Easeful is different than Easy

No longer. Not yet. Maybe not ever.

This is the first time in a long time where I do not feel the need to take immediate action on my dreams. Oh how I tried (#PittaAF), but my heart lately has helped me to discern emergence from forcing. It's let me know that I'm on the right path, even if it's wildly different than what I expected. And, I struggled with those expectations I set upon my own Self. I see that so clearly now. I’m sure you have strong expectations of yourself, too, yes? How does that really make you feel?

Dearest friends, I’ve started a new role. And, it’s not yoga necessarily. And, I cried at my desk and in the bathroom the first day and the second and the third - a) because I’ve gotten used to longer days with my baby and b) because this means surrendering some liberties I had before. But, it came so easefully, which is different than easily, and felt so right that I had to say yes.

I am now serving as the Development Director for Foster Forward, a wonderful organization with amazing people that serves youth, children, and families touched by foster care in Rhode Island. Did you know I had a former life in development // fundraising? Before Yoga Dear?

Courtesy of Jenna Honeycutt Calligraphy

Courtesy of Jenna Honeycutt Calligraphy

Here’s the thing. I adore yoga. You know this. I am dedicating my life to sharing the truths of yoga, particularly to nourish the feminine (this exists in men, too). But, I’ve heard this whisper that my work needs to reach beyond yoga studios. I wasn’t sure what that meant. To a degree, I’m still not. But, what I do know is that yoga has a branding problem. Yoga is not “fitness.” It is not fancy poses practiced in 100 degree temperatures. It’s purpose is not to make your tush look better (although that could happen). Yoga is the teaching of wholeness. Of recognizing our Divinity and our beauty and our gifts and our worthiness through a time honored and tested technology.

And, so I’ve started to pull away from certain settings. I’m starting to have these images and these dreams. I long for space where we learn + DISCUSS the essential elements of our practice - the ethics, history, meditation, subtle anatomy. I long to chant mantra and dance to live music. I long to teach people about how movement and yoga (inherently its philosophy) can nourish the body and the mind, and in turn heal the soul. I long to share ayurvedic ways of living + eating as a reflection of nature.

I long to utilize the teachings of yoga to help solve the world's greatest problems and connect with great thinkers. I long to help women uncover the wildness and sacredness of their femininity supported by real life community. I long to support play, imagination, respect.

***

No longer. Not yet.

In this moment, I’m choosing to honor the closing of a chapter and the seeds of creation for another. I’m not sure if the above vision is a physical place or a digital one. I’m not sure how often we meet (because, yes, I still want to teach you) - monthly, quarterly, yearly - or if it’s person or online or both. I’m not sure if anyone is even interested.

And, so when this new role came along (and met my negotiation to part-time work) I said yes. I said yes to emergence, rather than forcing an outcome based off of expectation. I said yes to a new challenge and the chance to bring my yoga practice into a field that I think will deeply benefit. I said yes to allow myself time to actually study, experiment and play with yoga education, and continue to work with the handful of beautiful souls I see every week for yoga therapy. I’m trusting what has felt easeful, undeniable, peaceful, sattvic, even with its challenges.

I write all of this to acknowledge your own spaces of in between, too. I know that you have your own places of no longer and not yet, and how hard it can be to allow for that. Rather than forcing, how can we step into the flow of our lives? Can we trust what feels like calm, steady energy even if it’s not what we envisioned for ourselves? What do you think? If you have a moment, please pass this message along to a friend who needs it…perhaps a friend who’s life feels uprooted or steered in a new direction. And, as always, I’d love to hear from you and how you are (I respond to EVERY comment and message.

Why yoga therapy?

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We often come to yoga for more than the movement. We're searching. We want relief from anxiety, depression, loss, overwhelm, pain. We crave purpose. Connection.

When you join, you'll receive regular down to earth and practical guidance to incorporate yoga therapy into your every day. Learn how yoga therapy can transform the way you live in your body, and ultimately your life.

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It's not in your head + you're not broken because of it.

How many of us have felt pushed to achieve? To be productive? To constantly create something of value? And, what does "value" even mean? How many of us have trouble with slowing down?  With allowing ourselves to just be? How often do we get swept up in climbing a ladder? Or keeping our homes picture perfect? Or getting paid more money? Or ensuring that our children are in the best after school programs - sports, music, art, therapy?

