Horses & Yoga – one in the same

Horses & Yoga – one in the same

When people ask me, โ€œwhy horses?โ€ my response:

I started riding when I was in 3rd grade. It was my safe space where I felt confident, understood, supported, nurtured, loved, free! I felt immense joy, seen, heard, like nothing in the world could stop me or hurt me- not even a 1200lb animal.

Horses immediately understood me, and gave me the space to get to know me. I learned how to trust, I learned to have faith, I learned to relax, yet stay fully present, engaged, aware, and took control of what I could and trusted my horse to work with me.

I learned to listen with compassion to the rhythm of the horses breath & movement, and was able to shift my own to help guide theirs.

I quickly learned, by being thrown a couple times, to get back up, get back on, to try again yet with softer hands, gentler legs, and a strong spirit.

I experienced a sense of freedom like no other as the Earth moved beneath the strong, powerful animal. I felt beauty, grace, and ease, as I sat into my seat and let go of the need to control everything.

I understood the respect of such large creatures, and the rare empathy they express and emote.

You could very well say that horses were my first experience with the practices of yoga, yet I had no idea what yoga was at that time.

To ride a horse is to practice yoga. To be in the space of a horse is to practice yoga. I’m not taking about the poses, although asana greatly helps in alignment and comfortable riding.

I’m talking about nonviolence, being honest, contentment, letting go of control, releasing fears, focusing, breath, oneness, withdrawing of senses, faith, compassion; the juicy parts of the philosophy that show up in our lives when we least expect it.

Just like our yoga practice, a horse is a mirror for all of our stuff to show up in the most incredible ways. Approach a horse with fake confidence and that animal will mess with you nonstop. Approach the horse owning your fears, and the horse will soften, and treat you with kindness and grace.

Letting a horse breathe into your energy, feel where you are blocked, and if you let it, help you remove the blockages.

I remember being 12 and my trainer telling me I was going to ride bareback and bridleless over a 4.5ft jump on a horse I had ridden only for a couple months. I laughed and freaked out when I saw he was serious. He asked me these words, “Do you trust yourself? Do you trust this animal to carry you over the jump?”

Both were yes. I did. Completely. My heart softened. So did the horse.

I breathed into believing I could do this. He believed in me. I believed in me. I believed in my horse to help carry me over this huge obstacle.

And do you know what happened?!?! I did it. I cleared a jump bareback and with no reigns. I gave fully into faith and trust. That feeling is forever imprinted into my body. I tap back into that feeling when I feel scared.

Today, horses and yoga remain a very important part of my life, and will only become more important as I feel into making my dreams a reality.

These images showcase a journey of healing shared by two of my very dear friends, and one magnificent horse.

As I chose to trust this horse in the picture, Cowboy, in allowing me to use our relationship as a means to prove to myself my ability to find balance and strength in times of being unsure, he showed me that it was okay. That I could fully trust myself to stand, to rise, to breathe, and to have faith. It was safe to trust and to live fully in joy.

This day was the one-year anniversary of a monumental shift in my healing journey. It signifies so much more than what these images convey. In learning to walk in faith, to trust God, myself, and then others, to surrender to grace, and to live in joy, I am able to feel, receive, and give the love I have always desired.

I know that through disciplined practices, compassionate action, and passionate self-love, full healing and a vibrant, joy-filled life is achievable.

Even when the darkness returns, as we know life is polarity, by returning to the remembrance of light, we can rebirth stronger, happier, and more resilient than ever before.

A few tips to share on self-love:

1. It gets messy before it gets better. You will need to learn to let the messiness be okay, and understand it is all a part of the healing process.

2. Find something or someone you can turn to in times of struggle to remind you of your worth, your light, your truth. These people are rare and like gold. Treasure them. Hint: it may not be who you think it is.

3. Try many new things. Get curious about who you are. Adventure. Play. Laugh. Be a kid again in the ways you did not allow yourself to before.

4. Indulge in pleasurable pastimes. Feel them.

5. Ask those you trust to write you all the things they appreciate about you. This will help in cloudy moments and when the “I’m not good enough” voice returns.

6. Find your faith. In whatever you believe in. To me it’s God. Meditate in that energy at least once a day. Twice is better. Remember- the body remembers feelings. Give it new feelings to create new patterns.

