Vanished within shades of gray. Here. Now. Why is my love for her anger, increasingly high? Consumed by the fierce wind numbing out the subtlest of sounds. Clouds defining the finer shades within the creators endless palate. Duality emulated by the thunderous waves surging in energy; quiet nothingness laps the shoreline. Footprints, discovered through oneness amidst the tiniest of particles. Impermanence refined. What is it? With eyes bowed to her sovereignty: I listen. I feel. I am. Time here slows always. The heaviness of my judgments blanket me. I tenderly hold curiosity within my longing to dissolve all that I am attached to: to be more light. More free. More spirit. When I sink into the depths of her, of this, of now, my radiance reflects within the darkness encompassing me. Like a baptism, she washes me every single time. Her.
My Emry. My Mirror.
A glimpse in time scintillates when as a child I slammed the door, threw myself under the covers and cried through the anger. Face flushed. Hair wet on my cheeks. Countless moments feeling controlled, forced, unable to express my value, completely powerless. This of course my young perception. Sculpted and chiseled I left home at 17, soaring beyond restriction, yet these early life emotions imprinted within the depths of my cells.
Then you came along. The lack of mastery resurfaced instantly. Only now through the patterning am I finally, finally unearthing the wisdom. You are my reflection to move into my subconscious and soothe my innate innocence. To breathe vastly into the precise stories, resurfacing my resentments, frustrations, sadness and loneliness that is being directed towards your adventure. The gentleness of my own mothering within these still frames of my script will expand my softening, reshaping your legacy.
This day, hand holding heart, I chant MAA to my selfhood. The remedy for all Mamas.
Click link below to offer yourself this medicine.
What do I do best?
Amplify others to emit bold expressions of love.
What makes me the best version of myself?
What are my aspirations?
Writing my experiences from then until now. ‘Allowing’ unfolding in perfect timing.
Stay tuned boys and girls.
My Biggest Success?
Rising above my 20 year contemplation.
My Most Challenging Moment?
The day I became a Mama. This expanded me into my evolution of unlearning.
“I have no fear. I have only love.” -Fleetwood Mac
My Favorite People/Role Models?
My Smith. My Emry. My Man. My Shaman, friends, teachers and students.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
My sheepskin rug. Lido Beach, Florida. Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario.
My Favorite Products/Objects?
Practice You journal. Kundalini Frida Gown and Indigo Turban by Myrah Penaloza .
Lululemon Align pant. doTerra Yoga Collection. Crystal quartz necklace by
@covecrystals. Himalayan salt.
My Current Passions?
Bedtime stories with my boys. Kundalini. Reading. Playing piano. Soaking in the tub.
Taking good care.
"Listen to me, I want to tell you something. The reason I love You is because you are the one(s) who has taught me how to love and appreciate life" -Baaba Maal in Pulaar, singing There Will Be Time.
You told me you needed more than just a pretty face. You put me down to make those around us laugh. You've stolen from me and felt it's your right. You've spoken my language. You've looked at me with a feeling of better than. You've challenged me to feel not good enough-ness. You're thoughts towards me have left me questioning why. You've manifested in me so much contemplation. You're innocent anger has plowed defeat though my veins, falling to my knees. Only now do I finally see the big picture. I've designed all of this. I've orchestrated these interactions to teach me. These darkened moments I've wandered internally are the catalysts I've delicately coordinated to teach me to re-align. Let me sit here and feel the scars deeply rooted in anger. I am allowing all the lifetimes of patterning to surge through me. This is the reason I emit more LOVE to all of you.
