Gratitude Meditation

let go and live in gratitude This is the season of letting go.  A season of releasing, surrendering, and shedding. The leaves have let go.  The harvest has let go. All of the earth is letting go, surrendering, shedding weight.  Releasing the fruits of the seasons...good or imperfect.

Before we all get swept off our feet and into full force holiday mode, just take a day, a morning, a few moments to mirror what is happening in nature.  Go to a yoga class. Take a nice long walk in nature.  Enjoy a hot bath.  Cozy up with your journal and a cup of tea. Just reflect.

What do you need to release in order to be fully present over the holidays? What do you need to let go of in order to find peace, joy, and gratitude? What do you need to surrender in order to feel a lightness in your heart?

Let go of those things that no longer serve you.  Let go of those thoughts that only cause you pain.  Let go of resentment. Let go of control.

Release and feel only gratitude.

Find a quiet spot and a comfortable seat.  Gently close your eyes.  Feel the inhale at the tip of your nose.  The warmth of your exhale. Breathe deeply.  Complete the sentence "I am grateful for___________ ." ten times (or more!). Let a sense of gratitude warm up your insides like a cozy cup of tea.

Feel, and move, and breathe from this warm place of gratitude this holiday season.

Much, much shanti--

Much, much peace,

Jenna

 

Yoga Video: Warm Up for Athletes

yoga for athletes cover Hi there sweet soul!

It is fall and people are diving into sports! Marathon training, football, hockey, tennis, soccer-- everyone is up to something. I created this warm up to prevent injury in athletes.  I've already witnessed too many athletes pulling muscles and hurting themselves.  Warming up well is the key to preventing injury!

In reality, any one can use this warm up! It's great for any type of movement, and even just as a straight up yoga warmup! It is a great warmup for any movement. I've known too many athletes getting injured recently and warming up is the key to preventing injury!

So before you hop on the court or field, take 5-10 minutes to do this juicy yoga warm up!

Check it out right here, and leave me comment with how you feel afterwards!

Namaste!

Jenna

 

Yoga Video: Sun Salutation B

sun salb Hello sweet soul!

Everyone says September is the best month out here in the Hamptons, and I pretty much have to agree! Warm sun, empty beaches, and crisp evenings. Ahhh. So good.

This week, I filmed Sun Salutation B by the water in Sag Harbor. Hoping you can catch a glimpse of the paradise that is September! Remember, after you get this sequence into your body, you can tack it right onto Sun Salutation A for a nice, energetic flow!

Make sure to subscribe to my youtube channel and also grab your free downloadable meditation audio right here!

Have something you would love for me to focus on or teach? Leave me comment!

Let your soul shine and happy practicing!

xo

Jenna

 

Yoga for Beginners: Sun Salutation A

Join me at the beautiful Yoga Lila in Montauk! In this video, I teach a basic Sun Salutation A. This sequence is designed to get your blood moving and body heated.  Do a light warm up before jumping right into this.  Please subscribe and look for my next video, Sun Salutation B!

How do you feel post-sun salutation? Leave me a comment below!

Namaste! :)

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Crafting your personal mission in this world

My philosophy and straight up passion is this idea of "Soul Shine".  That we have a VERY specific set of talents and when they all come together, we can rock this world and change it for good.  Yogis would call this your unique Dharma or path.  When you are living from the center of your dharma, you've got it.  Things come together and you are on fire! You are making waves and people start to sit up straight and pay attention.  Things flow and you are in the zone.  It's a rare thing these days because we are told over and over,  'You can be, do and have ANYTHING!" And while that is truer than ever, you're not meant to be, do and have everything.  You are meant to be wholly, 100% you.  You are meant to channel ALL of your gifts, because hello! That's a MAJOR clue from the universe that this is your path.  If you're good at it, do more of it! Yesterday, I was caught up in the world of Youtube and discovered a women who is living 100 million percent from the center of her dharma. She is on fire.

Have you heard of Robyn O'Brien? This woman is outstanding.  She has taken her talents and background as a former financial and food industry analyst, and is now using it to charge forward and confront what's happening in our food system in this country.  Her passion is undeniable and you can tell that with every ounce of who she is she has found her path and purpose.  Her soul is shining bright and clear! I encourage you to watch her talk with Marianne Williamson entitled Food, Wellness and Politics.  Her talk is about 30 minutes of the 2 hour discussion.  Think of it as a soul study.  Study her ease. Study her passion. Study her pure inner wisdom that knows this is her souls work.  It's truly remarkable.

Wouldn't you love to be so on fire with a passion for change and to live every day utilizing your gifts for the betterment of our world?

No worries--you totally can! Here's a little exercise to get your soul working towards your dharma.

Grab yourself a piece of paper and pen. (I'm serious, don't just do this in your head.)

Answer the following questions:

Who are you? (This isn't a trick question...literally, what is your name?)

What do you love to do?

Who do you do those things for? (Or who could you do those things for?)

What do those people need or want?

How do they change or transform as a result of what you gave them?

Then put it all together.  Here is an example:

My name is Jenna Raynell. I love to inspire and teach yoga to young women who need direction, inspiration, and confidence. As a result of my teaching, these women feel empowered to take action, shine brightly, and live from the center of their soul.

And there you have it! Your dharma, your passion, your project and purpose in this world.  Of course, it is continually evolving and growing just as you are continually growing and evolving.  But with that, I have the mission statement of my life.  I can easily make decisions about careers, activities, and volunteer work by running it through my mission statement filter.  If it's in alignment with my statement, it's a go!

Need help crafting your mission statement? Ready to share it with the world? Leave me a comment below! I'd love to help you out and hear your beautiful soul's mission on this earth!

To living and letting your soul shine!

xoxo

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How to Awaken your Inner Treasure Trove

photo (1) Rubies, Sapphires, Diamonds, Gold.  Valuable beyond compare. Precious. Sparkling.  You have all these sparkling goodies housed right inside yourself---except they take the form of your passions, purpose, talents, and possibilities.  Your treasure trove is just waiting and begging you to awaken it and share it with the world.  So how do you do that? How do you bring forth your passion? How do you awaken your purpose? How do you share your talents and live life in sweet possibility?

Here are 5 quick tips to Awaken your inner treasure house:

1. You must recognize how critical this is. Your treasure trove is sacred. Your passions, talents and individual purpose is needed and needed badly by the world.  Your design is specific.  Your particular blend of talents is so unique that the world depends upon you harnessing them for the betterment of your community.

2. Make a LOVE LIST. Assess your talents. What comes naturally to you? What feels like play? What makes you light up? What would you do all day long if money were no issue? This can be a combination of many things! I love music, and inspiration, and yoga, and community, and social media, and singing, and spirituality!  Multiple different talents that all blend together into my beautiful career.  So make your LOVE LIST. What would you LOVE to do every day? What would you LOVE to spend your time on?

3.  How can I use my LOVE LIST in service of others? How can I uplift and be of service?  Our talents were design for us specifically, but they weren't designed to be kept to ourselves. Share them and share them generously!  Your treasure trove has the power to heal, inspire, guide, and bless so many people.  Give it away! What you give away, you receive back ten fold.  Do not hesitate to be generous.

4. Do it full out. Live every day from the center of your calling every day.  Live from your place of passion, live from the heart of your purpose, share your talents.  Don't shrink back. Don't hide.  Fully embody your passion & calling all the time.  It is your greatest responsibility to live from the center of your treasure trove.

5. Be open to new possibilities that arise from living full out.  Expect miracles to happen naturally. Things will start to happen. You will sparkle. You will glow. You will meet people. You will be offered dream opportunities. Be open.  Say yes to those things that align beautifully and perfectly with your treasure trove. "When you bring what is within out into the world, miracles happen." - Thoreau

You are beautiful, sparkling, radiant, and glowing.  Let out all of that beautiful and light into the world!

What is on your love list? Leave me comment below and tell me how you will use that in service of the world!

xoxo

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5 Tips to turn your Creative Inspiration into Productivity

Oh hey there sweet soul!

I'll be honest with you--this summer was a liiiittle cray -cray.  I absolutely LOVE summer, especially summers in my (new!) beautiful home in Amagansett, NY.  But I have felt a little bit...wild these days.  Wild in an amazing, inspired, awesome way. So many beautiful, shiny souls fell into my lap and I've been teach yoga ocean side all summer.  Add in my regular yoga, coaching, AND all the awesome music gigs my BF and I have been doing--it's enough to make a girl a little nuts (in a good way!).

I am so, so, sooo grateful for such extraordinary opportunities.  Here's the thing:  When I'm out doin' what I do and loving life, I am STRUCK by inspiration ---at. every. moment!

So imagine the craziest thunderstorm---

lightening inspiration!

Photo courtesy of SK-y Photography(CC Attribution)


< That was my brain on inspiration- fire all summer long! 



I have had idea, after idea, after idea. I've registered THREE new domain names for business ideas.  I'm constantly making notes in my phone and on any paper i can find.  I've written up an outline to a live workshop AND an ecourse. I've considered rebranding my whole business.  I have been in creativity, inspiration overload! Have you ever felt like this?

Well, thankfully I have found a way to harness that wild energy into something productive. Here are five simple tips to get you OUT of the inspiration thunderstorm and INTO inspired action.

5 Tips to turn your Creative Inspiration into Productivity

1.  Get it all out.

Whip out that journal and start writing. Write down all of your ideas--all of the wild inspiration that's running around in your head, reel it in! Give yourself a solid 10 minutes with no distractions to just write and let your brain dump everything onto paper.  You won't be worried about forgetting anything and your mind will feel a lot clearer and calm.

2.  Breathe Deeply.

After you've finished your inspiration brain dump, just take 3 minutes to sit quietly and breathe deeply.  As a yoga teacher, I see the AMAZING benefits of taking the time to breathe deeply every day. It calms your entire central nervous system and gives your brain a break. After that crazy storm in your head, you need it! Set a timer, and start breathin baby.

3. Revisit your journal.

Take a look at all the ideas you wrote down.  What makes you excited? Where do you find the most inspiration to get into action? Where is the adventure? What tugs at your inner intuition? What makes your heart sing a bit?  Circle the three ideas that jump out the most to you.  

4. Let go.

Grab a new piece of paper and write out those three ideas again.  Which of those three seems the most feasible to you where you are right now? I'm not saying you can't eventually do all three. As Oprah says:

So narrow your list down. Cross out the one that is going to take you a few years to build.  What is the ONE thing that you could work on today or this week, or even this month and find great success.  Your brain, your body, your spirit can only hold so much at once. If you work on one thing, instead of 2, or 3, (or 10!) you will have more time and energy and SUCCESS in getting it done. 

5. Kick it into high gear, girlfriend!

Now that you've selected your one brilliant, light beam of an idea, get going! Get into action. What can you do today to get yourself closer to accomplishing that goal? What do you need to do to see it fulfilled?  Set yourself up for success right at the beginning and make a plan for how you will get it done. 

What is your #1 priority that you selected? Tell me in the comments! I would love to track your progress. You have a creative, passionate and beautiful soul.  I am excited to see what you create and how that will influence the world around you! I'm so excited for you!

So much love & well wishes,

xoxo



PS- Here's a mini-vaca to my sweet, soulful town one day after a REAL thunderstorm! Enjoy!;)

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Are you ready?

Ok...it's time. Time for you to star in your soulful adventure. Time for you to dive in and just say yes. Create a plan and get going.

It's time for you to think like royalty.  As the queen bee of inspiration said herself:

Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.

~Oprah

 

Your talents, gifts and passions are deeply needed in this world.  You have the power to change the world AND live a life you love.  You have a responsibility to your talents and a responsibility to use those talents in service of this great world.

It's not time to shrink back and hide from your magnificence.  It's time to glow. Time to SHINE.

I am so excited and PUMPED to share with you my latest project-- Soulshine! A glimpse into my philosophy as a yoga teacher and a goal coach. Take a peak and then book your FREE 15 minute consultation!

Ok sweet soul--- what are you waiting for? What is holding you back from reaching deep down within yourself and shining that bright light to the world?

Let's talk about it during your consultation! Book by clicking below!

How to Keep Momentum Moving Towards your Goals.


Hey Soulful Goal-getter!

Excited about goals

Photo courtesy of thephotographymuse(CC Attribution)


I know you are wildly passionate and excited about all of your big, beautiful dreams. You’ve worked so freakin’ hard and have come so far!   You inspire the people around you to tackle their dreams and to live a life they love.


But what happens when the momentum slows down and you feel like you’re back pedaling? What happens when you feel like you’re not moving any more? You’re stuck in a little rut.

Don’t worry--it happens to even the most ambitious of wide-eyed, goal-setting dreamers!

I’ve come up with three easy tips to keep your momentum moving and your spirits flying high. Here we go!

How to Keep Momentum Moving towards your Goals:

 1. Breathe deeply. 

When things slow down in your fast paced, goal-driven world, tension in your brain starts to rise.  Take a few moments to sit quietly and just breathe.  Breathing in deeply for 4 counts and exhaling for 4 counts.  Do this for at least 5 minutes.  Soon, you’ll feel your central nervous system begin to chill out and your mood begin to relax--a much better state to be groovin’ in as you tackle your dreams and chase your inspiring goals!

2. Trust yourself. 

Kick back and have a little faith.  Often times we start to freak out because we think we’ve lost control over what’s happening with our goals.  Trust that you have put in an incredible amount of excellent work, and believe that you are like an arrow. You have to be pulled back and held in tension before you spring forward and hit your goal target with expert precision.  Go ahead---channel your inner Katniss! (And have you seen the new trailer?!)

Hit your goals with precision


3. Get into action. 

No matter how small, do one thing every day to bring you one step closer to your goal.  Build your own forward movement. Get the ball rolling. Make that phone call. Send that email. Create content for your site. Schedule some social media posts. Anything you can to send a message to the universe that you mean business and you’re not giving up because of a little lag time.


goal setting


So there you have it! Three simple ways to get you moving in the direction of your inspiring dreams and to target your goal with arrow-like precision. You’ve got this;)

What’d ya think? How do you keep your momentum rolling? What goals are you working on this summer? Leave me a comment below and share your pro tips with the group!

xoxo

jenna raynell



Need help getting clear about your goals and getting into action? Schedule a Soul Session with me and I'll help you get your goals out of your heart and into action;)

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Positive Thoughts: How to lift your spirits on a rainy day

rainy day Ever have those days (Or maybe weeks, or maybe months---perhaps even years!) where you are in a funk and you just can’t get out of it? I totally get it. Those days for me happen on rainy, dreary, sleepy days.  (I’m sunshine, summer girl;)).

