I embrace change The tightening over my womb I embrace change My swelling breasts I embrace change My heavy thighs I embrace change My skin bloated I embrace change My temperature high
As a child of this earth I embrace change As a daughter of the dawn I embrace change
As the sun rises I am change As the day becomes night I am change As the spring turns to summer I am change As the clouds pass by I am change As the birds fly south I am change As the rain falls I am change As the breeze rises I am As the flower blooms I am As the wave crashes I am
And I return to breath I return to sight I return again. Deep respect to all women who embody the phases of creation within their own body. Flesh of my flesh, says mother earth. Each can be said with a breath in, and a breath out.
Hello, I wanted to start sharing ideas with yoga students and teachers and opening up a discussion with you about different topics.
The idea started in conversation with two other yoga teachers and one asked 'how do you keep the classes fresh?' and 'how can you keep the student's engaged?'
I had a moment when I thought, but you're a teacher, you know. And then I realised what an assumption that was. Many teacher's teach what they have been taught, but when that has dried up your own interest, and you feel like you need inspiration, other people's perspective can help a lot.
So, here I am, offering my years of experience in teaching yoga, meditation and public speaking. Please feel free to comment, engage in conversation, ask questions.
I've been interested in and working with Archetypes, consciously, for the past seven or so years.
It's time to live outwardly, bravely, all aspects of me calling out of expression.
I think the dressing up/ glamour of the pin-up look with the yoga poses is a fun way to start the conversation.
It's also incredibly challenging, because as an empath, my tentacles are up and out readying themselves to feel distain, disapproval, judgement. Funnily enough, those voices can never be stronger than the ones inside of my own head for years, telling me my ideas were stupid (saboteur), dressing up didn't go with the discipline of yoga (judge), what kind of role model would you be (teacher), who dresses like that when you train hard? (Athlete)
I do. I love yoga. I love dressing up, I love teaching, I love healing/helping.
The best person I can be, the best role model I can be, is one where I am honest to my own truth. Live your life according to your inner compass. I don't want to live my life in fear of the sour faces of disapproval.
Acceptance is the corner stone of true
continual spiritual awakening.
Acceptance is a fearful and
terrible thing to the little me fighting to be right all of the time. The
little me asks, ‘If I accept everything,
where will I be able to assert myself?
What will I control? Where will I be?’
However, without acceptance, we cannot
align ourselves to reality and we will only ever be forcing ourselves to be
separate and apart. We will only be
projecting a manufactured limitation on
what is essentially the great mystery. In short, we are constantly trying to
place mental limits on life itself, in an effort to feel some sort of control
Once I began practicing acceptance, I was
horrified to discover a vicious and bad tempered child residing within me. There was a bad tempered voice screaming deep
down within my being and I had been repressing it for years as ‘bad’ and
unwelcome, especially considering my profession as a yoga instructor and
teacher. I was shocked to find the rage
I remember as a 10 year old still screaming. It was difficult to admit that the
voice was there. I admit I tried to
repress it again, but the deeper my practice became, the more I couldn’t turn
away from the truth of my own nature.
The voice screamed with hatred. It was
angry, violent, vicious, vindictive and hurt and used foul language. I felt sick when I sat with it. It was
wrapped around my solar plexus; the self esteem centre. It’s tentacles infiltrated each and every
chakra point and infected my emotions, my love, my physical well being, my
confidence. Admitting and accepting this
voice was one of the hardest and most rewarding practices of the last few
years. Just sitting with it, without judgment, and with as much love and acceptance
as I could muster. It hasn’t
disappeared completely yet. But it’s voice is much softer and less insistent
and it doesn’t hurt to sit with it any more.
But let’s be honest. I can trace this rage
back to an incident, when I was about 10 years old. My brother and I were
sitting outside, beside our house. We were sitting back to back. We had been
bickering and my father decided we were to sit with each other until it was
settled. I was angry. But my brother was laughing. I remember him laughing and
there was a clear light in his eyes. I couldn’t think straight. I was full of
rage and hate and I started to hit him. He just held his legs up to his chest
and laughed. He didn’t seem to care at all. I screamed and hit and kicked. At some point I preferred to hurt myself and
I began rubbing my arms into the ground, and as the pain and the high mental
stress became too much for me, I drifted off. It’s my first conscious memory of
leaving my body. I was above. Everything was slow and soft and I didn’t feel
pain at all. I was just watching. I
could see my brother laughing and rocking on his bottom, his legs pulled up to
his chest. I could see my wild head and I was screaming and rubbing my arms
into the ground.
When life got beyond my comfort zone, I
noticed a pattern of returning to rage and self-punishment, perhaps as a way to
escape my body. Perhaps I felt there was a reward at the end, if I just got
For many years I just repressed it. It was
not what I believed in. I refused to give in to rage, and I kept a tight leash
on my temper. It wasn’t until I started with the acceptance process in my late
30’s that I could truly integrate this aspect back into my life. Part of the
path to allowing my consciousness to feel safe enough to admit this rage was
working with the child archetype with a dear friend and teacher.
It’s ok. Just as it is. It’s ok and you are
Breathe in and out. It’s all you need in
I remember clearly, as if it was yesterday,
when I realized the subtle form of performance I was undergoing once I stepped
out in public. The facial muscles
adjusted to look relaxed, the shoulders went back and the hips tucked forward. My
step became deliberate. It may sound totally studied, but I honestly wasn’t
aware of the power ‘others’ had over me.
I come from a country that is renowned for
its casual approach to fashion. If there
was a traditional dress, it would be the old trucker’s blue singlet, some baggy
shorts and thongs. Perhaps a beer as an accessory. I now live close to
Barcelona. It is heralded for its carefully laid back chic. Short dresses,
sure, but with flat roman sandals. Hair seemingly windswept or tied casually in
a ballerina’s bun atop the crown of the head.
Let me tell you there is nothing natural at
all about Barcelona fashion and more so for it’s little sister town, where I
live. We’re close enough to farm land to
remember our roots and we struggle a lot harder to look citified than they do
in Barcelona. There is a little too much hairspray, the heels are a little too
Gloria (Modern family) inspired and the shorts are a little too short for
comfort, at least going by the fingers picking the seams out of the crutch at
every available opportunity. Truly, unless you’re a middleclass hippie (read
someone who doesn’t want to work yet and continue with the teenage lifestyle),
fashion has nothing to do with comfort.
In the first year I lived here (and I have
been here for almost 4), I didn’t really relate to the people here. They were
different and interesting and didn’t have an impact on my sense of self at all.
As I began to relax and indeed, settle in, I started to notice certain social
expectations about fashion. I began to
become conscious that I was not ‘the same’. That I was in fact it was not
‘them’ that were different, it was me.
A friend of mine from the United Kingdom
was interested in fitting in, wearing similar clothes and camouflaging herself
with the locals in an attempt to help absorb the language. So we sat in a café
and studied the women in an attempt to pinpoint their essence.
As we started to notice more and more about
the women and their sameness, I became increasingly more aware of my difference. I had the wrong shoes, the wrong length
skirt, the wrong coloured hair the wrong shape of bag. My posture was nothing
like the women here. That was fine.
But then I started noticing that I did
react to this insidious wave of ‘what they wanted/expected/judged’, and that
although I did not capitulate in taste, I did reinforce my difference with
exaggerated ‘meness’. My shoulders
became straighter, my face more relaxed, my pace slower and I did not look at
people. Looking at people here is a national sport. I took it upon myself not
I was not clearly conscious of any of this.
I thought I was just being ‘me’, that I was fulfilling part of my typical
patterning that we associate with personality.
Then one day, as I was walking through the
centre of town, I recalled some words from an Adyashanti satsang about concepts
and I suddenly saw myself very clearly.
I was literally walking in a concept of myself. I was not Being at all.
I was moving as an idea. I was projecting myself from a contracted mix of fear
of not fitting in the group (again) and my typical insistence on my difference.
And in that moment, it fell away. Just seeing it clearly, the stiff cardboard
that had been holding me in place fell away and I felt life enter into my body.
There was and is nothing more to it than
that. A deep seeing. In this instance, it was enough just to see that I was
somehow moving in a pattern that had made itself out of unconscious fears and desires. I was
merely an image of myself that was on offer to the vague group of ‘them’ to
judge (hopefully) alluringly different, but in reality, I was just a passing
and quickly forgotten image.
And the reality? Beneath the idea of my
difference, is just what I am, with no explanations or stories or concerns.
It’s ‘just’ me.
Let’s be clear. I still wear exactly the
same clothes as before and I still do my hair exactly the same way as before.
The difference is not in the action, it’s in the motivation. I am not dressing
to an idea. I am not walking to an idea. I stand at the entrance of my building
before I leave the apartment block and I literally check my body for tell tale
signs of projection. The chest lifted a little too high? The eye brows risen
with slight query? Perhaps the shoulder are even placed a little too low as a
sign of invulnerability. If I find a
part of me that has risen to react to some idea of ‘them’, I bring my attention
back in close, close to who or what it is that is looking from these eyes. And
immediately Life fills the body that was just moments before just an ‘idea’.
That is the power of concepts in our every
day. This is just in the pertinent topic of fashion, but it is within all human
interactions. Being the good girl, being the bad boy, being held within a
concept. And this is the true prison that we live in. Confined by our ideas of
who and what we are, not listening and watching closely for the reality.
I had thought that when I ‘woke’ up, that
would be that. But it wasn’t. My patterns of life, my conditioning, and even
new ideas came up between me and that which I knew to be True. Every day I stay
alert, watchful and aware of contractions in the body and mind. It is really
like shining the light of consciousness onto the dark shadow places of your
self that arise. Some are so subtle that it’s hard to spot. Some are so
entwined into who you think you are, like the righteous value of the truth
seeker that we refuse to even consider that it needs consciousness at all. Some
are so dark and hateful, like petty jealousy, violent rage or unfathomable
unworthiness that we can’t bare to look closely enough.
What breaks my heart, in my every day, is
facing my own divergence from the path of thy will. I don’t know many people
who have felt as though they have met with God. I have read about them and I
have listened to their stories, but I haven’t really met many people who talk
about God at all. I am usually the only one who is interested in the topic and
so far removed from caring about the opinion of my society that I mention God
all the time.
If someone like me, who has had such a life
changing experience can not follow the will of God with ease, who can? And it
deepens my patience and it deepens my motivation to be able to somehow embody
the Goodness of God in any moment so that somehow, through pure channeling, it
can do what it has to do.. in this world.
Stories of Loss
On the Subject of Discovery
On the Subject of Loss
On the Subject of Integration
On the Subject of Embracing
My life without a Buddha
What did giving up truth give me?
It gave me, paradoxically, the truth.
When I searched for the truth, I also held
it up high as a banner over my head, waving it as the highest most important
value to honour in all endevours within and without. When I found people not seeking the truth,
but enjoying their shadows, I felt
The observer just observes. To clear the
glass through which we are seeing the world, we must remove obstacles. …
example? When I gave up truth I saw with greater clarity, the Truth, and with
it, came compassion for the fear people lived with. The fear of them, the fear
of them selves and greater, the fear that there was something beneath the
surface always looming but easily kept at bay by entertainment and constantly
Remember to turn around and bow to your
path. Treat the past with respect. Turn every now and then and remember to give
thanks to your path.
On the subject of surrender
Your physical flesh, your physical life
needs to turn and embrace the life force. It’s like a child who has been
constantly fed and taken care of and one day realizes that an actual person or
a family had been choosing to take care of him, of loving him and helping him
in times of need and when that consciousness arises, the child feels love and gratitude for the
first time for the force that had sustained him all these years. In the same way, when we awaken to the life
force within, we realize that nothing could have occurred without the life
force’s support. And the life force, the spirit, responds to love, awareness
and gratitude with joy and boundless support.
We move through samsara to nivarna.
What I thought would happen and what really
There is one main problem my students present me with.
The first is inability to accept reality.
That is, there is a projection/expectation of what life is suppose to be, and
then, there is the reality.
The only practice that helps this is deep
The physical body – exercise…. How to do
exercises in acceptance… breathing, relaxing…
The problems in accepting reality.. my
beliefs are soo strong.. I am right, I am so wrong… my upbringing said,
reaction for or against.
Induced Chi Flow
There is no why, there is just do..?
Finally, once I have developed a practice
rooted in presence rather than rooted in the mind, the only information I gain,
at this point in time, is to embody Life itself. It’s very simple. There is nothing more to ‘do’.
What comes out of this simple practice, springs from a bottomless well of love,
Everything that is not acceptance, that
does not align itself with life, is a contraction. Every no, every judgment,
every criticism, every resistance is in itself a ‘no’ to life.
One of the typical fears arising from this
practice is that if I practice acceptance, I am allowing the ‘bad’ things to
happen in the world. I need to fight them and resist them.
If we take one concrete example, to work
through understanding ‘acceptance’ means.
We see a program on TV about starving
children in Ethiopia (?), and you come to class, and I say you must accept the
starving children. Your first reaction is to say no, I cannot accept this… I
must fight it, I must do something… I am unhappy, sad, frustrated and I need to
do something to help them, even if it is just giving money.
To begin with, there is nothing wrong with
this reaction. It’s a normal reaction. But it is also based on the story of
‘me’ giving and helping and alleviating problems of the world. I would feel
better, if I give or help or ‘do’ something. I would gain something. And let me
say again, there is nothing wrong with this. But it is based on the reciprocal
movement of giving and receiving.
Now, if we look from a position of deep
acceptance, just as an experiment, we just see what happens when we accept the
fact of starving children, that it is, what happens?
We notice our own resistance. Inside of our
own body we notice the physical ‘no’ to life itself. Life is playing out in an
uncountable myriad of forms and any resistance to Life is a contraction and a
movement away from life into suffering, despair, helplessness. Life is never
like that. Life is love, joy, creativity, movement, truth and beauty.
Now, imagine that you can accept the fact of starving children, your
perception changes. Suddenly, without all of the emotion, without all of the
blaming, without all of the story attached to the idea of the children, you can
see quite clearly that giving 10, 20 or 30 euro to a children’s charity hasn’t
really changed anything in the last 30 years of starving children. If giving
money could solve the problem, it would be solved. There is a lot more going on
than the outcome of starving children. What is the answer? That is for each of
us to discover. For each of us to wake up to. For each of us to face.
Today as I was walking along the river near
my house, I bumped into a friend of mine who told me that he knew someone who
didn’t like the river walk. I was
surprised. It was pleasant enough. No, he said, because there was a slaughter
house for pigs nearby, and some days you could hear the pigs screaming. Oh, I
said, does your friend eat pig? Yes he said apologetically.
There is a very simple way to stop one of
those pigs from screaming in the slaughter house. And that is to stop eating
We always know what we need to do. That
does not mean that we can do it, or that we want to do it, or that we will do
it. But we know better than we behave, usually in all situations.
What was real becomes unreal. What was once
obvious becomes doubtable and what was doubtable become possible. There are no
rules, only the limitations that we place on the relationship with our own
minds. The path is purely detaching from every projection, expectation, belief
that you have created in all the years you have lived on the planet and
allowing what really is, to be. In other words, get out of the way of God.
One of the beautiful questions posed by Ms
Myss in Entering the Castle is ‘what is
your competition with God?’ What a thought. What a rich and rewarding question
to contemplate. It’s enough, with this one question to set you right for years.
I read in
Buddhist text ‘die every day’. And it’s like that. You must die every
day to what you have learnt thus far and wait, really like the proverbial
bride, for your groom. There is this sense of being fertile ground, awaiting
Earlier this year I gave my copy of You Can
Heal Your Life to a family member. It was a gift from a close friend of mine
many years ago. I liked to go through the book every couple of years. I was
surprise to find a package a few months after my nieces’ visit to discover the
new version of the book, plus two others! I took the book with me on my two
weeks break and started to go through the exercises and found to my
satisfaction that there wasn’t any residue from many of the topics lousie Hay
talks about. However, after considering one question, I fell back upon the
sofa, my jaw dropping, and I saw layers and layers of information sliding down
in front of me.
With all of the work that I had done. With
all of the digging, releasing and forgiveness, the tears, the guilt, the mirror
work, I had totally skipped over ‘the
step-mother’. Something that would be instantly obvious to me in a student was
completely overlooked by my own eyes in my own life.
I was 7 when my step mother came into my
life. I had been living alone with my father in Sydney. I mentioned before that
my father had strict rules about how were to live our lives. He used to go out
at night and I would watch television. I watched the late, the late late and
the late late late movie. I developed a deep love for old Hollywood films.
One night, I am not sure why, I called the
woman who would one day be my step mother. She asked me where my father was. I
said I didn’t know, and that I thought he was with her. I then asked her to
please not tell my father that I had called, that he wouldn’t understand. She
said she wouldn’t.
I came home from school the next day and my
father for the first time that I remember, grabbed me by the hair and dragged
me terrified into my bedroom yelling and screaming at me about social workers
and homes for abandoned children and why I would call this woman. In that
moment, at 7 years old, I made a commitment to myself never to trust that woman
again. I judged her as untrustworthy, as weak, and someone who didn’t know the
rules. She had lied to me and lies were not allowed in our house. I hated her and
it was the start of the 7 years of hate I kept alive in my breast while we
I want to combine this story with another.
The first memory I have. My parents were fighting. I was small. I could hear
them. I walked around the hall way and I saw my father on top of my mother,
pinning her down. She was shaking her head, her sparrow brown hair flying
around her face and my father seemed calm and in control. Look, he said, I am
holding her down for her own good. And indeed, that’s what I saw. A crazed
woman and a calm and strong father protecting us.
Now, push forward into the future. I am
sitting, just a few months ago, on the sofa, my jaw dropped open and images of
my judgment of women sliding in front of me like a TV screen… folders of
information directly before me and lined up, right at the beginning, was my
I had always identified with men. I had
felt uncomfortable with women and at the age of 30 forced myself to embrace all
of the things about women I didn’t like. From high heels to make up and sitting
on stools and wearing provocative clothing and buying fashion magazines and
noticing handbags. I started to grow my hair and wear padded bras. I wore tight
jeans and eye make up. I listened to gossip and tried it out myself. I learned
a new set of female rules. I learned about sex and the female body. I explored
the nature of images and what worked and didn’t. I learnt about body types and
face structure and where to highlight the cheek bones.
And yet, underneath all of these superficial
changes, and although it helped a lot, I was in deep fury with women in
general. Something about the simplicity of men made me think they were more
honest. And yet, as I began to look closely at the information I had in my
head, I could see it wasn’t true. Still it persisted. This tightly woven mess
of ideas/beliefs couldn’t be lightly unraveled by pulling at one string.
What it needed, and sometimes this is the
case, is the brightest light of consciousness you can bring to bear upon the subject and then let it burn up. There
may not be any need at all to unravel this one. Just shine the light of
awareness on it, and ask yourself quietly, ‘is it true’. And relax and allow,
and if it resurfaces, again, ‘is it true’… and even in the darkest moment, it
is not true. And you can make a choice. You can continue to hold the patterns
of years or you can look at the new form in front of you and see it with
clarity. It is what it is, without any chain to events in your past.
So, using myself as an example, every woman
I met was not, by default, needy, ignorant, crazy, helpless, untrustworthy,
stupid, annoying, embarrassing, exempt from the rules, an invader, unwanted and
If you had asked me in January if I had thought those things about women, I
would have been shocked or laughed out loud or curious about where you could
get such an idea. But the fact is, sitting on my sofa on June 2012, I was
looking back into a pattern that was so
subtle a contraction, so soft a shadow I didn’t see it’s beginning or
the length and breadth of it as it had run throughout my life.
Every woman I saw was under the umbrella of
my first memory of my parents and my deep hatred of my step mother. I am alert
and feeling for a contraction and now, when it comes up, I pull myself fully
into the present moment and release any woman I may have a block with from the
subtle attack of my mind. And let me say that I just didn’t know how deeply
this one was ingrained in my psyche. The only way for me to see through this
one clearly is to keep it close to me at all times and keep the light of my
inner eye steady in its gaze.
And just so you know that the universe is
listening, I had two e mails the following week from women I had judged, asking
to meet with me during the summer. I had the opportunity to closely notice
myself in action, with my new found awareness. I noticed a deep distrust of
their motives. I noticed a feeling that warned me about losing my position. And
because I could choose, I could answer lightly and force myself into seeing
what was really, and not what was a fabrication of my mind.
The prayer of thy will be done has been
likened to a bride awaiting the return of her groom and I relate to this
experience. It’s like I am maintaining my body healthy, I am keeping my heart
and mind open, I am creating a fertile ground waiting for the seed of the
divine to awaken within me. I am waiting to be called in any moment.
Sometimes it is quiet. Sometimes the mind
is loud. Sometimes the body is disturbed. Sometimes life events take the fore.
And then sometimes there is a deep ringing in the cells of my body and I pause,
waiting, alert, ready. Sometimes it’s a tree, or a deep long breeze, sometimes
it’s the earth rising up through the body and requiring a contact with this
physical frame and sometimes it’s a person who stands there and requires
nothing more than presence. There are no rules or structure to this movement.
It seemingly comes when it wants to and goes just as randomly. And my job? Just
to be ready and waiting. To clear as much luggage from the one called ‘Tiffany’
so that the One can manifest with the least amount of hindrance in this frame.