Yoga + Self Healing
with Nicole Lynne Hooley
with Nicole Lynne Hooley
Happy Summer Solstice!
Now Get Out of Your Own Way!
Summer is the season of Bliss! It is the time of year, at least in the northeast, where suddenly we all get a little bit of clarity that our lives are for living. We can see a little more clearly that certain things can wait, and we needn't stress too much about making others happy as if it is meant to be it will all come together perfectly in time.
However, sometimes we aren't quite dialed into the Bliss realm when summer hits. That's why it's so powerful to set intentions and make the shifts necessary to live a life that honors your most vital needs to grow, learn, enjoy, create, find balance & truly thrive!
How can we thrive if we are stuck in our old stories, our past, our limitations? We can't. In order to thrive you need to actively remind yourself that you are in a constant state of becoming. That you are free in this moment. That your negative self defeating thoughts are a misuse of your powerful and beautiful mind. That you are alive! That your sadness, difficulties, obstacles, anger, hopelessness & pain is valid, but not who you are. You are more than your job title, your artistic expression, your relationships... you are more than your physical body, your mood, your temperament, your personality... you are pure consciousness manifested in an intelligent and beautiful body. So be that. Let your goals be to grow, to learn & to thrive... and the bliss will come!
10 Blissful Tips for Summer
1. Feel your nasty feelings. Be honest with them, breathe into them, ask them where they are coming from, ask if they are intended to protect you in someway, notice that you are safe without them and then give yourself permission to let them go.
2. Do something about yourself judgements. Every Time you feel down about yourself do something about it ASAP! Feeling like your body isn't looking its best? MOVE IT RIGHT NOW! Feeling like you're not getting enough creative expression in? SIT DOWN FOR 20 MINUTES (Take a break if at work) and write, draw, sing, or tap a beat on your damn pant leg but channel it! Not feeling spiritual enough? Meditate for a few minutes. NO EXCUSES! We waste way too much of our time in our thoughts, take action instead and then at least you know you are doing your best in the moment you are in.
3. Eat Seasonal Local Fruits & Veggies! This will help your body & mind thrive with the season!
4. Be honest! When someone says or does something that bums you out or offends you nip it in the butt asap. Do not fester grievances, it's bad for your health and they are often misunderstandings that can easily be hashed out with a momentarily awkward conversation. Example: Q: "Hey, are you making fun of me?" A: "Yes, but it's out of love!" Result: Hugs & Laughter, everyone wins.
5. Go Outside & Play! Schedule yourself time EVERY SINGLE WEEK this summer to spend time outside with the only intention being to enjoy yourself. It will make the time you have to work go by more quickly and it will ensure that you get the most out of the season. Sidenote: This doesn't always mean going to parties, parties can sometimes feel like work (especially to introverts) so be mindful as to what you actually want and that doesn't necessarily rely on others to strongly. Examples: Spend the day in the park, go to the beach, see an outdoor concert, go to the pool, bbq with friends (not frienemies, stress, even the low level kind, is not fun).
6. Sunbathe! Now don't over do it, and if you have really light skin, use an umbrella and extra potent sunblock, but sun is so good for you and heightens your mood. If you can't get out of the office to go to the beach just take a 15 minute break and find your nearest our door bench or patch of grass and lean back and let the sun (with your eyes closed of course) shine on your face. This is so great for your heart chakra and overall happiness!
7. Moonbathe! Check your calendars and try and spend some time outside at night during the days closer to the Full Moon. If you can be in a place with a little less artificial light it will be more powerful, however, make the best of what you can. This will help bring more pleasure and creativity into your life. Explore it on your own. You can lay down under the stars, dance with friends or lovers or just hang out with the awareness that there is a moon up there... that your life is precious and the universe is vast. Feel your place in it all!
8. Try & Do New Things! Take a class, try a new kind of food, read about a new subject, visit a different part of town (make sure it's safe). Expand your awareness. Make sure you constantly remind yourself that there is more going on in this life than your everyday bubble. Freedom awaits.
9. Drink Water! Drink clean purified water as often as you are thirsty (FOR ANYTHING). Thinking about another cup of coffee? Have a glass of water first. About to tell off your partner? Sip some water first. About to have another cigarette? Have a little water first. Need to leave for work? Drink some water. Thinking about another glass of wine? Drink some damn water. While you're at it, think about how blessed you are for having access to clean drinking water, have a moment of gratitude and sip it down. You will be hydrated, clear and more balanced... and you might even feel the thirst for other things I mentioned subside a bit.
10. Be Love! When in doubt, remind yourself that you are a being capable of giving and receiving love. Whatever comes up, ask yourself how your heart feels about the situation and act from a place of love for yourself and others. Try your best to tap into your heart as often as possible. In the summer we are more flexible, so stretching is a great option for this tapping in. You can also tap into your heart by exercising and getting your heart rate up or sitting in meditation and just focusing your mind at the center of your chest as you breath.
Okay, so there it is! Bliss is available to you, you just need to welcome it in. Once it enters, you will still occasionally fall into other states of course, that's the fun of being human. However, once you realize that there are more options available for you, the vastness of your freedom becomes more apparent and you will be less tempted to latch onto ways of thinking and being that no longer serve your goal of happiness!
I love you!
The Break Up: No, Jake and I didn't break up! However, I am processing the ending of a major business relationship at the moment. This experience has been incredibly eye opening when it comes to conscious relationships and self development. What I am realizing is that all relationships should be treated with the same sort of inquiry and self awareness as when we enter into a romantic one. Whether it be a friendship, a business partnership or a loving life long bond, we have an opportunity to make sure that there is a bond of mutual respect and a balanced exchange of energy. For whatever reason up until now, this has not come online for me. I've been treating many of my relationships as a matter of fact occurrence, not realizing completely that outside of family, the relationships we keep are by choice.
