Freeing Your Wild Soul

I am going to start this by reminding you of a great truth…

You… the real YOU is wild.

You were born wild.

Your body born to shake, wiggle, and move freely.

Your mouth to tell your truths and yell in delight.

Your skin to help you feel you in this world and sense the world in you.

You were meant to feel it all – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

And, you were meant to use it for your growth and well-being.

Your soul chose this life to be wild and free.

 

But in your innocence, you forgot. You began to believe the lies you were told. Be this… don’t do that… good girls do… good girls don’t…be a man…man up… on and on and on.  You believed it because when we are young we need to belong, we need to feel safe, and so we give up our wild, untamed self in order to survive.

Consistently I hear from men and women talk about their desire to be happy, comfortable in their own skin, and vulnerable in their relationships.  Yet over and over what keeps them feeling sad, angry, shutdown, turned-off, and distanced is their adherence to old hurts, should, and regrets.

What I keep learning from these courageous souls is that talking about it, becoming aware about it is a great first step, but it is simply not enough.  One has to feel – feel the contours of the energy rising inside. Allowing the body to express it through its natural wisdom.

Wildness resides in the body where the greatest of wisdoms also lives.

 

This is hard to do in a world where the mental is given more power.  So rather than feel our way through an emotion, we begin to think about the emotion.  We try to find a “cure” for it by assigning blame (spouses, partners, parents, and siblings are popular targets), remembering bad stories (reminding yourself how many times he/she/it made you feel this way before), or using a coping skills that get us further away from healing (drinking, eating, screaming, or giving the cold shoulder).

Thus we  blame, shut down, and try all other coping skills in hopes one will help us feel better.  It does not work.  It has never worked.  It will never work.  Even talk therapy is not enough.  So what can help?

Feeling the contours of the emotion and allowing the body’s natural, wild intelligence to express it and moving it out.

 

Nature is a wonderful teacher for us.  When something bad happens, you see animal do exactly what their body intelligence knows to do: A possum freezes, a gazelle runs, and a lion fights.  When the event it is over and it has survived, they reset their body by shaking.  No blaming, no second-guessing, no wondering what it could have done something different.

Therefore, the next time you feel an upset of any kind, try this….

  1. Notice where you feel the energy (energy in motion = emotion) in your body. It may be helpful to place a hand over the spot and breathe in to it.
  2. Resist giving it a name. Yes, this is counterintuitive, but the minute you assign it a name – sad, mad, glad, anger – you stop feeling and you begin thinking.
  3. Move your body. You can stand up, sit down, lie down, or even get on all fours. This is not dancing. Shake, twirl, hop, karate chop… whatever your body wants to do.
  4. No matter what you do, keep on moving until the “energy” subsides.
  5. Breathe until your body settles. Not any kind of specific breathing, just breath.

So what does all of this have to do with liberating your wild soul?  EVERYTHING!

Because to heal using your body’s intelligence is exactly what we were meant to do – to liberate ourselves from the heaviness, the tension, the unforgiveable, and the upsets and find the part of ourselves that lives life freely, enthusiastically, uncontrolled by the should’s or blaming.

No longer surviving the tension and the negative beliefs.  Instead, living and loving your wild and delicious life feeling everything in the present.

 

If you are interested in diving deeper on how to let yourself feel everything, join us for FEMME – Workshops for Women.  Theme for June is “Feminine Emotionality: The Art of Emptying & Feeling it All.” To register or for more information, click here .

 

Loving you and your wild soul,

Jacqueline

 

 

 

Snow White is not the only one with a Magic Mirror.

I have been relatively quiet these last few months.  SO much going on every day. I get that the planet is in the middle of some seismic shifting – turn on the news and you see it happening EVERYWHERE.  For someone who preaches on openheartedness and kindness, it has been … well… very very challenging.  Yet, one thing that has been present for me is…

All relationships are mirrors into ourselves revealing to us where we need to go with our own inner process.  

 Everything that is happening is for our highest good.  The good, the bad, and the oh so ugly.

Each time we are triggered, it is an opportunity to learn much about ourselves by allowing us to see what may otherwise be difficult to recognize.

There I was having a wonderfully post yoga bliss moment when a black Expedition jumped in front of my car.  The man driving the car motioned for me to lower my window and what came out of his mouth startled me.  He blamed me for his tardiness because I had let someone else cut in front me.  He followed this by saying that I should go back to Mexico or wherever I came from.  He sped up and disappeared.

I’m not going to lie… I was fuming.  I even for a split second considered chasing him.  I blamed our current President and everyone that voted for him.  And then…

I remembered… mirror, mirror.

What I do in response in any moment, to any trigger is a reflection of me.  Because every single “I am upset because…,”” I am angry because…,” or “I am (insert any emotion here),” is a reflection of me, my inner process, my parts that I love, but most of the time, the parts that I don’t. 

Snow White is not the only one to have a magic mirror.

Because when we learn how to use reflections, our relationships and interactions then become one of the most powerful avenues for our spiritual growth. We attract people into our lives that challenges us by triggering our unhealed wounds, making us act from fearful patterns that create separation rather than the connection we seek.

Which is why in our most intimate relationships, we often blame others for our upsets.  In our romantic partnerships we look at the other to make us happy, when really these partnerships come into our lives to heal and ultimately elevate us.

More often than not, it is not the present situation that is upsetting us, but rather an unhealed wound rooted in the past.  

When we begin to look within, we can see how all of the challenges in our relationships are a reflection of our lack of connection and love with parts of ourselves.  As children or young adults, we did not have the cognition or life experience to respond in an empowering way.  We instead chose behavior that got us what we most needed – attention, love, to be seen.  We do not get the chance to heal and change this until a triggering event happens.  The problem is that our habit is to focus on what’s not working on the outside and try to fix it or fix our others.  Often using anger and hurt to justify our words and behaviors.

Our romantic partnerships are fertile ground for this since we often are magnets for people to help us complete old stories.  I recall a friend who often shared she married her dad twice.  First she married her father’s more negative qualities, went into therapy, and then re-married her father’s more positive qualities.

And not just with our romantic partners, but EVERY SINGLE RELATIONSHIP.  Every single person you encounter is a reflection of you.  Trust me… the Universe does not waste its time on sheer coincidences… the checkout person at the grocery store, colleagues, water delivery person, the snarky teenager, the 2-year-old in full tantrum sitting in the airplane seat next to your, the person that cut you off… yes, even the man in the black Expedition.

The invitation here is to shift your attention from what’s happening on the outside to greater awareness of your inner life.  This is where real empowerment begins.

Because when we focus on our internal space and take care of that first, things on the outside begin to align.  Things that upset us we can let go, we can forgive, and find a solution.

Let me be clear, this is not an invitation to be Pollyanna-like or to participate in spiritual bypass.  This is about being responsible for your own feelings, behaviors, decisions, so that you can be empowered to change them in a way that serves you, your intentions, your desires.  Blaming your partner for your unhappiness is the surest way to have more unhappiness and now a partner that is the object of your blame (ahem… vicious cycle).

How to use these reflections for your own spiritual growth?

  1. Spend some peaceful time alone each day where you can meditate, journal, so you can get more intimately connected with all your parts. Even 5 minutes engaged in a coloring book will help this process.
  2. Do something you love that connects you with you and supports you loving all of you. I love to garden.  Five minutes of gardening helps me feel more aligned and more willing to be in a space of kindness and less likely to blame.
  3. Remember you are responsible for your own happiness. Don’t give away your power to decide this for yourself.
  4. Recall the first time you ever felt this way or an earlier time when you had the same experience. If you often find yourself blaming someone else for your unhappiness, can you recall another time when this happened?  Many times we repeat in our adult relationships what we were unable to did not change as children.

 

After having some time to think about the incident with the man in the black Expedition, I can recognize that there are still some parts needing more love in myself, perhaps the parts that are more difficult to love.  For me the greatest gift of the moment was coming back to the space of openheartedness.  It is easier to constrict, shut down, and create more separation.

Because the more we can love ourselves, the more we elevate this beautiful blue planet.

Valentine’s Day: An Invitation to Feel More Alive & to Relish Being in Your Own Skin

It’s that time of the year when we get flooded by images and messages of how to create more romance, how to be a better lover, or how to find your perfect partner NOW. Admonitions that the status of our relationship or the togetherness of our coupling is lacking something.

Let me remind you that you lack nothing. Sure there are things that are in process of being fulfilled or transformed. BUT you my darling lack nothing.

So this year, I propose that Valentine’s Day be a day of romancing yourself – A practice of embodying every inch of you.

Because our relationship with ourselves is a direct reflection of our relationship with others, when we can connect with ourselves more intimately, more genuinely, more authentically, we create greater doorways and paths to be able to do the same with someone else.

Romance is defined as a love affair, an attachment between people, a mysterious appeal, or a mysterious quality of something beautiful.

To romance yourself is a powerful way to embody you.

To romance yourself is a powerful way to embody yourself.  It is an invitation to feel more alive and relish being in your own skin.

Because when we do this, we deepen our intimacy, aliveness, and erotic connection without the push to make it about what we may or not be getting from someone or being alone or in coupledom this time of year.

Therefore, to romance yourself is at the very heart of Valentine’s Day.

Here are some ideas on how to romance YOU.

#1. S-L-O-W Down

Valentine’s Day is an invitation to live from the romantic, sexy and sensual parts of ourselves.  One way we can experience more sensuality is to slow down.  Many of us run around all day, mindlessly getting things done. How many of us have driven somewhere not recalling how we got there?

Slowing down is about being aware of what we are doing right now. One of my favorite way to slow down is to move as if I were moving through thick caramel (YUMM).  How I move my body becomes more deliberate and more mindful.

Slowing down turns on our proprioceptive sense which many consider our sixth sense. The proprioceptive sense is vital to our daily experiences and something that contributes to our overall body ownership.  Experts in this area share that without this sense our brains our lost.

When we slow down, our body feels more grounded and allows our mind and body to connect. Connection being the one quality that allows us to create deeper intimacy with ourselves (and with others of course).

#2. Presence

Most who have been in a romantic relationship say that they felt the most connected to their partners at the beginning of their relationship. The reason for this is because at the beginning of the relationship each person was completely present to the other.  Everyone attentively paid attention to every nuance of the other and most importantly the attention was based on curiosity.

You can practice presence by noticing the nuances of you and being curious about how you experience being in your own body.  Noticing the movement of your feet as you walk – is it heal-toe, or toe-heal? Do your hips sway or shuffle side to side? What about your shoulders? For women – the bounce of our feminine curves!

The biggest invitation to practice presence with yourself is through the breath. Paying attention to the feeling of your belly and chest rising and falling with every breath. Is there pause at the top or the bottom? Is your inhale or exhale longer?

#3. Mirror Mirror

In Tantra, Soul Gazing is one of the primary exercises taught  – two partner’s looking into each other’s eyes with hand over heart.

The invitation here is to practice Soul Gazing with yourself.

Gaze into your own eyes and share words of love and gratitude with yourself. Perhaps a little tough the first time, but I promise it gets easier. Besides, if we cannot admire ourselves, how can we ask that from someone else?

Forget about your hair, makeup, or any perceived imperfections.  Look into your eyes and get lost in the wondrous and brilliant creature you are. Look into your eyes, place hands over heart and say…

I love you

You are

…. a beautiful soul

… brilliant

… amazing

… breathtaking

… keep going.. What else can you whisper to yourself?

#4. Mindful Pleasure

One of the greatest things about Valentine’s is that it is all about stirring up and stoking the embers of pleasure.  Pleasure is everything and anything that feels good to the body.  Our sensual bodies innately know pleasure. It  is often our brains that get in the way with the should’s and should not’s.

Pleasure answers the question what feels, tastes, looks, sounds, and smells good to me?

For example, start your day by feeling your body by stretching it in bed, noticing what areas feel relaxed, and how the skin feels when being touched by clothing or bed sheets.  How about using a yummy lotion and taking the time to massage it into the skin?  Choose clothes that feel good on your skin or at least take your time putting each article of clothing on you. Drink your coffee by smelling it, taking a slow sip, and feeling the warmth of it in your mouth.

When we pay attention to what our body enjoys and how it derives pleasure, we feel better because we are feeding our sensual selves.  Let go of any misunderstanding that we can only do this with a partner. We open ourselves to pleasure and we give permission to receive pleasure. Having a partner has nothing to do with this.

#5. Shake Baby Shake

The demands of daily life often result in habitual tension patterns in the body and an overactive mind. Many of us adopt a freeze state of the body which many times is perceived as calm.