I wear this as a reminder that I am a Spiritual Being having a human experience. For you my J. To remind myself to continuously turn inward. The reality we share in this lifetime is that much more effortless if I can abide in the unbounded stream of spaciousness that we all possess equally. I wear this for you E. To remind myself that I am soft, fluid and patient despite the chaos of learning. I wear this for you S. To tap into your playfulness and resiliency always. I wear this to feel gratitude for all of my experiences that have led me to this present sitting. All of the heaviness that has finally been rewired as the catalyst towards my transcendence. And all of the joy that has flooded my veins carried to my heart signifying timelessness. I wear this as a reminder that I am radiant. I am whole. I am love, To be bold. To remain brave. To be within Absolute truth. So that when I encounter an emotional blockage, I am sweetly reminded that I have chosen fear and to choose again. I wear this to remind myself that at any time I hold the capacity to call upon my grace and elegance to soften any circumstance. I wear this to tap into my innate power to manifest my deepest desire to fulfill my grandeur mission: to amplify your Source, to help you unlearn and to ease your own pain. I wear this Kundalini turban as the pillar that is firmly lifting my existence. To emit love unconditionally. I wear this for you. And you. And you. Sat Nam~
In one timeless moment, the deepest of release. A space of infinity, without question, aligned perfectly. Five years of restlessness, contraction and contemplation. An undeniable vibration, so deep creating resistance, manifesting resentment, all stemming from fear. Wound up within me, consumed in question, I longed for reason. What is this force? What is this energetic attraction? Unwanted. I chose a direction. A path of trust, joy, abundance, yet I always circled back . Fully blocked, smothering my playfulness.
As I levitate to view my experiences from then until now, I can see with such clarity. It's so pristine. All of the moments flowing synchronistically, building on the previous to ensure my readiness. No more hiding. No more secrets. The message landed, so simple, so absolute. Oscillating at the same energetic frequency, a mirrored reflection of my own innate. Pure Source flowing of bold love :: all along that of MYSELF. I own this. Finally arrived in courage, untied and set free.
Thank-you to the Practice :: Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo.
Thank-you to my Teachers, my sweet E :: the clear channel you are for reminding me of my highest.
Thank-you to all of the Authors :: your wisdom continues to facilitate my evolution of understanding.
Thank-you to the Healer :: pouring energy into my throat with the slightest of touch.
Thank-you to the Clairvoyant :: the reframing of soul experience within this human experience.
Thank-you to the Shaman :: the reorganization through the subtlest of drumming.
Thank-you to the Artist :: for feeling my doubt and pushing me to crack into the tiniest of pieces.
Thank-you to the Stranger :: pour votre vulnerabilite et pour avoir pris mon coeur.
Thank-you to my Josh :: for honoring my sensitivities within the journey, my wide open honesty and my expansion within space and time.
Thank-you Universe :: for finally gifting me with an opening of direct knowing.
And thank-you. Thank-you. Thank-you. To all of my anger, my resentment, my annoyance, my impatience, my rage, my bitterness, my guilt, my shame, my sadness, my worthlessness, my emptiness. In deep reverence, thank-you to my boldness, my fearlessness, my resilience, my forgiveness and my unlearning to what always was, is and will be.
Erica Arsenault est professeure de yoga et de méditation dans la ville d’Hudson, à 60 km à l’ouest de Montréal. Malgré la petite taille de la communauté, elle parvient à vivre de sa passion en proposant des cours de groupe « sur mesure ». Nous avons rencontré cette femme douce et posée, qui dégage une grande sérénité.
La détresse comme catalyseur
Nous avons rejoint Erica au Mikko espresso & boutique, un joli café d’Hudson où elle a l’habitude de se rendre après avoir donné ses cours. C’est une cliente si fidèle que la propriétaire des lieux est allée jusqu’à nommer un thé en son honneur! C’est donc devant une tasse d’« Erica » qu’elle nous a raconté comment une dépression post-partum est à l’origine de son immersion dans l’univers du yoga et de la méditation.
Apprendre à flotter
Grâce à ces deux disciplines, Erica a retrouvé la paix intérieure. Elle a même donné un tournant à sa vie en créant sa propre entreprise, Pravaha (« flotter » en sanskrit), axée sur l'enseignement du yoga et de la méditation. Erica prône l’acceptation de soi et de ses limites, loin de l’hyper-contrôle qu’elle confie avoir déjà exercé sur sa propre vie... Aujourd’hui, elle a choisi de vivre et de laisser vivre.
L’art de la débrouillardise
Ne vivant pas dans une métropole où affluent les studios de yoga, Erica a dû faire preuve d’ingéniosité. En donnant des cours chez des particuliers, en entreprise et dans un local loué, elle est parvenue à se constituer toute une clientèle! Nous avons assisté à l’une de ses sessions de yoga dans le grenier d’une maison converti en studio. La séance a été dynamique et apaisante, agrémentée d’arômes d'huiles essentielles.
