BECOMING SAFELY EMBODIED Practical steps to help discover an unshakeable core, a solid, steady, secure self.

I admit that when I first read Becoming Safely Embodied in manuscript, I had just upgraded to Windows 10, and I didn’t realize it was doing battle with my Adobe Reader program. Through no fault of the PDF Deirdre had sent me, it was hard to read the manuscript in full. So when it became available last week, I downloaded the book. Reading Deirdre Fay’s work in its entirety, tenderly uncoiled old feelings of unworthiness in a young silent part that still tightened my belly when I made a mistake. This is a beautifully written and thoughtful book that I recommend for self-care and healing, whether you have a history of trauma or not. Paraphrasing a question Fay asks in the introduction gives you [...]

BECOMING SAFELY EMBODIED Practical steps to help discover an unshakeable core, a solid, steady, secure self.2021-03-16T14:11:49-07:00

NEW MUST-READ for Therapists, Yogis, and Self Care Seekers

Why do I say Joanne Spence’s new book Trauma-Informed Yoga is a must-read? If you, as a mental health, yoga or other healing professional, support people in recovery from a history of trauma and associated mood disorders, you will love this book. Stephen Porges, PhD changed our understanding of the body-mind’s response to threat when he published Polyvagal Theory in 2011. Deb Dana, LCSW brought that understanding into the treatment room when she published The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy in 2018, and in the simplest and most accessible of ways, Joanne Spence, BSW, MA, helps us non-neuroscientists take hold of the “Autonomic Ladder” and support our clients and students as they rise to safety and connection. When I read Trauma-Informed Yoga for the first time (disclaimer—I read it a [...]

NEW MUST-READ for Therapists, Yogis, and Self Care Seekers2021-03-15T16:52:26-07:00

And STILL, MEDITATION STILLS

Do you have trouble meditating? Does your mind seem too active to find stillness? Meditation can produce a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind; simple, yes, but not often easy. When I began to meditate, I went on "rounding" meditation weekends, and the group practice made it easier than practicing at home alone. In fact, the depression that clouded my mind created a lot of negative self-talk, no matter if I practiced with my mantra or focused on the breath. When I closed my eyes, my self-critical part took the lead. Sound familiar? Later, when I added yoga practices to "give my mind a bone"--mudras, mantra chanting, pranayama, kriya, body sensing--I found a portal into a quiet mind. [...]

And STILL, MEDITATION STILLS2021-03-15T16:02:40-07:00

Tucson’s Broad Perspectives Just Clicks!

Tucson's feminist radio show “Broad Perspectives” is excellent. Have a listen! I want to share with you one of those interviews that just seemed to click. The interviewer, Aspen Green, asked the probing personal questions that allowed me to share my passions. In under thirty minutes (because they also let me pick a favorite song—Chris Williamson’s “Song of the Soul”) we talked about creativity, my journey from depression to published fiction (my new novel Temple Dancer) and the benefits of yoga for optimum mental health. I feel grateful to Aspen and to Kathleen Harris, the co-hosts, of “Broad Perspectives” on KXCI for offering me this opportunity.  After you’ve listened, I hope you feel grateful to them too!   [...]

Tucson’s Broad Perspectives Just Clicks!2021-01-25T23:01:13-07:00

Increasing Courage Amidst Fear

Dear Ones, As we Americans face the inauguration, fear arises in many of us. Many have expressed the fear of the violence that may erupt in coming weeks and months. Most of us are expressing fear of the hate and distrust that has gone underground. What to do to create ease? I’m finding two things that are particularly supporting my sense of personal courage and confidence right now. One is taking a small action, any action, to serve in my community, and the other is a practice for calm strength and energy. My present action is here: The "Trashy Divas", a group of us in Tucson, gather every month to clear our favorite trail. Yes, it’s small in the scheme [...]

Increasing Courage Amidst Fear2021-01-19T15:59:14-07:00

CREATIVE FLOW: 15 Ways to Open the Portal

Rounding December 2020- incredible. I'm excited for new possibilities, and to farewell this remarkable year, I’ll be posting 15 ways to open the portal to creative flow to welcome in 2021, so grab a pen... As a writer, I thrive on connection to the source of creativity and love, and I know I'm not alone (despite these recent events!) Join me here each day, December 17-31, for a prompt, an inquiry, or a practice. Whether you’re a poet, an artist, a dancer, a chef, a gardener or you just want to infuse your daily life with more creativity, follow along with me for 15 days. Please share and let's "Open the Portal" to nourish creativity for the New Year! 12/17/20 [...]

CREATIVE FLOW: 15 Ways to Open the Portal2020-12-31T15:35:15-07:00

Holiday Inspiration, Embracing the Ups and Downs

Dear Ones, We’re heading into the holidays—Hanukkah first this year and then Christmas and Kwanzaa. This season can be a time of great joy and also great loneliness, especially amplified in 2020. Like everything in life, the upsides and the downsides. Can we extend our arms to embrace it all, without feeling overwhelmed or numbing out? That’s where a practice can help us stay balanced. Click >> the image for a simple practice to ride the waves of emotion and thought that I hope will help you navigate the ups and downs of the holidays. On Facebook, I see the amazing faces of the babies born and growing up in a Pandemic. I imagine the stresses and strains on their [...]

Holiday Inspiration, Embracing the Ups and Downs2020-12-11T08:57:53-07:00

Surviving Uncertainty and Increasing Hope

Surviving uncertainty. Dear ones, these times are confusing for all of us. We now know that we have a POTUS and a LOTUS. (Kamala in Sanskrit means lotus). Even so, with the concerns about the transition and the fears about the growing numbers of COVID cases, uncertainty seems to be a steady state of being. Even as we pledge (and hope our leaders do too) to find ways to reach across the barriers that have divided us for the last four years, uncertainty persists. This is our time to cultivate our compassion and understanding of our neighbors’ and our own emotional dysregulation. Uncertainty is an obstacle that we need to address because it makes everything feel worse than it actually [...]

Surviving Uncertainty and Increasing Hope2020-11-13T17:35:58-07:00

TEMPLE DANCER Backstory Part Two: Devadasi Research

After my return from India, I researched devadasi ritual and culture and discovered a league of auspicious, empowered women. For over 1,200 years, temple dancers, or devadasis, were educated and revered. Their sacred temple duties brought them honor and status. Devadasis maintained community life cycle rituals: they tied the sacred gold thread, the tali, around the bride’s neck; they led religious processions. Within the temple, they cared for the statues of the deities, and as devotees they often lived on the temple grounds. They studied for many years, learning the intricate dances, the sacred mudras and the accompanying Sanskrit songs. Later, they were disgraced and legally outlawed. Honored? Unchaste? Devadasi were honored yet unchaste. When they reached puberty they were [...]

TEMPLE DANCER Backstory Part Two: Devadasi Research2020-10-30T07:23:10-07:00

Podcast with J. Brown on Love and Sacred Sexuality

Sacred Sexuality in Temple Dancer "I got an email from your publisher... your name was on the top, and I was like, wait a minute, Amy Weintraub. And I look at the book. It's a fiction book, a connection between sexuality and spirituality, and I was like, wow! Isn't she the Yoga for Depression lady I used to know way back when...??" J. Brown and I cover a lot of ground. Take a trail ride through where yoga is today and how we got here. From yoga as healing what separates us, to yoga as "treatment", and back to the deepest understanding of yoga as union with the divine. We explore that portal into Self through yoga, through the making [...]

Podcast with J. Brown on Love and Sacred Sexuality2020-11-10T19:45:37-07:00
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