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“It’s not happiness that makes us grateful but gratefulness that makes us happy.” – Br. David Steindl Rast

Wise Words From Powerful Women

A note from Erin:

I have much to share with you today!

First – a few upcoming opportunities:

My Women Embodied online course is currently open for registration!!!

I’m so thrilled about this course! It will run from November 22 – February 14th and will offer powerful support for living more embodied, more aware, and more compassionately, in the midst of the mess of day to day life.

This course is intended to support you as you navigate this powerful time of year as we transition through the end of 2017 and enter 2018.

Do you ever feel like you’re in your head and overloaded with too much information, thinking, and competing voices?
Would you like to make space for inner voices besides a loud inner critic?
Do you feel drawn to embody more mindfulness and compassion, not as concepts – but in your body-mind and daily life?
Would you like to learn to inhabit and move your body in ways that help you to feel more grounded, more at ease, more strong, more fluid, and more present?
Would you like to harness the power of positive neuroplasticity – learning ways to help your brain change in ways that support your quality of life and ability to benefit others?
Would you like to learn reliable ways to listen to and harvest the wisdom of your heart’s knowing, your gut feelings? 

If you said yes to any of these questions and you’re a woman – this course is for you. (We’ll have more co-ed offerings in the new year.)
You can join me from anywhere in the world. You can come to the weekly live video classes or do the lessons at the times that work for you. You’ll be held in a supportive community space and encouraged every step of the way. All you need is a computer, tablet or smart phone with a good wifi connection. More details are here. I’d LOVE to welcome you into this group!
I am offering my annual December Restorative Retreat on Saturday, December 16th at Vitalize Studio from 1-6pm. This one usually sells out rather quickly. I’d love to have you join me for an afternoon of restorative movement, deep rest, inner connection, poetic inspiration and more.  More details here.

Carl and I working out the details on other fresh offerings for 2018. I’ll be doing a live Women Embodied group on Monday evenings starting in March, and am planning several shorter workshops and courses on powerful emergent themes. I can’t wait to share these opportunities for embodied learning with you. More details coming soon.

Lastly – here’s a piece I wrote which is a bit long and unwieldy so I posted it on the blog rather than in the body of the newsletter. Click here if you’d like to read: Widening Circles and Right Here.

Today, I’d like to share with you today a triangulation of perspectives inspired by 3 of my powerful women mentors. 

First, a quote from beloved teacher Pema Chodron I’ve returned to so very many times:

“You build inner strength through embracing the totality of your experience, both the delightful parts and the difficult parts. Embracing the totality of your experience is one definition of having loving-kindness for yourself. Loving-kindness for yourself does not mean making sure you’re feeling good all the time – trying to set up your life so that you’re comfortable every moment. Rather, it means setting up your life so that you have time for meditation and self-reflection, for kindhearted, compassionate self-honesty. In this way you become more attuned to seeing when you’re biting the hook, when you’re getting caught in the undertow of emotions, when you’re grasping and when you’re letting go. This is the way you become a true friend to yourself just as you are, with both your laziness and your bravery. There is no step more important than this.”

And recently, a beautiful teacher with whom I’m blessed to be learning, Isoke Femi, said this: “As long as we have vestiges of internalized self-hatred we will be limited in our ability to be allies to each other. Because there’s an against-ness –  there’s someone inside you who’s against you. And when someone outside of you mirrors that against-ness, you’re toast. Because it is two against one. When someone inside is trying to emerge in freedom, and whoever’s against her joins up with someone in the environment who’s against her? It’s all over. The primary task is to replace self-hatred with a deep, deep, tender compassion. The best thing any of us can do for anyone else on the planet is to love ourselves, because in the place of love is there’s no defensiveness. It just can hold everything – everything and everybody. The best medicine for everybody is self-love.”

My dear friend Nan told a story of a beloved mentor of ours, Deena Metzger, at a gathering last year. Someone brought up the topic of self-compassion. Deena said, with vigor, “I’m so tired of any phrase that begins with the word “self” unless you’re talking about self-scrutiny.”

That’s so important too.

I’d like to live right in the middle of these three.

Brave self-honesty and embracing the totality of experience – the development of inner strength and self-friendliness.
Courageous self-love that includes those nooks and crannies buried so deeply under embarrassment and shame, growing into a heart that can hold anything.
And the invitation to grow our unflinching self-scrutiny –  to look closely at the impact our lives are having on our fragile world and each other.

May we have all of these in generous measure.
The world needs us, compassionate, embodied and awake.

Sending you blessings today and always.
I’m so grateful you are a part of this community of readers and learners and awakening beings.

Erin


And how about we end with a little Rumi?

There is a community of the spirit.
Join it, and feel the delight
of walking in the noisy street
and being the noise.

Drink all your passion,
and be a disgrace.

Close both eyes
to see with the other eye.

Open your hands,
if you want to be held.

Sit down in the circle.

Quit acting like a wolf, and feel
the shepherd’s love filling you.

At night, your beloved wanders.
Don’t accept consolations.
Close your mouth against food.
Taste the lover’s mouth in yours.

You moan, “She left me.” “He left me.”
Twenty more will come.

Be empty of worrying.
Think of who created thought!

Why do you stay in prison
when the door is so wide open?

Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking.
Live in silence.

Flow down and down in always
widening rings of being.

From Rumi – Selected Poems (Penguin Classics)
Translated by Coleman Barks with John Moyne

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