The path.

December 9, 2019

As a teacher and mentor I know that I can’t responsibly lead anyone further/deeper than I’ve gone. In order to stay within integrity and alignment, I have to be honest when I’ve walked with a student or mentee as far as I can go with them.⁠

As a student I have come to many dark edges and had Teachers who reminded me where I hid my light as they walked with me beyond that part of the way.⁠

I’ve also come to wild and strange places. Just as I was about to enter the darkest part I’ve received the message “that path ahead is for you to go without me.”⁠

“Without me” doesn’t mean no presence. ⁠

Some people/ teachers know they can’t go with us. Those teachers hold vigil. The stay at base camp and tend to the fire we’ll need when we make it home. They pray for us on our journeys and they release us to our destinies. ⁠

Sometimes the teacher is a singular person. Sometimes the teacher is our mama or papa. Sometimes the teacher is our partner or even our child. Sometimes the teacher is a whole community holding space for us, even as they let us go to become who we were born to be.⁠

The map for our most sacred expedition is often only revealed when we are brave enough to step into the unknown, be guided by the light in our heart, the rhythm of our own feet, and the compass of our breath.⁠

At the darkest turn, we may think we are alone. Remember.⁠

Remember someone’s tending the fire and trusting you’ll make it through. ⁠

Broken. Undone. Shifted. Transformed. Yet through.⁠

It is dark in some patches of the journey. Keep going.⁠

You are healing.⁠
You will return.⁠

Be Her Now.

June 24, 2019

“Be here now…. Be HER now.” – Lux Atl

Long before I co-owned Sacred Chill West, I owned my work.  I operated with the level of discipline, focus, commitment, care, and consistency that I believed owning a brick and mortar space would require.  
I was off by a lot (owning a physical space asks for more than I could have imagined) yet the inner muscles I stretched and strengthened then,  expanded my capacity to both “hold down” and elevate my work- now.
I honor the wise part of me that knew that the kind of freedom I wanted required discipline.
I treated myself like the woman I hoped to be and I grew into her. I treat myself like the woman I am becoming. I grow into her.

Being her now is:

So much inner work. Radical truth telling. Re-shaping my most intimate relationships. Defining my place vs. playing the role I was given.It’s not letting myself off the hook when it’s hard.It’s laying down in soft places and praying deeper than I ever have.It’s standing and walking through the fire until I see the blessing (tapas).
It’s ugly crying to release the heat and cleanse.
It’s bearing the gifts that my Ancestors gave without shame or apology.It’s trusting that what I’ve seen in my heart and mind’s eye is mine. It’s the smallest of steps and decisions I make every day- to be her now.

Sister, Trust her enough to do your work, now.  Honor her by tending to the details and process in the choices you make each day, right now. Let the distractions go.

No one else has read your book. She has.  Every day that you ink, you become the master of her story.No one has healed in your wellness space, yet. Every day that you save, plan, and study, she does.No one has walked the gardens you tend to. With every seed that you dig and plant- your bare feet become more deeply rooted on her true path. No one has held the baby you long to carry. Mama, she has. with every layer of womb wound you peel back. She holds baby.No one has heard the songs you write except for her. With each note and lyric you lay down, there’s another track to carry her forward.

Every step and stumble, you become more of her.More of your whole self.

When you call.

May 11, 2020

I know this is true. When we call, God comes.

Come by here, my lord, come by here. Come by yuh, my lord, Come by yuh. Kumbaya, Kumbaya.

During my 60-ish hour labor with my son, I consulted all of my logical, rational, book-ish knowledge. I clung to the plan I made even though my first encounter with a real contraction devoured that plan and spit it in my face. I tensed against every wave for hours and thought that if I could just “get it together” and control my body, I could control my labor.

Come by here, my lord, come by here. Come by yuh, Come by yuh. Kumbaya, Kumbaya.

In the literal 56th hour. Exhausted. Weary and after looking for an escape, only to realize that the only way out is through. In that 56th hour I turned to my doula. I turned to my husband. I turned to my nurse and midwife. I said I need Jesus to come by here. I need Oshun. I need Yemaya. I need every elevated Ancestoral Mama I have. I need all of them to come by here.

My doula began to sing. Come by here, come by here. Come by yuh, Come by yuh, Kumbaya, Kumbaya. She added names and mamas as she sang. I called and they came.

It was the most sacred roll call of my life and I felt the presence of everything Holy as each entered.

Only after I had surrendered my plans, will, ego, ideas of how it ought to be and called out to The Divine did my baby turn and drop down. The rest of the journey was ecstatic and glorious.

I could have called at any time, yet for me it took hours (equivalent to months in labor:) to let go and accept- this. This is how it is.

Right now, we are all in a long labor and at the 56th hour. A time of immense destruction and creation. Birth.

May you have the strength to surrender and call.

Dear God. Come by here, come by here. Stop by our hearts.
Come by yuh, Come by yuh. Enter our minds.
Kumbaya, Kumbaya. Visit this place and stay a while.

We need to see you. We need to hear a word from you.

Come by here.

who you gon’ listen to- now?

What voice is the most reliable.
Who is there to trust?
Every other report is conflicting.

People are fighting-
on the internet
in the streets
in their houses
in the hospitals /fighting for their lives.

many are fighting for a return to a world that no longer exists. A world that is a close and distant memory.

People are dying.
we see the numbers on the internet
Those numbers have names.
First and last names. Those numbers mean something.
Those numbers mean everything to someone.

Businesses are closing-
temporarily and forever.
Businesses are re-opening.
We see the names on the internet
Behind those names are people
who had dreams. People with families.
People who put their last in a place
that come May or June first, may no longer exist
whether they re-open soon or not.

People are getting sick. People are healing.
From viruses and a multitude of pain they didn’t have time to name until now.
And others are filling up all of the time to avoid feeling anything other than the tapping beneath their fingers as they work and work and work.

She won’t stay inside. He won’t leave the house.
She is frozen in fear. He has moved over his edge.

But “Who’s report will you believe?”

Who’s voice is the loudest in your ear. Is it your voice or someone else’s? Is it your Divine or something else?

Lean into the practices, rituals, and prayers that keep you close to your intuition. To pure wisdom and the spirit of discernment.

Believe the report that arrives when you tune in.
Believe the report that arrives when you tune in.

Lift every voice.

April 17, 2020

Yesterday, while scrolling through my timeline I came across a story that made my heart hurt. Someone shared that they were receiving reports of an apartment complex where Black elders and children had began to eat garbage. This report came from the South. From the USA. Year 2020.

They shared that most of the people in the complex who had no car so any solutions for how to get them food would need to include going directly to the apartments.

I couldn’t just scroll by. I read four comments down. By the 5th comment a nonprofit leader had been tagged. By the 6th comment that leader had tagged 3 more women. By the 7th comment we were sending funds for the purchase of food and essentials. A store run, a plan to protect each person who volunteered to deliver, and a way organize, package and safely distribute food to everyone in the complex was in action by the 8th comment. Several comments down there was a picture of the newly forged delivery team masked/gloved up and praying before they began distribution. The thread ended with a plan to continue the food service until further notice.

I am inspired by how women all over our nation,
how Black women and folx with limited resources are quietly showing up, organizing, responding, and feeding communities while “officials” continue to fumble and throw the people crumbs.

This. is. not. new. though.

As the weeks go one, the depth of another longstanding disease is being exposed yet again. It’s ugly and oozing. Systemic racism seems to be one of the few things this novel virus can’t keep in the house.

But-Can we keep our eyes open this time?
And see the truths being revealed that may threaten our world view even more than this moment already has?
The disproportionate loss of lives in communities of color right now aren’t merely “lifestyle” choices, but have at least 400 year old bloody roots, no matter what Jerome says.

The streets are quiet. Can you hear the screams emerging from the margins, some dying to be centered? There is a lot to reckon with right now. A lot.

Today, I lift my voice to say it plain. Racism is deadly.

Naming this is part of the collective healing and medicine needed right now too.

In the last trimester of pregnancy I unexpectedly lost a work contract I depended on. ⁠

Strange things began to happen physically and I ended up being monitored for potential prenatal heart complications. Near the very end I was told my amniotic fluid may get low and to be prepared for induction. I felt like I was crawling up a steep mountain those last few weeks. I wouldn’t trade anything for my journey right now. And⁠
my heart is with those of you traversing any of this through a pandemic.⁠

Within my challenges I had an excellent team of midwives, a doula, and birth educator who listened to and cared for me. Ultimately my delivery was empowering and life changing in 108 positive ways. I hope the same thing for those of you birthing during this time. May your process bring healing to you, your lineage, and legacy.⁠

We stayed in the house for the first few months of my son’s life. I’m a “country” mama and rarely took my baby out or “showed” him when he was still wet, new, and pink. I taught yoga or worked at night and spent my day holding my son so close it felt like we were breathing each other.⁠
My breath is with those breathing into new life through the thick air of right now.⁠

Then the anxiety started. Postpartum. During those days I could hear a cough/ sneeze miles away and see clouds of germs descending from 6,000 feet above. Yes, the way my anxiety worked, this was the complete truth in my mind and I battled with it. Even with therapy, it was still a fight. My warrior spirit is with those who are clawing through the messy parts of postpartum that go unspoken, buried in shame, and unacknowledged. I honor that you are fighting all of this during a global war. You deserve for us all to be your army.⁠

Expectant and new mothers, four years ago I was you.⁠
and today I am thinking of you.⁠

I offer you this prayer:⁠

May The Mother of all protect and guide you safely through labor and birth.⁠
May those born this season of this year come in peace and health.⁠
May The Mother of Grace carry you and your baby into a brighter day.⁠

May The Mother of Grace hold us all.⁠

Rest to rise.

March 31, 2020

It all hit me Sunday Morning.

The true depth and scope of what our world is going through.

Meryl and I temporarily closed our studio, Sacred Chill {West} two weeks ago now and I have been operating in entrepreneurial mama survival beast mode this whole time. In some ways, working is a distraction from truly realizing just where we collectively are. I’ve been laser focused on what I can do to ensure my son continues to thrive, learn, and grow and sustain Sacred Chill {West}, a beloved community that was born only a few months after my son.

Every single day, I dance/crawl/stumble/stomp through hope, faith, compassion, exhaustion, misery, defeat, gratitude, moments of joy, and even a sense of empowerment.

I know I’m not alone on this daily tour through every emotion imaginable…the entire world is feeling this.

But Sunday morning I woke up in physical pain that was only alleviated by letting the tears fall. Every urgent ‘business’ and mama detail fell to the background and I started crying and couldn’t stop.

My husband asked, what’s the matter?

I said “It feels like my life’s work, every thing I have sacrificed and worked so damn hard to build the last 14 years went up in smoke over night.”

Through sobs I mumbled, I thought I could “outrun or work my way out of this reality and feeling. I miss my studio. I miss my teachers. I miss my students. I miss my Thursday in person meetings with Meryl and mapping out future plans. I miss training yoga teachers. I miss leading retreats. I miss the immersions that may not happen…

I know the world is rapidly shifting and so much is changing. Lives are being lost… and it still feels so human and important to name the losses that are small in comparison.

My husband sat there. He did nothing. He said nothing. He just sat with me as I sat with myself, my tears, and a profound moment of softness unfolded.

Later that day I practiced empowered wisdom yoga nidra and an image of a sleeping phoenix emerged.

We know the phoenix rises from ashes. What about when the phoenix is tired?

Y’all, we can’t muscle and push through this. Not this. Not now.

We need to release and rest before we rise. In fact, we need to release and rest in order to be able to rise in our power the way that this unprecedented moment demands.

We need to feel in order to heal. We need to cry to cleanse. We need space to fall apart and come together- over and over again.

We need to call in and on what sustains and strengthens us in order to open enough, to be soft enough to receive nourishment in this moment when so many feel completely depleted.

We can’t “get over” this moment. Getting over is a bypass and we can’t skirt around any of this.

We must get through. And we need clear, steady, energy to do that.

We need restored energy to do that.

We need connection to what is sacred in order to do that.

We need deep breaths, pauses, and chill to do that.

We can not outrun or work our way out of this reality and our feelings. It’s not optional, it’s imperative that we slow down, right now.

In this moment, our lives and livelihoods depend on our capacity to rest and restore.

Restore a sense of connection in a world where distancing is what keeps us safe.

Restore a relationship to our own center in a world teetering on the edge.

Restore awareness of an inner rhythm at a time when the space between 8am-12pm feels like a month, yet every week is a jumbled blur.

When we rest, we restore.

Today and tomorrow depends on our ability to rest… in order to expand our collective capacity to rise.

How is your heart?

March 26, 2020

My heart is…Listening.

Yesterday while standing in the middle of my house I heard the sound of wind rustling through leaves. I wasn’t even outside and I heard layers of music moving through the trees.

Not cars. Not airplanes. Not buses.

I stood there listening with my whole body to this sound that I haven’t heard in so long despite it always being there.

I heard the wind kissing up against leaves in such an intentional display of intimacy and noncompliance to any social distancing.

Still listening-
Wind moved beyond the leaves, touched and leaned into light.

I remembered another way that I can feel and experience life.

I can listen.

I can hear life and the earth singing a slow tender song to me beneath the symphony of fear and outside of the range of chaos.

Yesterday I heard air whisper through a branch and I felt the presence of The One who is breathing me.

A practice for today-
Stand still in any one place. Feet grounded. Shoulders soft and back. Collar bones broad. Breathe.
Listen until you hear wind speak through a branch, a tree, or anything. Listen until you hear the wind stirring inside your own heart. Listen until you feel the presence of The One that is breathing you. Stand still in that presence.

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