I'm raising my hand. If I had to guess, I would bet that at some point, you've been there, too (and maybe are right now). My question is: Why? My next question is: How does this pace of life make you feel? I invite you to really sit with this question, because some times we move so fast we miss it.

THIS is the root of many conditions that are running rampant through society right now: Anxiety. Overwhelm. Dis-ease. Maybe even depression and despair. I mean, how could anyone keep up with this pace? Note: This is not true in EVERY situation, but in many.

***

Two moments in stand out in my own life that really begged me for honesty and demanded I learn how to slow down. One, I've already shared with you as the time my health was suffering due to a breakneck pace of intense exercise, working hard and traveling a ton in former careers. Another, was when my family decided to move from Pennsylvania to Rhode Island, leaving behind a yoga studio I founded, dear friends that became family, a beautiful home, and the most charming little town.

I can remember when Eugene, the Yoga Dear hubby, told me he wanted to take a new job and move our family seven hours away from what had become home. I sobbed. I rolled out my mat. I journaled. I meditated. I got still. I listened. I'll never forget lying in savasana, tears rolling down my cheeks, feeling a warmth and a small voice offering that this move was the right next step. It was time to grow and expand in new directions. I have pinpricks of tears forming as I write this to you now.

Did that inner knowing make it any easier? It did not. In fact, in came uncertainty. This would become crippling at some moments even six months post-move. 
 

***

I mistakenly thought that growth and evolvement meant more creation, more doing, more productivity. I mistakenly thought I could siphon away pockets of time between taking care of my toddler and running a yoga studio from afar to create new programs, write even more, develop new revenue streams. That was all wrong.

What my heart needed more than ever before was SPACE. It took me nearly six months to arrive at that place. While I had intentionally left a fabulous job to follow a calling and open a yoga studio/business four years ago, disrupting the typical get a job, move up, make more money paradigm, I had still fallen into patterns. Patterns of doing, rather than stepping back to recognize what it is that my heart really longed for. Who do I want to serve? And, how? And, where? And, why? Can one of those answers be...me? Can I redirect yet again? How would that make me feel?

***

"Closed for Reclamation."

A yoga teacher shared these words. She said, that all over Colorado, beautiful hiking trails have these signs fixed at the front gates. A kinder way of saying: KEEP OUT. This sign is a reminder that these trails have been trodden on by so many, and that they need to grow wild again. They need space to grow lush and to expand into their wholeness. How beautifully yogic, yes?

Growth and evolvement doesn't have to mean "doing." In fact, it allows for more "being." Growth and change also beg for surrender. A letting go of the former ways to make space for the new. Surrender asks for stillness, for quiet, for inner inquiry.

In this way, not doing and not producing does not = unworthy. [read that again]

In fact, this allows YOU to grow wild again, to remember your inner child, to pull it forward, to surrender to your deepest dreams and desires. It's the ultimate path of healing. It's where I finally arrived after months and months of tears, sadness, overwhelm. What would happen if I let go? What would happen if I let myself grow wild again? What would happen if I closed for a bit of reclamation?

***

Moving slowly helps me to capture and LIVE IN moments like these. As parents, we’re doing our best to foster space, slow growth, stillness, and a little wildness in our toddler…

Moving slowly helps me to capture and LIVE IN moments like these. As parents, we’re doing our best to foster space, slow growth, stillness, and a little wildness in our toddler…

I want this for you. I want you to recognize that even in the goodness of your doing - the lives you get to change, the bellies you fill with delicious meals, the incredible work you are putting out into the world - patterns and habits can begin to set in that are not always helpful. In these patterns, we find ourselves on autopilot, in constant mental loops, moving through our days without our born right of enjoyment and enthusiasm.

And, then our bodies often start to tell us something's up. It could show up as a constant racing heart. Debilitating sadness. Impaired digestion. Insomnia. Panic attacks. Infertility. Rashes. I'm not saying your sadness isn't real, or that your pain isn't real, because it absolutely is. It's not in your head. And, you're not broken because of it.

So, let's start with asking the right questions. Are you doing so much that you don't allow for being? Do you feel that the answer to your overwhelm is more productivity? Or better delegation? Is that rubbing off on those around you (i.e. your kids, your partner)? What are your patterns? How does it make you feel? Is any of this serving you? What does your body think?

And...is it time to create space? To take one or two or three moments in your day to "Close for Reclamation?" What would that be like?

This is BY FAR one of the most powerful messages that has ever come through me to you.What is coming up for you as you're reading? What's one word to sum up the way you feel? Can you send it to me?
 
With love,
Leanne


The sound of the genuine

When I decided to take a break from writing for a bit, I didn't have a plan for when I'd be back. I'm a somewhat reformed Type A personality, so not having a plan is a big deal (amiright?). However, I did know that the time would present itself, that I'd feel a strong urge to share and write again with renewed purpose even if I wasn't sure when.

I feel it now. I felt it standing on a mountain in Colorado a few days ago. I felt it during a meditation so beautiful that I knew I was lit from within.

***

I'll be honest. My perspective has changed, my direction in business and life is changing. Let me reintroduce what Yoga Dear [Yoga Therapy] is really about, and who these letters are really for.

"There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine within yourself." - Howard Thurman


These letters, teachings, and this space known as Yoga Dear is for people who want to get down to real talk, real conversation, and meaningful connection, really quickly.

Eugene, Bodhi, and I hiking on Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs

Eugene, Bodhi, and I hiking on Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs

I have found that one of the reasons we have a hard time finding true connection, friendship, and deep relationships with others, especially into adulthood, is because we're not having the real and honest and sometimes tough conversations early on. We either say nothing or scroll through our phones. We judge viewpoints different than our own, rather than approach them with curiosity. We play it safe by talking about things like the weather, recent news/entertainment, and/or our children's daily habits, rather than looking into another's eyes, seeing them, and sharing truthfully...whatever that truth looks like in the moment and allowing them the ability to do the same. [Note: Conversations about the weather, news/entertainment, and children are welcome here AND I want to create space for self discovery].

But, this requires vulnerability. It requires vulnerability from the individual who is seeking a deeper relationship, a true connection. And, it requires vulnerability from the individual who is sitting across from her. Right? This is the way to find the genuine, to welcome it in all its messy glory.

***

These letters are words directly from the deepest part of my being to you. I am vulnerable. I am honest. I want to hear from you, to connect with you. I want you to feel connected to me and to those who read these messages, too.

I want to teach you more about who you already are, to help you uncover the most beautiful parts of yourself that may have collected dust or been shielded for far too long. I want these letters to spark inspirational, thoughtful, genuine and sometimes tough conversations with your Self and those around you.

I want to teach you about Yoga Therapy, and how it can provide for a life-changing healing process physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.

I want to create community near and far. A community so strong and real that when you interact with me in one-on-one yoga therapy, come to a class, attend a retreat, sign up for a training, it's like we've known each other for years. I want you to feel like you're always learning something that you can directly apply to your life. A life that has the right to feel joyous, free, creative, and loving.

I sincerely hope this sounds like something you want to be a part of. I'll be writing to you regularly and I encourage you to write back (I respond to every message).

Over the next few weeks, I'm releasing a series to share how I found yoga therapy and why [ahem...anxiety which led to other forms of dis-ease]. I'll share what conditions it can support and how, and I'll share some of my favorite messages EVER that I've written recently about letting go, inner wisdom, and healing. I'm so glad you're here. I've missed you.

** If you're looking forward to receiving these letters, can you hit reply and send me a quick emoji? I'd love to hear from you. **

With love,
Leanne


P.S. If you've been a regular Yoga Dear reader, this series will be spread out over a few weeks. If you're a brand new reader, you'll have already started receiving very similar letters. And, if you're a new mother or expecting mother, please know that Yoga Dear Mama letters will resume soon, too. <3

Why yoga therapy?

20180722 111222 %281%29

We often come to yoga for more than the movement. We're searching. We want relief from anxiety, depression, loss, overwhelm, pain. We crave purpose. Connection.

When you join, you'll receive regular down to earth and practical guidance to incorporate yoga therapy into your every day. Learn how yoga therapy can transform the way you live in your body, and ultimately your life.

Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit