Getting Started with Your Practice: Resources and Support

This has been on my mind so much lately…

It’s not the to-do list with checked boxes, the app with the timers and bells and whistles, or the endless meal planning that will change your life.Think about it… what does it mean to “be on top of it all?”  ALL the time spent worried about what “others will think” WHO are those specific others?  Can you see them? Are they people that you care about, that mean a lot to you?  If not, why are “they” taking up so much of your mind space? your energy? your life?

My dear friends, freedom occurs when you cultivate a real, authentic, meaningful, dynamic relationship to YOUR  life. The relationship in which you trust and love and treat with compassion, the realities of your responsibilities. Freedom occurs when you CHOOSE joy over endless to-do’s and you wake up to the value of a spacious, expansive, creative day. Freedom occurs when we trust ourselves and listen to our hearts, not JUST the mind.

“PLEASANCE!!!”  you say, “how on Earth can I do that? I have a job, and kids, and bills, and endless tasks on my lists.

And then I will come close, hold your hand and whisper… practice. It all starts with practice.

So in honor of this response, here are tips to get you started. 

Here are 3 of my Favorite Yoga & Wisdom Books.  You can click on the book cover to learn more and to purchase.

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Check out all of my recommended reads.  Find titles related to Family/Parenting support, business/self-development, meditation, kids books, plus DVDs, products, and more of what I love.

 

Just added! Give yourself 8 minutes in the morning, on your lunch break, or before bed to try this at home yoga practice.

Here’s a 5-minute meditation video I created to support content from Chapter 8: Awake of my book, Delight: 8 Principles for Living with Joy and Ease.  Want to receive all the supporting video content? Sign up.

Tara Brach offers a wonderful “How to Meditate Guide” which addresses setting up your practice, troubleshooting common issues, and sustaining a practice.  You can also check out her New to Meditation page.

“You are traveling a path that has led to clarity, peace and deep realization for many people over thousands of years. May their awakening support and inspire you. And may the sincerity of your practice heal and free your spirit.”
— Tara Brach

When you establish your sitting practice, you’ll want to be comfortable.  Find a comfy mat, bolster, or blanket.  Or set the mood or intention with some essential oils and aromatherapy!  Maybe you need a grounding oil like Vetiver or Sandalwood.  If you need extra relaxation try Lavender, Roman Chamomile, or Clary Sage.  Need some cleansing?  Grab your sage.  Need some loving? Neroli or Rose will do the trick.  There is SO much to learn about essential oils related to practice.  Let’s chat about it.  Book a free 30 minute intro call with me.

If you need any additional support regarding your practice and want to work together, here’s an application to get started.

Additionally, join me at Insight Meditation Community of Washington in Tenleytown for my half-day Pause Retreat on Friday, November 18th.  This is a simple, sweet yoga and meditation retreat for all levels where you will explore practices to take home.

a lil omm everyday + #yogaineverydamnway

#yogaeverydamnday is a very popular movement challenge, when you look at the hashtag collection it is more than half pictures of people in very difficult postures that most of us don’t practice regularly. For some people, these photos are very inspiring. For others, they are very discouraging and turning people away from yoga because they believe they won’t ever be able to achieve or accomplish these “advanced” arm balances and inversions.
This morning I woke up thinking… What if it was #yogaineverydamnway, and instead of people doing headstands, handstands, and arm balances they were meditating, sitting in stillness.  Not striving, not perfecting, not competing as we get to be more “advanced” practitioners.  Pssst… I’m going to let you in on a little secret Gentle Is The New Advanced
and J is coming to The Underground Yogi, in VA in October!!
Yoga’s Ethical Guide to Living:the Yamas and Niyamas are here to keep us on track … to stay focused on how I only really want to do this whole “life thing” as a student of yoga, not because it gives me “yoga booty” but because it helps me realize my strength, my flexibility, and my potential (not to mention the shift of perspective, mindset, and clearing of the internal cobwebs so that I am able to live these days awake, alive, and in tune with my life).  That to me is the gift of a lifetime. Thank you, Yoga.
I’m going to share with you our outline for the Mom’s Up themed workshops (plus poses) featured in our upcoming retreat… these are not just for our mamas, but for ALL humans to explore. How do these themes show up in your life and in your relationships every day?  What happens when you invite yourself into a pose with a theme and reflect up on the theme?  How does it feel when you breathe into the pose, come out, and Pause.
This type of practice is extremely efficient… you don’t need 90 minutes, fancy yoga pants, or even to leave your home. It’s just a lil omm every day, plus #yogaineverydamnway.
Try it and let me know what you think.
Mom’s Up Workshop Themes & Supporting Poses
Energetic strength (plank)
Energy and time feel like scarce resources for moms. Be reminded of your inner strength and tap into your vital energies.Find the power to manage your energy sustainably, and to be yourSELF with authentic conviction. 
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Balance (tree pose)
A balanced lifestyle is simply a state of being in which one has time and energy for obligations and pleasures that are in ALIGNMENT with one’s values. Balance is  dynamic and that you “achieve” when all of the most precious aspects of your life and self are in harmony.  Only you can determine what balance means to you, what alignment looks and feels like to YOU, in this season. How do you embrace equilibrium in your heart and mind?
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Self love (mudra)
What does your love affair with you look like? Realize the value of caring for yourself.  Learn to recognize and celebrate what is wonderful about you. With hands on your heart, breathe into the center of your own being. The real, beautiful, loving kind soul that I believe exists in all of us. Tap into her as often as possible. Befriend her. Embrace and Empower her to help you make decisions for your life. 
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Trust (half moon)
Self doubt, guilt, not-enoughitis are all too common symptoms of motherhood, ( adulthood?). Reconcile with the voices and habits that support the re-occurence of these symptoms and learn to connect with your intuition so you can feel confident in your choices as a mother, as a woman. Begin living a life based on trusting yourSELF and the Universe that supports you. 
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Creativity (side twists)
Busy-ness, overwhelm, stress and lack of self-confidence can all be barriers to a mothers’ powerful creative flow.  Learn how to overcome these barriers and connect with and nourish you creative spirit. It is time to settle into your authentic self and let your imagination roam free.
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Want to learn more about Mom’s Up?  We were just featured on Mindful Healthy Life! 
If you’re a mama who lovingly does EVERYTHING for your family and somewhere along the way have lost track of your own needs, priorities, and self-care then you’re invited to a complimentary group coaching call with me and my retreat co-host, Alex Hughes this Thursday, October 6th @ 11am.
Want in?  Sign up here.  Recordings will be available to everyone registered.
Registration for our weekend retreat in Middleburg, Virginia ends on October 10th!  Only a handful of spots are available.

