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 question your own value is CONFIDENCE.
16. Time heals all wounds.
17. Sometimes the worst case scenario is necessary to acheive 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!
Nicole Lynne Hooley
Yoga, Reiki & Intuitive Healing
Brooklyn based Yoga Instructor & Reiki Healer, Nicole specializes in teaching Personal Empowerment & Self Healing inspired Yoga Classes, Workshops & Reiki Trainings throughout Brooklyn. 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: