meditation

Be the love.

Some days you will feel tired. Some days you will want to stay in bed. And try as much as you can, you won't budge. Some days you will think what you're doing doesn't matter-- that you don't matter, that all your efforts are going unseen -- or worse being seen and criticized. Some days you will want to give up, Stop trying, Do something easier, Tune out---

Don't. Tune IN. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Feel your heart beat. Feel the life and energy swirling within you. You are here. You are needed. You matter. What you are doing matters.   Take a deep breath and fill your spirit with your inner strength--- your inner strength to love when love isn't being returned, to see with eyes of compassion when compassion isn't being given to you, and to continue with your work when it goes unseen or unappreciated.  This is the work and this is the practice. The more you tune in... The more you realize what is at the core of who you are and what is REALLY going on here-- the more you are able to endure, to be present fully, and to shine in very dark places. Because what's really going on here is just a call for love. You need love. They need love. The world needs love. The bottom line is always love.

Be the love. Be the light-- in every situation, in every moment.

Self Love

10 ways to love

1.  Take a bubble bath

2.  Drink herbal tea

3.  Try out a new vegan recipe

4.  Do yoga

5.  Spend time with people who make you laugh

6.  Buy a delicious smelling candle

7.  Meditate every morning (or at least a few)

8.  Write in your journal a list of all the love in your life

9.  Curl up with a heartwarming book

10.  Start your day by setting a self loving intention

Have another self-love idea? Please share it in the comments so every one can benefit! :)

The Secret to Living Your Dream Life

the secret to living your dream life You are on the brink of something wild and full of heart.  As you continue to connect to your true desires and dream in a fearless way--you start to wake up this magic inside of you.

This is the secret to living the life of your dreams:

There is a magic that is nestled in the heart of your dreams. Your wild desire is filled to the brim with you.  It's made of that spark in your soul.  And that spark is about to start a fire.

Let it.

Dive deep into your soul and learn what's possible for you.  {everything. anything.}  You are a gleaming light, a spark of the divine, a child of God.  Anything is possible for you and for your life.  The more you journey inwards, the more your heart will be illuminated with this truth.  Let your past be in the past.  Kick it to the curb and don't let it stop you from taking a new step forward today.  Start today and know that all possibilities are waiting for you.  Open your arms. Open your heart.  Open your soul.  Receive all that goodness.

Be bold.  Dream audaciously.  Far fetched, can this actually happen?  Scary {but exciting}, heart pumping, palms sweating.  This is your life.  Why not try something wild? Why not try an adventure? Why not leave tomorrow and go to Bali? Why not quit your job to start your own business? If nothing {absolutely nothing} was holding you back, what would you do? What would you attempt? What would you risk?  Risk it all.  Try it all.  Go for it and don't look back.  This is your moment.  This is your life.

Make it yours. Make it beautiful. Make your mark.

Get into action. Get things moving.  Make the call. Send the email. Don't stop until you get that response.  Don't stop until you've made it there.  Book your flight.  Write your letter of resignation.  Create it.  Paint it. Write it.  Tell someone. {Tell anyone}.  Do something. Do anything. Just get moving. 

It's as simple as that. 

Live in possibility.  Be audacious.  Take action. 

Your call to action

I want nothing more than for you to live the life you dream of and that you imagine.  I fully believe that when a soul is living her dreams, she is fulfilling her purpose on this earth.  Your dream is SO powerful and so huge.  You need to be doing that thing that you dream of doing!

Would the world be better without Meryl Streep?! NO! Absolutely not. We need her to be the amazing actress that she is! We also need YOU to step up and be the amazing person that you are and to work your buns off to get to your dream.

Illuminate 2015 is your first opportunity to take some serious action and to get super clear about your life's purpose.  This amazing 4 week experience will take you on a journey through all aspects of your life.  You will live in possibility.  You will think audaciously and you will take action.

There are only a few days left to join the course at the early bird rate.  After that, it will jump up to $199 USD.   Girl, save yourself some moolah and join today!

Click here to join the course now & save.

I know that everything beautiful is waiting for you in life.  I know, deep down, your journey is your own and you will learn the things you need when you need them.  I am so happy to be a part of that journey in the smallest way possible! {In your inbox, each week :) }

Joining Illuminate 2015 will only add another degree of accountability, clarity, and momentum towards your dream life and I do hope you'll join us soon!

Open your heart this week to all possibilities and dare to dream wildly! To living on the wild side of life,

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Soul & Goals: 3 things to ask yourself before you set any goals for 2015

soul&goals 2015 is right around the corner and with it comes a flood of resolutions, good intentions and goals.  But before you sign up for that gym membership or resolve to finally quit your job, take some time to ask yourself these three questions:

How do I want to feel this year?

Our emotions, our "heart-sensor" is a very, very powerful tool for helping us to determine the right path.  There's a reason people say, "I had a gut feeling about that" and they're usually correct.  So before you dive into the new year, sit quietly and take a few deep breaths.  Listen to that quiet inner voice as you ask yourself  "How do  really want this year to feel?"  Do you need a year of peaceful healing? Or are you ready for wild & free adventure? Do you want to feel immensely nurtured or fully alive & spontaneous?  Maybe you want to feel gratitude daily? Pure bliss? You set the tone for your year ahead....but use your inner compass to guide you.

What makes me come alive and how can I do more that this year?

What do you LOVE to do? When do you feel you are utilizing your God-given gifts? What come easily to you and what is the most fun? When do you feel like your fully contributing and have a sense of purpose? It could be the tiniest moment of your day.  It could be when you genuinely connect with a stranger on the subway.  Or it could be when you're playing with your camera outside.  It could be when you're taking a walk, or when you're around people--any moment you feel a burst of life & joy within you.  How can you bring MORE of these moments [and the emotions that they conjure] into your life this year?

What fearful or limiting thoughts kept me from my dreams in 2014?

Did you tell yourself you weren't good enough for the promotion? Did you silently sabotage a relationship? Think back to your goals and your inner monologue for 2014.  More often than not, we are the ones that stop ourselves from success.  If any limiting beliefs still linger, do the work of releasing and letting them go.  As you set new goals for 2015, be aware of the thoughts that begin to stroll through your mind.  Counter them with positive mantras and affirmations.  You are worthy of all good and your dreams, visions, and goals can and will come true.  You have a beautiful soul, and beautiful gifts to share with the world. Get out there and shine!

Looking for some more help setting goals and intentions for 2015?

I'm giving away some of my best goal setting tools & techniques in The Soulful Girl's Guide to Goalsetting training video & workbook.  Grab yours by clicking on the image below!

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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

 

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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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!

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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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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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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