Are you feeling stressed out, rushed, or overwhelmed?
This very simple practice has become a staple for the Emerging Women team. As Tosha Silver says, in this testosterone-driven culture it’s so important for us to let go of struggle and let the Inner Divine take the lead. That way we can operate not from a place of aggression, ego, or even passivity, but with an openness and receptivity that is felt deeply within the body.
You can do this quick and relaxing practice several times a day to shift into a calming, healing mindset. Get ready to move with the flow and enjoy the synchronicity and magic that results!
Play Power Practice #14 – Letting Go – A Meditation on Surrender:
Tosha Silver graduated from Yale with a degree in English Literature but along the way fell madly in love with yogic philosophy. For the past 30 years she has taught people around the world ways to align with Inner Love. She’s the author of Outrageous Openness and the recently released Change Me Prayers: The Hidden Power of Spiritual Surrender. She lives near San Francisco, where she runs an online school about these ideas called, “Living Outrageous Openness: Think Like a Goddess”. This offers an ongoing way to support those who truly want to live these beautiful, ancient practices. You can also join her on Facebook by liking her author page where she writes a few times a week.
She particularly enjoys finding fresh, funny ways to invite and embrace the Divine, while avoiding conventional jargon and cliches at all cost. She loves how the sacred and the mundane are truly One. The guidance from the Inner Divine begins to lead when it is sincerely invited….by anyone.
This written exercise from self-compassion expert Dr. Kristen Neff is designed to help you shift your motivational focus from self-criticism to the more energizing benefits of self-compassion.
Press play to get in touch with what your inner critic might be trying to accomplish for you, and then let Kristen guide you towards meeting that same need with a kinder, more compassionate voice. Hands on hearts, people – self-compassion is the way through!
Play Power Practice #13 – Motivating with Self-Compassion:
During Kristin’s last year of graduate school in 1997 she became interested in Buddhism, and has been practicing meditation in the Insight Meditation tradition ever since. While doing her post-doctoral work she decided to conduct research on self-compassion – a central construct in Buddhist psychology and one that had not yet been examined empirically.
In addition to her pioneering research into self-compassion, she has developed an 8-week program to teach self-compassion skills. The program, co-created with her colleague Chris Germer, affiliated with Harvard Medical School, is called Mindful Self-Compassion. Her book, Self-Compassion, was published by William Morrow in April, 2011.
Grief. It can catch us off guard, stop us in our tracks, and swallow us whole if we allow it. A deep sense of sorrow so vast that sometimes we feel it will never end.
I’m in the midst of working through some big grief.
Over these past few months I experienced a domino effect of losses: I made the hard decision to let go of my business (and my paycheck), a significant 10 year relationship with my teacher/business partner/friend, the beautiful house I was living in, a handful of relationships that were no longer serving me, my practice community, and my vision on where I thought my life was headed.
All of this gone, in the blink of an eye, at the same time.
I was devastated. Brought down to my knees in suffering and pain. There were many restless nights of sleep, followed by groundless days of searching for any anchor to tether me from blowing away in the unknown. I cried a river of tears on a daily basis. Nothing was the same. Everything had changed.
Thankfully, I learned a big lesson about grief during a weekend retreat not too long ago.
The room was being set for our holotropic breathwork session. There were 11 of us in this experience – all women. We started laying down our Thermarest air mats and covering them with blankets. I was ready in my corner of the room, and my intention for this journey was clear.
How can I feel completely secure in my own being, without relying on my job, bank account, intimate relationship, and friendships? What is it that I need to do to be absolutely secure in myself, 100%, even in the midst of great grief?
The music started and we all began to rock and breathe. Deep, tribal, drum and bass accompanied us as we dropped down into ourselves. Then came the vibrational magic of the didjeridoo and blastoff, I was on my way!
It wasn’t too long into my session that I experienced a cascade of losses going back in time.
A lifetime of loss revealed itself like cards in a deck, fanned out, one after another: the end of my business, the loss of friendships, the loss of my practice community, losing my house, running out of money, dear friends moving out of the country, the passing of my father, break-ups and broken hearts, ending a career, pets dying, more break-ups, etc… Moment after painful moment of letting go, saying goodbye and change: this is what my journey showed me.
You’d think I’d have been devastated, right? But I wasn’t. And that’s the moment that I became extremely curious about my experience. Where is my grief in the midst of all this loss?
I began the feverish hunt, searching up and down, front to back for my never-ending sorrow. “It has to be here somewhere,” I thought to myself.
“How can I experience all these losses and not feel the deep despair of my grief?”
After a noble exploration of my inner landscape, I couldn’t find my grief. It was as if it had simply disappeared. I was astounded.
As I continued my breathwork session, I asked myself a very simple question.
What I learned from this experience was that I was adding even more suffering and pain on top of the real losses I already experienced.
A part of me was attached to my grief, wanting to hold on to it to prove my battle scars. I couldn’t find my grief during my breathwork session because I had quite naturally let go.
When I let go of my attachment to how I think things should be, when I give up my need to control, when I don’t live a life filled with expectations, and when I step into a deeper sense of trust, that’s when I find true freedom.
It’s in this freedom that I find security in myself.
Interested in finding the same as you move and shake yourself and this world into a better state of being? Try this technique that works for me:
Letting Go Practice
On the harder days, I like to anchor myself through the practice of Letting Go. It’s especially helpful when I feel stuck and attached and have a hard time loosening my grip on the way I think things should be. Here’s how I do it:
Identify what it is that you want to let go. Perhaps it’s a relationship that is no longer serving you, a negative thought pattern, or an attachment to the past or the future.
Feel your feelings. Feel the sadness, pain, loss, anger, guilt, whatever it is, feel all the feelings that arise when you step into letting go. Sometimes it’s helpful to write down your feelings in a journal. The important thing is that you feel through your feelings fully, don’t hold back.
Offer thanks and gratitude for all the ways this attachment has served you.
Let go. Let go of the control, let go of the fear, let go of expectations and step into a bigger sense of trust. You’ll know you’re on your way to letting go when you feel the flow of joy and possibility enter your life again. After all, life is a mystery. Enjoy it!
Share your experiences of Letting Go in the comment section below. Together we can create a space where we connect, share and crowd-source our favorite tips and tricks for letting go of grief.
It’s the week of love here at our household. Making valentines, planning a date with my husband, figuring out the candy limit for the kiddos – we’re all about it. Sure, as a culture we seem to have made every holiday about consuming more, and I don’t need to stuff my body full of chocolate hearts to feel the love (although it helps!). But there is something beautiful about all of the messaging we’re inundated with this week. Be mine, love you, be true, you’re all I need.
Here is my challenge to you, emerging women: let’s put ourselves on the other end of all of these loving messages. It seems like a simple change in perspective, but I find this to be one of the hardest things to do. Buddhist author Tara Brach calls turning love inwards like this “radical self-compassion.” I love that expression, though I feel like it’s almost redundant, because in my experience self-compassion is the most radical action we can take in the world.
“Self-compassion is the most radical action we can take in the world.”
As I have felt my way through big challenges like motherhood, marriage, career and now entrepreneurship, I see that I can sometimes fall into the trap of trying to manage my difficult emotions by beating myself up. I think, “I will give myself the ass-kicking that I need to really get off the couch – for once – and make real change in my life.”
Well, I don’t know about you, but for me this approach sucks. What has worshipping your unworthiness done for you lately? Nada. I love this painfully obvious yet game-changing reminder from Tara: “Imperfection is not our personal problem – it is a natural part of existing.” Right?!
“Imperfection is not our personal problem – it is a natural part of existing.”
And according to the research Kelly McGonigal presents in her book The Willpower Instinct, self-compassion is the shortest route to making long-lasting change of any kind in your life. It’s the mother of all New Year’s resolutions! And so I made self-compassion my only goal for 2015 – and maybe the next decade.
Like anything transformational, self-compassion and self-love only come alive through practice. HERE is my simple approach to this powerful practice – culled from the amazing Self-Compassion authors I have mentioned in this post already. Check out these 4 Steps to Radical Self-Compassion, and let the self-love-a-thon begin this Valentine’s.
This goes deep, friends, and the mind’s instinct toward blame and shame is powerful. You have to hit these practices hard, and don’t let up. Get those hands on your heart 50 times a day if you need it. It will be the best valentine you have ever given, or received.
Like anything transformational, self-compassion only comes alive through practice. Here is my simple approach to this powerful practice – culled from the amazing self-compassion authors Tara Brach, Kristin Neff and Kelly McGonigal, plus bits and pieces from a lot of EWLive speakers who know their self-compassion stuff.
Step 1: Do a body scan.
Take 5 minutes in the morning and evening to sit quietly, close your eyes and simply breathe. As I breathe, I notice my body and take inventory of places that feel contracted or even painful. And I just sit there, noticing and breathing until something miraculous happens – those places loosen up and I start to feel a tenderness toward myself.
Step 2: Feel the pain, feel the love.
Yes, this happens. Just like when you see a child skin her knee, and you instantly feel compassion toward her and want her to feel better. When we discover pain in our bodies and we simply recognize it, our human instinct for compassion sets in and BOOM – we start to send loving thoughts. If you want to kick it up a notch, physically and gently place your hand on the places of contraction in your body – it will feel… lovely.
Step 3: Hands on the heart.
This is Kristin Neff’s most powerful technique for instant relief if you are trapped in a cycle of worshipping your unworthiness. Put your hands on your heart – that’s it! Kristin’s version is more elaborate – but I am usually tight on time, and just this simple gesture can turn everything around in an instant.
Step 4: Recognize the change.
Perhaps the most important part of my practice is to witness, feel and record the outcomes from this practice. Recognizing the positive change that ensues when we are tender and forgiving with ourselves will reinforce the practice, and soon our impulse to worship our unworthiness will be replaced by an impulse of self-compassion. Rad.
Remember, the mind’s instinct to blame and shame is powerful, so you have to hit these practices hard one hard. I’m serious – hands on the heart 50 times a day if you need it. It will be the best valentine you have ever given, or received.
Share Your Self-Compassion Practices with the tribe in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!
Did you know that “burnout” is a clinical term, not a slang one?
Burnout is the very real physical and emotional result of long-term stress that leads to a complete lack of joy or pleasure in life, replaced by a pervasive sense of panic. It’s a sad, scary and lonely place to be.
That’s why it’s so important to us to be able to share this practice with our tribe of high-achieving power women. Kundalini yoga teacher Trista Gipple compassionately leads us though “Prevent and Recover from Burnout,”a guided meditation specifically designed to rejuvenate our parasympathetic nervous systems while reminding us that the energy to live the inspired truth of who we are begins to flow with simple awareness.
Play the Power Practice:
Trista Sukhraj Kaur Gipple teaches yoga from a fresh and comprehensive perspective. Trista creates a sacred container for her classes, choreographing to the seasons with music, mantras, and verses from sacred texts, to allow students to feel the healing potential in these ancient traditions. She encourages students to connect to practice through the relationships in their personal life—the proof of a healthy yoga practice is grounded in feeling compassion and love for oneself and for others. Trista is a certified Mah Bound Lotus instructor and teaches Kundalini, SuperHealth, Vinyasa, Hot and Yin Yoga. Trista has an M.A. in Psychology and Counseling, is a Certified Addiction Counselor III, a Board Certified Clinical Sexologist and a Red Cross instructor. Trista is located in Boulder, Colorado.
In twelve years of research, Brené Brown never interviewed a person who described themselves as joyful, or their lives as joyous, who didn’t actively practice gratitude. In this video Brené offers a few tips on how to cultivate more joy in your own life and how gratitude has transformed her family.
“Practicing gratitude invites joy into our lives.” –Brené Brown
3. The Neuroscience of Why Gratitude Makes Us Healthier via Daily Good
This is quite fascinating. In one study, participants who kept a gratitude journal felt happier, exercised longer, and reported fewer health complaints than participants who kept a journal of their hassles.
“A growing body of research shows that gratitude is truly amazing in its physical and psychosocial benefits.” –Drs. Blair and Rita Justice
It can be hard to practice gratitude when you’re struggling, as Wendi Knox knows from recent experience. In this article she shares tips to “transform angst into thanks.”
“There’s so much we can’t control in life. But we can control how we look at it. I’ve found that the most powerful way to get through difficult situations is to find the gift in our struggles.” –Wendi Knox
Chelsea has over 15 years of experience in administrative and executive support. After her years of working in the legal and oil and gas industry, Chelsea has made it her passion to fill her life with creativity and incorporates that into everything she does. Her position at Emerging Women allows her to expand on that creativity and assist with empowering women around the world. She is a native of Colorado and enjoys spending time with her husband, her son, bonus son, family, and friends. In her free time she loves camping, painting, and all things creative.
Online Business Manager
Michelle studied Marketing and received her degree from Metropolitan State University of Denver. Her passion for marketing, combined with great attention to detail, and over 7 years of experience in the tech-world makes her a valuable asset to the team! In addition to Emerging Women, she is also a solopreneur and works with a number of different clients in the online business realm. She is an experienced Online Business Manager and Virtual Assistant who specializes in marketing operations, project management and online course launch management. She is a Colorado native, mother of two dogs, a cat, and a turtle, and step-mother to an amazing little girl. In her spare time she enjoys live music, good food, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family.
Power Circle Administrator
Jen comes to Emerging Women with over 25 years of experience in event operations and volunteer management. She has worked various types of events as a Volunteer Manager for Integral Life conferences and as an Event Coordinator for various large arts and sports festivals throughout Colorado. Alongside her passion for creating and producing events, she worked as a hospital administrator for over a decade in one of Denver’s largest hospitals helping make care affordable to hundreds of patients. Jen was born in Lima, Peru but has spent most of her life in Colorado. In 2016, a year sabbatical morphed into a life living abroad. Jen has been living in Cusco, Peru for the past four years and cherishes her life in the Andes mountains. In her spare time she enjoys exploring the world, playing capoeira, and deepening her yoga and meditation practices.
Director of Power Circles
For over 13 years, Nicole has been a producer and connector in the field of personal and professional growth and transformation, creating diverse content, life-changing curriculum, and exquisite live and online experiences. She loves to unite and facilitate people in their work to live more good, true, and beautiful lives. She’s honored to bring this diverse expertise to Emerging Women. For the past two years she has been the lead producer for Emerging Women Live, and now is bringing her extensive production, coaching and facilitation skills to EW’s Power Circles. Nicole works in private practice as a Certified Integral Master Coach™, through her company, Unabashedly You, and has worked with hundreds of women (and men) individually and as a group facilitator. She also creates programs and interviews fascinating teachers and wellness experts in her role as U.S. Content Producer for Conscious Life. She is the co-founder of Core Integral, an educational company offering a comprehensive and accessible approach to learning integral theory. Prior to this work, she owned a large and lively restaurant and brewery in Pennsylvania. She has studied extensively and worked alongside Ken Wilber (Integral Theory), Daniel Brown, PhD (Tibetan Buddhism, Self-Development, Attachment, and Positive Psychology), and Sofia Diaz (Hatha Yoga and Feminine Embodiment). She holds a Masters Degree from Lehigh University. She regularly delights in the sunshine and mountains of Colorado with her two dogs and her partner Clint, and is a new mama to her daughter Truly Golden.
Founder & CEO
Chantal’s mission is to increase women’s leadership across the globe. After earning an MBA from the University of Colorado, Chantal left a career in medical device manufacturing in search of work that would align her dedication to transformative leadership with her passion for living an inspired, impactful life. In September 2012, she founded Emerging Women, a global leadership and media platform that serves over 70,000 women worldwide and has advanced women’s leadership within Fortune 500 companies such as HP, Oracle and more. Chantal’s ultimate vision is to weave feminine leadership and authenticity into businesses, and to create a world where women have a strong voice in the shaping of our future. Prior to Emerging Women, for over a decade, Chantal served on the executive team as the VP of Sales and Marketing for Sounds True, a multimedia publishing company focused on spirituality, personal growth, and holistic living. Chantal is a sought after speaker delivering keynotes at The Grace Hopper Celebration, Wisdom 2.0, and many other stages where women’s leadership is critical to the conversation. When she is not dancing or working to empower women around the world, Chantal enjoys family time with her husband and two sons in Boulder, CO.