Donnez, et vous recevrez
Erica croit fermement à cet adage. Il n'est pas rare qu’elle anime certains de ses cours ou ateliers gratuitement, étant d’avis que la générosité finit toujours par être récompensée. C’est d'ailleurs lors d’une classe de méditation gratuite que deux éducatrices de lululemon ont fait sa connaissance. Séduites par sa sagesse et sa sensibilité, elles lui ont proposé de devenir ambassadrice du magasin situé dans le centre commercial Fairview Pointe-Claire. Comme quoi, donner sans rien attendre en retour peut déboucher sur de belles opportunités.
Prendre du temps pour soi
Erica nous a ensuite emmenés au parc Jack Layton, où elle se rend parfois pour se ressourcer. Depuis sa dépression, elle fait l’effort de prendre du temps pour elle et de ne pas s’oublier dans la maternité. Chaque semaine, elle s’assure donc de se garder un moment pour casser la croûte avec des amis ou pratiquer des activités variées, comme le surf à pagaie. Car pour être une bonne mère, estime-t-elle, elle doit d’abord être en accord avec elle-même.
Un message à diffuser
Erica prépare actuellement un atelier de yoga destiné spécifiquement aux personnes souffrant d’anxiété et de dépression. Le but? Les aider à atteindre l’équilibre émotionnel. Dans une perspective plus large, elle rêve de pouvoir partager ses enseignements au- delà de la communauté d’Hudson en collaborant avec d’autres organisations. Et c’est ce qu’elle a commencé à faire le mois dernier, en animant une causerie sur la valeur du silence au festival Wanderlust, à Mont-Tremblant.
"... We are bombarded with 60 to 80 thousand thoughts each day: Planning, worrying, remembering, judging, analyzing. And if we can be honest with ourselves, our thoughts are mainly negative. How much of this is really happening on the outside, or is it simply an internal experience? Thoughts are not reality, but your interpretation of reality. And your perception is not reality either, but merely your point of view, your opinion. Inevitably, your perception becomes your reflection :: Gabrielle Bernstein, Marianne Williamson, Wayne Dyer, among many, share this inspiration :: Your perception, even though its not being said aloud, it is still being materialized in the universe because your thoughts are vibrating; quantum physics proves when something is vibrating, it creates a wave. We are porous, so this energetic wave flows right through us, manifesting. Therefore, everything within your reality has sprouted from within. Your life is orchestrated, co-created through your personal vibration. So ask yourself this ~ How often is your personal vibration at its baseline? Be honest. Take responsibility. My teacher Elena Brower states 'By taking responsibility you ensure your evolution' (Art of Attention). Meditation helps us access our baseline. We surrender to the fact that we can't control our thoughts or emotions, they occur sporadically, but we can learn to step back from them and rest in the awareness of the activated vibration. Recognizing its just a thought, not judging the negativity, and then separating: its not who you really are. This is very liberating. That moment when you can acknowledge your personal vibration stuck... charged... and you can say to yourself, "I'm activated. I'm triggered. I'm angry." There's this space created. Left with a choice: Do I wish to continue to fuel the destructive fire creating more dis-ease within my systems, or breathe and feel the vibration, trusting in impermanence, eventually embracing my baseline quiet? Not at all easy~ I still fall short, but when I sit consistently, the practice becomes more fluid, more effortless..."
Quiet: Our natural state of being. A state of love, clarity and abundance.
Why then do we allow the internal dialogue to layer and mask our true selves with fear, judgements and perceptions? Why do we allow our very own thought patterns to create havoc within our realities, veering us into resistance? When we take the time to just be and sit in meditation, we can soften these tendencies; revealing a silence of pure bliss.
The Eternal Dance
We are vibrating. Our physical bodies—made of cells, atoms and molecules—are in a constant state of change. Our bodies, emotions, and thoughts create a personal vibration. If we apply the law of physics, energetic waves generate, rippling out into the universe. Your present moment, right here right now, has sprouted from your personal vibration. Thoughts, even though they are not said aloud, are still being materialized in the universe; they are energy and we are porous. Therefore, you have co-created the shape of your reality merely from your thoughts and perceptions.
When we take the time to sit and simply allow what is, we begin to harmonize with our personal vibration; our inherent quiet. We begin to understand that we cannot control our thoughts or emotions, but we learn to feel when the vibration is activated. We learn to acknowledge the sensation that arises from the emotional blockage and separate ourselves. It’s not who we really are. It’s a learned response. This is very liberating.
