guidance or the way your life path is unfolding.

As the months unfolded, lessons were learned, feelings were felt deeper than I wanted, and emotions were tumbled, but I started to feel stronger. Books came into my life that discussed intuition, describing an inner guidance that has the ability to guide us on our path of least resistance and help us connect to our most authentic self. I started to accept that maybe I wasn’t crazy, but had actually taken a very important step on my spiritual path. It was around this time that I started journaling lightly, writing out my thoughts on why I was guided to do this. I found a lot of positives and realized that it was necesary for both of us to continue to grow and be the best version of ourselves, even if we couldn’t see that at the time.

Now it’s almost three years post-breakup and I enjoy looking back on this time. It makes me proud of myself that I honored my intuition and truly put myself first, and I can see how much more compassionate I have become with myself. After spending many years dealing with body image and self-esteem issues, speaking to myself with violence and anger, my ex-boyfriend helped me to see the goodness within me. He emphasized my inner beauty as well as my appearance, although it was much harder for me to accept his compliments on my physical experience. I had gotten to the point in my life where I needed to truly learn to love myself, without being reassured by others constantly. The past couple of years have been filled with many experiences that have allowed me to practice self-love, compassion and kindness. A huge part of practicing self-love has been to honor my intuition, not giving my attention or energy to what others think about my actions. This has also helped me drop my judgements on others, knowing that we are all just living this life to the best of our ability. We are growing and learning and changing, we deserve flexibility to explore our thoughts, change our minds, and to allow others the same room.

The more I have followed my intuition over the years the stronger and more clear my guidance has become. Now I have fun with it, driving without a GPS and seeing where I end up and man I have been ending up in some beautiful places lately. When I feel inclined to talk to a stranger I do so, because you never know who may need a smile, a little boost in their faith in humanity. I have met some amazing people this way and have had uplifting conversations, learning and laughing, both of us benefiting. I’m trying to take this a little farther in my teaching, calling the hard pose when I feel pushed to do so, because if my intuition is guiding me to do it, someone in the room probably needs it. Now I’m letting my intuition guide my writing. Instead of overthinking my writing I have been trying to start with the first topic that comes into my mind and allowing it to flow. I believe my intuition guides me to help others, in many different ways. So today I got real, I got vulnerable, and then I almost deleted it all. This is personal stuff and I got scared that maybe I shouldn’t share it, maybe the people reading it would judge me for sharing so openly on the internet. But then I smiled, laughed a bit and realized this was just another opportunity for me to get over the fear of being judged. So take what you will from this post, share with someone you feel could use it, and start honoring your intuition.

Love and light,

Noelle ॐ

Power and Growth

In 2014 I found myself in a place of ill health, (self-perceived) weakness, and frustration. In 2013 I had developed unique stomach issues that refused to let me digest my food correctly, so my body wasn’t receiving nearly enough nutrients to sustain my body and I was experiencing stomach pain following each meal. I have never been fond of doctors (no offense intended to the well-intentioned medical professionals out there), but after months of losing weight and concerned loved ones asking, I went a doctor. I was given many tests that came up inconclusive and offered pain pills to mask my symptoms. I was left frustrated but a small spark had been lit inside of me, a burning desire to heal myself that would later manifest. In July of 2014 I began reading one of Dolores Cannon’s many fantastic books, The Three Waves of Volunteers and The New Earth. Dolores Cannon is a hypnotherapist that utilizes mainly past life regression therapy. Her book was mostly transcripts of her conversations with clients, many who also suffered from unexplainable or diagnosable health conditions. After her work with them most reported that they were no longer suffering and their health had returned. I had also read books previously focused on chakras and touching on energy healing, such as Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss. At this point I realized that not healing needed to be facilitated through a doctor and prescriptions, but could possibly be changed energetically. I decided that if I truly wanted to be healthy, I needed to stop focusing on my problems, drowning myself in self-pity and clouds of marijuana and instead begin focusing on healing.

I began journaling on a consistent basis, writing with gratitude for my health each day. I started to change my habits of informing my roommates and best friends of my daily obstacles, and started only telling them about the times I felt better and was able to digest a little bit more food. I noticed that the more I focused on the positive the more positive aspects I had to give thanks for. My journal entries started becoming full of gratitude, not only for my health but for many little moments throughout each day. I found myself thankful for my interactions with others, whether they were strangers in lines or dear friends. I was filled with gratitude for the weather, both the beautiful sunny days and the rejuvenating rainy days. I found myself happier and lighter, still experiencing symptoms but no longer letting them control my life. Then, I found yoga. Or really, yoga found me.

In August I won a raffle for a free month of yoga at Hot Spot Power Yoga. It took me a couple of weeks to get myself to the studio, but when I did I found out it was less than five minutes from my apartment. I was pretty excited to use my free month and then maybe keep taking some yoga classes at our school gym. At the time I had no idea how much this practice would end up changing my life. The more consistently I attended classes, the more I wanted to get on my mat and practice. Hot Spot teaches Baptiste inspired classes, which means the room is kept at 90 degrees and we are flowing through our practice, aiming to match our breath with our movements, holding some poses deeply and continuing to move and flow. I began to feel strong as muscles I didn’t even realize I had started to appear on my body and I realized that I was able to go deeper in poses, hold them longer, and possibly even get upside down! After being a competitive athlete for 11 years, my practice was giving me an opportunity to compete again, but this time it was against myself. I realized the more I looked around the room at others practicing, the more my mind wandered and the less sturdy I was in my own balance. Realizing this helped me bring my focus back into myself, releasing the need to judge others or compare myself to them. The stronger I got on my mat the more self-confident I became regarding my practice, but also how I lived my life off of my mat. I began allowing myself to be my authentic self, to stop worrying about how others perceived my actions and to let go of the limiting beliefs I held about my body. As I read further into Anatomy of the Spirit I learned much about my third chakra, the Solar Plexus. The Solar Plexus is located in our stomachs, right around the belly button. This chakra governs inner strength, self-confidence, and power, especially will-power. Through my practice, journaling, and reading I came to realize I was in complete control of my health, all it took was a commitment to shift my beliefs, having faith in the goodness to come.

As I continued my practice I found myself surrounded by more and more uplifting people, teachers and fellow students that loved seeing me progress, both physically and mentally. My life was transforming and I was beginning to feel powerful for the first time in too long. I took part in a wonderful program designed by Baron Baptiste, 40 Days to a Personal Revolution. Through weekly group meetings, reading and personal inquiry I began developing self-awareness and taking responsibility for the way my thoughts regarding my body and my abilities were shaping my life. I started shifting my vision on the relationships I had in my life, retraining myself to not take others’ actions personally. I started making a conscious effort to respond to people and situations rather than to react.

I became a certified children’s yoga instructor in the spring of 2015 and spent four months this past summer completing my 200 hour teacher training in August. Now I’ve been teaching for about a month and am finding myself once again facing a familiar challenge, self-confidence. My knowledge of the human body is sound, I consistently read and try to learn new phrases to help my students get into alignment, but when it comes to letting my true self shine through I find myself struggling. I found myself surprised after the first few classes when I received positive feedback from my students. I did not even realize I was lacking self-confidence until I realized how surprised I was. By bringing awareness to this I have been able to identify another area that I get to grow in. I’m now excited for each class I teach because I know that I will be able to access a little bit more of myself. I have also seen how much I empower my students. I encourage them to get out of their heads and connect with their body fully, using their breath to get them through their practice. As I have become more comfortable pushing my students, I have begun to hear my own words throughout my personal practice.

I’ve made the conscious decision to drop my fears, my self-imposed limitations and any judgmental thoughts. Instead I choose to strive for self-confidence, empowerment and never ending growth. My first step is to share this blog, to put my words out there, trusting that those who want or need them in their life will find them. My hope is to forever be a powerful uplifter, trusting my own intuition and spreading love to many.

Love and light,

Noelle ॐ