Back in the dating pool: Why don't we have a more romantic approach to our business ties? If your good friend recently broke off a long term relationship you would not urge her to jump into another long term relationship right away. However, when it comes to business we are more than likely to desperately seek out a replacement before we even process why the past business relationship failed to workout. Even when leaving a job we often advise our friends to have another job lined up. Would we advise the same friend to have another lover lined up before they ended things?
It is more than likely, that if you leave one lover directly for another, you will end up once again playing out very similar and undesirable relationship dynamics. The same is true for rushing into a new professional relationship. If I were advising a good friend on ending a romantic relationship I would tell them to take it easy for a while and spend some time processing and healing. I would urge them not rush into anything to serious. I would tell them to go out and enjoy their freedom and let the range of emotions pass through them until the are ready for something new. Don't you think this would be a helpful tactic to use when it comes to your career choices as well?
Second Guessing: We've all been there. We've ended a relationship that we've known wasn't working out for ages and then suddenly we start to doubt our decision. Like clockwork, our memories become super selective and we can only seem to call to mind the good times, the beauty, the potential! Meanwhile at our core we know very well that we are fooling ourselves and that we weren't happy, otherwise we wouldn't be in the place that we currently are. For whatever reason this doubt and anxiety is a major part of our healing process. We need time to understand why it didn't work and what an ideal match, partnership or relationship would entail.
Self Respect and Inner Value: When considering ending a long term relationship of any kind it is an important time to strengthen our confidence and gain clarity on what kind of life we are trying to build for ourselves. Sometimes our relationships can cloud this clarity, which is why it is important to have time to step back and process. Sometimes, relationships that seem doomed can easily be healed through compassionate conversation and proactive life style adjustments. Sometimes, however, relationships have just run there course and its time to let go.
Many of us have been raised to believe that relationships are built on sacrifice and martyrdom. That if a relationship fails, we fail. However, this attitude only weakens us and creates bitterness and repressed aggression. It is in everyone's best interest to build relationships where we feel respected, supported, valued, heard and most importantly understood. It isn't possible to always see eye to eye with someone 100% of the time. However, if you find that there are certain things that are not workable, or that hinder your ability to be your most authentic self, it is probably a good idea to at least step away from the relationship and tap into whether or not you're staying is mirroring the level of self respect and inner value you desire.
For whatever reason certain people are just not compatible. This is not because one is bad or another is good, it is just human nature. When letting go of a relationship it is important to respect your inner truth and knowing. Make sure to listen to the voice inside of you saying "YES, THIS IS IT!" or repetitively screaming "NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT!". It only strengthens our community if we are mindful about our relationships and understand that you can still love someone without being attached romantically or in my case through career ties.
Moving On: You can only move on as soon as you are ready. When it comes to a break up of a long term romantic or business relationship, this can be incredibly scary and difficult due to the sudden loss of security (emotional, financial...), however, people figure it out! Sometimes we need to just trust that the path will be presented to us and not force ourselves to stay in something, that doesn't serve our inner voice/truth, against our will. In relationships this doesn't always need to mean breaking up for good. Sometimes people just need a long break or time to process. Sometimes people will break up for years and get back together when they feel like they had the time to work on theirselves and heal. And in come cases, once the relationship is over... it's just that, over. No matter the case, we must let the healing process begin.
The Present Moment: I for one, never want to have any of my relationships continue out a place of fear. I also do not want to start new ones out of fear either. This is how we end up wasting years of our lives unhappy. So the process of moving on needs to be organic. When you are ready to seriously start dating again you are careful to not see every interested suitor as your soulmate. The same is true when getting back in the interviewing pool. Just because someone/something is available doesn't make it right. However, when you find the right one... You. Just. Know.
With that said, I am honoring where I am in my journey and taking the summer to let me heart heal and process. I am dedicated to enjoying my freedom and maybe playing the field a bit when I am ready. Until then my heart is cracked open and I have nothing but love for all my relationships past, present and future. I know that I have gained, healed and learned so much from every single one. I have zero regrets, only infinite love and boundless gratitude! Wow, what a freaking journey this whole life thing is!
With love & blessings,
I have a confession, falling and staying asleep is and has always been a real challenge for me. To be honest, I stayed awake for a good deal of my childhood, adolescence and even till this day I still struggle on and off with sleep. When I look back over the last 3 decades I can see now that the times I was the most well rested were also the times that I was the most healthy and comfortable in other areas of my life. I am not sure which one came first... but the more I look into it, I am realizing that sleep is the cornerstone of a healthy physical, mental & emotional life. So why don't we prioritize it more?
While this post isn't meant to diagnose why anyone is not sleeping enough, I suspect that most of my insomnia in the different stages of my life can be linked to poor diet, false light, television, stressful home environments and not having an evening routine to help me fall asleep. Another aspect came from an actual desire to stay awake past my body's natural need to go to sleep. To me the cause and solution for insomnia is one and the same. A holistic approach that touches on all areas of life but is still realistic enough to put into practice.
Improving my sleep has improved every area of my life. The more rested I am the less weight I hold on my body, the better I eat, the more exercise I am able to get, the more prolific I am able to be creatively, the more people I am able to help and the healthier and more positive my relationships tend to be. Being rested is a key component to showing up to life as my best self. I can look back at my darkest hours in my life and know that my sleep was definitely a contributing role in the process. With that said, I still have sleepless nights, I am just an excited person. Getting super excited about life sounds fun, but in reality it can be a major strain when it comes to shutting down my brain. Because of this you will also find that I've included info for feeling rested even when a full nights sleep is not an true option.
Overall, this list works for me. I don't think its necessary to always use every suggestion on the list and there is no particular order that they need to be followed. You will find some of the suggestions that I have included will need to be implemented over time. Some are more of a quick fix for when you suspect you might not be able to fall asleep. Overall, the items on this list have changed my life and I hope that they might do the same for anyone who is in need of a little more rest!
12 Self-Care Tips for Treating Insomnia
1. Hot Showers or Baths before Bedtime
Way before I had a spiritual practice this was my go-to to help me unwind before bed. You can add epsom salt to a bath (when you only have about 15 minutes left to soak) or other relaxing herbal mixes. No Bathtub? No worries, just add a couple drops of eucalyptus or lavender oil on your shower floor and enjoy an evening spa oasis. Both of these options will help to restore your body and release tension. This practice is especially helpful for those of us who sometimes can't sleep because of physical discomfort. Take your evening bath/shower by natural candle light and you will thank me later. Yes, I want you to romance yourself to sleep.
A note for Evening Bathing: Empaths and people who tend to bring the stresses of work home with them can greatly benefit from this practice. You might also want to spend a moment or two under cold water to feel all stress and tension from your day clear off, then proceed with the hot portion of this evening ritual.
2. Lavender as a Relaxation Ally
I recommend using Lavender essential oil in a diffuser, spraying it on your pillow or even buying an eye pillow with Lavender inside of it. This soothing scent helps to calm the mind. It also activates your crown chakra which allows for a trusting connection to ultimate truth. When we are here (connected to Truth) we stop trying to figure out, worry about and solve all the problems of our daily lives. We instead just trust and rest in the knowing that everything is happening as it should, let it all be and well, SLEEP!
3. Restorative Yoga
I am sure you knew this one was coming. Restorative Yoga is one of the biggest blessing in the world when it comes to being an insomniac. The main reason I am so dedicated to offering this practice to the public is because it has saved me on many sleepless and hard to turn it all off nights. Having a few restorative postures memorized that you can rest into before bed will truly help your body release tension, relax your mind and best of all you will also be helping your over all circulation and flexibility. Doing about a twenty minutes of restorative yoga postures along with slow mindful breathing about a half hour before bed is a game changer.
A note for Sleepless Nights: Sometimes a traditional night's sleep just isn't an option for me. In that case I will often opt to rest in restorative postures throughout the night (especially around the time of the heaviest day in my moon cycle). On nights like this I wake up just as rested the next morning as I would after a normal night's sleep. Here is a mini restorative yoga video I did a while back with Huffington Post. You can use for inspiration for your home restorative practice:
Yes, a practical use for reiki! I use reiki for most things in all areas of my life, and that's the truth. However, a Reiki Self treatment right before bed is incredibly relaxing and truly effective! You can do it laying down or if it's easier for you to sit in mediation, do it that way. Just take a few moments to warm your hands either with a breath meditation or rubbing them together. Then place you hands for a few moments on as many sweet spots on your body as you feel guided. Try taking deep mindful breaths while you do this practice. I usually fall asleep half way through and then have pretty pleasant and spiritually potent dreams. You might also include relaxing meditation music for this practice, especially if you are still in the stage of finding practices like this to be silly. Here is an example for a reiki self treatment:
5. Lights out!
One of the periods that I got the absolute best sleep in my early 20s was when I spent a couple months of a summer sleeping in my mom’s basement. There was zero artificial and very little natural light. It honestly was a game changer. I for the first time in my life realized that I COULD sleep, if under the right conditions. Today I do my best to replicate that with Blackout Curtains, Regular Curtains and Side Lamps that dim so I can read a bit before bed (light reading before bed also helps me fall asleep). Even the street lamps register as sunlight to the body. So try your best to make it clear to your brain that its time for bed. This will help the sleep process kick in naturally rather than forcing it with substances.
A note on Bedroom Vibes: According to Feng Shui you also do not want to have your head positioned directly under a window as it creates a little too much alertness when trying to sleep. Instead you want to position your bed on a solid wall that is easily to get in and out of. It is nice to also make sure you have calming colors in your room that invite a relaxing energy as soon as you enter. You want to make sure that anything that has a lot of energy is not positioned too close to your bed. IE, computers, tv's, plants and lights should be off and/or position further away from your sleep area.
Scrolling through your newsfeed before bed is terrible for sleep. First, we tend to not realize how much time we are wasting on all these social apps. Second, the false light registers to your brain as sunlight. Third, it sometimes triggers emotional responses that create anxiety and stress which make it hard to sleep. And finally… just NO, don't do it! I recommend having a hard cut off for all electronics at night. Even the buzzing sound from your computer is stimulating your brain (even if you don't notice it). Don't have electronics near your bed. If you are using your phone as an alarm try putting it on airplane mode across the room. I think about a half hour before bed is a good cut off for your phone, computer and tv.
A note on setting Alarms: If you can allow your body to awaken naturally always do! What I often do is set my alarm for the latest time I can possibly sleep until. I will often wake up before this and if I have enough time I will do all the extras like Journaling, Meditating, Going to the Gym... you name it. However, I do my best to make sleep the number one priority!
7. Limiting Stimulants
I’ve quit coffee enough times to know that I am not interested in letting it go. It's just so yummy and I love the morning ritual of it. So rather than beating myself up about it, I have come to understand how to drink it responsibly. The main thing to keep in mind when drinking coffee or consuming any stimulant is how long you will need for it to wear off so you can get a good night's sleep. Typically for me, if I keep my coffee use to the morning, I see no trouble with my sleep. On more groggy days, I may let myself have another later in the morning but try to never go past noon. Anything after lunch is in my mind potentially borrowing from tomorrow's energy levels. If I do need an after lunch pick me up I try and go for a low caffeine tea.