Delight- Mind Body Practice Part 2

Do you ever feel like things are just way- way-way- out of control?

I know I do. Sometimes I get mad at the kids or my husband and within just a few minutes I realize – I am so not mad at them.. something else is going on.

So- at this part- the practice below is what I do.

It’s when I know something is happening inside and it is manifesting on the outside.

I hope it helps you when you need.

Print it out- take a picture and put it in a safe place. Do it often and see what happens.

Love to hear what shows up for you..( email me pleasance@lilomm.com)

Mind-Body Practice

Take a deep breath. Place your feet on the floor, press into them fully. Balance the weight on the feet front back, side to side and find center. Lengthen your spine. Feel your breath fill up and then leave your torso. Know that you are loved and supported. Know that this road, your journey, will be full of both challenges and delights.

 

Part of our common human experience is experiencing all the beauty and all the sorrow life brings us. Start inviting more truth into your life right now by acknowledging where you are in this moment. Right now. What are the sounds around you? What is your heart calling for? What part of your life needs a more love?

Ground yourself and then focus on this mantra:

“I acknowledge the truth of where I am. I will start here.”

*Excerpt from chapter 2, Acknowledgment in my book Delight: Eight Principles for Living with Joy And Ease.  which is FREE this weekend! ENJOY.

Delight- Mind Body Practice

Here’s an excerpt from my book, Delight: Eight Principles For Living with Joy And Ease which is FREE ON AMAZON this weekend- grab a copy!

Stay tuned- I’ll post practices every few days to inspire and encourage your practice- I KNOW this time of year can feel a little.. STRESS-FULL after our long, glorious- too fast summer.

Mind-Body Practice

I’ll share a chant with you as a place to start a practice and invite Aha into your life. This chant is a beautiful reminder and a prayer for our practice of delight and our world. I have it written down and posted in my office and near my bed. I read, chant, and meditate on these words regularly. Doing so often helps to gently guide me into a place of inner strength and purpose. You can also set a reminder on your phone to alert you to regularly say this chant as you are starting to learn and remember the words.

This is the chant: Lokah Samasta Sukinoh Bhavantu

It translates from the Sanskrit as “Let the entire world be happy,” and is associated with this prayer: “May all beings everywhere be happy and free. And may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and that freedom.”

PS

I also have recorded videos of the practices you can get here.

 

 

 

 

 

seeing karen.

in the back of my head, I know it’s approaching.

I have said it a bunch of times.. in passing.. “oh , yeah I’m going to this meditation retreat.. in Ohio”

Inside my body. my heart starts to skip. my head starts a mantra. unknown. unknown.unkown.

I have no idea what is about to happen. but I ‘m pretty sure it’s going to change my life.

that’s what she does, EVERY TIME I’M WITH HER.

when I read her words.. my heart is connected. I feel like she’s talking to me. She hears me. She knows me. She opens me up and sees the inside.

she’s my teacher.

at her last visit to lil omm, I cried almost the whole weekend and then GROUNDED. like I had not been in years.

Her energy lifts me, swirls me around , and then leaves me a little.. out of it . Only to fully return to myself. in a more open way. with more love and beauty and tears and life. Grounded. Confident. Present. Deeply Rooted.

I cry. I need space. I feel WIPED after being with her. After the practice and the teachings. and  the knowledge. and the space. sitting quietly. doing nothing.

When Karen Maezen Miller (Momma Zen & Hand Wash Cold Author  & Zen Buddhist Teacher/ Priest) posted months ago that she was teaching a retreat in OHIO in MARCH- I thought. that’s crazy! Ohio? WHY? March? WHY? I can’t do that. I can’t afford it. How selfish of me to even want to go?  And then I took a DEEP BREATH and I knew I was going. .

I did everything I could to make it happen. I started the ball rolling and now I am days away from the flight.

Okay, lets start here- A FLIGHT ALONE WITHOUT KIDS. has not happened in a very long time. I’m going to be PLEASANCE!  not  mama. not owner of lil omm. no masks, veils, roles or responsibilities. just me.  So, is that what is totally freaking me out?

a few days on my mat, on my meditation cushion without any of the parts of my life that I have relied on as ways to identify myself. ( mom, community member, wife, friend, teacher, coach, bness owner.. the list goes on and on) instead it’s  Just me. ME.

I’m not sure what will unfold.

I’ve had tough days over the past few months where just the thought of this retreat was enough to get me through.

I’m called to the practice, sitting and stillness save me over & over.

I’m ready Karen.

Watch this to inspire yourself. 

Or Karen herself .