The funny thing is-- I wake up on rainy days and the first thing I think is “Gahh what a bummer! Where’s the sun?? I wanted to go to the beach, go for a bike ride, do yoga outside jump in the pool! Blah this stinks.” And the rest of my day turns out to pretty much be a bummer. If every day were like this, I would end up with a bummer-of-a-life!

color

If you’re having a bummer-of-a-day, check yo’ thoughts! Your thoughts color your world, your reality--your soul.  Here are my go to pick me ups and resources for positive thoughts galore:

1. Get your sweet soul to a yoga class. (Seriously---yoga is my cure all for any less than colorful, less than beautiful thoughts. Even just a few poses that get me upside down turn my mind right side up.)

2. Get out that inspiring book.  The one you can count on to bring some soul-shining goodness into your being.  Read just a chapter, or even a few lines.  I looove Marianne Williamson and have two of her books in arms reach almost at all times:)  Usually one is kinda all crumpled in my purse;)

3. Find an uplifting movie to lift your spirits.  Disney anyone? Tangled, Frozen, Up-- maybe an inspiring documentary that will make you weep with joy? Just make sure whatever you watch has a happy ending;)

4. Go for a walk. Even if it’s raining. The fresh air, nature, being closer to the earth will change your mood and freshen your soul. I always find that whenever I’ve been inside for more than 3 or 4 hours, I’m desperate to get outside.  Just go:)

5. Embrace it.  Every season, every mood has its benefits and happens for a particular reason.  Make a cup of peppermint tea and stay awhile:)

What do you like to do when you're feeling down? How do you raise your vibrations and get your mind back on the beautiful side of life? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!

Wishing you many sunny, bright days ahead---

xoxo

 

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Yoga for Allergies

I Heart Pollen !

Photo courtesy of brookenovak(CC Attribution)

Yoga for Allergies

Phew! Am I feelin the pollen this week or what! 

I've been sneezing and stuffy because the beautiful oak tree outside my window is just sprinkling its pollen EVERYWHERE. Looking every which way to stop these symptoms, I found a few yoga poses in my research that actually help alleviate seasonal allergy symptoms. The best ones--inversions!

I love practicing my inversions--outside, on the beach, next to my bed, in the grass-- and they also help alleviate symptoms like post nasal drip, sinus congestion, and sneezing.  Inversions help to open up the upper respiratory tract, making room for fresh air to flow through.

Here are the top three inversions to get your sinuses clear and open so you can enjoy the sweet day ahead of you! 

1. Handstand

(Adho Mukha Vrksasana)


minerals added for taste

Photo courtesy of Evil Erin(CC Attribution)

2. Forearm Stand

(Pincha Mayurasana)

yoga fore arm stand


3. Shoulder Stand

(Salamba Sarvangasana)

shoulder stand




I've been playing with a pose a day to keep things fresh and just to have fun:)  After you've warmed up, try to incorporate a new pose into your routine daily! With each of these, make sure you are aware of your skill level and honor your body and personal limitations. Ask your yoga teacher to help you with each pose and to recommend props to help you get into the safest possible. 


Questions? Please ask!  Leave me comment--and let me know if you're breathing clearer and feeling some allergy relief!

Enjoy this sweet season:)

xoxo

Jenna

A Soulful Guide to Summer

Summer


Summer in the Hampton's is official in full swing! Memorial Day weekend was a beauty and now you're just craving more salty wind in your hair.  To make sure you make the best of Summer 2014, I've put together a Complete Soulful Guide to Summer.  So it might not be a book, but I think these 5 simple tips will make sure you have an amazing, inspiring, juicy summer and that you enjoy it to the fullest: 


1.  Do yoga on the beach


As much as possible.  There is nothing more incredible, more meditative, more soothing and blissful than listening to the crashing waves sync with your breath.  Vinyasa means linking breath to movement. (Check out this article in Yoga Journal about that!) Being next to the ocean and linking your breath to the ocean AND your movement, feels like the greatest massage for your mind.  You do your sun salutations with the actual sun pouring over your skin and face. Your soul is relaxed because you are standing on the edge of the earth looking out at infinite possibility. You are inspired by the greatness and beauty of it all.  There is truly nothing better. Do yoga on the beach--alone, with a group, with an instructor-- and prepare for bliss:)

2.  Make a Bucket List

There is SO much to do over the summer.  You don't want to get to August 25th and realize you didn't do half the things you had hoped! Last summer was the first year I made a bucket list, and I tried to cross one or two things off a week. It worked great! I got to sip a beer at the Montauk Brewery (while listening to live music by my favorite musician). I went kayaking, and ate lobster in Montauk.  I did yoga on the beach every week, and went paddle boarding at sunset. I danced at Wolffer Estate and sat in the captain's chair of a fisherman's boat. (ok...maybe that wasn't exactly on my bucket list). My point is--set your self up for an awesome summer and you will have an even better one than you imagine.

2. Do everything you can outside

Everything. Eat outside. Exercise outside. Swim outside. Shower outside. Sleep outside. Ride bikes. Read books. Paint. Write. Dance. Yoga.  Do everything outside. 

3. Say Yes

Saying yes is all about taking risks. Diving in when there is a moment of hesitation or uncertainty. Not being sure, maybe not feeling ready--but jumping in anyway. It's about remaining open to new possibilities. It's about being flexible, keeping your heart open, and changing the plan. It's about living with a freedom and lightness in your heart and soul.

4. Watch the sunset over the ocean

Sit with someone and talk about your dreams and goals.  Dream of possibilities together. Encourage each other. Create a safe space for each other. Marvel at the beauty of the earth and know that you are taken care of--just like every other specimen on this planet.  Make wishes. Make goals.  Be hopeful.

5. Give Generously

In some way, give something away. Give your time to something you care about.  Give your money to someone or an organization who needs it.  Give your skills and talents away for free. Welcome friends and guests into your home. Be generous.  Try to make someone else's summer day amazing, incredible, and so so memorable. There is no better way to fill your heart with joy and fulfillment than to give what you've got. Karma---it will all come back around:)


Want to add to this list? Have other great soulful, summer ideas? Please tell me in the comments! I'd love to share with everyone:)

To a soul-shining summer,

xoxo

Jenna raynell






Didn't like my list? Maybe you'll like the Kid President's better: 

(I love this kid!:))


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Peace + Stillness = Bliss

Do you ever feel like you can't relax? I've been in the Hamptons 4 days, and I'm just now finally starting to slow down my speed from hyper speed city life, to laid back beach living. It's no surprise that when I first started practicing yoga seriously several years ago, Savasana always seemed difficult to me.  "Just lie there? Don't do anything? What do you mean? Nothing? What is the point?" My brain would be in a battle with my teacher. I was never able to fully relax. And what did I find in my life at that time? I was anxious. I was unable to stop moving. I was unable to take a day off.  I had to keep working because if I stopped, I would fall behind. I couldn't fall behind. Everything rested on the work I was doing, every day, every moment.

Or so I thought.

I was not getting anywhere. The things I worked so hard at and kept so busy with meant nothing after a while. I started realizing all of my goals had no real purpose. I kept coming to my mat because I kept finding purpose there. I kept finding meaning. I started craving the stillness. I started noticing how tired I actually was-- not just physically, but also mentally & emotionally. I was beaten up.  The person who did the beating was me. I didn't give myself time to relax.

So last summer (as everyone in my life knows),  I ran away to the beach.  There in the sun of Egypt Beach in East Hampton, I developed my own daily practice. I woke up daily and biked to the deserted beach to practice.  On my own, I let the sun and the crashing sound of the waves heal me.  I forgave myself.  Accepted myself. I challenged myself. And finally, I was able to lie completely still--mind still, body still-- in Savasana for 15 minutes. Total relaxation.

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I had never taken a meditation course. I had never been told that the point of yoga was to still & prepare the mind for meditation. But on that quiet beach with waves crashing & sun glowing, my natural inclination was to sit tall, still and without constant badgering of my mind. I felt the closest to God in that one moment than any other moment in my life. That moment brings me back to my mat daily. Savasana is the game changer. Being totally in Savasana brings me right back to that blissful beach moment with God.

How can you bring more Savasana to your life? How can you disconnect from the chaos and reconnect to that which matters most? How can you find a few quite moments with your soul?

It's something I have to consciously work towards every week, every day.  But it is so, so worth it:) Yoga bliss happens in Savasana.  Life bliss happens when you slow down enough to notice how beautiful and wonderful things really are.

Wishing you a day of bliss and peace as you prepare for the *unofficial* start to summer this weekend!

xoxo

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Just begin:)

There is something beautiful and magical in this spring air! Do you feel it?? To me, everyone seems to be buzzing with new ideas and beautiful dreams and big goals.  I am just SO excited to see what you create this glorious season and hope that the freshness in the air is sending you soaring. I'm in the same boat, so I am going to keep this short, sweet and simple.

Whatever you're feeling: fear, excitement, joy, anticipation, massive flushes of creativity, timidness, uncertainty (probably a mixture of all of it!)

Getting your dreams out of your head and into the world takes one, solid thing:

Just beginning. 

start

I'm certain you have 101 questions, and 101 more uncertainties...but the only way to find clarity in your goals, dreams, and creative desires is to simple begin.  Start before you feel ready.

You don't have to have your entire business mapped out before you begin to create it. You don't have to have a complete action plan in place. You don't have to be 100% sure where you're headed (at least not yet:)).

Start small.  Start strong.  Start with courage. And start to let the shiny sparks of your soul glow.

Maybe you just sell one scarf you made...maybe you sell 20!  Maybe you finally sign up for twitter and share things that inspire you.  Maybe you share your goal with 3 people. Just start somewhere.

Chances are...you will be left astonished.  Magic will start to happen.  Things will fall into place.  Clarity will be found.

Trust yourself.

You have such a beautiful idea and something that comes from such a heart felt place. People are craving things of the heart. So let it out and let the world see it.  When you shine bright, you call forth more light and more passion and more shining souls.

I'm so excited for you:) You're doing great.