The problem is that this “freeze” state keeps up from experiencing ease and pleasure in our physical bodies because the body experiences “freeze” as tension.  Consequently, the mind perceives tension as the body signaling something is wrong and we don’t seek pleasure when something is wrong.

Allowing our bodies to continually move without imposing any specific movement or pattern, the body begins to experience itself differently and pathways to pleasurable embodiment are reinforced.

Put a song on and begin to move.  It is not about looking good or following a specific kind of dance. It’s about letting your body move you. Best way to do this… shake. Literally shake. Remember the “Hokey Pokey?”  Shake one body part at a time or shake the whole body at once.

 

So how can you further romance yourself as a powerful way to feel more alive and embodied, or share more of your embodied self with another?

For the women… Come join me at our next FEMME.

For the men… stay tuned… something just for you is on its way.

xoxo,

Jacqueline

 

 

Picture by Clay Banks

Love Loving Love … Holidays… Holy days

The holidays are here.  A time that for many of us is rich in traditions, rites, and rituals.  Gift giving, gathering with loved ones, lighting candles, and feasting with certain foods that help us celebrate and pay homage to our ancestors.

The holidays regardless of religion, culture, language, country, or ethnicity are high holy days because they serve as a reminder of the holy that is inside of us, that surrounds us, and that connects and binds each of us on this big beautiful blue planet.

The holy days invite us all to love and to love boundlessly. An invitation to love loving love – the practice of being present and loving for the sake of loving.  To love not because one shares a home, a bed, or bloodlines, but to love because each person on this planet has arrived through Love, seeks to Love and be Loved, and will one day return to Love.  It is a practice of loving fully in the now without asking or expecting anything in return.

For the threads that bind us are beyond borders and creed.  They all begin in the heart.  Love is the source of everything.  For Love is another name for the Highest that goes by different names – God, Allah, Spirit, Universe, Goddess, El Shaddai, Yahweh, Dios, and so many more.  No matter what the name, it all begins and returns to love.

2016 has been a very challenging year on so many levels.  So many opportunities to feel apathy, hate, and to shut down.  And as this year comes to a close, despite blue or red party, left or right, the particular name you call the Highest, wins or losses, all of it is an opportunity to practice love loving love.  Even the melancholy that many experience during this time is a heart summons to practice love loving love with self.

Practice it when you pass others on the streets. Practice it when you are looking into your beloveds’ eyes.  Practice it when someone cuts you off on the freeway. Practice it when you are with that one relative that challenges you the most. Practice it when you are the object of someone’s ignorance.  Most of all, practice it with yourself for you above all others deserve to be loved by you.

Wishing you the most beautiful holiday season.  May it be filled with bliss, compassion, peace, and a heart filled with love.

With all my love,

Jacqueline

 

 

Gratitude for ALL of it… the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful 11/25/2016

Don’t Be You 10/24/2016

You are not reading this wrong.  Don’t be you.

I remember being a little girl with my hair often a matted mess and frequently scabbed knees.  I was unstoppable.  I had scabs over scabs and I kept going.  Falling down and getting hurt did nothing to keep me from exploring.

I was Wonder Woman in the morning, Princess Leia at school (yes, I had my mother do my hair in those famous buns), one of Charlie’s Angels after school (“Kelly Garrett“ of course.  Jacqueline Smith’s character. We had the same real name after all), and somewhere before bedtime I was a doctor, President, a singer-dancer, and once in a while Batgirl.  There were so many flavors and textures to myself that every moment provided a new discovery and a new manner of expressing ME.

Then somewhere along the way, I lost it.

I lost my ability to try on new ME’s.  I lost the multi-faceted, multi-dimensional ME.  I forgot to test and experiment with my different parts.

I bought into the misunderstanding that I had to pick one flavor and stick to it.  In my innocence, I gave up the joy and gave into the “me” I thought would bring me love and acceptance from peers, school, family, and community.  I forgot the sheer joy of being all my parts instead of the safest one.  I turned off.  Pretty girls don’t have scabbed knees after all.

When one turns off, the ego, the small self, the whatever you want to call it, will do everything in its powers to keep you confined.  In its innocence, it convinces itself and you that your very survival on this planet depends on you staying constrained and fearful of testing new facets of you.

If you try, a 5-alarm fire goes off, you get tense, become anxious and depressed, and convince yourselves once more that you must remain turned off and give into fear.  This can be an endless cycle until the moment you remember multi-faceted, brilliant YOU.

Don’t be you. Be instead the variety of YOU.

Be the you that stops and smells the roses.  Be the you that shakes the bootie when a great song comes on or just because you want.  Be the you that is the dreamer willing to recognize boundless limits. Be the you that loves whole heartedly without asking for anything back.  Be the you that believes in pure imagination.  Be the you that is curious and willing to fail because staying still is even riskier.  Be the you that is playful and silly.  Be the you that lives a turned-on life choosing pleasure and bliss.

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Be the YOU that comes alive.
 
With all my love,  
          Jacqueline

sensuality vs sexuality 8/16/2016

Movement Is The Song Of The Body 7/20/2016

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Many times when I speak of movement, people automatically think that I am speaking of dancing. Of course dancing is movement, but that is not exactly what I mean.

We live in a disembodied world — sitting endless hours at our desks, commuting long-distance maintaining relationships through our phones and laptops, and leaning on our intellect to solve or get our to-do list under some kind of order. The result? Loss of authentic connection with ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities.

Movement is the key to feeling more alive, generating creative solutions, enjoying growth, and connecting more fully and deeply in gratifying and enjoyable ways. Movement naturally generates more vitality, freedom, joy, and clarity in everything we do.  Movement allows us to embody and connect with ourselves in an authentic and genuine manner.  It allows us to engage parts of body, heart, and soul that we may have forgotten.  As we connect with ourselves, we also connect with our loved ones.

When one learns to slow down and practice movement, what occurs is the discovery of the magic and wisdom of your body.  It is not about performance.  It’s about learning and practicing movement that allows you to tune out the world and tune into your heart and soul.  Movement is an opening to feeling and hearing the nuances, the lyric and notes that your body, in alignment with your heart and soul, are writing for you.  The mind is a wonderful vehicle to decipher the world yet it is also a great story-inventor.  The body does not make up tales but helps us unravel them through tension, relaxation, and pleasure… the verses and rhythms of life.

As a therapist and coach, my commitment is to help my clients co-create the life and love of their dreams.  Having each of them sit and talk is reinforcing the pattern of being disembodied.  Many of clients know that movement, breath, and body-focused exercises are used often is sessions because these are the gateways to the authentic self.  Many times themes and issues are uncovered more gracefully than with talk therapy alone.

So what exactly does one move… any part of the body that inspires and whispers to you. Start with stretching your arms over your head as you twirl your hands, undulate your hips, breathe while moving your belly up and down.  Play your favorite song and move to it in ways that you normally don’t.  Do the Hokey Pokey… yes, the one from childhood, remember how much fun you had back then?

The body is a fountain of inspiration and wisdom. Move and let it sing to you.

All for now.

Love,

​Jacqueline

Movement…Tune in..Tune Out 6/23/2016

Time to Flourish! 5/24/2016

This is my favorite time of the year.  

The stillness of Winter giving way to the allure and grace of Spring making this season the perfect invitation to one of my favorite morning rituals — walking barefoot in my garden breathing in the blossoming roses, narcissus, and gardenias.  These blooms have also become my teachers schooling me in trusting that everything is taken care of, that there is a divine flow in life.  Nature does not worry or become preoccupied with stories after all. It simply is.

 

Being in my garden helped me feel more connected to my body as my senses relish the fragrant blooms, enjoy the mosaic of colors, hear the birds chirp, and feel the dampness of the ground under my feet (yes, I often walk barefoot).  My mind empties for a moment and becomes still long enough to be reminded that life can be beautiful no matter what is happening.  It is in these moments that I feel the most connected to myself and to the Universe.  It is also in these moments that I experience myself most embodied and most alive.

My invitation to you is to slow down and welcome more stillness even if for a moment. Pick an activity you are already doing.  Allow yourself to enjoy your sensuous body by opening yourself to tune in —  see, feel, smell, hear, and even taste what surrounds you.  Notice any shifts that occur in the body and let yourself follow your own inner compass to aliveness.
Be curious.  See what you discover. 


Enjoy the flourishing… inside and out…

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xoxo,

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