A note on Stimulant Usage: If you are consuming any energy drinks, pharmaceuticals that promote alertness/focus, over the counter dietary supplements, or special energy promising meal replacement bars, I would also consider this strategy. Keep it earlier in the day so that your body can rest and restore at night. In general, if you get more sleep and are well rested, you should find that eventually your energy & alertness levels will level out and the need for these sorts of things will fall aside. If you are a smoker, you want to also consider if your quality of sleep is being affected and try and alter your smoking schedule effectively. If you are interested in quitting smoking consider reading Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking. ***please consult your doctor before quitting or cutting back on any prescription drugs***
8. Regular Exercise
Yoga, Pilates, Cardio, Weightlifting and other exercises that help release excess energy in the body are great if done a little earlier in the day (not too close to bed time). The only thing is, you want to make sure that you are leaving enough time to get a full nights sleep before you exercise. In other words, If you only got 5 hours of sleep and are deciding the get up to go to the gym rather than sleep a little longer, the healthier choice might actually be to keep sleeping. We don't want to drain our adrenals. So make sure you are listening to your body. Exercising 3 times a week will have incredible impacts on all areas of your life. Just make sure to schedule the exercise on days where you are rested. If you are an insomniac like me this might be a tall order, so I would recommend Lunch time exercise on these days (a gentle class or maybe just a walk on you lunch break). That way you can sleep in and not exhaust yourself. I would only do light exercise in this case as well. Cardio & Yoga are low impact for the most part, I wouldn't try to beat your record on a day after a mostly sleepless night.
A note on Exercise: Seeing exercise as a necessity for your overall health of mind, body and spirit is important. When you see exercise as a punishment we are less likely to do it. Please try and find physical activities that bring you joy! Try a bunch of different things and maybe settle on 3 different go-to activities that you can do throughout the week.
9. A Balanced & Healthy Diet
Eating a Dynamic Diet filled with nutritious whole foods will improve your sleep. Make sure that you are paying attention to how certain foods impact your state of mind and overall physical energy levels. If eating sweets before bed is keeping you up at night try to have them earlier in the day (or cut them out). In addition to eating a healthy diet you want to try and not eat right before bed. Give your body a couple of hours to kick in the digestion process before you attempt to lay down to sleep. Typically 3 hours is a good rule of thumb. If you need to eat right before bed try to choose easily digestible and bland (no super spicy) foods like soups, kitchari, or roasted veggies. I would still at least wait an hour before laying down to sleep. Also, keep in mind that going to bed hungry is not a good idea either. A hungry tummy will make it harder to fall asleep. Your body is programed to stay alert when it is hungry, survival 101. So please make sure you are getting enough nutritious calories throughout your day.
A note for Healthy Eating: Try focusing your attention on to adding more healthy plant based options rather than worrying about what to cut out. The more of the good stuff you begin to consume the less you will desire the bad stuff. Our body/mind doesn't respond well to deprivation, so especially if you are an insomniac, I do not recommend a cold turkey approach. Just instead choose as many healthy options throughout the day as often as you can. Being well rested will also help to cut unhealthy craving.
10. Daily Meditation & Gratitude Practices
Cultivating a daily practice of meditation and or having some sort of daily gratitude ritual can transform your perception and overall experience of life. When we start to realize that our perspective has a real impact on many of the circumstances we are faced with in our daily lives, we are able to feel a little less powerless. This in return, at least for me, has made it a lot easier to sleep over the years. When I started to realize that life wasn't just happening at me while I attempted to pick up the pieces, I started to find a more hopeful and productive outlook.
I often tell my clients to meditate and it's not exactly what they want to hear. So if you feel like, meh, nah… I'm not gonna do that. Try doing a daily gratitude practice for now. This can be just waking up and listing a few things your are grateful for, Or verbally saying thank you whenever you feel gratitude. Once you get to a point where you find a deep acknowledgment for what you are grateful for (this can take minutes, days, weeks... no worries), I invite you to take a tall seat in the most beautiful area of you home and just focus on your breath. While you breathe just allow yourself to sit in your gratitude.
It's best in my opinion to do your Meditation/Gratitude practice when you first wake up and before your go to bed. Sometimes I do this while laying down in bed if my sleep was rough the night before. However, if I wake up feeling rested, I pull out my meditation cushion and soak up my blessings via mediation. Evening meditation is best ended at least a half hour before bed as sometimes, at least for me, it can ignite powerful energy within the body and you might need some time to let it simmer down before actually falling asleep. This daily practice can range between one or two 5-20minute sessions.
A note on Meditation: Keep it pleasant. If it feels like your in time out… then get up and move on. I also recommend creating an altar of some kind (even just a pretty plant) and lighting a candle and/or and incense of some kind to make it feel super potent and special. There is something so powerful about intentional sitting. Also, music helps. Try it!
If you have taken my Reiki Restorative classes you know that I end just about every session recommending that you leave and drink plenty of water and then journal before bed. Journaling before bed is a powerful tool to help you release the stream of consciousness you are carrying around with you. The idea is to dump out all the busy thoughts so that you can get a good nights sleep. I’ve been taught over the years that, if you are going to bed with all your stress and worry, your dream time will just be you working out and reliving that stress and worry via your dreams. However, if you do your practices, and you release before you go to sleep your dream time can be a time where you do your deeper spiritual work.
Wouldn't you much rather meet with spirit guides, loving relatives and ancestors with beautiful messages than live out a stressful work exchange while your sleeping? Well, it all starts with letting yourself free write in your journal before bed and when you wake up. Journaling in this way is an invaluable practice that will help you focus and manifest in all areas of your life.
A note on Dream Journaling: Your morning journal can be almost like note taking from the night before's sleep. Your evening journal is your time to let go of what doesn't serve your higher self and even a time to set dream intentions. This is how I am most effective at having incredible experiences with things like astral projection and healing through time and space. Dream time is a spiritual tool that should not be overlooked.
12. Herbal Remedies
I definitely recommend drinking chamomile tea if you have trouble sleeping. I would use it alongside with other items from this list. As I mentioned under the journaling list, dream time is a powerful spiritual opportunity to do deep work, so I don't recommend taking medications and supplements that will hinder your ability to dream. For me, even melatonin has side-effects that I would rather avoid. However, if you have a big day the next day and can feel your insomnia symptoms kicking in, do take a small dosage if needed. In general though, try and go the natural path so that you are not borrowing from your future. Your body wants to run at optimal levels. Rather than treating it like its broken and needs and outside solution, try and treat it with love and nourish it with proper care and you will be amazed by how incredibly well it responds.