7. Relish in the joy moments. Seek them.

8. Give horses a try. Equine therapy is profound and a very beautiful way to find your way into discovering your wholeness.

Always remember you are loved and deserve a life of happiness and peace!

Much love to you,

Kate ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป๐Ÿ–‡

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Ask and You Shall Receive…ย 

Ask and You Shall Receive…ย 

…just perhaps not in the way you imagined. 

I prayed to be strong; I remembered my trauma. 

I prayed to be patient; I walked the road to feeling whole. 

I prayed for love; I faced my shame. 

I prayed for peace; I embraced my anxiety. 

I prayed for joy; I swam in the deepest sadness. 

I prayed to be rid of fear; I realized fear was my inner child needing love. 

I prayed for healing; I released my victim mentality. 

I prayed for security; I left everything that was unstable. 

I prayed for connection; I had to disconnect. 

I prayed to be saved; I met Jesus. 

I prayed for my life; I learned to love myself. 

I prayed for confidence; I was given massive trials. 

I prayed for abundance; I learned gratitude. 

I prayed to see the light; I remembered I am the light. 

Our greatest victories are birthed from our greatest trials. Sometimes we must walk in blind faith to remember we are never alone, and Godโ€™s plan is always bigger than what our humanness can imagine or comprehend. 

I pray for you to remember you are the light; however you need life to show up to help you do so, may it be through grace and ease. 
Much love,

Kate ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป๐Ÿ–‡

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A Body of Bliss, The Bliss Bodyย 

A Body of Bliss, The Bliss Bodyย 

One of my many wonderments over the years has been the yearning to understand the Divinity of the human body. 

So many years spent inquiring as to, what is the purpose of our humanness if we are seeking to remember and dwell in Bliss?  

Why do we sufffer? 

What is the purpose? 

Why are we here? 

This past weekend I was blessed to attend the first of two weekends of Advanced Yoga Nidra training, held at Spirit of Yoga, The Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, yoga school. It was facilitated by Kamini Desai, and assisted by John Vosler, Laura McKinzie, and Julie Lemerond. 

I can tell you that far too many teachings say to avoid the body. I even had teachers in my past specifically say to โ€œstep out of your body while doing this work,โ€ to which I quickly rejected that dangerous notion. Although tempting, my inner guidance knew, do not listen to this person about this. 

Quick note: please do not ever step out of your body while doing any energy work. Your body is the vessel where the energy can move through you. Besides, if we come from the understanding that the practitioner is simply a conduit, there is no reason to need to step out of your body. (Rant over) 

Tears filled my eyes upon hearing that we would learn this weekend about the Yogic teachings on the body as a Divine vessel, not something to transcend, avoid, bypass, or numb. A piece of our wholeness, and even moreso, the understanding that our body is the Divine in form. 

A little backstory… I spent almost 30 years not really feeling my body. The nature of sexual trauma and the protection from my brain taught me that my body was not safe. 

Feelings were not safe. Feelings in the body were definitely not safe. None of them. 

Yes, from time-to-time I would feel, mostly anger, sometimes what I thought was joy, but I had no idea how to allow emotions to move through me and not self-identify as the emotions. So I quickly learned not to feel. 

Through a lot of deep work, Iโ€™ve learned to appreciate my body, to dwell in it, (at least most of the time), and Iโ€™m beginning to understand the light that I AM. Thatโ€™s another story for another time. 

As we set up for our second yoga Nidra experience of the weekend, I set the intention to receive the wisdom I needed to understand why my body was an important piece of this puzzle of life. 

Here is the message I received from my higher Source after Nidra:
โ€œI AM in my body. 

My body is an expression of the Divine incarnate.

The I AM essence is reflected in the nature of the human body.

The body is needed to perceive the essence of I AM-ness.

Without the body, there is no way to experience this essence. 

The human body is the manifestation of the I AM in form. 

Itโ€™s purpose is to allow for the experience of I AM.

The body is intentional. 

It is the expression of the Divine, the I AM, the Holy Spirit, the Christ essence in form. 

Through this I AM essence, we experience life. 

Life is an experience of I AM. 

Breath is the universal language of the I AM essence. 

Through breath all things exist. 

Breath breathed life into form. This form is therefore the Divine itself. 

Each human is the breath of life manifested and created in the image of God, as God, as intentional life. 

Your body, (Kate), is intentional. It is purposeful. It is to be experienced. This is how you remember your I AM-ness, through your body. 

As you dwell in the shelter of the Lord, your body, you will know great peace. 

The transcendent peace that dwells in the center of the heart. 

Pure Divine Love. 

The only way is through the body. 

The way is the light in the heart. 

Call it what you want, to me, The Way, is the light of Christ. 

This light, this essence, is the spark that initiates life. The Divine spark. The first pulse in the womb. The center of the infinity sign, the meeting of the cross, the union of Shiva and Shakti, the eternal flame. 

As we continued learning, this Divine message was affirmed through the studies of the Mahanirvana Upanishad and my own comparisons, and metaphors of Christ teachings. 

You see, the teachings donโ€™t say to transcend the humanness to achieve the light. In fact, the exact opposite is taught. 

The teachings suggest that we are that light. We simply forgot. 

We must travel through the valleys of darkness to remember we are the light. 

Yoga Nidra helps us remember. This ancient practice helps us dip in the ocean of our Divinity, our I AM essence. With each dive into Bliss, we remember we are Bliss. 

The Bliss Body is just that- pure, Divine Bliss. A container filled with love. 

One drop in the ocean; the entire ocean in one drop. 

There is so much more to share. 

๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป๐Ÿ–‡

Kate 

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The Yoga of Letting Go- storms & rainbowsย 

The Yoga of Letting Go- storms & rainbowsย 

You’ll often hear a teacher in yoga class say, “Let go of that which you cannot control.” Or “detach from the outcome.” Or even, “Practice non-attachment.” 

One of the Yamas in the 8-limb tradition, Aparigraha, non-attachment. 

Let’s get real though. It’s really crazy hard to let go. How do you let go? What does that really mean?

I think we all can understand the concept; to release our hold on something. 

The dictionary defines it as, “to allow someone or something to escape or go free, to relinquish ones grip on something or someone”

Applying this teaching is a totally different situation. 

As I started examining my own tendencies to hold on to things, I first looked at what I do have control over because let’s be honest, the real root-issue here is feeling out of control of the person or situation. 

So, what can we control?

1. Our breath

2. Our thoughts

3. Our emotions

4. Our actions

That’s it. 4 things that are within our control. 

One of my healers who now speaks to me from the other side once said to me, “Kate, is this within your control?” At which point I do a mental checklist of those 4 things. 

Then he would say, “If not, let it go. If yes, then what are you willing to do about it?”

Key word being “willing”. It is our willingness to change that determines whether the outcome will be different. 

I realized that so much of the areas of my life that cause(d) me stress, anxiety, fear, were because I was trying, hoping, wishing to control something, someone, or an outcome in which I had/have no control over. 

Instead, I had to learn to take control over that which I can, and to let go (of the thought) that I had any control to begin with in the first place. 

In comes the practice of, Sraddha. Deep Faith and Trust. 

I’ve learned that in order to let go, I must have faith and trust that everything is exactly as it is supposed to be in each moment. 

I have to know that there is a greater purpose to unwelcome situations. 

I have to trust that when people choose to leave my life, it’s for my highest good. 

I have to have faith that when my one-year-old puppy has seizures that God has a plan. (Yes, I took him to the vet. Yes, we are getting some answers. No, it doesn’t make it any less scary. Yes, I am taking control of what I can, and trust that all is as it needs to be.) 

Here’s the thing: you can’t say you have deep faith and trust and only believe that when it serves you, when you understand, when things go how you want them to. That’s not Sraddha; that’s a self-serving limiting belief that only pisses you off when things don’t go your way. 

Sraddha is the kind of faith and trust that surpasses all understanding. 

It is the foundation upon which grace is felt. 

It is the underlying structure of safety that allows someone to move mountains and beat cancer. 

It is the heart-pounding, gut-wrenching perseverance that keeps some on the path to healing when storms keep rolling in. 

Letting go is an act of faith. 

It is saying, I am willing to trust. 

I am willing to trust so much so that I am surrendering my felt-sense of control over to something higher that lives within me. 