Got a burning question you just need answered now? Leave it in the comments and I'll get it answered so you can get going!:)

xoxo,

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5 Life Lessons Found in Disney’s Frozen

frozen

I'm sure I'm not the only grown up who cozy-ed up on Saturday night to watch Disney's Frozen from the comfort of my own home.  (Woo! What a relief it's finally on DVD!)  Watching any Disney princess movie, I have a natural tendency to try to apply the situations and lesson to my own life (because... aren't we all really one of those Disney princesses in one way or another? I mean... You totally know which one you are. Ariel? Rapunzel? Belle?).

Here are the 5 lessons I learned watching Frozen:

1. Let People In

It’s not always easy to let people see the real you, but cooping yourself up in your room, your castle--or a personality that is not authentically you-- can seriously damage relationships.  Let people in.  Let them see the real you--because who you are is amazing, fun, and magical.  A queen that is holed up in her castle acts as a disservice to her kingdom.  YOU are a queen, a princess, royalty.  When you let your light shine, you allow your community (your kingdom) to shine bright as well.  Let them in. Let your #soulshine.

2. Let things go

Ahhh... Adele Dazim.  You’ve made it so easy for us to remember one of the greatest life lessons! Taught over and over in yoga classes, the art of letting things go frees us from so much pain and unhappiness.  You may have messed up.  Your whole city or company or family may be angry at you.  Maybe your sister is marrying a creep.  You may have a million negative thoughts running through your head.  Learn to let go of those things that do not serve you--those things that are keeping your from your best life.

3. Don’t let your past mistakes shape your future

In Frozen, the entire movie is based around Elsa’s inability to let go of one mistake in her past.  Sure, she messed up (and she messed up reeeeally good), but our mistakes and our past do not need to define us.  Once you are able to release the past, you can live fully in the present and be with the people that are here with you.  Don’t let the past keep you from creating new and beautiful experiences for your life.

4. Love creates Miracles

Every move we make, every word we speak can either come from love or from fear.  The Course in Miracles teaches that when we shift our thinking from fear to love, that is when miracles occur.  Anna shows us that love--true, pure love absent of fear-- saves us.  In every situation, the extreme life threatening situations or the every day, seemingly mundane ones, we can choose love or we can choose fear.  The goal then is to make every thought a loving one.

5. Some people are worth melting for

A snow man who loves summer and builds a fire for his princess. There are just some people you meet in life that you can’t resist.  You melt for them daily-- over and over again.  Don't ever stop!  Do nice things for them. Tell them how much they mean to you.  Spend time with them. Love them deeply. Cherish them.  Melt for them.

 

Did you learn something else in Frozen?  Ok and yes... please  tell me which Disney princess you relate to most.  Share your thoughts in the comments:)

xoxo,

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Oh PS--- I'm totally Rapunzel;) tangled6

 

Soulful Liberation

soulful liberation

 

The seen is the nature of the gunas (qualities of nature): illumination, activity, and inertia; and consists of the elements and sense organs, who purpose is to provide both experiences and liberation to the Purusa (soul).

The Yoga Sutras

This winter was the hardest and longest winter I’ve ever experienced. I went from cursing the sleet and snow, to deep sadness and longing for warmth.  Then I would switch from frustration, to anger until finally--after the blustering winds wouldn’t stop...I became content, even happy!  I made a conscious choice to lift my focus higher--to the soul level.

All that is around us is there to help us towards our soulful liberation--our soul’s union with God and with love.

So in the dark of winter, I made the choice that I was tired of feeling the way I was feeling.  I was tired of cursing my conditions.  I began to meditate and pray every morning...not even for a long time! Just a few minutes to get my mind in the right place.  I started a gratitude journal.  I focused on positive mantras throughout my day and my yoga practice. Every time a negative thought came to mind, I would switch it instantly with a blessing.

And now, I hardly even notice that it’s the first day of spring and I’m still wearing my down, long black winter coat.  (I mean... I definitely notice... but I’m not upset by it;))

Our experiences--good and seemingly negative-- help to liberate our soul.  Our soul only feels free when it is light and full of love.  This happens when we perceive all that is around us with gratitude and joy.  Yes, even the experiences that scratch and claw at our hearts leaving us sore and hurt. Those heart wrenching, utterly painful experiences exist to strengthen your soul.  In fact, they are doing the dirty work to make your soul even more beautiful, even more aligned with God and with pure love.

Nothing lasts forever.  Things are constantly changing, constantly bringing to our attention new experiences, new trials, new joys.  True freedom comes when we are able to live through those experiences without despair.  In fact, peace comes when despair is replaced with gratitude because we know that all of it--the pain, the heartache, the tears, the bitter cold--it’s all for our own growth, our highest good, and the elevation of our souls to a shining, bright place.

And that is my wish for you. True freedom in knowing that all the terrible things will get better and that YOU will shine brighter because of it.

May your soul shine brighter every day:)

xoxo

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#soulshine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Kaitlyn!

I'm so excited to introduce to you, Kaitlyn! This girl is on fire and you can feel the heat when you watch her dance.  Her spirit shines through every step and movement! When are you doing what you love, it truly shines from your soul and people can't help but notice.  

kaitlyn

My name is Kaitlyn Miller and I am currently 18 years old. I am a freshman in college at DeSales University in Center Valley PA. I am double majoring in dance and business and plan to attend graduate school for Dance Administration. I hope to work and teach at a college and own a studio on the side. I have been dancing since I was able to walk and competitively danced for 16 years before entering college. Dance has opened many doors for me and lead me to compete in pageants. After four years if hard work and determination I was crowned Miss Pennsylvania’s Outstanding Teen 2012. Having this title, I was able to attend over 120 appearances and perform for thousands of people. Dance holds a special place in my heart and I hope to pass that along to others in the future.

 

What makes you shine? When do you glow?

I absolutely love performing on stage or even in class. I believe dance is a beautiful art to watch and I try to enlighten people about dance as much as possible. Dance has a unique power to capture audiences and I hope to have the opportunity to perform professionally in the future. I also have the opportunity to perform while competing in pageants, under the Miss America system, which has a huge spot in my heart that will never go away. Pageantry has taught me self-confidence and has provided me with skills in interview, modeling, and so much more. I feel I shine most when I am performing in front of a huge audience because I am able to leave my love for dance on the stage before them.

 

What do you LOVE to do? What is your passion?

Dance has been my passion since I have been 2 years old and I don’t think that will ever change. Dance is something that has been popular throughout my whole family, for many generations before me. I think it is a family tradition that no one can escape. I just simply love to dance! I get to dance every day of the week for about 7-8 hours a day. I believe attending DeSales was the best decision I have ever made! I also became a dance major so I can learn to appreciate the art of dance rather than just the competitive side and become more experienced in different styles such as West African which is not offered at many studios. It is very important to extend your studies and learn from new teachers and that is one reason why I chose DeSales. The faculty is very well-trained and the other dance majors are so friendly.

 

When are you the happiest?

I am happiest when I am in the studio working my hardest. I especially love staying after class to work on steps I am having trouble with. This makes me feel accomplished and hard work and dedication really pay off.

 

What inspires you?

I am inspired by so many things and people! The students and peers around me during class inspire me to keep working hard and push myself to limits. Past graduates inspire me to plan my future and have a backup plan prepared. Finally, my family inspires me to create big dreams and no matter what comes up just push through!

 

What is your big goal?

Some of my biggest goals that I am currently working towards is being cast in all our major shows, maintaining a GPA of an A or higher and staying involved in our clubs and organizations. These goals all deal with my schooling, but I also have a few goals outside of school. My main goals outside the classroom are to be a Disney Princess, become Miss Pennsylvania and work on a cruise ship. I am a very goal-oriented person because I feel they push me to keep working!

 

Who is your biggest influence?

My biggest influence would have to be my family because of their constant support. They are my backbone and help me accomplish all my goals in life! They always believe in me and are my biggest fans! I wouldn’t know what to do without my family!

Meet Dani!

dani I'm so excited to introduce to you my friend, Dani! She is such an inspiring runner and her passion for it exudes into all areas of her life.  She uses her beautiful gift and passion to truly make a difference in her own community, and that makes her presence so bright.  When are you doing what you love and letting that shape your community, it truly shines from your soul and people can't help but notice.

 Her Story:

Dani was born in Manhattan and has been chasing her dreams in NYC for the last 10 years! She is a second grade teacher at a public school on the upper west side, a Pilates instructor at Power Pilates in midtown east, an AADP certified holistic health coach/nutrition counselor, and a runner on the Central Park Track Club. As if she wasn't busy enough, she also is a Girls on the Run coach, a volunteer for Back on My Feet NYC (an organization that uses running as a tool to motivate people experiencing homelessness), and an essential community leader at lululemon athletica, 75th and Broadway.

 

What makes you shine? When do you glow?

Inspiring others to live a healthy, active lifestyle makes me shine. I glow when I hear stories from people who have bettered their lives exercise and eating healthy. I also glow when I make people laugh or smile. It feels so good to help other people realize their potential.

What do you LOVE to do? What is your passion?

I LOVE to run, it is my passion! There is nothing better then lacing up my sneakers and heading out for a solo run to clear my head or to meet running buddies for some miles and socializing. I love how running can be an individual and group sport at the same time. The best part about running is that it doesn't discriminate. Anyone can do it! I am also passionate about eating healthy, whole foods. Food is fuel. It is so important to put nutritious, real food into your body so it can thrive! I also love to dance because it is such a freedom of expression and it makes me feel free.

When are you the happiest?

I am happiest when I am taking care of my body by exercising, eating well, and getting enough sleep. I am also happiest when my friends and family are happy! Happiness is contagious :)

What inspires you?

My dreams inspire me! They keep me motivated and focused. My friends and family and friends also inspire me to work even harder because they are so amazing.

 

What is your big goal? Or one goal you would like to highlight?

I have many goals so it's hard to just pinpoint one, but for now I'd have to say that my big goal is to break 3:20 in the marathon distance (hopefully in 7 weeks at the Boston Marathon, ahh)! I have been chasing this goal for a few years and I WILL get there!

Who is your biggest influence?

My biggest influence is my mother. She is driven, hard working, intelligent, and goes after what she wants. She has always inspired me to be the best version of myself and to go after my dreams. My mom is my biggest supporter and has always been in my corner. I am so grateful and lucky to have her in my life.

leave your mark

Are YOU doing what you love? Does your soul shine?

Tell me what makes you glow in the comments!  Every week, I will be featuring a new soulshine[r] and telling their story.

Do you know someone who’s soul shines? Nominate them by leaving a comment below!

 

 

Meet Nikki!

I am so excited to share with you the light and beauty of my friend Nikki!  Upon meeting her, you know she is up to something as she glows from the inside out.  When are you doing what you love, it shines from your soul (and people can't help but notice).

meet nikki

Her Story:

Originally from Rochester, Nikki moved to NYC when she was 18 years old.  She had to learn the ropes of how to get connected in the Broadway community and has now been a musical theatre performer for 17 years.  She has performed on Broadway and in National Tours, and has played all of the US in regional productions.  You may have seen her high kick at Radio City Music Hall  as a Rockette.  Nikki has danced with the Backstreet Boys, Jessica Simpson, and N’Sync. Now, she's transitioning out of the business and is working for Stage Door Connections, a career developing company that provides seminars and workshops to dancers and singers on how to perfect their craft.

What makes you shine?

Being on stage. There’s something about that feeling when I step foot onto a stage and can get lost in my dancing. It’s what gets me up in the morning and has always made me shine from within.

nikki

When do you glow?

When I teach someone a show and see the progression in their learning. Having them come up to me and say “Thank You” and “I feel more confident”, always makes me glow.

What do you love to do?

Besides Dance….COOKING! I love and have the biggest passion for cooking. I’ve been in the kitchen learning from my Grandma and Mom since I was real little, and I love going home and cooking a meal for my boyfriend and I. I also LOVE going to cooking classes in the city and learning a new cuisine.

When are you the happiest?

Sunday night, at home with my boyfriend and our animals, enjoying a glass of wine, and watching Breaking Bad. Complete bliss.

What inspires you?

People who always want more with their career. I am  not a settler with any of my jobs. I always want more and try to surround myself with people who are always growing and learning.

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What is your big goal?

This is a personal BIG Goal: I travel to Europe by September 2014. I’ve never been to Europe and I can’t wait to take a trip!

Who is your biggest influence?

My boyfriend. He inspires me in so many ways. He has taught me so much about life and love, but has also influenced me to step out of my comfort zone and go after a new career.

 

 

 

 

leave your mark

Are YOU doing what you love? Does your soul shine?

Tell me what makes you glow in the comments!  Every week, I will be featuring a new soulshine[r] and telling their story.

Do you know someone who's soul shines? Nominate them by leaving a comment below!

Soulshine

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Lately I’ve been drawn to this [i believe made up] word.  A word that describes your spirit when you are living out your dream.

 

Soulshine.

  What is it?   It is those moments when you are undeniably happy, glowing, and radiate light.  It’s this place in you of pure love, pure joy, and pure purpose.  When you are living in this place, you are influencing the world in a huge way.  It’s your soul awake, you're fully alive, and you can't help but smile.  It’s your life--on purpose.  It’s that thing that you are reeeally good, and that you reeeeally love too--and it makes people stop and notice that your glowing.  They can see your eyes shining.

The cool thing is that living out of your Soulshine is perfectly unique and perfectly beautiful for each person.  It’s like you’ve been given an internal fingerprint that no one else has.  When you are letting your soul shine, you give others permission to do the same thing.  You give others hope.  You show them that yes, it can be done.  This passionate life you dream of? Yes, it’s totally possible.

My dream is to see more people living from their “soulshine”.  I think the world would change drastically if more people tapped into their talents, passions, and abilities.  Problems would be solved left and right.  We’d be left with love, and light--beauty and grace--and a whole lot of happiness.

So... I really want to know more people who are living like this.  Are you one of them?  Do you know someone like this?

Tell me:

What is your soulshine?  

What makes you light up? When are you glowing?

When do you know that you are living your life on purpose?  

What is your big, beautiful dream for your life?

For realz...I want the world to know, because I want the world to begin letting it's soul shine!

I’m going to celebrate these people from the rooftops!  Here’s what’s going to happen: Once a week, I will be featuring a soulshine(r) on my Facebook Page, Blog, and blasting twitter with their good vibes and good intentions.  It's a fun way for you to share what you're up, share your big goals, and inspire the world! Win wins all around:)

Just leave a comment or shoot me an email. Tell me more about you!  I will be selected one person per week to feature, so please do me a favor and share this with others you think live letting their soul shine.

I seriously cannot wait to hear more!:)

To letting your light shine even brighter!

xoxo

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