Since moving to San Diego, lots of new experiences are coming into my life.  New people, new places, new practices.

I went to a new studio last week to attend a class I’ve never been to before with a good friend of mine who swears by this one teacher in particular, Tabu.

It’s interesting how you get to a certain level, you feel comfortable, you feel on top of things, and you develop a level of consistency and confidence around your abilities…

…and then become humbled by crashing onto your face!

After a super intense opening sequence, we were instructed to move into Eka Pada Galavasana, or flying crow.  This is a pose I can normally reliably move into and hold…

…but not, apparently, after burning my muscles out first and becoming drenched in slippery sweat!

I slipped, and literally fell on my face, landing on my right cheekbone right below my eye.

I was shocked.

I had NEVER fallen like this before!

And it was so much less bad than I ever expected.  I was totally fine.

How many times do we not take the chance, or take the leap, or say yes to something, because we are afraid of falling?

But, really, what is the worst that could happen?  Falling is actually not as bad as we think.  In fact, I had a teacher back in Hong Kong who would have us fall intentionally just to GET OVER that fear and out of our own way so we could move on to bigger achievements and greater self-confidence.

Imagine what life could look and feel like if every morning, you took a leap, made a choice, or created a space so big you could fall?  If you got comfortable with getting uncomfortable?  Every single day?

You would be able to do more, expand more, and hold more.

That’s FREEDOM.

Give it a go.  Try it on.   Lay out a plan for a week.  Comment below with how YOU plan to take some big leaps every morning for this upcoming week.  Yes you might fall, and if you do, it probably won’t be as bad as you think.  But what if you don’t fall?  What if you fly?

Have a beautiful day and Namasté,
Julie

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As we discovered in my last post, “Create…by listening,” I found that I could manifest just as powerfully by resting as much as, if not more than, manifesting by doing.

I want to clarify this point based on some personal lessons I learned this week.

This question of when to rest and when to PUSH has been one that I’ve toiled with for a long time!  I think I finally have my answer…

I spoke with a woman yesterday who, despite all her best efforts at the gym and in her diet, is still not seeing the weight loss and health results she’s hoping for.  She’s beating herself up.

…Sort of like how I wasn’t seeing healing in my knee joint EVEN THOUGH I was resting, and getting so frustrated.

In both cases, the energetics did not line up with the intention.  In both cases, there was an energy of resentment, frustration, and depletion.  Self-doubt.  Self-loathing.

This woman was saying things to me like, “Sometimes it feels like I should just give up.  What’s the point.  I’ve always been this way.  I’ll never change.”

It was heartbreaking.

Just like how I learned I needed to be more loving towards my knee, and my body in general, this woman needed to send her body reinforcement and love!  Not self-deprecation and defeat.

I, for example, found that, yes, I needed to rest, but I ALSO needed to be foam rolling regularly, doing my PT exercises daily, and icing every day after my runs.  And since starting this practice, for the first time in decades, not only is my knee happier and healthier than ever, but I’m also getting coached to run the longest distances I’ve ever done at a pace that is beyond my scope of comprehension.  I’ve cultivated the love and belief in myself that health is possible, AND followed it up with healthy, CONSISTENT actions.

Since the above woman’s block was not consistency or diet or exercise programming, it came down to energetics and self-love practices.  The stress and anxiety from self-loathing has built up so much that the stress hormones in her body that are meant to protect her were working overdrive, and the fat was just not burning away.  Reduce the stress, amp up the love, and the results will appear.

Before I had coaching, I was out of shape and in pain.  I, like the woman I just mentioned, was completely defeated and frustrated.

And yet, I’m now living proof that with a combination of good coaching, a loving inner belief system, and consistent practice in training, PT, and joint care, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE, and I feel completely amazing.

What would this feel like for you?  Take a deep breath in, and imagine your body in a pool of healing water, a loving energy of God lapping up against your skin and washing away any negative self-talk or energetic toxins.

How does that feel?

Let me know how this post helped you; what are you going to start implementing in your day to embrace more consistency, self-love, and positive choices!

Much love and Namasté!

Julie

Much love and Namasté!

Julie

Much love and Namasté!

Julie

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How many times have you thought of a project, gotten SO inspired with creativity, and then halfway through (or–let’s be real–before you even BEGAN) you found reasons why you couldn’t finish (or start) it?

You have to clean the house.

Exercise is more important and thus precludes working on newfound project.

Gotta nourish your relationships with your friends/family/partner instead.

Sleep takes priority.

RESISTANCE.

I’m not saying these aren’t all legitimate things that need to be prioritized.  But sometimes we find that these things come up RIGHT at the time when the project (which–let’s be real–is totally revolutionary) is about to get good.

You know what happens!  Right when you get to the edge of your comfort zone–right when you’re about to expand–you come up with ALL SORTS of reasons why you cannot go there.

And then we get down on ourselves for not finishing/following through/completing what we started.

I have a really important epiphany for you…

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU!!

This is actually just a natural part of the process.

This epiphany came to me in a conversation with my photographer and good friend Nikki Incandela, as well as in conversations with my mini-mastermind group where I found myself saying THE SAME THING in both conversations!  I decided to offer YOU this insight in a video I was inspired to cut for you!  In this video, I dig deeper into this epiphany as well as different approaches to get yourself “unstuck” and back to being excited about why you started the project or endeavor in the first place.

 

 

You’ll notice that there are some interesting cuts and strange noises.  Indeed–as I was starting to shoot, I was approached by a hunched old man holding a cage, which he felt compelled to deliver directly to me AS I WAS SHOOTING to show me that inside the cage was a chipmunk.  What I really said was, “Oh my gosh.  Please take that away.”  What I should have said was, “Can I get a picture of this because my tribe will not BELIEVE THIS!”

Guess what.  The creative process isn’t perfect.  There are going to be bumps in the road.

AND THAT’S OKAY!!

And sometimes we need little reminders that that’s okay to get us out of being stuck.  Those reminders can come in the form of friends, a yoga class, or a conversation with a coach like me.

In what way can YOU get creative as you navigate resistance?  Comment below with your ideas and plans!!

Have a beautiful day and Namasté,

Julie

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At this point, my arm had been up for 40 minutes, I was balancing on one foot, and I was on stage with four other people.  Out of the 300 that started.

The ache in my arm was numb….but my calf felt like it was going to break in two as my fine motor muscles worked so hard to try and keep me balanced so that I could obtain my vision of winning the Grand Prize, a $10,000 VIP day that would help me completely transform as a person, coach, and teacher.

Right there amidst it all, literally right next to me on stage, was my dear friend, Cole Bombino, certified health coach and yoga teacher.

She and I practice together almost every day–if not in a physical yoga practice then in an intention-setting exercise that we implement early every morning to spiritually and energetically align with our vision and our day’s intentions.

Even at the beginning of this challenging physical exercise in stamina, she and I actually started breathing in unison.

Her breath, her energy, and her presence helped me feel safe and it helped me feel strong.  I mentioned in Part 1 of this story that my vision was so strong and kept me so focused that I was even able to withstand nearly unbearable physical pain in order to achieve what was an important goal to me.

When we were called on stage, with our arms out and shoulders aching, Cole and I stood together in solidarity, breathing as one strong whole–a whole that was much, much stronger than the sum of its component parts.

And my singular connection to my vision only got me so far.

Surprise #2:

Without Cole there, I know for a fact that I would have given up much, much sooner.

They say there is power in numbers, power in community.  Cole, in that moment, and so much in my life, is my community.  Because of her support and constant energy, I succeed every day, and because of her support and energy at that challenging moment in time, I was one of the last contestants standing for this enormous prize.

In my next post, I will reveal Surprise #3…. and THE OUTCOME!!!!

In the meantime, how could you start to cultivate a stronger community?  Do you find it difficult to constantly stay connected to your vision, your ultimate reason for why you do what you do?  In what ways do you “give up” or “drop the ball” where you may not have if you had someone who bolstered you in moments of weakness? 

Let me know in the comments below, along with the action step you will take to create a partnership, a mentorship, or a peer community in your life that will support you right at those moments when, as one of my amazingly brilliant coaches says, you feel like you’re going to “give up five minutes before the miracle happens.”

Much love and Namasté!

Julie

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It was burning.  It was shaking.  The ache penetrated all the way down to my bones.

My arm had been up for 20 minutes at this point and there was no telling how much longer I would have to hold it there.  15 more minutes?  30 more minutes?  Another hour?

The rule was to keep our arm up straight in front of us (zombie-style), until we were the last person in the room (of 300 people) to be able to keep it up.  The goal?  To win a prize valued at $10,000 (a private VIP day with one of my coaches).

My vision was clear.  I wanted private time with this genius of a woman because I knew I would learn skills and content that would grow me into a better coach, better person, and better teacher.

20 minutes in.  Half the room had sat down.

30 minutes in.  I was one of 10 people left.

My yoga practice always has a way of showing itself at the most unexpected of times.  Here I was, in a large conference event, dressed to the T with my coaching colleagues, and the only thing in my field of perspective was my third eye, and my breathe.

I’ll be honest with you.  I had NO idea I could hold my arm up indefinitely.  But truly, with my eyes closed, my vision clear, and my breath settled into a powerful ujayi rhythm, I could have absolutely held my arm up…for forever.

The pain actually subsided.  25 minutes in or so…I completely stopped noticing it.  All I had was my vision and my breath.  I even had a smile on my face.  At that point, it didn’t actually matter if I won or if I lost.  It was a complete surprise, but I actually learned a lesson in that moment that may have even been more powerful than a $10,000 VIP day, and here it is:

I am so much stronger than I realize.

And you, reader, are so much stronger than you realize.  How would you live your day differently, and make decisions differently, if you had an opportunity to prove to yourself that your mind could tolerate the discomfort and resistance necessary sometimes in growing into your more authentic, vibrant, and thriving self?  How would you push yourself in your physical practice (yoga, running, dancing, etc) if you could realize that your edge may be just a few breaths later than you initially think?  Could you allow yourself to be so connected to your vision that you could give yourself the time and the space to prove to yourself your absolute inner strength???

In next week’s post, I will let you in on Surprise #2, and what ended up happening!

For the meantime, what is something you can do RIGHT NOW that you never thought you could do or do at the level that you would like to?  Allow yourself the time and the space to consider it–and then go do it.  Hold yourself accountable here in the below comment section.  Can’t wait to hear from you!

Much love and Namasté!

Julie

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If there is one thing that is true about me, it’s that I’m a life-time learner.  I love learning more than almost anything else, and I get really excited about opportunities to be a student.  While I’m learning, I feel like everything else in the world is okay and, for me, it’s like there is never any sense of being lonely or disconnected. 

Indeed, I was a double major in college (Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology and Anthropology…that could almost be 4 majors lol), a double minor (French and Finearts) and later went on to receive my master’s in Marine Mammal Ecotoxicology.  One of the things I loved most about my majors, and even minors, is that there were so many surprising connections I would learn between different topics and areas that were so seemingly unrelated.  It was like finding treasure when I heard a professor lecturing about a concept in my Cultural Anthropology class that was also just previously discussed during my Cognitive Neuroscience class — Every time it ASTOUNDED me that these extraordinary connections existed.

So when I graduated with my my collection of degrees, while it was certainly a happy accomplishment, I was also devastated at the same time.  At the time, I thought it meant that the treasure trove of connections were forever behind me.  No more learning.  No more interesting and novel philosophies and concepts to be absorbed.   And worst of all–I felt alone.

It wasn’t long before I realized that there would–and could– be more learning.  Of course I would continue to find ways to make interesting and novel connections across seemingly unrelated areas.  First, because it’s simply my nature.  Second, because we attract that which we manifest.

So, into my life came podcasts.  Those of you who also enjoy learning, or crave a bit of mental stimulation, I HIGHLY recommend downloading the “podcast” app to your phone RIGHT NOW.  And then do a search on topics and people.  When my friends come to me needing advice and support, do you know where I tell them to go first?  Yes.  Podcasts.

So I was listening to the TED Radio Hour on NPR the other day and had another one of those golden moments of unexpected connection and knew I could not delay in sharing it with you all.  I know you will be just as excited as I was.  Especially since it really gets to the root of why so many of us love and stick with our yoga practice and meditation work.

In the deserts of Arizona lives a facility which simulates and tests a model of a habitat which is fully enclosed and fully self-sufficient.  A BiosphereFor two years, a group of scientists LIVED there; growing their own food, recycling their own waste, breathing only the air that was found in this fully enclosed space.  They had their own miniature rainforests and a private beach with a coral reef.  They had a savanna, a marsh, a desert.  They had their own half-acre farm upon which they had to grow everything.  I’ll let you check out the talk if you want to learn more about it on your own, but let me tell you now why I bring this up.

One of the things said in the talk struck a chord so deeply in that same familiar resonate way that I used to feel in college when I heard something in one unrelated class be said, perhaps in very different words but with the same meaning, in another class.   The scientist discussing the experience, Jane Poynter said this:

The most profound experience I had in the biosphere was the experience of not only being completely dependent on my biosphere, but being absolutely a part of my biosphere in a very literal way. I mean, as I walked through the biosphere, I was incredibly conscious of the fact that the plants surrounding me were providing me with the oxygen that I needed to breathe, and that I was providing them some of the CO2 they needed to grow.

When I breathed out, my CO2 fed the sweet potatoes that I was growing. And we ate an awful lot of sweet potatoes. And those sweet potatoes became part of me. In fact, we ate so many sweet potatoes I became orange with sweet potato. I literally was eating the same carbon over and over again. I was eating myself in some strange sort of bizarre way.

And then, a little later, in the context of broader learnings for all of us, she said:

And if you lose where you are in your biosphere or are perhaps having a difficulty connecting with where you are in the biosphere, I would say to you, take a deep breath. The yogis had it right – breath does, in fact, connect us all in a very literal way. Take a breath now and as you breathe, think about what is in your breath. There, perhaps, is the CO2 from the person sitting next door to you. Maybe there’s a little bit of oxygen from some algae on the beach not far from here. It also connects us in time. There may be some carbon in your breath from the dinosaurs. There could also be carbon that you are exhaling now that will be in the breath of your great-great-great-grandchildren.

CONNECTION.  If you ever feel alone (and I know some of you do because I hear this a lot), Take.  A.  Breath.  And reconnect with this perspective.  Remember your part, your role in the world.  Literally.  Ecologically.  Physiologically.  You are so important, your existence, everything about you.  Take a step back.  And remember that.

I hope this message gave you the “aha” moment that I experienced.  How cool is it that these scientists, interested primarily in the pragmatic applications of creating a biosphere to bring to Mars, ultimately had epiphanies shared by yogis worldwide?

I would love to know your feedback and find out what you think about this story.  What connections did you make?

Much love and Namasté!

Julie

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In the last article, we talked about goal setting.  Now that you’ve gotten clear on your goals and what your plan is, it’s time to IMPLEMENT!  This is where most people hit their snags…and ultimately peter out.  And then their goals evaporate into the ethers, never to turn into reality.  Sigh.

How would it feel to keep that momentum of the New Year going, and be able to check something off your list every day that contributes to your larger goal?

Lucky for you, now is EXACTLY the right time to do this!  We just shifted into the Year of the Horse.  Right now, it’s all about freedom.  It’s all about liberation.  It’s all about ease.

Humans, like anything else on this planet, are subject to the laws of physics…and the one I want to talk about today is Newton’s first law of motion which is INERTIA; an object either is at rest or moves at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by an external force.

What this means is: That which is in motion will stay in motion, that which is at rest will stay at rest.

How is this relevant to you?

Changing speed and changing direction are, according to the above law, forces which require external energy.

Most New Year’s Resolutions do not get fulfilled because of the above law–change is an intrinsic part of the process, and if you don’t know where your external energy is coming from to facilitate this process– or you straight up don’t have the external energy to make it happen– then guess what?

Your changes won’t happen!

So how can you ensure that this year, your changes DO happen?

Hop on the back of your new 2014 horse, and utilize this amazing momentum!

Sit down with yourself right now.  Close your eyes.  Palms face up.  Breathe.  Start to become aware of the energies around you.  The ultimate desire of the universe is for you to have ALL the things you want.  You were put on this planet for a reason, and the universe knows that you need certain resources in order to offer your amazing, unique, beautiful gifts.  The universe INSISTS on helping you.  So get quiet.  Listen for the wisdom.  Listen for the advice.  It’s there!  Waiting for you.  Your inner wisdom KNOWS exactly what you need to do to get the things you need to move forward.

I love what Gahl Sasson, one of my favorite astrologists, says about The Year of The Horse:

Like a horse rider, before you mount to ride this year, make sure you know your final destination. Once you do, allow the spontaneity and synchronistic nature of the horse to lead you on the right path towards reaching your goal. The horse has inspired many myths: Pegasus that came out of Medusa’s head and ended up a constellation: leading the way from evil to enlightenment. Buraq, the white stallion that flew Muhammad from Mecca to Jerusalem on his pilgrimage to meet God. This year can be just as magical, profound and spiritual for you. Make the best of this year of the Wild Horse.

We already did the “final destination” part.  Now it’s time to ride!

Have fun!

Julie

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I recently wrote about the importance and power of believing in miracles.  The last decade represents a true spiritual awakening in my life and an openness to positive belief systems–but never before had it been tested the way it was tested this past week.  I had no space for uncertainty.  Simply put, developing a positive belief mindset was no longer just about me–it was about helping to save my father’s life. 
And it worked.

A miracle came through.  Three days ago my father– a young, athletic, and overall unlikely stroke patient– finally popped his eyes open– after over a week of being in and out of consciousness due to a hemmorhage in the right parietal lobe and motor cortex of his brain.  As of today he was fully awake and able to freely move his right side.
This whole experience with my dad and watching how he and his wife of three years–my amazing angel of a step-mom– interact, has given rise to an observation within me that I have never before thought about: the risks of love.

To fully love someone is to open your heart in a way that says, “No matter WHAT happens, we are in this together.”  This applies to romantic love, familial love, and the love that is shared between friends.

This also applies to the love of a business owner for their budding new entrepreneurial baby.

Or the love of a competitive athlete for their sport.

Or the love of an amateur trying a new, long-desired hobby.

Opening your heart to things outside of your personal control–people, businesses, competitions–is risky.

So why bother?  Why step into that kind of uncertainty?

We take risks because they are worth it.  My dad can’t speak yet (I have faith that he will be able to very soon!) but can communicate with a thumbs up and thumbs down.  I said to him, “You are so lucky to have her, aren’t you?” I said as I gestured to my step-mom.  He responded with a VERY enthusiastic thumbs up.  She gazed at him, in his half-paralyzed state, connected to tubes and wires and lines, and said with a loving smile, “I am so lucky to have him!!”

I risked a rewarding and successful career in academia to pursue an even more rewarding and even more successful career as a mentor, teacher, and coach.  Sacrificing employer benefits, association with a prominent institution, and the recognition brought by peer-reviewed publication, I risked it all–amidst a sea of uncertainty– to pursue a more heart-centered path that fulfills me by helping people directly and profoundly, not to mention that has ultimately filled my bank account much more prominently than my academic career ever did.

And what about you?

Is there an area of your life in which you wish you could take a risk, stepping out of your comfort zone, but your uncertainty is holding you back?  Can you resolve, even for just one day, to imagine how it would feel to take the plunge?  To love more?  To try more?  To BE more?

I would love to hear your feedback and comments.  Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Have a beautiful day, many blessings to all, and Namasté.

Julie

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Never before have I experienced a time in my life when my cultivation of gratitude for the present moment and belief in the extraordinary had ever been more applicable.

Last week, we experienced a major upheaval in my family (by the way, thank you all so much for the emails and prayers–I know they are working) in the form of a very serious medical emergency.  My life is now changed forever.  As are the lives of my close family members.

Let me tell you, amidst this devastating change, it is SO easy to go into negative, downward spiral thinking.  Into panic.  Into self-pity.  Into extreme anxiety.

But that doesn’t help anyone, does it?  Instead, I’m learning to dig my heels into the Earth deeper than ever before.  How you do anything is how you do everything, thus, I know that by embracing the miracle of believing in a full return to “normalcy,” I am strengthening my miracle muscles to believe that it is possible to beat all the odds in every area of my life.

I went for a run this morning to take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and get some fresh air when I realized that something about the look and feel of the experience reminded me of a Harry Potter movie— the wind howling, the red leaves swirling, the dark colors, the weird lighting.  Although Harry Potter is just a story, it represents a common experience to which we all can relate.   Even with the ultimate fear, the threat of death, Harry stood his ground and courageously faced the present moment.  And each time, miracles occurred.

On behalf of my family, as well as myself, it is vital that I believe with every cell in my body that miracles are possible.  As I deepen my practice of faith, courage, and gratitude in my own life, I invite you to come along with me on the journey.

The next time you experience yourself thinking “I could never do that,” or “This could never happen,” or “There’s no way…” see if you can alter your thinking–“I believe I can do x because I believe in miracles,” or “This will happen because miracles are possible,” or “There IS a way since miracles happen every day.”

Whether you are experiencing doubts in your health, relationships, career, spirituality, or family life, I invite you to cultivate a new approach–the “I believe” approach.  Flex YOUR miracle muscle and let’s find out what miracles we can cultivate.  Please comment below with your thoughts and experiences.

Have a beautiful day, and Namasté.

Julie

 

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The fact is, the majority of the people on this planet live in Fear.  They have fears about money security, fears about the viability of their relationships, and most significantly, fears about themselves and their self-worth.  Does this sound familiar?

Here is what I can say for sure.  Everyone has these fears.  The only difference between those who soar to the sky with success and abundance and those who stay cornered in scarcity and darkness is a sense of Faith.  Those who soar have faith that they have what it takes.  They have faith that they will be given the tools as they take steps.  They have faith that the Universe supports them.

I experienced this sense of Faith firsthand MULTIPLE times this week alone.  I found that with every step I took where there was a chance I could fall off the cliff, a flying carpet came along to pick me up and help me keep going.  This was not a coincidence of this week.  This has happened to me throughout my entire life.  It’s actually happened to you throughout your entire life, too–but did you see your flying carpet?  Or were you too busy looking up and around and behind you for a more predictable structure…like a bridge or staircase?

I can tell you with complete certainty that you have had multiple flying carpets come and go throughout your life to help get you to the other side of the path.  It appeared in the form of a person.  Or a sum of money.  Or a career opportunity.

The question is–was your mindset one of blinding fear, where you totally MISSED that person, or the money, or the opportunity, or were you open to something unexpected and out of your control, but perfect for that moment?  Something even BETTER than you could have put together by yourself?  This concept connects with the understanding that TRUE security comes from having a strong sense of personal freedom, which is an experience that you cultivate everyday within your mindset of trust in Universal support.

I want you to take this chance to look for a flying carpet this week.  In knowing and having Faith that you are totally supported and looked after, see what creative solutions are available in your life RIGHT NOW!  Comment below with your experience!

Have a beautiful day, and Namasté.

Julie

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