Letting go is not easy. It is incredibly hard. It is painfully hard at times. It requires strength, patience, determination, and the willingness to choose something new. 

Letting go is an act of grace and humility. 

It is showing up for yourself and acknowledging that perhaps you don’t know, you can’t do it alone, maybe it’s not what you thought, perhaps that friendship/relationship is over, maybe it has been for a while. 

Letting go is an understanding that you don’t know everything, that expectations create obstacles, and that life can be downright shitty at times- and that you’ll somehow be okay. 

Letting go creates space for forgiveness, for compassion, for resurrection, for new life. 

In a forward fold, when we let go of our mind, and surrender our heads into our hearts, we begin to tune inward and hear the still, small(BIG) voice patiently waiting to guide us. Our head may scream, how much longer do I have to hold this? Why isn’t she/he (the teacher) moving us out of this sooner? Why the hell am I still in this position? Our heart knows it’s all okay just as it is in that moment. 

In life, if we go inward, surrender our minds to our hearts, and listen to that same voice, we will be guided to take the right action at the right time.  Our head may scream, how much longer do I have to hold this? Why isn’t she/he (the teacher of life) moving us out of this sooner? Why the hell am I still in this position? Our heart knows it’s all okay just as it is in that moment. 

The yoga of letting go is not to say, stop trying and let life happen to you. 

The yoga of letting go is saying, I am willing to surrender that which I cannot control, AND I am willing to give space for grace, to have faith that through the Divine, radiant light that dwells within my heart, I will take the right action at the right time, and trust that all will be as it is for the highest good of all. 

The greatest gift I have received from practicing the yoga of letting go is returning to the true source of peace that dwells inside my heart. It is a constant and never-ending source of joy that no one or no thing can take away. 

By a continual practice of surrendering control, of taking control of what I can, of having deep faith and trust in knowing all will be okay, through self-compassion and love, my life is realigning to one of grace & ease, even in the really hard moments. 

I invite you to consider a practice of surrender, of letting go, of Sraddha- a deep faith & trust that you are guided, connected, and deeply loved. That life is happening for you. 

That even in the storm, there is always a rainbow if you are willing to see it. 

Much love,

Kate ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป๐Ÿ–‡

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If I told you

If I told you

If I told you, you are beautiful, would you believe me or would you create an excuse?

If I told you, you are capable, would you agree or argue that you’re not?

If I told you, you have a choice, would you say you don’t?

If I told you, you are brilliant, would you smile and say thank you or give me all the ways you could improve?

If I told you, you are good enough, would you open your heart to receive or sink inward at the reasons you feel you aren’t? 

If I told you, I love you, would you be able to say it back or would you run through the many reasons you feel unloveable?

If I told you, you are perfect, would you blush or speak the reasons why you are not?

If I told you, there is no reason to feel ashamed, would you hear me or go back in time to all the memories you are carrying heavy on your heart?

If I told you, you have a great purpose here, would you believe me or brush it off saying we all do?

If I told you, within you is a light that has the power to light the whole world, would you embrace the possibility of it being true or push away the potential that lies within you?

If I told you, You are the light, would you be willing to see the glowing radiance that dances in your eyes when you speak about what you love or would you glance away and retract from the true essence of who you really are?

If I told you, you are the image of God in human form, would you consider it or would you turn away from the gift of being human? 

If I told you, you are loved so deeply that no matter where life takes you, no matter what happens, no matter what you do, there will never be a more beautiful, perfect you, would you be so willing to surrender into that promise or would you shy away from the grace of mercy?

All of this is true. 

You are beautiful, capable, brilliant, good enough, loved, forgiven, filled with grace, blessed by mercy, given free will, destined for greatness, a radiant light, perfectly designed to fulfill your own unique purpose birthed into your heart by the spark of the Divine. 

Yes, yes you are. All of this and so much more. 

So much love to you,

Kate ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป๐Ÿ–‡

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Maybe it’s not about being spiritual at all…ย 

Maybe it’s not about being spiritual at all…ย 

Maybe it’s about learning to embrace our humanity. 

Maybe it’s about learning to feel. 

Maybe it’s about learning to stay present. 

Maybe it’s about learning to say, No. 

Maybe it’s about learning forgiveness. 

Maybe it’s about learning gratitude. 

Maybe it’s about finding joy in the mundane. 

Maybe it’s about showing compassion.

Maybe it’s about giving grace. 

Maybe it’s about learning to love. 

Maybe it’s about learning to be loved. 

Maybe it’s about love. 

Maybe it’s love. 

It’s love. 

Love. 

That is all there really is. 

The rest is only an illusion. 

What illusions are you living?

What’s pulling you away from love? 

Lean into love. Even if it’s only a degree. 

Robert Frost said that, “he chose the road less traveled and that it made all the difference.” 

Well, I believe that Robert Frost was wrong. Unless the road less traveled is love, then yes, I agree. But I pray that Love is not the road less traveled. 

I will tell you this. 

I chose LOVE. 

That has made all the difference. 

Lean into love. 

I promise it will make all the difference. 

Big love to you,

Kate ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป๐Ÿ–‡

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The Real Role of the Lightworkers

The Real Role of the Lightworkers

Ages ago when times were simpler, people would gather in tribes to support each other through the transitions of life. 

Celebrations would commence. Dancing would be done. Chanting would be sung. Discussions would be held. 

The tribe would come together to hold sacred space for love. 

What happened to our world? 

When did hatred and fear take over the hearts of so many?

When did turning a blind eye replace helping your neighbor?

When did, “I don’t care” become more popular than, “Here, let me help.”

I work with many people each week who are self-declared “lightworkers”; someone who works to bring light into the world. I, too, have self-declared this, as well as being labeled as it by many. 

Let’s look at that label a little deeper. A light worker is someone who brings light into the darkness. They are shadow excavators, truth-bombers, hands of hope, torches of fire, to those unable to see, feel, or find their way into the light. 

Lightworkers journey into the dark casting a flame of illumination on all the places where love does not live. It is the job of the lightworkers to bring the light. 

Just as well as a candle lights up a sun-filled room, a lightworker is not fulfilling his/her purpose by shining brilliantly in a room of other lightworkers. 

Yes, the tribe of lightworkers must gather as in ages past, to support, to share, to dance, to chant, to discuss. Then, they must go out into the community and be the light where there in dark. 

Many lightworkers I talk to want to avoid the dark, as they have done so much of their own work to not live in it anymore. They don’t want to leave their sacred tribe. They want to gather more members and live in the community of light. 

What many don’t realize is the only way to gather more tribal members is to leave the comfort of the tribal nest, wander into the shadows, serve those seeking help, and keep bearing the light of truth- not only through words, but even moreso through action. 

As the lightworkers begin to journey into this world that has been infused with suffering, raindrops of love, flickers of light, and beams of truth will eventually overcome the veil of darkness weighing heavy in the hearts of so many. 

Don’t shy away when it gets scary. 

Don’t be afraid to share the truth. 

Dive in. Excavate. You know your soul was made for these times. You wouldn’t be here otherwise. 

The evolution of human beings is dependent upon those awake to act in accordance with the Divine Laws of Love. 

During these transitionary times, yes, it gets incredibly difficult to maintain centering, grounding, clarity, and self-compassion. It is common to want to hide. That would be easy. 

Lightworkers don’t do easy. Simple, but not easy. 

Self-care is a must each day. This is not optional. 

Taking time to reset, to nourish, to nurture, to be. 

Always know you can return to your tribe, and I suggest you do regularly, to reconnect, reinspire, reaffirm, and celebrate the light in the world. 

It is time to serve. Asking your higher power, “How may I serve? Show me who I can serve today? Help me to be love.”

There is goodness, light, peace, and love circulating in this world. The more we are willing to stand as the light, even in the darkest places, the more lightworkers will be born. 

I ask of you, if you are a lightworker, to summon the courage, the strength, the fierceness, to journey into the humanness of this world, and be the beacon of light you are called to be. 

Serve the greater good through kindness, compassion, grace, and love. 

Be the love that lives within your heart. 

It is an eternal flame that has the power to ignite a spark in each person you meet. 

I see your light. I feel your light. I know your light. For we are one. 

Much love and gratitude,

Kate ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป๐Ÿ–‡

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