Meditation helps us to rewire our brain; to unlearn the habitual reactivity. We begin to understand that the negative will continue to come at us sporadically, but if we can witness and rest in the heightened vibration, understanding that thoughts are not reality, we can smile at the concept of impermanence and the triggered vibration eventually returns to the inherent baseline quiet. Over time, with a consistent meditation practice, this becomes so fluid. So effortless.
The Practice of Nothing
Meditation is simply being. There are no rules, no right or wrong. It is not about forcing or manipulating. It is simply arriving and connecting to your baseline. In this quiet space of allowing you are accepting what is and releasing the learned fears, judgements and perceptions. You begin to understand they don’t serve you. By returning to your mantra or returning to your breath, the blockages that instigate your personal vibration begin to dissipate.
Over time this deep sense of trust warms you as you learn to let go and accept what life is unfolding, expanding you beyond limitations. Meditation helps us to slip into a state of wholeness, harmonizing the systems and creating brain coherence. Eventually ease saturates the physical, mental and emotional realms, both on and off the cushion.
I welcome my quiet with open arms daily; my most favorite 22 minutes. The practice has lifted me in moments of heaviness, transforming my experiences into catalysts for personal growth. By sitting and arriving in my personal vibration, I have let go of the internal struggle, the contraction and rigidity that has held me back from my highest self for years. By learning to feel, harmonize and reside; this is where the magic happens. May you take the time to sit and embrace your quiet.
Inspiration taken from Deepak Chopra's Primordial Sound Meditation, Penney Peirce's Frequency, and Elena Brower's Art of Attention Audio Meditation Course.
May you record this reading on your electronic device to access at anytime ~ Blessings
Begin to close your eyes, soften your jaw, shoulders relax, knees release. Move your awareness into your pelvis and with equal attention between your right and left sitting bone, root them into the earth, connecting with the upward rising energy occurring within your spine. Releasing any tightness in your lumbar, widening, creating space, your upper back, opening your heart, lengthening your neck as you gently tuck your chin. Sense yourself elevating from your palate, through your mid-brain, out through the crown of your head.
Once you sense your posture optimized, bring your hands into Dhyana Mudra, hands resting on your lap facing the sky, right on top of left, with your thumbs gently touching.
Sense the entirety of this moment. Your physical body, your breath, your inherent vibration stemming from your heart space.
Quietly begin to lengthen each breath through your nostrils, noticing how your body expands and deflates, naturally with least effort. Witness as you inhale, your diaphragm lengthening, belly rises away from the spine and as you exhale draw the breath up and out, physically becoming lighter as you let go of any heaviness, tension, stress. Feel supported, clear and nourished in this present moment. Smile.
I invite you to begin to offer yourself lovingkindness by silently whispering the following words I AM LOVED. Repeat the phrase, offering as much space as needed between. When you sense your mind wandering, which it will, simply notice and smile, releasing it through the exhalation, returning to the phrase I AM LOVED... I AM LOVED... I AM LOVED...
(PAUSE 2-3 MINUTES)
I invite you now to think of an individual who has been especially kind to you. Envision this person, say their name, feel their presence within you and offer this lovingkindness energy to them, silently repeating MAY YOU BE LOVED. Maintain your steadiness, your connection, your clarity. MAY YOU BE LOVED... MAY YOU BE LOVED... MAY YOU BE LOVED...
(PAUSE 2-3 MINUTES)
Keeping your eyes closed here, call to mind someone who has been hurting or having a difficult time. An individual struggling with their health, maybe their career. Again picture them in your minds eye, feel them, silently say their name, reciting the phrase YOU ARE LOVED... YOU ARE LOVED... YOU ARE LOVED...
(PAUSE 2-3 MINUTES)
Lastly, envision an individual whom you find difficult to get along with. Someone who irritates you, possibly you've had a disagreement with. Notice how your physical body begins to react. Trust in this moment you are cleansing the stuck, blocked energy that's meant to be released, understanding we are all deserving of love. Release your suffering here, reciting the phrase I OFFER LOVE. If this is too difficult for you, just go back to sending lovingkindness towards yourself. I OFFER LOVE... I OFFER LOVE... I OFFER LOVE...
(PAUSE 2-3 MINUTES)
Welcome yourself back. Keeping your eyes closed, begin to lengthen your breathing. Noticing how you feel in this present moment compared to the beginning of your sitting. Notice the finest sensations of love emanating from your heart space. May you remember throughout the day this feeling of connectedness. Understanding that love is more than a feeling, but an ability.
This is your highest, most radiant self. May you help others feel more love today. Namaste~
***Inspired from the book Real Happiness written by Sharon Salzberg***
Learning to embrace forgiveness, within myself, is like a full-time job. As a parent I feel the pattern of reaction-guilt, reaction-guilt, reation-guilt at an all-time high. A flux of emotions on the regular :: Here I am this clear, elegant, inspiring teacher on the mat, all the while finding myself in moments of emotionally charged littleness as a mummy.
I have battled the question frequently "Who am I to teach?" as I feel blocked and stuck within these weak and angry fuelled states. Over the years these negative vibrations have diminished in severity, as I routinely take the time in stillness, forming a more honest relationship with myself. Like a great date, each morning I am able to release my jaw, surrender on my pillow and return home. My favorite ripple in space. By taking this time to sweetly whisper "I FORGIVE" I can witness the self-attack and smile at it. Recognizing the shift, but not allowing myself to get lost in it. I am learning to appreciate forgiveness as a sense of freedom :: I am pushed to my edge on the daily, but by taking responsibility of the ugly and bathing myself in the wisdom of forgiveness, I release the feeling of victim that creates such havoc on my heart.
I know this anger is not my most radiant self: A human response of blocked energy, but if I can notice that fine glimpse of light before the reaction, just like the gap between thoughts while meditating, how magical the transformation. Forgive-delete, forgive-delete, forgive-delete ~ my new mantra.
Winter Solstice, the end of the year, is a sacred time which holds the possibility for new beginnings. A celebration of light from darkness. The Universe gifts us this space to leave behind what no longer is of service, consciously closing the door to our past. Have gratitude for the lessons learned, the challenge, the doubt, the fear. Forgive yourself. Exhale.
Trust completely that you already know what is needed within you to open yourself to a new illuminated path. Take a moment with me here to place a hand on your heart and inhale. Inhale an intention for this coming year. Sense the receptivity within your heart and feel the warmth, the expansion, the light, the magic, naturally aligning with what 2016 already holds for you. Shine bright!
There's been a shift; and awakening of sorts. Yoga is expanding to not just the flexible women who sport the trendy leggings with their hair perfectly pulled into a ponytail. Men are flocking to their mats in excitement to synchronize their breath with their movement, although stiff and sometimes awkward (as repetitive sport can cause havoc on the wear and tear of our physical), but LOVING it.
What is it that is calling to them to show up to a practice that encourages mindfulness and softness, in addition to their practice on the ice/field entailing competition and aggression? We all know yoga benefits an athlete: the stretching of the legs (specifically the hamstrings) can increase the speed and length of the stride; the strength of the muscle improves due to stability and agility within a pose; the flexibility attained prevents injury; yoga flushes toxins (especially lactic acid) reducing stiffness and blood flow, speeding up the process of healing; and ones' lung capacity increases as the practice revolves around awareness of the breath.... I could go on all day, but there has to be something more.
Yoga enables us to create balance within, specifically the energies between the masculine and feminine. I think when men step onto their mats, all judgement (especially within) finally dissipates and they are able to refine their elegance, unlocking their baseline tenderness, which so often is masked by the stresses of day to day. The pressures of simply maintaining, within such a noisy, chaotic society of material and ego.
My wish for all the "Brogi's" :: May you enjoy a place of surrender where no one is competing :: allowing yourself to completely detach from your typical masculine roles :: connecting with the peace that forever radiates within your pulse. (And secretly I know you realize, when your eyes open after Savasana, you've never felt so good).
Men/Athletes class :: Monday 8:30pm, Studio 462, Hudson QC
I am addicted to chocolate. I have always been. I will always be. As a child I would spend every last penny of my weekly allowance at the corner store, bingeing on the sweet creaminess. A feeling of excitement pumping through my bloodstream. A craving. A high. A habit.
There came a point recently where my reasoning about chocolate became absurd. As I returned to the fridge for the fourth time, unwrapping, 'I might as well finish the entire bar so I don't do this again tomorrow'.
When I had this thought I was reading The Four Desires, written by Rod Stryker. I made a link. I have this habitual pattern of turning to chocolate, not to savour, but to feed a resistance. I began to notice that when I feel out of control, angry, anxious, frustrated, etc. I unconsciously reach for that rectangular goodness. Something that started so innocently in my past had unfolded quietly as a harmless, insignificant habit. I had to laugh. Feeling inspired, I used this as a yoga practice off my mat. Rod Stryker explains that through creating space by pausing, when you feel the momentum of the habitual action arise, you allow the abundance of the universe to flow through you more easily. "By letting go of a habit and placing an intention into that space vacated by that habit can change your life forever".
So rather than satisfy my impulse, I've learned to stop. Breathe. Feel the emotion. This reflective state is so empowering, especially when you can surrender into it and let it go. Not easy to do at all, seeing as this habit has been with me since childhood, but I am able to use the moment to connect with a higher, grounded force that always resides within me :: Allowing me to change my trajectory.
I definitely still indulge, but while doing so I am mindful of the chocolate itself.
I was blessed this weekend to celebrate two beautiful individuals passionately say "I Do". Over the years I have found each wedding I attend, become more and more important :: It is a time for me to pause and reflect on my experience, the love I have for him and the deep respect of what marriage entails.
By no means an expert, although 17 years strong, there was an energetic shift when I started to teach the practice. Immersing myself in readings and the love affair I have with sharing on the mat, naturally my marriage became more attentive, more loving, more soft.
Humbled to share this weekend my advice. The spiritual leader Thich Nhat Hanh said, "You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free". An awakening. So clean. So simple. If we can be at peace and accept each others' individual journey, marriage is that much more effortless. Not always easy, but through the exhale we can create space to be each others' light :: I love you husband.
The yogic term HATHA seeks to create harmony and balance; ha - referring to the masculine, activity, heat and light of the sun; tha - the opposing elements of feminine, receptivity, cool and darkness of the moon. We seek to create this equilibrium of opposing forces in our yoga practice and in our lives :: we recognize the power of the opposites, but how often do we slow down and surrender to the moon as opposed to basking in the sun?
I started 'moon bathing' (that's right - like sun bathing in the dark) while I was trying to get pregnant with my first. My acupuncturist told me I was too heated - too masculine (PITTA dosha obviously) prescribing me to drink cucumber water, walk instead of my daily run, practice Chandra Namaskar instead of Surya Namaskar and to allow the New Moon and Full Moon reflect on my face. She explained how the Moon affects the Earths oceans and rivers with its gravitational pull, which is at its greatest during its new and full phases. Our bodies are estimated to be about 80% water, therefore the Moon naturally has an effect on our systems. A light went off :: somewhat of an AHA-moment.
I've continued moon bathing and practicing Chandra Namaskar on my mat when I feel emotionally reactive, irritable, cranky and intense (which can be more often than not *sigh*) as I find the cooling properties to be healing and cleansing. The Moon allows me to shed my masculine charge and reconnect with my feminine soft. My ability to slow down and surrender to that space between breaths.
Tonight as you look up to feel the power of the Super Moon, may you feel the grace, the elegance and the baseline softness of your feminine inherent within :: because at the end of the day, to cultivate simplicity, peace and love it really is all about the feminine.
My whole life people have always complimented how efficient I can be. Constantly multi-tasking; almost rushing. Rushing for what? After my first son was born I was reminded to 'nap when the baby naps' (for a first time pregnant mama this brought on an eye-roll). I thought 'who the hell has time?' I soon learned to not take personal time to be quiet did nothing for my body, my emotions and too quickly my family. I was left with anger, tiredness and resentment.
3 years later with a second Nugget I've fallen in love with my bed. I am addicted to leaving the dishes dirty in the sink (which for my control issues this is huge), to rush to my white bamboo sheets once the baby nods off in his crib. I am learning to finally take time (because there is so much of it); listening to what my body is asking.
Nourish yourself this week with a nap. Gift yourself by turning off the chaos of electronics, softening your eyelids with an eye pillow, using essentials if that's your fancy and open a window. I promise, you will send me a silent prayer of loving thanks.