Posts

Heart Activism

 

It wasn’t clear to me at first but I was amongst great activists – humans utilizing this precious life and the power we all have to ignite change through positive action.

“Action is movement with intelligence.
The world is filled with movement.
What the world needs is more conscious movement, more action.”
– Iyengar

Ekuthuleni is an ecological retreat space set in the foothills of the Pyrenees of Southern France where people are doing just that- actively connecting the practice of inner work with outer action.

sacha

 

Nathan & Zohar, the facilitators of SanghaSeva Retreats, focus on how meditation can carry into making conscious actions in the world. This summer I participated in a Sustainability & Simplicity Retreat at Ekuthuleni. The first week we immersed in the practice of silent meditation and then in the second week we intentionally put our practice into action while using our bodies as tools to work with organic materials found on the land to build a straw bale sanctuary. We investigated how we can live a low-impact lifestyle in our environment – allowing nature’s needs to speak louder than human desires.

I slept in a tent on a wooden platform amongst the forest, showered my body under the rays of sunshine with solar-heated water and used composting toilets.

We nourished our bodies with the veggies from the garden.

We nourished our hearts and minds in meditation on a platform amongst the trees.

This simplistic way of living in nature allowed us to relax into the clarity of how supported we are by the Earth and how blissfully uncomplicated life can be when we can realize how much is already provided for us by nature.

FullSizeRender-1

I learned that through the practice of listening we are able to become aware of opportunities we have in life to contribute – even if it’s by choosing not to participate in things that we view as destructive or counterproductive.

“When you have a pro-peace rally, I will be there.” – Mother Theresa

Activism is directing your energy towards the things you are FOR rather than against in this world.

Flash forward to yoga with women and children at the Refugee camp in Calais, France.

I intentionally do not watch the news and before the retreat I was not even aware that such a place existed just north of where I was standing – 10,000 human beings in need of support – that I now felt able to contribute to.

At the camp I often felt the temptation of my mind to comprehend the whys and hows of the perceived inequality and injustices of this world – but instead, with practice – I was able to bring my focus back to the precious human beings in front of me that I was fortunate enough to meet.

sangha

This is my form of activism – union through human connection – regardless of what you call it – yoga, creativity, dance or play – embracing the joy that exists in the moments where we are able to let go of the mind’s stories of who we think we are.

The shared happiness that is not “mine” or “yours” but in the spaces in between that do not rely on the names on our passports or the stories we have bought into of who we are based on where we are from, what we do, or what we have.

Beyond acting to aim at the faraway destination of reaching solutions for the entirety of humanity and our planet – we can find the potential power that exists within us all to make choices that are coherent with the things we wish to see in the world right now.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

The practice of meditation allows us to see more clearly that we can be great activists by simply waking up to what is already right here and leading a life where we actively follow our heart.

 

 

 

sacha2

 

 

 

Sacha Bryce is a Toronto-based 500-RYT travelling yoga teacher and life enthusiast – with a mission to share the practice for the benefit of all beings!
Find her on instagram @sachabryceyoga

Sustain the Flow: Doug Swenson

 

I had the pleasure of meeting Doug Swenson in South Lake Tahoe, California where he holds annual yoga teacher training courses. As the years pass by, I am becoming more and more inspired and intrigued by people like Doug who have dedicated their life to the path of yoga. Doug’s passion for connecting with nature and his enthusiasm for life is contagious. Here we catch up with Doug as he shares some wisdom on how to ‘sustain the flow‘. Thank you for shining bright Doug!

When did you get introduced to yoga?

 

I was first introduced to yoga in 1963, when I was 13 years – my parents belonged to a church group (Unitarian Fellowship) which was a diverse group of ideas – with no one certain concept. Ironically one member of the Group was a Yoga master, Ernest Wood and he would teach some of the kids yoga a few times a month.

 

How has your yoga practice changed over the years?

 

My yoga practice is constantly evolving and changing, much like all of life. Specifically my practice has become more refined and very expansive, to touch every aspect of my everyday life, helping me to embrace more clarity, awareness and gratitude in all ways.
 
Most important – I am not so focused on doing the best asana, yet feel deep appreciation for just doing yoga under a tree and the amazing feeling of clarity I am rewarded with, this is a heavenly gift.
doug3
 

What are your tips on how to “sustain the flow”?

 

I assume you mean the (vinyasa of life), which can be represented as a river flowing to the sea. We can be conscious and aware in life, or just walk around mindlessly, not paying any attention to what we are doing and how our existence creates ripples in time. My suggestion is to live simply, create a sacred bond with nature, and adopt the highest quality vegan diet. Most important in this computer age – embrace gratitude for simplicity and try your best to get off electronics whenever possible, touch the earth and breathe light.
doug1
 

You travel A LOT….what helps keep you grounded while always on the move?

 

I stay grounded by embracing a mostly raw vegan diet, drinking fresh squeezed green juice, and enjoying daily fitness, including my own personal yoga practice.

Words of wisdom on the importance of COMMUNITY?

 

Community is the fabric of society and yet community is also the dark side to persuade humans to fall from grace. In any group – you have to be strong with an independent and progressive mind, be respectful and mindful of others and yet – Be the Light and you will never be afraid of darkness.
 
Learn to be the one with the good influence, not the one who is the gravity of failure, self-destruction and ecological disaster. Everyone is different, I am more of a loner, or recluse, most of the time, because I learn more about myself and find great joy in quiet time and self-reflection – this is where I draw my strength to interact with society.  
doug6
 

What does “living in the current” mean to you?

 

To me it means the moment is eternity, yesterday is gone and tomorrow has not arrived, so by being present we are more successful in all ways. Reflect on the past as a learning experience and priceless moments, then envision the future as a positive path and yet all the while – most importantly life this moment right now.  

“Life is what happens ~ when we are busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

It can also mean – being a part of the life force energy – being prana.
doug5
 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

 

To me time is only a number for mathematicians to stimulate the brain – I do not think in years – humans are much too busy counting steps of the sun, as the moments pass by and you miss the bus. I only aspire to see myself and all things in greater light!!!   
doug9
 

Who or what inspires you most?

 

Mother-nature, moonlight on the midnight ocean, sunrise in the Mountains and playing on waves with dolphins. The simplicity of picking wild berries on a warm summer day and the gift of true love.
 

What mantra resonates with you most right now?

 

I rarely follow the path of others – So will jump the fence on this one and say:
 

“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try some time – you might just find you get what you need “ – Rolling Stones  

doug4
 

Anything else you would like to share?

 

Yes, a philosophical poem I wrote:
 
Be The Light
If the desert would give back
This sand, like a mother’s touch of warmth
Yet cactus just dreams of a watery life
And ask why – as the night whispers
~~~~~~~~~~
Tomorrow needs our love, our kindness
And genuine integrity – this flower slow dances
Like a homeless thought, lost between time
Ego fishes for answers and yet – finds no truth
~~~~~~~~~~~
The taste of yesterday’s richness
Touched stray mountains – where sunbeams seek peace
It is not enough – to be the love of the wind
We must find the heart in preservation and be the light…

 

doug2

 

Doug Swenson began his study of yoga in 1969. He has had the fortune of studying with many great teachers including Dr. Ernest Wood, K. Pattabhi Jois, David Williams, Nancy Gilgoff, Ramanand Patel, and others. Doug is a master yoga practitioner, philosopher, poet and dedicated health advocate. He has incorporated influences from several different yoga systems along with his passion for nutrition and the environment to develop his unique approach. Over the years he has authored several books; “Yoga Helps”, “The Diet That Loves You Most”, “Power Yoga for Dummies” and “Mastering the Secrets of Yoga Flow“. Doug is a Registered Yoga Teacher with the Yoga Alliance and travels extensively offering workshops, retreats and teacher training courses around the world. Doug’s classes are always invigorating and inspirational and his supportive style of teaching and keen sense of humor send his students home with a smile on their face and a softness within their heart.

http://www.sadhanayogachi.com/

Inspiration From a Yoga Mamma

We are super grateful to have connected with Yoga Mamma, Stephanie Birch, from stephynow.com. Stephanie balances being an energetic and loving mom, a yogi, a creative light, and a wellness professional/business woman. And she does this all with tremendous positive spirit and grace. Thank you for sharing your story and tips for finding balance Stephanie, and thank you for being you!

Tell us a little about yourself…how did you find yoga?

 

Well, hello there! Thank you for having me. My name is Stephanie. A little about me…I live in Sacramento, CA. I spend my days as a play-at-home-mom. I consider myself to besteph1 an all-around creative moved by the present moment. I am a yoga teacher, life photographer, story-teller, writer, and soul activist. I always giggle when I reflect on how yoga came into my life because I was certain it would never be a part of my life. I definitely poked fun at the practice and brushed it off that it was “too mellow” and “too soft” for me. I was definitely the first-timer that came to class with judgments under my breath and a promise of a beer with a friend as a reward for trying said class. About half-way through, I was sweating, shaking, begging, and buckled down with humble pie. I was practicing off and on for years until I got pregnant with my son. I returned to my mat when my son was about 10 months old. I was desperate to re-connect with myself. My entire world was flipped as I battled with depression, being a new mom, challenges, mourning my old self, and a combination of things that overtook our household at the time. It was then that the practiced had changed for me, no longer just a way to sweat but turned into a way of life. It had been a pivotal tool in getting in touch with my heart and working through darkness. It allowed me to really feel myself, not to pretend or shy away from my humanness but to really connect with what it means to be human in every aspect of the word.

How do you balance being a creative business woman and a mamma?

 

Gosh! Somedays it’s tricky for sure! My son is very much a part of the creative process. steph2He attends photo shoots, occasional business meetings, and has been a part of some yoga classes. He traveled with us recently to Wanderlust Festival at Squaw Valley, while I covered the weekend festival for TOMS, and he loved it! He can often be heard on my end of conference calls or video chat meetings because I do a lot of work at home. He’s 4 now and he loves to help in any way. Some days more than others and it’s become quite fun. He has the same interest in helping his dad in his wood shop too. As a family, we do our best to make it a team effort. I think if I were to open a yoga studio, he would be my right hand man with handing out blocks and greeting students along side of us. As a parent, I think it’s important for our son to witness and be a part of our passions; the ups and downs, failures, and successes.

What does “living yoga” mean to you, and how do you bring yoga off the mat?

When I think of living yoga, I think of it as living fully in the present. It’s physical, it’s mental, it’s me as I am in the moment. It is my breath. It is my heart. It is being my most loving self within and outside of myself.

 

How do you think sustainable living and yoga are related? Any tips on how we can all live a little more sustainable?

 

We are all connected to this earth, and to each other. We are all related. How well we take care of ourselves is how well we take care of others and how well we take care of thissteph4 earth. Being consciously aware of our intake and outtake. There are many tips to live more sustainable but I think the best way to wrap our heads and hearts around this beautiful earth is to get outside. Check in with nature. Turn off the phone. Hug a tree, splash in a lake or river or ocean, walk barefoot feeling dirt in between your toes, face your palms toward the sun, swallow mountain air, listen to the howls of the wind and buzzing of bugs, watch the light cascade and pierce through the skyline, see animals roam, be a part of this earth by getting lost in nature. We must realize how big, beautiful, and important it is to not take from our Mother. The earth does not need us to survive, but we surely need her in order to survive.

What or who inspires you?

 

Coming up for air from the last answer above, I would say nature is one of my biggest inspirations. My son and the many ways he’s reconnected me with the child inside. Everything feels new; exploration, painting, creating, reading, playing, learning, finding moments of quiet and stillness. I like to spend a lot of time alone or just us as a family, we are a household of virtually opposite schedules so time spent together is held closely. Everyday, I’m inspired by humans, their acts of kindness, their fierceness, and polarities that make them beautifully human. If you wear love on your sleeve, you are a living inspiration.

Anything else you would like to share…..

I want to thank you for inviting me to a Talking Story. Sharing bits of humanness is one of my greatest passions. Giving a peek into our little-big life is an sweet honor. Thank you, Yoga Trade!
steph5In her everyday life, Stephanie is a play-at-home mom, yoga teacher, life photographer, writer, online contributor, Soul Activist, Tahoe-lover, a sucker for dark chocolate, dark beer, coffee, cartwheels, boardgames, and a life well-lived barefoot and pants-less. “No pants are the best pants,” is the norm in their household. You can find her with a wide-open heart, wanna-be comedian, and squealing on her best days over at www.stephynow.com in Sacramento, California. 
Instagram: @stephynow
Twitter: @stephynow
Soul Activist 200RYS Teacher Trainings:

9 Living Yoga Practices

There are many ways we can practice yoga without being in a studio or on a mat. Bringing the philosophies and teachings of yoga into our everyday lives is really what it’s all about.

Yoga is much more than a set of postures. It is a way of life. Living yoga is presence, connection, maintaining balance, and aligning with our core values. Living yoga can be tending a garden, loving our families, surfing, volunteering, taking part in sustainable living practices, mindful eating, participating in a beach clean up, sailing the seas, teaching a child how to read, practicing on a yoga mat, creating a mural, or listening to a friend. When we practice the natural art of giving and receiving, we create infinite opportunity loops.

In today’s modern world there are endless distractions. Allowing ourselves to to be happy, healthy, and thriving should be at the top of the list.

Here are nine simple practices we can use to help remind ourselves how to embrace our yoga practice into our daily lives.

liz2

1. Cultivate presence.

Notice the power of the breath. Become aware without judgment when the mind is drifting to the past or future. Recognize the only real place of freedom is the NOW. The only real thing we have is this very moment.

junglefever3

 

2. Be a good listener.

Listen to friends and family. Really listen. Practice compassion. Learn to listen to your inner guide and not just the thoughts of the restless mind.

livingpractice

3. Have loving, kind thoughts toward yourself and others.

Diminish all negative thinking. Let yourself feel all the feelings that may come up with an embracing attitude. Form loving, intimate, meaningful relationships with the people in your life and with the natural world.

rochelle5

4. Spend time in nature.

The natural world can teach us all we ever need to know. Observing seasonal cycles can teach us patience, flow, and the miracle of life. Make connection to nature a priority. Try to enjoy outside time everyday.

andrew3

5. Develop a consistent personal yoga and/or meditation practice.

This helps us practice self-discipline, and make self discoveries we may have never known existed. Aim for a balance of working hard and following what you love. Notice how our practice on the mat correlates to everything off the mat. We are all connected.

junglefever4

6. Be receptive.

Notice the next time you become “reactive” to something and then consciously change the attitude to “receptive”. Practice calmness. Take responsibility, be strong, and bring more love into your life.

junglefever5

 

7. Make health and wellness a priority.

Take care of yourself! Omit stress; nourish the body and spirit, exercise, and practice mindful eating. Take the time to do things that make you happy. When we are healthy and happy, we can then inspire others to be the same.

junglefever2

8. Live sustainable.

All we need is less. Simplicity. Notice what you may be doing in your daily life that can be changed to make more conscious efforts toward the environment. Get curious about alternative ways to live that make less of a footprint. Every small step helps. Let’s evolve to sustain. Become a living yoga activist and spark change.

live3

9. Selfless service.

Volunteer, give, and surrender to a power higher than yourself. Get involved in your community and be the light!

Live yoga. By fostering cultural exchange and mutual respect in the global yoga community, we grow closer to one another, our planet, and ourselves. Breathe it all in, LOVE it all out.

Be inspired by the Living Yoga Ambassadors at Yoga Trade. They are truly shining bright in this world and making positive impacts on communities locally and globally.

 

yogafarmloveErica Hartnick grew up in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California, and enjoys all things wild and free. She teaches nature inspired yoga and leads mindful adventures in California and Costa Rica. She gets excited about; LEARNING, intense weather, glassy ocean peaks, pillows of fresh powder snow, crystal clear water, positive people, cultural travel, thriving vegetable gardens, fresh mint chip ice cream, nature’s glory, LIVING YOGA, and connecting with others. She is passionate about the collaboration with friends that led to the creation of Yoga Trade, and is devoted to connecting the yoga community with infinite opportunities!

http://yogatrade.com/

Lessons From the Jungle

This article is a repost by Laruen Lee, founder of RAISE YOUR BEAT. The original posting can be found HERE

A REFLECTION ON NATURE, CULTURE, & BEING

Arriving back into Mother India (after having spent a couple of years away) I have been instantly been brought back to ‘earth’. From the moment I landed, all was like a familiar dream – the chaos, the simplicity, the incredible sense of freedom and openness that jungle3permeates every cell in my body. There is something powerful about being in tropical weather and immersed deep in nature, something magical about weaving on a scooter through a family of carefree cows, and something deeply rejuvenating about walking barefoot and letting my curls soak up seawater and coconut oil.

I have spent 3 months at Lotus Yoga Retreat, nestled on a secluded eco farm Khaama Kethna, which lies in a lush valley of jungle and forest. I have felt myself get grounded, quite literally as I spent my time living in an open air hut, and my feet continuously covered in the fertile red earth. I have been spoiled with fresh foods – so fresh the chef collects it from the organic gardens and passes through the restaurant with bundles of color cradled under her bosom. I have indulged in some of the deepest sleeps of my life, falling and rising with the mysterious jungle sounds which somehow meld into one melodic rhythm. I have taught yoga to diverse and unique individuals from all over the world who leave their daily lives behind and arrive for the same universal sense of connection.

It has been an absolute retreat in all senses (for both myself and students) as modern luxuries and ‘comforts’ are stripped away, which can be a shock to the system at first, as we become more exposed, more raw and more genuine as we journey closer to freeing the mind from conditioning. As we begin this process of cleansing, it’s as if we throw away all the ‘junk’ (negative emotions, stress, ego) and layer by layer we uncover (or come back to) our true being.

This true being is our most authentic self…the part which lies within the heart center and is inherently connected to our unique purpose and life all around us.

Experiencing a foreign culture (such as India) and immersing yourself in nature both bring us closer to this place of authenticity, truth or being. 

In a country like India, life is more simple, and its accepted. The majority of the jungle2population still cook over a fire and take showers with cold water using a bucket. Many do not have a car, or use modern electronics such as toasters, refrigerators or washing machines. Most go to the vegetable market and local shops each morning to purchase their daily amount of milk and produce.

Without the need to ‘consume’, life becomes more sacred and more free. Most work to provide shelter, food and support their families. There is time for prayer, play, cooking and community –  and this is honored as a culture.

Experiencing a world and lifestyle unknown (or unnatural) is key in expanding our perspectives, appreciating our own circumstances or maybe even aid us in observation of unnecessary aspects of our own lives.

When we find ourselves in nature, we are reminded of the power of ‘prana’ or natural intelligence which surrounds us each and every moment. This prana is what moves life and it instantly connects us with this place of authenticity. 

It is why turtles return to nest their eggs in the same spot. 

It is why whales migrate thousands of miles.

It is why ants can carry up to 5,000 times their weight.

It is a seedling sprouting from the earth to follow the light.

It can be seen in a cascading waterfall.

It is the sun and moon rising.

It is the tides of the ocean.

It is the climate and seasons.

It is life and death.

It is the flow of communities and societies. 

It is the life that moves us, guides us and supports us.

It is within and around us.

 

Living in harmony with nature, washing my clothing by hand, enjoying daily morning chai before the sun rises, sweeping the leaves from the yoga shalas, lighting sandalwood incense and reciting a simple mantra of ‘love, trust, surrender’ have become my daily jungle4rituals which are simple and sweet. They have helped me to find more gratitude, devotion and love.

Of course living simply in nature and in a foreign context has its challenges, some days more than others, and when things don’t go ‘as planned’ I have found laughter to be a powerful practice.

I am working to extract the positives from living in a foreign culture (which at times feels very unnatural) and becoming aware to life’s lessons, big and small, which are found in every moment when you open your eyes.

I am grateful for this space to retreat and reconnect. To live without internet and without walls. To experience new people and places. To let go of any plans and definitions of who or what I am ‘supposed’ to be, instead urged to slow down and let go. Through this surrender I have become more clear in who I am and what my purpose is…and more awake to the pranic flow of life and beauty that is around us each and every day. I am leaving the jungle feeling blissed and blessed for this experience, and look forward (without attachment and identity) for whatever life brings.

lauren_bancoLAUREN LEE is passionate about holistic health, exploring the world and empowering others to live vibrant and happy lives. Founder of Raise Your Beat, dedicated yogini and sun seeker, she lives for creating connection and enjoying simple pleasures.

A Better World

This is a repost from our friend Liz Clark and her blog at Swell Voyage. Thank you so much Liz for your bright light, for being an outrageously inspiring adventurer, teaching us how to “live yoga”, and for sharing these tips on how we can help to make a better world.

You can find the original blog post here: http://www.swellvoyage.com/inspiration/a-better-world-what-we-can-do/

1. Spread Good Vibes!  Simply be nice to each other!

Life can be testing, but being negative only makes things harder for you and those around you. Try not to loose your cool. Keep kindness and good vibes flowing through you and to those you encounter throughout the day. Positivity is contagious, healing, and unifying. A peacefulliz1 world starts in our own hearts, so our job as individuals is to check ourselves when negative emotions arise and take another direction before they become overwhelming and cause harm to ourselves and others. In a better world, we must treat each other and ourselves with kindness, compassion, and integrity!

2. Your dollars are your Voice: Buy Organic, Local, Non-toxic, and Mindfully.

Let your purchases speak to your eco-values. We can make a positive impact everyday by supporting brands and people who love the environment as much as we do. By doing so, we tip the demand toward sustainable and eco-friendly goods. Buying local offsets carbon. Supporting organic farmers helps reduce degradation and pollution of our soils, waterways, and oceans not to mention our bodies. Boycotting brands containing GMO ingredients tells Monsanto we disapprove of Big Ag, Round-up ready varieties, and their monopolizing of our seed banks! Opting for sustainably-sourced wood and paper products can help preserve biodiversity and the Earth’s remaining forests. Refusing to buy chemical-based shampoos & body wash, laundry & dish soaps, toothpaste & cleaning products means fewer toxic chemicals end up in our bodies and waterways. Do a little research, beware of fakes, read ingredients and labels, and look for minimal and recycleable packaging! Check out Patagonia, Mizu, Zeal Optics, Eco Flex Moss Research Surfboards, Avasol Suncare, Enjoy Handplanes, to learn more about these highly mindful, authentic brands who love our Earth!!

3. Reduce, reuse, recycle & refuse SINGLE USE PLASTICS.

Our oceans are becoming plastic soup. I find plastic debris lining the beaches of tropical islands thousands away from any trash source. This plastic never biodegrades, only breaks down into tiny toxic pieces that pollute our ocean ecosystems and enter the food chain–killing wildlife ranging from plankton to seabirds to whales–and rendering seafood toxic. It’s time we demand and implement non-toxic plastic replacements and stop using something that will last forever–plastic bags, bottles, straws, etc—only one time!? It makes no sense!? 50 billion plastic beverage bottles are produced each year. At least 40 billion of them end up in our oceans and landfills EVERY YEAR, not to mention a stream of other plastic bags and trash. Let’s stop our single-use plastic addiction and lead the way toward a world of biodegradable plastic alternatives. Get a reusable water bottle, install a water filter in your home, bring your own shopping bags, dine-in, refuse plastic straws, avoid brands using excess plastic packaging, and speak up with friends and merchants about this important issue! Check out Mizu’s stainless steel waterbottles and campaign to #protectwhereweplay!!

4. Eat less or no meat!  Animal agriculture is killing our environment.

Why do they keep telling us to ‘turn off the lights’ and ‘carpool’ to help save the planet when eating less meat & dairy for a week could decrease liz2your personal eco-impact more than carpooling for a whole year? Animal agriculture is the leading cause of the greenhouse gases responsible for climate change, soil degradation, water pollution due to animal waste runoff, ocean acidification, rainforest clearing, and extinction due to habitat loss and destruction. The energy and water that go into meat production are astonishing. It takes an average of 660 gallons of water to produce a single hamburger!? Despite that the meat and dairy industries have us thinking animal protein is necessary for our health, studies prove otherwise. Meat and dairy are proven to cause cancer, hormone imbalance, high blood pressure, obesity, and a host of other unpleasant effects. Plus, we’ve sadly overlooked the horrifying treatment of these sentient animals in America’s factory farms. Fish and shrimp farms are generally extremely environmentally taxing and their end-products lack nutrition. After switching to a plant-based diet in 2012, I can assure you that I feel SO good that the thought never enters my mind to go back!! If you’re not ready to give up meat entirely, try to choose wild, sustainably-caught, or humanely-raised meat, poultry, and seafood. Check out the documentaries “Cowpiracy“, and “Earthlings“, and read up on The China Study!!

5. Support alternative & free energy solutions

Free, clean energy is absolutely possible and available to us, and has been so for a long time. It’s just not in the interest of the very powerful people who prefer we stay dependent on buying their fossil fuels. They are destroying the planet just to get richer…it’s rather short-sighted and selfish, no? So where we can, let’s go off-grid, use solar and wind-power, drive more fuel-efficient cars, demand better public transportation, walk, ride a bike, and support alternative energy systems and free energy solutions! Watch “Thrive”!!

6. Dedicate yourself to personal growth & self-awareness!

A better you makes a better world, and I believe we cannot truly be fulfilled without making a constant effort to grow and evolve into a better version of ourselves. It’s easy to point fingers at everyone else and blame our problems on the other guy, but this helps no one. Going within takes courage, but the rewards are unlimited. Even small positive changes in our negative behavior patterns can improve our lives and relationships drastically, and inspire others around us to do the same. Don’t wait for someone else to change, change yourself. Find where you can be more open, kind, loving, positive, flexible, courteous, patient, forgiving, honest, humble, etc. We all have our issues, our struggles, our hardships. We can either use them as stepping-stones to our greatness, or allow them to make us bitter and victimized. Choosing the latter leads only to further darkness, so we must use our adversities as opportunities to grow, learn, and move closer to the Light!! Check out my Reading List for helpful book recommendations in this department!

7. Get Outside and connect with Mother Earth!

Whether you just stop & take a deep breath and look up at the sky, or smell a flower, go for a nature walk, surf, hike, swim, or the likes–doing something everyday to acknowledge our connection and dependence upon the Earth helps keep the important things in liz4perspective. We often forget that we depend on a healthy Earth for every meal we eat, each drop of water we use, and every breath we take. A life acknowledging this connection to the Source of our existence cultivates gratitude, balance, respect, and a feeling of Oneness with Nature and the Universe. Get off the beaten path and go fall in love with this magnificent planet in your own beautiful way!

8. Plant a garden or create a permaculture yard.  Let’s take back our food!

It’s amazing what we consider ‘food’ these days. Growing a veggie garden and planting edible plants in your yard is not only the best way to ensure that your food is chemical and GMO-free and charged with love, but you also reap the benefits of re-connecting with your food and gaining respect for the growing process. You automatically reduce your carbon footprint, contribute to local biodiversity, save yourself some cash, and put the power to feed yourself highly nutritious food back in your own hands!! Veggie Garden Cheat SheetHow to Build a Permaculture Vegetable GardenStarting Your Permaculture Garden

9. Buy Less, Waste Less, Upcycle, and Get Creative with what you have.

Nature knows no ‘waste’—matter and energy are always reused and transformed. Our current economy is based on the impossible premise of infinite growth on a finite planet, encouraging us to blindly consume and throw away. We spend our time earning money to buy things liz5that often don’t enhance our well-being or happiness. This one-directional ‘buy & toss’ system is not sustainable! We must reject this model by refusing to buy things we don’t really need, offering services rather than goods as gifts, finding ways to reuse and reinvent things that we would normally throw away, or giving them to someone who will. We must find a way to close the loop on our waste stream, and be as clever as nature at utilizing, recycling, and transforming our resources!

10. Do what you Love!!

We are all here for a unique and beautiful calling. Each of us contributes to the diversity and evolution of humanity when allowed to develop into our fully blossomed Self. Take a risk! Follow your dreams and live up to your potential, so that you may be happier and more inclined to want to give back to the world. Choose joy and passion over security. Abundance always follows people who live in their true calling or joy-space. The alternative is a life of gray, haunted by internal whispers of what ‘could have been’. Money and comfort doesn’t really make us happy, only genuine self-love does. I believe ‘too comfortable’ can become caustic, and the only real failure is having never tried. We can’t wait for the system to change, we must leap with relentless positivity and energy toward living a life we dream of. Once you go for it, you’ll look back and see how your hardships were part of your path to fulfillment, and a deep Trust may be born in the Greatness and Perfection of it All. Compassion flourishes, competition melts away, and we come to see and feel the interconnectedness of all our stories and struggles. Understanding and feeling this Oneness, we realize that we cannot truly rise unless we rise together. Hence, we strive to lift up our brother and sister humans everyday!

Liz Clark has been sailing the seas since 2006. She is a surfer, captain, yogi, and environmentalist who is living passionately and following herliz6 heart. She is making waves of positive impact in this world and continues to inspire with her sustainable lifestyle and adventures. Catch up with Liz here: 

www.swellvoyage.com

Instagram: captainlizclark

 

I Believe In Mermaids

I took this picture quite a while ago, at the beach where I grew up. When I was a little girl, my mom always took my sister and me to the beach and we would see this mermaid engraved in a rock, right at the water. It has something beautifully mysterious, peaceful and a sense of freedom to me. Especially because my sister and I would pretend to be a mermaid and swim through the ocean with our feet crossed over, pretending to have a tail and thinking one day we will be able to breathe under the water.

I still believe in mermaids. I was convinced one day I will meet one and she will teach me how to be a mermaid and then I will be able to live in the ocean with her….When we are young, we believed in everything that our mind told us but when we grow up, reality checks in on us and we get to realize that the truth is rarely pure and never simple.We stop believing in mermaids, unicorns, fairies and that there is a treasure at the end of the rainbow. We get older and realize that parents don’t know every answer to our questions (although they still try) and that some people can be mean, unfair, use you and will hurt you at some point. This is the moment in our lifes, we stop believing. We get distrustful, build up doubts and fears and once in a while lose hope in ourselves and our goals. We stop believing in good things happening to us.

Why? Why do we get so fragile and insecure when all that the universe wants for us is to be happy? You can’t blame anyone for your mindset but yourself. Your brain is a such powerful tool and we never stop comparing us towards others. We always want more until enough is never enough. Stop this. Stop it right now. Why would you not have the right to live a happy, successful life, full of possibilities and positivity? Why? There is no reason! Don’t stop thinking big. Do think BIG! Have dreams, be creative, let your mind go crazy with them and let your brain be unlimited into believing you can go further. Trust your instinct and only because the success isn’t spoon fed to you by a teacher or exam, it doesn’t mean you won’t get there because once you actually, with all your heart, start believing in yourself and your abilities, step by step you will get there and you will look back onto your path and realized how easily society can brainwash you into thinking your not worth it.

Yes, you will get hurt and yes, someone will probably break your heart at least once and yes, maybe someone will try and pull you down or stop you from doing what your instinct told you and be so mean that you reallydsc_1790 start doubting yourself again all over, but don’t ever, ever, ever stop believing in mermaids, unicorns, fairies and treasures at the end of rainbows.

Danae Borsani a German/ Italian Yogi, lives on Mallorca and is a passionate blogger (soulseekergirl.com) about what she does best; The Art of Food, Fashion, Travel, and Health. She inspires her readers towards a healthy and fulfilled lifestyle.

Events

Yoga Adventure

Interested in this Opportunity?

Register New Account

Usernames must be all lowercase.

Choose your subscription level

View Terms

You do not need a PayPal account to checkout. All major credit cards are accepted.