A note on Sleeping Aids: The body overtime can become dependent on sleep aids. If you can try and go a more holistic natural route please do! ***Make sure to consult your doctor before cutting back or quitting any prescription drugs.***
Sleep is an essential part of our daily lives. To truly have fun and enjoy your life to the fullest you much respect your bodies needs. Once we start to understand that our lives are a holistic experiences and that our bodies are not separate from our spiritual, emotional and mental life we start to experience more harmony. I would love to hear about your sleep experience and if any of these steps help your process.
When I was first starting my journey as a Reiki Practitioner, I found myself a little lonely in the process. Although I had friends and teachers I could call on with questions, I found myself at a loss when it came to connecting with others over the practice. It was reading Diane Stein's Essential Reiki that turned me on to the concept of Reiki Sharing. The idea is to meet up with other Reiki Practitioners to exchange group healing, as well as to create an on-going conversation about our journey with Universal Life-Force Energy.
Over the last few months, I've been hosting Reiki Shares at Awakening NY in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Like most things that are infused with Reiki, they have been slowly transforming to better serve the groups that have been attending. What we are finding is that participants would like to go deeper into the practice and to show up more consistently. This desire will leave room to develop a better understanding of the group healing practice and hopefully lead to something even bigger. I have found that all of the participants get a lot out of their group healing gatherings. As a result, I have linked up with Sarah Rayne to host Reiki Shares on a more consistent basis. From now on, you should have the option to participate in a Reiki Share at least once if not twice a week.
Here are some FAQ that might serve you if you are still on the fence about attending a Reiki Share!
Q: What is a Reiki Share?
A: A reiki share is a gathering of 3 or more Reiki Practitioners with the intention to connect with Reiki energy and offer each other energetic healing. Usually these gatherings also include a circle where participants will share intentions, obstacles and the like that they would like Reiki's support with. The intention of each Reiki Share is to support the Reiki Practitioners in their process of welcoming Reiki's Healing Energy into every area of their life.
Q: Who can participate in a Reiki Share?
A: Anyone who has attending and completed at Reiki Level 1 or higher Certification Course.
Q: Why does the Reiki Share cost money?
A: In alignment with the Reiki Principals we must do our work honestly, let go of worry & anger and practice compassion and kindness to ourselves and others. As a result, it is important that the facilitators feel supported in their offerings, otherwise Reiki will not allow them to continue. A portion of all the fees for Reiki Shares are also used to pay rental fees for spaces, and to cover other expenses that might come up.
Q: Are people from other Reiki Lineages allowed to attend your Reiki Shares?
A: YES! Although these reiki shares tend to mostly consist of my Reiki Grads, I want these events to be open to Reiki Practitioners from other Reiki Schools as well. In this process I am hoping that my students will understand that my practice is only one of many and for them to open their hearts to the wide depth of the practice. I also think its incredibly healing to be as inclusive as possible, especially when it comes to something as beautiful and uplifting as Reiki. My lineage of Reiki is based on the idea that no one owns the rights to Reiki and that there is no perfect way to practice (although, I do prefer my students practice with the traditional hand positions for at least 6 months after their trainings). My school of Reiki does however take the principles very seriously, and it is asked that whoever is participating in these Reiki Shares do so as well.
Q: What are the Reiki Principles?
A: The Five Reiki Principles are guidelines that everyone can live by, to promote a healthy, loving way of living.
A: So far we have the space for about 8-12 participants.
Q: How much is a Reiki Share?
A: Typically the exchange is about $20.
Q: What can I get out of participating in a Reiki Share?
A: You will receive a low cost and very powerful group healing treatment. You will become more and more confident in your Reiki Practice and you will meet like minded people who are or hoping to become more dedicated to Reiki.
I am so thrilled that Reiki Shares are becoming a new norm for me . Every time I attend/host one I find myself in disbelief of how lucky and blessed I must be to have manifested such an incredible experience into my life. In my heart, Reiki and the community based around Reiki is a silent revolution that is creating a new paradigm where people have been awakened to the seen and unseen magic in their daily lives. This awareness is truly what creates heaven on earth. I am so thrilled to get to share this experience with like minded souls!
By Cole Hooley
This post was originally shared on ROOTMAMMA.COM
About R O O T M A M M A:
Root Mamma was founded in early 2017 by Sarah Rayne & Cole Hooley.
Both naturally connected to the earth, spirit, and the desire to help and serve others, Nicole and Sarah have worked on many community projects over the years. In early 2017, after an evening of exchanging Reiki with loved ones and each other, the idea to embark on a high vibe professional endeavor was created. Sarah's desire to focus more on her artistic, handicraft, and healing gifts, along with Nicole's desire to create an avenue for female empowerment, and to offer her services independently, came together to birth the concept of ROOT MAMMA.
R O O T M A M M A ' s M I S S I O N
Root Mamma is a soul project with the intention to hold space for powerful women (all those who identify as women) on the healing path to live their truth independently. Our intention is to create a grounded home base for women to plant their roots, and to support them in thriving in every way that we can. We believe that the unique desire to serve our community with healing and heart centered offerings should be rewarded with abundance and ease. Root Mamma intends to create support, root chakra healing, and a sense of belonging for those in service, as well as those served. If you are a kindred spirit and are interested in joining our team, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While our focus is to celebrate the feminine, we also welcome male and non-binary collaborators and practitioners, and hope to build an inclusive community with the intention of serving the highest good.
A homework assignment to ensure that our activists and demonstrators do not burn out!
1. Turn your phone off/or onto airplane mode at the same time every night as a gesture of "THIS IS ME TIME".
2. Unplug and shut down all electronics (within reason) at the same time every night (1 hour before bed).
3. Spend this time processing and just simply be with your thoughts. You can light candles and read, journal or just be. DIGEST!
4. Participate in a minimum of 1 action per week (post cards, calls, donations, meetings, protest).
5. Spend time with your Friends, Neighbors and Family... talking about whats going on, but also just enjoy your time together!
This will help you process so that you can be present with those in your community and come from a place of love rather than fear while out on the frontlines of the resistance! I love you!
The earth speaks to me
She says, see my beauty
And watch me let it go
She says feel my storms
My destruction, my wrath
Then from a distance look
Upon me in amazement
She says, see my vastness
My deserts, my mountain ranges
Then know I am but a small speck
She says, know I give you life
Not because I should,
not because it's good
I give you life because I am Life
Now live like me
See your emotions like my storms
Your beauty like my own
Do not love because you should
or because it's good
Love because you are.
Nicole Hooley, 2015
2016 is coming to an end and rather than reflecting on what was wrong with the year I would like to reflect on what I've learned. I hope to go into 2017 with a wider perspective and an openness to create healing and change. I am a firm believer that we cannot heal what we do not understand... so let the learning begin!
1. Time (as relative as it may be) is our biggest adversary... use it wisely.
2. Authenticity is more powerful than people pleasing.
3. "No" is a concept, not just a word.
4. Respect is gained through paying it.
5. Fighting against yourself is an unnecessary form of suffering.
6. Regular exercise is necessary for a healthy mind, body & spirit.
7. Letting go of toxic relationships makes room for empowering ones.
8. Women need other women.
9. The world needs more strong role models!
10. Oppression, racism, sexism and hate are real.
11. LOVE IS ALSO REAL!
12. Travel is a luxury granted to those who prioritize it.
13. Adventure is a state of mind.
14. Intimacy and expression of appreciation will heal our collective loneliness.
15. Appreciating others without questioning your own value is CONFIDENCE.
16. Time heals all wounds.
17. Sometimes the worst case scenario is necessary to achieve the best.
18. Respecting your own boundaries is a compassionate act for all involved.
19. The difference between the beginning and the end is perspective.
20. Doing whats right isn't always popular.
21. QUESTION EVERYTHING, THINK FOR YOURSELF.
22. Never arrive empty handed. Generosity creates abundance.
23. Quality over quantity. Always.
24. Daily self care gives you super powers.
25. Make time for fun.
26. Adequate sleep is the Holy Grail.
I would love to hear your lessons from 2016, feel free to post them below!
I am still buzzing from the beautiful gathering of souls in McCarren Park for Earth Day Yoga yesterday. For years now I have been offering outdoor yoga classes in the park for Earth Day and even at times as a weekly seasonal offering. Never before has it felt so potent, special and rewarding. This truly has everything to do with the people who were present and the energy, words and practice that they shared! Yesterday felt like a realization of a dream... it was as if I was being rewarded by spirit and honestly, I cannot tell you how grateful I am.
Here are my take always from our gathering, your intentions and the overall energetic vortex that was felt.
1. Appreciate the Earth, its thriving beauty and all its lush abundance in the here and now
2. Inspire other to do the same through embodiment
3. Minimize the use of plastic
4. Take in the Beauty all around you
5. Enjoy life
6. Inspire others to take take positive action
7. Spend more time outside
8. Connect with others
9. Be more aware of our impact & consumption
10. Connect to nature regularly
11. Be a source of compassion, wisdom and truth
Please leave a comment below if I missed anything of if there is anything you would like to add. Thank you with all of my heart! You have blessed my life in the most beautiful way!
With light & love,
"I am exactly where I am meant to be; otherwise I would not be here"
It was about a decade ago when I came across this mantra by chance. I was sitting on my recently deceased grandmother's bed in my mother's basement... in crisis. I had called my grandmother "mom". I lived with her since middle school and was very attached to her since birth. She helped my mother a lot when I was an infant. On this day, I had recently moved most of our belongings out of our home and into my mother's basement so that I could be freed of the burden of paying a mortgage at 20 years old. I was still in college, a sophomore.
I cried deeply because I missed my mom (read: grandmother). She was the only responsible adult I ever had in my life. I was so desperate to be cared for... and she was gone. While I sat in the basement of my mother's home, my childhood abuser was upstairs with my family. I felt so sick in every inch of my body. It was incredibly difficult to breathe, let alone to not explode. I had moved in with my grandmother in middle-school in response to the abuse I was experiencing from step father, as well as other difficulties I was facing at home. At this time, my mother and step father had been split up for nearly 7 years... And now, here I was back in my mother's house for the first time, my grandmother was gone, and he was there.
It felt like a sick joke.
WHY? Who was going to care for me? Protect me? Why would God let this happen?
Following my grandmother's death, in my loneliness, I found myself relying on synchronicity quite often. I felt that it was my way of maintaining communication with her and with God. Around this time, I would often look up at a book shelf or random table, and a random book stand out. I would pick it up and find words highlighted from my grandmother. This would soothe my anguish.
On that day, in the basement, I desperately looked around for an answer. I came across an old book in a box. It was falling apart, but the title was clear. It was called "The Cosmic Power Within You." It had been my grandmother's. I opened it and found that it was filled with high vibrational prayers for every problem in life. Many where longer than I could commit to memory. However, the messages that I have lived with internally since that moment are still present with me today.
1. I am a channel of Cosmic Power (God) and I am here to serve
2. I am exactly where I am supposed to be, otherwise I would not be here.
3. I am planting seeds with my thoughts, actions and words.
In that moment, I realized that my discomfort was an invitation from the universe to learn a lesson. It became incredibly clear that I was not meant to live in my home town. That I had more I was meant to do...
Today, I am still figuring it all out day by day. However, if not for that incredibly upsetting yet powerful moment I may not be living my dream life. If not for my grandmother passing, I may not have ever found authentic spirituality. If not for the abuse I suffered as a child I may not have ever developed such a close and sacred bond with my grandmother. If not for all my suffering, I may not have truly appreciated the magnificence of the life I am now living.
So today, I want you to look at your life. In this moment, take it in. You don't need to figure it all out. Ease your heart and mind; remind yourself that you are exactly where you are supposed to be! Try to trust and understand that even though you don't know where everything is going, this moment is completely necessary for the masterpiece that is your life.
