Pause…Listen…


If you stopped what you were doing right now and closed your eyes…
If you gave yourself the time to take 3 deep breaths…
If you placed your hand on your heart and realized that what’s important at this moment is you…

Would the earth stop turning?
How late would you be?
Would you be selfish?

At some point in my life I used to think that the answer to those questions is yes… this is how arrogant and pretentious I was ? but back then, I didn’t know better… I had many (wrong) reasons to push myself to exhaustion, trying to prove to myself and to the world that I could do it! Are you like me?

With time, I made my peace with the fact that I will never be perfect, and that people might not be ok with my thoughts, decisions and actions, but that, at the end of the day, doing my best is what counts. So if I stopped for a moment, the world will go on just as well; I would probably be a few seconds late… but it’s ok! and that if I wanted to be healthy, present and well, this time was crucial.

Would you share your thoughts with me? I would love to hear them

 

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Finding the Space…

Friends,

I love this quote from Viktor E. Frankl.  He says:  ” Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom“.

I believe it’s one of the most difficult things to achieve as most of us are instantly reactive. Despite all the good intentions that we set when we are in a calm state, we find ourselves snapping at the first sting.

When I first read this quote I saved it, and came back to it a while after, very intrigued. I was in a place where everything triggered me. i really wanted to gain more mindful control of my reactions, to create that pause that Frankl says defines freedom to choose.
I realized it was very easy to be calm, patient, and kind when I’m surrounded by nature or practicing in a serene place 😉 but as soon as something came my way I forgot everything I learned and became irritated, intolerant and harsh.

Two of the most amazing people I know, who happen to be my teachers, told me that to access that space when i need it, to train and prepare my brain,  I had to consistently practice Yoga & mindful Meditation. I know that holding poses, especially ones that need my focus and patience, along with breathing, can get me into that deep state of awareness… the tricky part for me, and one that I am working on, is to find that state in my day to day life, when things get tough, when I’m overwhelmed and tired but I still have to present and functional…  It takes and dedication, but I know I will get there.
So grab your mat my friends, or your meditation cushion, and make time for your personal growth… you are worth it!

Have you heard of this quote before? Does it speak to you?
I would love for you to share your thoughts with me on this subject!

Yours in Vibrant Health,
Doreen

My Love & Gratitude to Linda Crossley & Julian Walker for their continuous guidance.

be yourself…be free

Friends,
Through the years, when I find myself contemplating the meaning of my life, I realize that in many ways this is defined by one thing: relationships.

Every single person who has crossed my path has left their mark. I have met people who needed my presence and others who taught me to be who I am today. Some just passed by briefly leaving a faint memory, while others stayed and share my time and thoughts now.

I have come across friends with whom I felt I can be myself. I felt I could express my fears, my thoughts, without being judged or criticized and I was there for them, listening, holding…

In a lot of relationships, people want to be with others because they tell them what they need to hear… It’s pleasant, comfortable and non-threatening.  But often, when we are faced with the real person inside, the human who is vulnerable, insecure, we become scared because the ideas we paint of one another in our minds may be in conflict with this new experience.

It may not resonate with our thoughts of how someone else “should think and act”, in order for us to feel safe. Being faced with the real side of someone else can be scary because it can trigger our own insecurities and fears; it reveals the monsters in the closet that we carefully hide. So we close the door, trapping them inside and look away…

Years ago, these reactions would have hurt me badly, throwing me into a state of frantic desperation to “fix” the opinion they have of me. I thought I needed people to like and accept me because otherwise that meant that I was not worthy of love, that I didn’t deserve it.

Today, I understand what drives people’s thoughts and actions. Although it can be hard, it is possible to stop and acknowledge that at that moment, when you’re faced with others judgment, it’s not about you. It’s their own perspective of you, formed by their own experiences and how they look at life.

On my path, I have found perhaps one recurring answer about the purpose and meaning of my life: I love people. I love listening to their stories and sharing their lives, I love being the one to guide, nurture and support them. In my Bodywork practice, or in the Yoga room, I am here, holding the space for them, sharing their tears and laughter, being a small but hopefully meaningful piece of their journey…

Relationships with some beings can be beautiful, simple and nurturing, while others can be heavy, sad and destructive. The trick is to be able to identify them to help you make your choices.

I have been honored to find a few people who love and accept me without judgment or making me feel guilty for who I am; a tribal, imperfect being, with a lot of love for others and passion for the essence of being.

If all of this boils down to an invitation I have for you today it is this: Turn around, face your shadows, learn who you truly are inside and blossom…

Do you have someone in your life you can be real with? No judgment or criticism but pure acceptance and love? Let them know you appreciate them for who they are.

Yours with great love and gratitude,
Doreen

 

What Makes YOUR Heart Beat Faster?

Did you know that there’s a hidden artist inside each of us? Have you ever felt that you wanted to be creative but were shy and nervous about starting a project?
I talk to so many people who say that they want to be creative and love creating but are intimidated just thinking about even trying!
Well, I want to share an exciting insight with you! There is a powerful connection between Yoga and creativity.
Being in a state of stillness and presence can help us get in touch with our creativity. Yoga gives us a mindful pause, accessing deep places within ourselves. It allows us to make new empowering, self-loving choices and to react less to our old patterns and fears. Yoga quiets the mind and opens us up to that childlike innocence and joy around creativity.
Are you longing to reconnect to your artistic self? The next time you’re practicing, visualize it in your mind and be kind to the part of you that has moved away from this experience out of fear and embarrassment.
What makes your heart beat faster? What brings your wild, fearless side to life? Explore it! Imagine one small creative act you can commit to in the next few days and follow through it. It can be just for you… no one has to know 😉
If this idea speaks to you, I would love to hear from you! I love supporting people in my community with re-awakening and experiencing the joy of creative expression.

Yours in Vibrant Health,
Doreen

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Honoring the Journey…

Honoring the Journey…

A little while ago, at the end of a yoga class and as everyone was settling down into their last pose, i let everyone know that I would walk around and randomly assist some of them, asking permission before and giving them the choice to accept or decline my touch.
As I was moving through the room and pausing to gently place my hands on someone’s shoulders, massage someone else’s neck or forehead, I was delighted to hear a few sighs of relief, a clear unwinding, sometimes goosebumps… At the end of the practice, a student approached me to tell me that as soon as I touched her neck she felt raw, and was overwhelmed by her emotions and let herself cry a bit. I told her that this is a little bit of what I do in my bodywork sessions.
“bodywork?” she asked what is it, and what does it do? is it like a massage? image1
I said “That feeling of being able to get in touch with your emotions, your ability to let go in a space that is safe, supported and open… This is what I do; but instead of just touching your neck and forehead, we explore several muscle groups where many neurons intertwine with tendons and ligaments, allowing the body to unwind and release tensions that it had built through the years from just being alive… We are molded by our experiences that change our biology and shape our reality! It’s not a massage but a very thorough exploration of what we call “high charge points” that allow the body to process our emotions and heal from our trauma, anxiety, fears, depression and many other issues that we might be dealing with consciously or unconsciously.
So looking at our reality now, are we happy with who we are? What are we holding on to? is there anything that our minds are ready to let go off? What’s holding us back from a fulfilled life?

Existing and new clients, because I want as many people as possible to experience this amazing modality, I am temporarily lowering my rates to the following:

60 minutes Bodywork $60
90 minutes Bodywork $90
I will be happy to answer any questions you have
For more information check out the Bodywork tab.

Yours in Vibrant Health!
Doreen

Sacred Circles…

Sacred Circles…
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Have you ever been with a friend or an acquaintance and felt so connected to this person that her presence in your life is so natural and good? On the other hand, have you thought of other people’s company to be uncomfortable or detrimental to your well-being and wanted them away from you and out of your life?

From a young age we start forming imaginary circles that hold friends, family members and maybe very close circles with our most intimate, trusted people.

Life changes, we do too. Our circles will transform and evolve as we grow. If we are mindful and we have the courage, we will make the choices that are sound for us. Those shape our present lives and maybe our future too.

We were taught to go with the flow of things, to accept things without questioning them, and blindly walk our paths. Then one day, we read something that catches our attention, we meet someone who touches a chord, we are in a situation where something clicks! That aha moment that people talk about… that glimpse of a different and wider horizon that will free us -from dogmas that are chocking the sense out of our brains!- and let the sweet taste of an awakening blow our mind open and invite freedom! Freedom to think, breathe, and be surrounded by the people we invite into our sacred circles.

Change can be scary, and the work challenging. Most will continue living an unfulfilling life because of fear of change; but deep inside each one of us is a determined soul, a seeker for happiness; and with the right guidance and support, we can find the strength to dig up the fighter within to reclaim our life.

Transformation starts with a strong determination to live a better life. I feel that consistently sitting down in meditation and practicing yoga with the right teachers along with staying focused on my goal really helped my brain process my ideas of how I wanted my life to be. These practices have been proven to change our plastic brain to change our lives.
Neuroplasticity is a relatively new science that proves that the function and structure of our brain can change with experience; we can change our brain to better our lives. Julian Walker shows us how to use his 3 principles of transformational neuroplasticity in this short video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3I96alpKCAA

Doreen Maalouf

 

Who We Are…

5 kids huggingWe are human beings, right? We all have hearts, brains and – almost, the same organs. We all have our pain, suffering, weaknesses, strengths and joys. We all have feelings, emotions; we all want to be seen, loved, acknowledged, without judgment. We all want to belong to a tribe.

Where does the hatred start?

When societies start implementing concepts and values into our young brains and our education, when preconceived principles interfere with our idea of humanity, with the way we see and think of other people who don’t see life the way we do.

What makes us better? Superior? NOTHING!! When we were all created from particles of dust and energy, nothing puts anyone ahead of another human being.

Social standing, money and degrees are only illusions used to label people and separate them. Of course education is important but it shouldn’t keep us from seeing other human beings. By seeing I mean, seeing in the full spiritual sense; seeing with the soul, looking deep into others’ eyes, way beyond what centuries of injustice, hatred, fears and hurt have placed there… deep within the other’s broken soul.

I hope every one of us will break the barriers that are keeping us divided; regardless of color, gender, shape, size, sexual orientation or religion! These too are illusions! We all are souls who deserve to be loved just the way we are.

Aren’t we all longing for peace? How much more horror do we need to see and experience to understand that at the end of the day we are all equal and the same?

I invite you my friends to a humanity challenge; whether it is to read a book to humbly better your understanding of humanity or to just hug a random person on the street to show kindness; the possibilities are endless and the sky is the limit. In these times, any act of kindness brings us closer to our humanity, to other people who are like us thirsty for compassion and human touch.

Not judging is hard at first, but when we start seeing the happiness and peace in someone else’s eyes, there’s nothing more rewarding than this feeling of having made someone’s day.

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The Power of Silence…

The Power Of Silence…IMG_5928

I haven’t been in touch for a while and it’s because I was out of words! Some of you might and will disagree with this statement, knowing me 😉
I just came back from a 4 days transformation retreat with Julian Walker, those of you on my Facebook page might have seen the posts and the excited comments.

When I received the retreat schedule I was taken aback to see several hours of deep silence (called Nobel Silence in the Buddhist tradition). I was intrigued and a bit apprehensive. No talking? As in complete silence? Well yeah.  It was a whole new experience that I saw people embrace with devotion.

At first I didn’t know “how to” but then it hit me: it’s simple: DON’T TALK! Try to fully exist in this reality, breathe, and maybe, just maybe don’t plan, just be…. Just…be…then let the silence, and this experience shape me, go with it, embrace it.
So I silenced my words and stopped to listen; I listened to the sounds of nature; the birds, the bees, the wind in the trees! I heard to the sound of my steps crunching the dead leaves creating a music of their own. Then I quieted the chatter in my head, and listened below the surface. I listened to my heart beating, my blood flowing, my breath deepening. I sensed my emotions, I let fear speak to me, I stayed there with it, allowing its presence, embracing it. Then I surrendered to all the beauty that surrounded me, I let it touch parts of me that needed healing.

Sometimes silence hurts!
Look deeper, we talk to cover painful emotions. I talk, fast, when I’m shy or intimidated, when I’m scared. We consistently talk to mask the intensity of silence. At times talking in vain is easier than being quiet and looking inward. Inward is scary, it’s intense, it has a lot to say; for me, this is when silence is louder than words.
We all have a lot going on inside, whether we acknowledge it or not… it’s here, present right under our skin… latent, quiet but present.
Then one day, we stop talking and we listen…
Silence…how do you describe it? What does it mean to you?
Share with me your thoughts here or by private email… let me know if you want me to publish your writing on my website and the next newsletter that I send out!

A Piece of Time…

I stared at the wall and said to myself: No way! I have no time or desire to “feel” or “connect” to my emotions. I have been hiding them so well for so many years, sporting a “nothing can get me” attitude and holding on to my façade, I became a pro. So listening to my teacher telling me that it’s time to let my guards down triggered an almost panic attack in my well-guarded mind.

Childhood trauma, neglect, fears and uncertainties were my daily bread from an early age, building layers of tension and stress in my body. My survival instincts kicked in and I shut down almost completely, avoiding conversations about my past, refusing to recall any painful memories, instantly disconnecting from any situation that could trigger emotions in me. I was scared, scared to feel pain, scared to dig inside of me, scared to rock my present seemingly calm boat.

It took me a little while and a bodywork session to make me realize that the person I was at the moment was a fake. A FAKE! Imagine my shock when this hit me. Until then, I was protecting my real me very deep inside. Acknowledging this was the turning point that transformed my life and uncovered the person I am today. I started practicing Yoga mindfully and with dedication, getting bodywork treatments, determined to heal. Soon after, seeing how good this was for me, I started training to offer this healing to others, bringing my experiences to support my teachings.

This is what I do now. I offer you the space to breathe, feel, talk and release. I am here, heart and soul and I feel every emotion you feel. I am connected to you, I sense your tensions and your pain and I help you go there and release it. This is why, many of you leave the treatment or the Yoga room feeling better, more complete, and after a while, healed and ready to peel more layers and uncover more aspects of yourself.

Are you struggling with deep anchored fears and anxiety? Do you have stress and tension you want to get rid of? Are you curious as to how bodywork can help you? Contact me, I would love to talk to you and answer your questions.

What are you Grateful for?

Have you ever felt that surge of gratitude when you have been given time, been helped or have just been recognized? Then you probably felt that you too wanted to do something in return in appreciation for what you’ve been granted. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, improve their health, deal with adversity, build strong relationships, and feel happier.

Here’s a few tips to feel gratitude, become more mindful and find happiness.

Stop & Breathe. Set an alarm on your phone, once or twice a day to “stop and breathe”. When the alarm sounds, stop anything you’re doing, even if it’s to take one, deep, meaningful breath. Close your eyes, and at that moment, think of one thing that you are grateful for in the midst of the madness of your day. It’s amazing how stopping for this brief moment, resets your mind and gives you a whole new outlook on your day.

I got this idea from Buddhist teacher and monk Thich Nhat Hanh. He said that in the village where he lived, a gong sounded sometimes in the day, reminding everyone that it’s time to pause. It’s a great way to bring awareness to the breath, surroundings and how we truly feel inside.

Rewire your brain to gratitude. Think of the people in your life. Each person touches you in a unique way, teaches you something. Think about what they bring to your life. Let them know that you appreciate them, that you are grateful for them. Look around you and note the things that keep you safe, sustained and supported; let this sensation seep into your mind.

Get in touch with your senses. Go out in nature, in your backyard, on your balcony or stand at your window. Focus on the color of the sky, a tree or a flower. Become aware of the air against your face, your feet on the ground; take a deep breath, noticing any scents. Whether you can touch a leaf, a twig, something soft or just the sensation of your hands on your body, be present with it. Listen to the sounds: are the leaves rustling in the tree? Is a bird singing? What do you notice? Stay in tune with the little things that could bring you happiness.

Find the good in boring, annoying or negative situations; stuck in traffic? Take this time to listen to music or an audiobook. Standing in a long line? Find your breath and use this time to slow down and focus for a moment. Spilled your coffee on yourself just as you were walking out the door? Slow down, breathe, change and go with the flow. It’s your body asking for attention. Fighting it will cause you more stress and you’re late anyway!

Being grateful doesn’t mean pushing the painful situations aside. It just means becoming more resilient and managing the hurt. Give yourself time to grieve and heal, then find the things that you learned or made you stronger.

Training your mind to express gratitude on a daily basis creates new lasting mental states of gratitude:”Neurons that fire together, wire together” said neuropsychologist Donald Hebb in 1949. Ever since, this phrase has been studied and proven over and over by many neuroscientists; each time you repeat a particular thought or action, you strengthen the connection between a set of nervous cells. “You become more grateful by repeatedly installing experiences of gratitude” (Rick Hanson PhD). So have your experience, stay open to it, absorb it and imagine every part of you infused with it.

What are you grateful for this season? How do you express your appreciation? Email me vibrantyogi13@gmail.com or contact me through my website www.vibrantyogi.com Doreen Maalouf is a certified yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance and is an OpenSky bodywork practitioner, treating clients with trauma, anxiety, fears, stress and other matters. She is now accepting clients at the new Center for Integrative Health and Healing in Seal Beach.

Nurture Yourself This Season

Summer is barely over and we’re getting ready for the holidays! If you’re like me, I love this time
of the year, but I also dread it. With eventful calendars and daily stress, it’s hard to think about our personal well­-being; by the time it’s all over, we’re left drained and depleted. Here are a few suggestions for staying healthy and sane.

Set a time apart to relax. I know that it could sound impossible, but what if you scheduled just a few minutes a day, 3 to 5 minutes as a start, to just close your eyes and breathe, consciously… as you would for anything else that’s vital for you? Because this is, I promise. One of my favorite neuroscientists Dr. Dan Siegel says that a mindfulness practice serves “ to create, on purpose, and repeatedly, an intentional state of taking in what is, without judgment, and with presence to whatever arises.” Self ­compassion, understanding, calm, relaxation and openness are just a few of the amazing benefits of this practice.

Stay hydrated. Running around planning the holidays is stressful to our bodies and water is a vital component of our health. Avoid sugary drinks as they will strip your body of nutrients. Include greens with your meals. Green and fresh vegetables deliver substantial amounts of nutrients and help in detoxifying and cleansing our liver, gallbladder, pancreas, etc. Choose dark leafy greens and mix them with reds (tomatoes, beets), oranges (carrots, yams, squash.) yellows (bell peppers, summer squash).

Make your own salad dressing. There’s nothing better than knowing what goes into your food. While most store bought dressings have preservatives and added sugar, making your own is definitely healthier. As a base, I use equal parts olive oil and lemon juice (add more olive oil if you prefer) plus salt and pepper. If you feel creative, add your choice of herbs and spices. Almonds, walnuts, hemp seeds, and chia seeds are delicious options, too.

Juice. Consider juicing as a way to alternate between eating your salad and drinking it! If you like to add fruits for the taste, keep it at 85% vegetables and 15% fruits to avoid overcharging your pancreas with sugar. Berries contain the least amount of sugar.

Eat smaller portions of carbohydrates. Who doesn’t love a good pasta dish, a side of rice or a piece of cheese on a bread or cracker? They are delicious! So yes, savor them, but make sure your protein and veggie portions are bigger.

Eat fewer sweets and pastries. I know you will think that this is the hardest one of all! Here’s a trick I want to share with you: Hold the object of your craving between your fingers, notice its texture then take a small bite. Chew slowly, feeling it in your mouth and taking in all the flavors. Continue taking small bites until you’re satisfied. Sometimes just getting a mindful taste is enough to satisfy the craving. Remember, you don’t have to finish it, and it’s ok to toss it. Your health is much more valuable than the piece of cake that you don’t want to waste.

Last but not least… Exercise! Whether you choose to walk, run or do any form of physical activity, try to stick to your routine during this busy time. If you don’t have a routine yet, this is a good time to start. Yoga is an amazing way to stay calm and relaxed. Choose a class where the teacher encourages you to move at your own pace, and connect with your body. Yoga is about your own personal practice where you feel safe and comfortable to be yourself. It’s certainly not about competition or becoming an acrobat.

One important thing to remember is that it’s not about losing weight and feeling bad about slipping here and there. Just pace yourself, do your best, and focus on the positive changes that you’ve already made.

I would love to hear your thoughts! Please feel free to email me vibrantyogi13@gmail.com or contact me through my website.

Doreen Maalouf is a certified yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance and is an OpenSky bodywork practitioner, treating clients with trauma, anxiety, fears, stress and other matters. She is now accepting clients at the new Center for Integrative Health and Healing in Seal Beach.

Dip Your Feet in the Water…

Joey by the life guard chairHave you ever found yourself in emotional turmoil when everything seemed to be happening at the same time?
For me, this summer has been one of those roller coasters that seems to never end; I can barely catch my breath before the next turn.
When I can, I try to stop and remember the wise advice that I’m often given when I ask my teacher: breathe, stay with it and observe what sprouts from all the emotions, be kind to yourself…
But, oh how at times I just want to crawl somewhere very deep and cry myself into a very long sleep, until all the fear, worry and anxiety magically resolve themselves. But that’s not how things work right?
I mean I can just pretend that things are okay, stay stoic, shut the voices inside me, bury all my emotions very deep, and forget about them, or I can honor my humanity, soften my defenses, face my shadows —both the insignificant ones and those that are bringing me down and dissect them until I understand where they’re coming from, and from there work on resolving them with compassion and love.
Are we so often tempted to take the easy road? I know I am! But hibernating in a deep hole is not a good idea as we humans have basic needs to attend to. Choosing to repress our reality will most likely create dis-ease in our body or turn us into stressed-out tensed-up robots unable to get in touch with our true, deep self and be honestly, truly free and happy.
As our mind changes and we open up and realize there are deeper dimensions to our self, our brain changes too! Then the changes in our brain affect our mind as both are a single integrated system! So dip your feet in the water, honor your human condition honestly, embrace your needs, your feelings and your journey.

Yours in Vibrant Health,

Doreen Maalouf

Do you have a similar story to share with me?

Please feel free to write to me personally or to share it here below in the comments section 🙂

See you soon!

Be Silent…Be Still…

Be Silent…Be Still,pic

I was standing there, my life swirling around me like an interminable tornado. I couldn’t focus on one thought, everything seemed like a priority. Where do I start? A sense of panic surrounded me… I had two choices: be sucked into the madness and lose myself, or stop, take a few steps back and observe.

With no explanation, no excuses, I decided to give myself the right to take a break, to sift through the slideshow and make sense of the past, present and future. I found that separating myself from everything I put upon myself allowed me to hear my thoughts and understand whether I was really happy. I was then able to make the changes I needed. One step at a time, things started falling into place and my life made sense to me again.

If you’re like me, at some point you have certainly questioned your life, decisions and choices; maybe felt helpless at times or overwhelmed with the things you have to do. Sometimes, unconsciously and for deeply anchored reasons we fill our lives with so much to do at the same time that we loose contact with ourselves.
Where’s the time for reflection? When are we going to sit and listen to our inner voices calling out for our attention?

So my friends, open a space in your life to go back home to your body – a few minutes a day, to slow down, to sit still long enough to find out what moves you, what makes sense to you and find where your happiness lies. Cherish this time of stillness, as it will sustain you, nourish you and give you the resilience you need in tougher situations.

So be Silent… Be still…

Yours in Vibrant Health

Doreen Maalouf

“Love & Light or Latent Anger?

YogaHow many times have you buried your feelings and put a smile on your face even when you were boiling inside from unexpressed emotions?

Stop for a moment and think of the real reason behind it: We are scared of rejection. Plain and simple… so many feelings sprout from fear and being rejected in a major one. We need to feel loved, accepted; especially from people we admire or look up to. So we butter things up, we try to make them look pretty; but scrape the surface and you might find repressed anger, resentment, dissatisfaction etc…

I recently had to spread “love and light” when I was actually frustrated, scared and angry. I was not being honest with myself or any other person involved in the situation.But I was worried I might seem ungrateful and afraid of being rejected by a person I deeply admire.

As a teacher I should know better right? In my classes I teach my students to be real, to find peace within by being true to themselves, to understand how worthy they are…

At this point I needed to reflect on my emotions, so for a few days, every time I had the chance I sat down in stillness and breathed, practicing the loving kindness meditation I learned from my teacher then made time to move into a yoga practice I knew I needed…

I realized that as humans we will always have this visceral need of belonging; of knowing that we are approved of; but we’re scared…so we wear masks, we hide behind them and keep pretending until we have the courage to reveal our truth; then we tiptoe, we experience, we get hurt, we fall and claw our way back up. We keep falling until we feel loved no matter what we say, how we say it; we learn that even when we tell the truth we are accepted naturally and without judgment.

Sometimes it takes a few times until we realize that the people judging us are as scared as we are, and crave to belong and be loved as much as we do.

Were you ever in a similar situation? I would love to read your story!

Yours in Vibrant Health!

Doreen

Come As You Are…

Come As You Are…

What happens when you’re sitting on your yoga mat at the beginning of practice and your instructor tells you: “come as you are” or “stay with what’s present”. In your mind you might wonder if she had gone mad right? Are you not supposed to forget about reality and chase your problems from your mind?
The true healing power of yoga lies in coming to our mat and allowing ourselves to be who we truly are deep down, to take off the masks that we feel we need to wear in society and bare our souls, glorious in our simplicity.

I tell my students: “Think of your yoga practice as a moving meditation; of the stillness of the poses as holding the internal dance of emotions and awareness.”
By connecting so deeply within, our minds start healing and our lives start changing. The process can be difficult, but it is so rewarding —and with caring guidance, it’s a beautiful journey that’s worth every moment of sadness.

I want to share a piece of my own journey with you:

As far back as I can remember, I never wanted to talk about my past; it was too painful, I was busy, and had to be strong for my family —there was no time to cry or be sad…
If I had a penny for every time I felt empty and disconnected… but back then all I knew was that emotions make me weak and that I have to bury them deep deep inside.

When I was getting certified to teach Yoga, my teachers started telling me that everything changes, nothing stays the same and that I have to learn to accept it and embrace it…I panicked: No! There can’t be change! I want things exactly the way they are forever! Then they said that it’s important to get “in touch with my emotions”… what?! I don’t have time for that! What if I lost control, what if I let myself “FEEL”?!… The walls of my carefully raised tower crumbled around me. I was torn between my fascination with the infinite possibilities I had, and my desire to stay in my cocoon very up high in this tower where nothing could hurt me ever again…
I will never regret the choice I made…