With love and light,
From Ego to Spirit (From Solitude to Unity)
In our culture we use the word ego often. It is used as a way to acknowledge the part of our-self that acts in our own benefit. We can at times demonize the ego as being too big, or a person for being egocentric. However, I would argue that our ego is there for good reason. However, if we let it run the show for too long we can find ourselves out of balance, fearful and harmful to ourselves and the collective good. To physically connect to the "ego" I would direct you attention on a daily basis to the space we call the solar plexus. This is the area between your naval and ribs (the stomach). You can meditate on this space by directing your breath to your belly. I also recommend doing belly down postures to become aware if you have tension in this area.
So here is the thing. Your ego, no matter how much it might distract you from some of the most incredible elements of your experience on earth, is actually there to help keep you alive and safe. Your ego communicates to you via fear (and its many manifestations) and discomfort. It lets you know when shit isn't right. It is there to make sure you know your damn life is precious and to stop you from walking off a cliff accidentally, or stepping into on coming traffic, or protecting yourself from someone or thing who has life threatening or altering intentions for you. However, If we let the ego take over and have no connection to our higher-self/Spirit/Wisdom we find ourselves in a pretty precarious situation. Rather than using our ego to keep us here on planet earth (to keep you relevant, healthy and sustained by the material realm), many of us are using it for just about every situation life presents. And I am just going to say it, If you are only being guided by your ego through life, you are ROYALLY MISSING OUT! You're not BAD, or evil, or selfish, you've just stumbled upon an unfortunate set of circumstances. Lucky for you, it's not to late. You can at any point, at anymoment decide "there must be another way". In this moment you give your ego permission to STFU and allow for your higher-self to take care of you and guide you into a better perspective, clearer understanding and a more balanced and peaceful life.
Weekly Practice January 17-23: Awakening your Intuitive Power
For a big portion of my life I turned off my third eye (the intuition center). At a point in my life I began to associate intuition with seeing ghosts and telling the future and I was terrified of the concept. Like a little girl hiding from monsters, I totally shut it down. Although I would have moments where my intuition would poke through and save the day, I often associated it with fear or fearful ideas. Over the last years it became clear that I needed to heal my relationship with intuition so that I could better navigate my life. This has created a monumental shift in my life. What I've realized is that intuition is not just the ability to have premonitions and to see past the current moment or physical reality. It is the ability to tap into an inner knowing and guidance system that is available to help you navigate a life that is in alignment with your highest vibration and most authentic expression of life. When we are taped into our personal intuition we are able to cultivate a degree of "common sense" or "street smarts" that allows us to understand the intentions of others, the likely hood of how certain things will work out and what moves and shifts to make on our path and in our practice to best serve our highest good as well as the highest benefit of others.
Your intuition is you taping into your wisest and most authentic self. It is available to you when fear is not present and you are able to connect with the stillness within that always silently assures you "everything is okay". Your intuition is your friend and it is a skill that we have acquired through the ages to help us survived and thrive in this world. So why not acknowledge & awaken it?
Weekly Practice January 3-9: Commitment for a Wavering Mind
Kicking off the New Year many of us have Resolutions. For the most part if we have chosen a New Year's Resolution we have already decided that what was chosen is something necessary in the process of being a more happy and authentic version of yourself. However, we might find ourselves wavering from it faster than we might want to admit. Why is this? For me its a combination of setting myself up for failure by setting goals that are too lofty or extreme to ever live up to, getting discouraged when things don't go exactly as planned and impatience! However, I wonder what would happen this year if I made a goal that was realistic, positive and that I stayed committed to with my whole heart.
Commitment is a funny thing. We can be "committed" to something or someone while still wavering in our mind. However, when this is the case we are unable to truly reap the benefits of commitment. This really applies in all areas of life, such as: our relationships, our creative projects, our career, our health routines and so much more. The example that come to mind a personal one. For me, I am brought to thinking about the years upon years I was in committed, monogamous and completely loyal relationship without trusting and committing completely with my whole heart. Although I knew I wanted to be in the relationship and that I didn't want to waver physically, I had a difficult time following the same protocol in my mind. I would constantly question the relationship, keep a guard up for most of it and find myself thinking about whether or not it was right for me. This would cause me to constantly notice things that weren't going right, behaviors that bothered me and things that upset me. I would end up spending way too much of my time in a fearful state within my mind. "Am I making a mistake?"
Weekly Practice Dec. 20-26: Cultivating Appreciation of the Current Moment
As we know, yoga is more than a physical practice it is also a practice of cleaning up and focusing the mind. In any moment there are infinite possibilities to focus your mind upon, positive or negative. This week our practice is to actively choose to focus on what we appreciate in the current moment. Like any practice, it takes work.
From the Yoga Sutra's we are given the practice of Santosha. Santosha is translated as contentment. Like practicing Asana, we are not expected to master this or any practice right away. However, it is important to understand that like showing up to the mat to practice, we have a choice. If we live our lives thinking that we have no choice over the quality of our thoughts we are more likely to live much of our time in a negative whirl and we might even find ourselves miserable. However, yoga teaches us that not only can we focus the mind, but we can also CHOOSE WHAT WE FOCUS ON!
This is huge! This means that you do not need to focus your attention on what you do not like. You can instead focus on what you appreciate in every moment. Let us start it this weekend as we spend time with our families, without them, around trees, or wherever you might find yourself. Use this week as an opportunity to be aware of where you are focusing your attention and then actively choosing to be your own hero. To rescue yourself from focusing on the negative and then shifting your attention to something you appreciate in the moment instead. It can be your breath, the sensation of your heart beat, it can be the sound of music, or cars driving by... whatever it is, tap into your appreciation.
This practice will take you from showing up to a mat to practice to waking up and being in a yogic mind from your first thought forward!
Weekly Practice Dec. 13-19: Patience as a Sacred Practice
This weeks practice is intended to support the cultivation of patience in our daily lives. Whether it is during a conversation, walking down the street, mastering a new asana or awaiting the unfolding of your big beautiful dreams, patience is your ally. Many of us wait with anxiety, worry, stress, irritability and dis-ease for the unfolding of what we are working towards especially if obstacles are along our path. This does not need to be the case. With a higher understanding we can face obstacles, time and the like with great ease and inner knowing. Patience does not need to be a small task in our daily lives. It can be a spiritual practice that triggers the use of our higher mind in even the most mundane of tasks. With the mindful intention to use this virtue throughout the week and maybe further into our lives, it is my hope that we will manifest more happiness, freedom and ease in our daily lives.
Weekly Practice Dec. 6 -12: Learning to Love & Accept the Whole You
the principle of nonviolence toward all living things (including yourself).
As yogis and beings on the spiritual path we often take time to contemplate kindness, compassion and non-violence towards others. However, I have a feeling that many of us might not be practicing this principal on ourselves. Whether it be an over critical internal dialogue on our mats, pushing our selves to change our bodies based on self loathing, depriving ourselves out of hopes of repentance for "bad eating" or behavior, being at war with our reflection, our story or ourselves, we are not practicing Ahimsa. We've learned since children that we should "Treat others how we want to be treated". So, I wonder, if you were actually to treat others how your treat yourself, would you have any friends?
Weekly Practice Nov. 29- Dec. 4: Releasing Self Comparison, Envy & Jealousy
After a holiday dedicated to eating comfort foods you can expect any yoga class to include a few extra twists in hopes of detoxifying and purifying. It is true that this weeks practice is a detoxifying one. However, we are not just releasing our fill of home-cooking. Our intention this week is to release and let go of griping to intense desires that cause emotional responses like envy and jealousy.
The hope is that through releasing our human tendency to compare ourselves to others, we might instead find deep satisfaction in our own life, present activities and overall sense of self. This satisfaction will hopefully allow us to stay inspired on our path to better self knowledge while clearing our way to a life that is authentically fulfilling and 100% uniquely on point with our highest potential!
Weekly Practice Nov. 22-28: Freeing Your Own Heart with Forgiveness
Approaching Thanksgiving, it was tempting to put together a Gratitude practice. However, I felt really conflicted about it. It's not that I don't think that giving thanks is a priority, because I do! It's just that I think before we give thanks we might need to give forgiveness. For me, it is essential that we honor where we truly are in our personal relationships and as a global community. I believe if we are able to forgive ourselves, our peers and those throughout the world that we hold resentment towards we can free ourselves to actually appreciate what we have to its fullest extent. However, if we are still burdened with forms of hate, anger and betrayal how can we truly experience happiness and really appreciate our lives and all its blessings.
It brings to mind the times in my life when I tried to pretend to be happy about situations, people and things before actually dealing with my true feelings. This happiness was at times fraudulent and inauthentic. I did not and do not want to spread advice that insinuates that we should put a bandage over our wounds and never clean out the cuts. Gratitude and appreciation do make for a better life, however, sometimes we have some work to do first. Rather than pretending our way to happiness, how about we free ourselves toward it instead? How do we do that though? Honestly?
Weekly Practice Nov. 15-21: Getting Grounded & Restoring our Foundations
Early last week I decided I would create a grounding practice for this week's healing investigation. I had no idea how much we would need it. At the time my focus was on using grounding yoga to help us create more of sturdy & secure foundation in our lives and as a result create more abundance in all of the sweet area's of life. I did not realize that our global community would be in such a place mentally, emotionally and physically due to the recent attacks around the world. However, now is when we really do need to ground and connect to the earth! We need to recognize that we are safe, secure and have a place in creating a thriving and happy life for ourselves and the greater whole.
Weekly Practice Nov 8-14: Healing the Anxious Mind
If you're like me, you know too well what it's like to be bogged down by Anxiety, Fear & Unnecessary Worry. For me Anxiety & Fear typically come up when things are going seemingly well. It is almost as if my brain cannot comprehend the possibility of everything going awesomely. So, as a result it creates reasons to be worried. For years, I thought this was just the way my brain worked and that I needed to accept that half of my reality is not quite... real. Due to anxiety and fear I've passed up and self sabotaged my way out of many, many great opportunities and experiences.
My experience with fear and anxiety has inspired me to really pay attention to the ways I can prevent and care for this reaction within myself. It was very important to me to figure out a way to ease this reoccurring difficulty without using prescription drugs, street drugs, alcohol and comfort foods. It is my hope that through this week's in class practice and through the suggestions in this post, an awareness of how to create desired effects or chemical reactions (that we hope to gain from drugs, alcohol and the like) from asana, healthy activities and more. It is my belief that if we understand that our yoga practice is not just exercise but actually intended as a prescriptive healing modality, we can start to become aware of its importance and necessity in regular self care.
Weekly Practice: November 1-7: Yoga Asana as a Remedy for Depression
This week in my Vinyasa classes the focus has been on using Yoga Asana as a remedy for Depression. This focus was inspired by the ending of Daylight Savings Time on Sunday, November 1st. As the days get shorter and nights get longer we start to experience a higher likelihood of falling into depression due to lack of sunlight (vitamin D) and less physical activities throughout the day. In addition to setting a goal to spend time in the sun when ever you get a chance and getting your heart rate up through things like running, walking, jogging, rowing and any other of your favorite cardio go to's I have put together a sequence to help relieve some of the symptoms of depression.
Yoga & Reiki Guide
Brooklyn based Yoga & Reiki Teacher, Cole Hooley, specializes in Personal Empowerment & Self Healing inspired Yoga Classes, Workshops, Retreats & Reiki Trainings. Her Reiki & Intuitive Healing sessions have been called "an hour of unconditional love". Nicole has been highlighted by Huffington Post and YogaCityNYC.
Easy Moon Salutations & Good Mood Yoga: