self-care

039 | Resilience, Radiance, & Recovery with Elena Brower

 
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"Integrity matters. If you are in integrity, timing will be on your side."

It was an honor to sit down with renowned author and yoga teacher Elena Brower in the latest Rising Women Leaders podcast episode. We spoke of her journey: discovering yoga, becoming a teacher, finding her voice and more recently letting go of addiction, stepping into her power as a wellness advocate and team leader for doTERRA and the beauty that comes when you step into your highest alignment.  We spoke of the power when a woman steps into wealth and abundance, how to honor our grief and pain, and what to let go of to deepen our personal practices.

There is in an elegance and grace to everything Elena creates... Be sure to check out her new journal, Practice You as well as her other offerings listed below.

In this episode we discussed:

  • Discovering the path of yoga 
  • Finding your voice as a teacher
  • Being a mom and how that relates to spiritual growth and practice 
  • Elena's journey with addiction, sobriety and recovery
  • Her thoughts on stepping into wealth "...how absolutely perfect it is to be financially independent as a woman, and how important it is to be that example for many many thousands if not millions of other women, so I'm okay with that..."
  • Her love of essential oils
  • Elena's favorite morning rituals
  • The rise of the feminine & awakening of our collective consciousness
  • Her new journal, "Practice You"
  • Healing from the loss of her mother and thoughts on moving through grief and pain 
  • The importance of the early morning hours for personal practice

Connect with Elena: 


Elena Brower is a renowned author, yoga teacher and speaker. Influenced by several yoga traditions including Parayoga and Katonah Yoga, she is recognized internationally for her expertise in combining physical alignment and the art of attention. Since 1998, Elena has been offering these practices as a vehicle for approaching our world with realistic reverence and gratitude. She is the author of Art of Attention, a yoga workbook that has been translated into six languages and the creator of Teach.yoga, a virtual home for yoga teachers worldwide. Her new book, Practice You, will be out in September 2017 from Sounds True.

Elena is also an executive producer of On Meditation: Documenting the Inner Journey, a film that intimately explores meditation experiences, and has contributed to the Huffington Post, MindBodyGreen, and Yoga Journal. Experience Elena's filmed practices on YogaGl, and her Audio Meditations on elenabrower.com/meditation.

 

Mary Magdalene & The Courage to Be Seen

 
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Have your palms ever broke a sweat at the thought of being the center of attention? Have you ever felt timid to share your voice? Or afraid of what would happen if you really let your true self be seen?

For much of my life I experienced intense anxiety around being seen, especially when it came to public speaking. It felt like my body would shut down in these situations, my chest would constrict and I would have trouble breathing, so as any young girl probably would, I stopped putting myself in the situations where I would have to speak or share in public.

But when I think back on this fear that I carried through high school and college, it always felt so much deeper than just the normal nerves of public speaking or being the center of attention. It was a deep visceral feeling that something terrible would happen if I really let myself step up to share in the way I was feeling called. 

For the last seven years of my life have been focused on understanding and releasing this deep rooted fear. I began with beginning to teach yoga back in 2010 and then took bigger steps by joining toastmasters to give speeches in 2014.  But even though I did well and even excelled in these areas, underneath I still felt a palpable fear of “I might just die if I do this."

Now, I want to write about this today because in the past few months I have noticed something big shifting for myself and others. I have continued to take steps to face my fear, showing up to interviews to talk about my book, teaching more yoga and leading events where I share my story, but it has been completely different. That visceral feeling of “something terrible is going to happen to me if I do this” hasn't been there.

At first I told myself, "Well it's because I've been spending years practicing this..." but to be totally honest, I think the real reason this deep rooted fear is lifting is because of Mary Magdalene.

I first began to learn about the truth of Mary’s life after meeting Kaia Ra at one of her book readings for The Sophia Code last year.

All I knew about Mary Magdalene growing up was that she was close to Jesus during his life, and that she was often portrayed by the Catholic church as a prostitute. I remember an image I saw of her when I was a child - she was depicted as dirty and haggard, kneeling next to Jesus to wash his feet.

But the truth is, Mary Magdalene was a Priestess. She had a very high role of anointing, and that image of touching Jesus’ feet was actually a moment where she was using sacred oils to anoint him in a highly revered act.

As I have dove into books and channeled teachings about Mary Magdalene, I have learned she was Jesus’ wife and she was a complete equal to him. She would teach beside Jesus during her lifetime. Her image was tainted after her death because the church took out many stories from the Bible that portrayed the divine feminine as a powerful force. For centuries, the feminine was suppressed. 

When Jesus was crucified, there was a prophecy that there would be 2000 years of darkness, and after that time, the divine feminine would rise to restore her place again alongside the divine masculine.

This is the time we are in right now. I've read about many prophecies that after 2012 it would be the beginning of a new golden age. 

Right now, a new paradigm is being midwifed by Mary Magdalene and many other ascended masters to restore the sacred feminine in our collective consciousness. And what I have been noticing in this incredible time is: it is safe for women to be powerful and share their voices.

To affirm this belief, last year our Pope declared Mary Magdalene as “the apostle of the apostles.” She has now finally been recognized by the Catholic Church as one of the highest teachers of her time, right alongside Jesus Christ. 

The energy of Mary Magdalene began coming to me more and more in conversations, books, in imagery, and in my meditations. Every time I thought of her, I felt a sense of peace and ease.

Then I attended a women’s circle to learn more about Mary Magdalene. The leader of the circle told us that Mary Magdalene carried an ancient wound during her lifetime: the fear of being stoned for being visible and sharing her voice. She said this deep rooted fear was passed down through many centuries, and that many women still feel the weight of that wound today. 

Every hair on my body raised when she said this because finally I had an answer to explain my fear - I just knew I was connected to this ancient wound. I imagined myself as a High Priestess in a past life, in the lineage of Isis and Mary Magdalene, and I just knew in my bones that I had been carrying this wound that it just was not safe to be seen.  

I then realized that in stepping up to be seen and share my voice now, I am healing the lineage of women who for centuries carried this same wound.

Mary Magdalene has been coming to many, many men and women in the dawn of this new age to help us birth this new paradigm.  She is letting us know it is safe now. The feminine is safe now. It is safe to share our voice. It is safe to be a powerful feminine leader. 

So what is being asked of us now in this time? We are being asked to restore the feminine within ourselves. To learn how to receive, to rest, and to simply be. We are learning to honor our bodies, our emotions and our sexuality as sacred. We are relearning the ways of the feminine, and by restoring these qualities within ourselves, we are doing our part on behalf of a much greater awakening.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and to reach the bottom of this email. If you are here reading this, I imagine you may have a connection to Mary Magdalene as well, whether you know it consciously or not. I want you to know that you are safe, and she is here for you, guiding us from the higher realms.

Do you feel the shifting in this time? Do you feel called to restore the balance of our culture by honoring the sacred feminine within?

I will be sharing more teachings of Mary Magdalene as part of my upcoming program, The Sovereign Circle. There are still spaces left to join, and we begin with our first live virtual circle with the next full moon on October 4th. Reply to this email if you'd like more details, and I'll send you the program guide.

With love,
Meredith

 

You're Invited to a Nourishing Spring Retreat

 
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When I feel agitated, frustrated, have pain in my body, or am experiencing difficult emotions, I show up to my yoga mat.

That is when I receive all my best insights.

That is where I am able to tap back into what's really important, make decisions about my business, and receive guidance when I feel at a loss at what to do.

I believe our body is full with wisdom.

We all have a 'highest self' inside who knows the answers.  However,  we can only access this wisdom when our mind is quiet enough to tune into intuition.

It's so important to listen to what our body is telling us, but often we get distracted.  To-do lists, obligations, work, kids, and a busy mind can crowd out the wise-self we all have inside.

That's why Karen Prosen and I decided to devote a whole day to help those ready to tap back into this wisdom.

We want you to reconnect to that wise, centered part of yourself.  The part of yourself that already knows all the answers. 

We also want to honor and welcome the new season of spring.  This is a time to start fresh and release old patterns that are no longer serving us. This is a time to step into a new way of being and living in the world.

We have rented a gorgeous yurt in Occidental, CA for a one-day retreat in honor of our body's wisdom and the new season on Saturday, April 1, 2017 from 10 am - 5 pm.

We are creating an intentional space for an intimate group.  I'll be teaching gentle yoga, breathing and voice exercises.

Karen will lead us through meditation and yoga nidra to recede into rest and we will end the day in celebration with kirtan chanting.

For lunch, we have invited Camina Gillotti to prepare an ayurvedic lunch with locally harvested foods.

If you are in need of nourishment, of rest, of community and reconnection to your body's wisdom, I invite you to join us.

The investment is $108 when reserved by March 18, or $188 when you reserve for two.

You can read more about the day and reserve your space here.

And if you're unavailable, or don't live locally, please take a moment to ask yourself, "Do I know anyone in the Bay Area in need of this kind of nourishment?"  I invite you to forward this message to him or her.

In love and service, Meredith (and Karen) <3

 

019 | The Power of Self-Love with Meredith Rom

 
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On Friday I made an instagram post for the women in my community who I knew were feeling the energies of what is happening at Standing Rock.

As sensitive beings, we can so easily pick up on the emotions in the air around what is happening to our Mother Earth as well as the anger and emotions from the tribes protecting their water.  

I wrote this message as a reminder that we are all doing our part to heal the collective...as I believe how we treat ourselves is a valid place to start in healing our world.   (Scroll to the bottom of this message to read the full post).

And today I have a new podcast for you, on the power of self-love. 

To me, self-love is about knowing how to show up for ourselves when challenges and difficulties arise.  When we create that foundation of self-love, that's when we can live beyond our fears and fully share our gifts with the world, knowing that no matter what happens, we will be okay. 

In many ways, it's much easier to do acts of self-care like yoga practice, meditation, and healthy eating when everything is going smoothly...

But if you can call upon these acts in times of challenge?  That is where the real work comes in.

What I share in the podcast, is a talk I wrote under the guidance of KC Baker this summer as part of her speechwriting course.  (If you are planning to join me for my Celebration event, Yin Yoga, Tea & Book Reading, you may like to wait to hear it in person there.)

I share the story of one of my greatest challenges, where the world felt like it was falling apart, and instead of becoming a victim to my circumstances, I chose love, awareness and forgiveness.  I also write about this experience in detail in my book, Synchronicity.

That single choice made in a moment of complete distress, went on to dramatically alter the course of my life. 

Learning how to hold myself with unconditional love allowed me to find a deep forgiveness and truly love others without conditions. 

Choosing to love and forgive is not always easy, I know.  But I believe it is a true path to miracles.  I hope my story will inspire you in your own path of self-love and forgiveness.

There are only 4 days left to pre-order your early copy of Synchronicity and donate to the Kickstarter campaign (special thanks for how StartMotionMEDIA produced my video.  We are so close to reaching the goal!  Check out all the latest stats and make a contribution right here.

With love, 
Meredith

P.S. In the podcast I reference one of my past podcasts, "Fall in Love with Yourself" that includes all my favorite self-care tips.  You can find that right here.

Thank you  @theessenceoracle &nbsp;For this beautiful image, via  @daniellebertoia

Thank you @theessenceoracle For this beautiful image, via @daniellebertoia

Sister, I want you to know you are doing your part. 

By healing your own psyche, you are altering the collective consciousness. 
By loving yourself, you are healing the collective consciousness. 
I believe how we as a whole, are treating the world is a direct reflection of how we as a whole, are treating ourselves. 
Tearing up the Earth, using up our resources solely for financial gains, polluting the airs, polluting the waters...How many people do you see in the world today treating their own bodies this way? 
As we heal ourselves, we naturally heal the collective. 
Sister, every time you shift a thought of self-hate to self-love, you are doing your part.
Every time you show up to your yoga mat, you are doing your part. 
Every time you nourish your body, every time you meditate, every time you pray, even every time you do something that brings you joy, you are doing your part. 
I believe when we AS A WHOLE, collectively love, nurture and cherish ourselves, it will be directly reflected in how we love, nurture and cherish our Mother Earth. 


Let's rise together. 
In our prayers. 
In our devotion.
And in our ability to take small steps toward healing ourselves, healing all beings and healing the great mother who holds us all. 


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Why I Cut Off My Hair When I was 22

 

When I was 22 years old I cut off most of my hair.  

It was in a salon, just hours before my flight to India.  I didn't know how long I would be gone or when I would be coming back. 

I remember staring at my long, golden locks in the mirror thinking about how much I had identified myself with my hair.  Men often complimented me on it.  It made me feel beautiful. 

But it was also a place where I would hide.  I remember when my skin broke out in cystic acne and all the products and creams I used stopped working all together.  To feel comfortable going outside, I put on layers of makeup and let my hair cover most of my face.

I remember hiding behind my hair in class, hoping the teacher wouldn't call on me, terrified that my voice would shake if I was asked to speak...

But in the moments before boarding my plane to India, I knew I was done with hiding.  

I stood looking in the mirror and thought, "What if I cut it all off?"

It was like standing on the edge of a cliff. I felt tingles from my toes run up my shins. 

It took courage to take the leap I was about to take, to travel half-way around the world without an end date or a plan...

I would be entering a place where no one knew me.  I realized, I could be anyone I wanted to be.  

And I was ready to stop hiding. 

So I walked into the closest salon and told her to cut my hair to a boy-short length.

I watched as the golden locks hit the floor, wondering how men would look at me now, and how I would feel about myself when I looked in the mirror.  I wondered if I had made a mistake.

But then I realized how brave I was in making a conscious choice to leave my insecurities about my appearance behind. 

"I am doing this for myself and no one else.  I am doing this to see my own inner radiance," I told myself. 

I took these before and after pictures in the salon mirror...

Before and after pics of my haircut in the salon bathroom

Before and after pics of my haircut in the salon bathroom

Walking out, I ran my fingers through my new short cut, tied a scarf around my head and hours later, boarded my flight into the unknown.

More photos from my first week in India at Amma's ashram in Kerala, 2011:

Photos of me during my first week in Kerala, India

Photos of me during my first week in Kerala, India

As self-conscious as I was in my first weeks with short hair, it was also incredibly liberating.  It helped me drop the identity of the person I had been up to that point, and helped me stop trying to put on an appearance for the outside world. 

It helped me reconnect to a love within myself and for myself, that had nothing to do with my appearance.

I share this with you today to remind you of your own inner radiance. 

Where have you been relying too much on your outer appearance?

I don't think we all need to go as extreme as cutting off all our hair - but what if you chose not to wear makeup for a day? Or wore your hair pulled back, away from your face? 

A simple act like that is for you and no one else.  May it help you remember that at your core and your essence, you are pure radiance. 

With love, 
Meredith

P.S. This story is also a scene from my upcoming book about my travels in India.  Stay tuned for more stories like this coming out this month...<3

 

When Insight Strikes in the Middle of the Night

 
Image source from  @the_soulessence

Image source from @the_soulessence

During my travels over the last month I had a mentor pose a question to me:

“If you only had 5 years left to live, what is the one message you know you need to dedicate yourself to?”

The answer came to me in the middle of the night after waking up from a bad dream.

In the dream I was being faced with a scary situation where I felt like I was losing someone I really loved. I woke up to my heart beating fast and my solar plexus tied up in knots. 

Instinctively, I began listening to my breath and I placed my hands on my body. I welcomed all the sensations and let them wash over and through me.

I watched as the stories of my mind ran wild until eventually, my breath slowed and my heart beat became steady again.

I connected to a feeling of love I have in my heart, a love that over the years I have come to know is always with me.

I sent that love to every cell of my body.

As I lay awake in the middle of the night, I realized I had full power to love and soothe myself in a time of need, holding myself with compassion, the way a mother would hold a child. 

It was in that moment I realized the power self-love has had on my life.

I asked myself:  What if every challenge or difficult situation I am facing is actually an OPPORTUNITY to more deeply love myself? 

I believe we all have the power to love ourselves through any challenge or difficulty in our lives. 

I believe when we tap into the power of self-love, we no longer need to be afraid.  We then have the ability to share our love without fear, to take risks, and to really stand up and share our gifts in the world.

Today I invite you to think about what challenge or difficulty you are currently facing... How could you see this challenge as an opportunity and invitation to even more deeply love yourself? 

I'd be happy to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

With love, 
Meredith

 

How to Lead "The Feminine Way"

 
Image by Elisha Yarrington

Image by Elisha Yarrington

I see an awakening in women, especially in sweet, kind, soft, and nurturing women who are ready to stand up, express themselves, and share their voice. However, I know from personal experience that a lot can get in the way when stepping up to lead. 

I struggled with being a shy and sensitive person and wondered, "How I can I really stand out in a world with so many loud voices?"  I didn't quite know how to authentically express myself and take action.

Then I imagined the kind of world we would live in if there were loving, kind, and sensitive women in leadership roles. I imagined the kind of role models we would have for our children and the kind of healing that would take place on the global consciousness.

I knew I needed to make a shift.

When I imagined myself stepping up to lead in the way I really wanted to—teaching international retreats, empowering other women to find their voice, speaking in front of large crowds, and leading group programs—at first, I was terrified.

But then I realized this fear was telling me something about my future and my purpose: my fear was guiding me to the exact next step I needed to take in my life.

I believe our fears bring us closer to our purpose. 

I began taking action despite my fears and saw that tapping into my soft and sensitive side did not hold me back at all; instead, I found my feminine nature to be an asset in order to lead. 

As feminine beings, we do not need to change who we are to fit into the world around us. I have found we just need to be supported in facing our fears and listening to our intuition in order to make a bigger impact.

Here are the qualities I have found to be the most useful in tapping into my inner,  feminine leader:

Honor Intuition

Having access to my intuition has been one of my greatest assets to running my own business and stepping up as a leaderin my profession. When I take the time to go on a run or a dance class or sit down on my meditation seat first thing in the morning, I feel like I am continually gifted with amazing ideas. When I tap into my body's wisdom—my intuition—I know how and when to make decisions, and I can trust those decisions won't lead me astray.

Know When to Act and When to Be Patient

What I have found to be essential in facing my fears and taking action towards my dreams is the balance between the feminine and masculine within myself. Often, leaders step into their more "masculine" side when taking center stage and forget to honor the feminine qualities of intuition, patience, and self-love. 

It was important for me to take action, but it was also important to step back and acknowledge what I had done. I learned to find a balance by making time and space to vision and manifest while taking grounded action towards my dreams. When I created the space for my creative, feminine nature, I suddenly found myself more ready to take big stepsin my career.

Develop a Consistent Self-Care Routine

After I faced a fear, I discovered it was so important to rest into self-love and self-care. That was when I accepted and nurtured myself for exactly where I was. I gave myself permission not to have to change too fast. This has been key in avoiding potential "burnout." 

Now when I take a big step, I remember to honor myself by taking a bath, spending a weekend with my girlfriends, or knowing when to do nothing at all. It is this time off that recharges me and gets me ready for my next big step.

Find Support Through Sisterhood

For years, I have been going on runs down the road outside my house amidst rolling hills and vineyards. There is an uphill incline for the last stretch and still, every time, I am out of breath and unsure if I can make it.

One day, I had a friend over and invited her to join me on my weekly run. On that final stretch, I felt my breath get heavier and I felt like I needed to stop. As I slowed down, my friend passed me to cross the finish. In that moment, everything inside me wanted to give up. I lost hope and lost my stamina. I started walking.

Then something magical happened.

Before she crossed the finish line, she stopped, turned around and started cheering for me. “Woohoo! You can do it!” she yelled. I looked up and smiled to see her cheering me on. Suddenly, I had the energy to keep going. She continued to clap and cheer me on as I crossed the finish line. With a little encouragement, I stopped thinking about my exhaustion, my aches, and my pain. My energy was completely restored.

I realized it was so much easier to cross the finish line when there was a sister there cheering me on. When I actively brought more women into my life, and was willing to share my challenges and struggles, I found the support through other women kept me moving forward. It was in those vulnerable spaces with other women that I gained more strength and courage to step out as a leader.

Have you been avoiding any of your innate feminine qualities?  If so, I invite you to try listening to your intuition, being patient, resting into self-care, and joining with other women to see just what kind of magic will happen in your life.

 

Where the magic happens...

 
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Do you ever miss staying up late at night talking with your friends at sleepovers when you were younger? I remember when one of my clients told me about her dream to have close girlfriends again.  She missed the connection she had in her relationships to other women when she was younger.  As she grew up, and had a child of her own, she saw it was getting harder and harder to find the time for those kinds of friendship and connection.

This client was doing amazing work to make changes in her life, in her relationship to food, in growing her business and in taking better care of herself.

She saw that often she would turn to food for comfort was when she felt a loss of connection and friendship, so she was ready to cultivate more women friends in her life.

She was taking time out of her day to get really clear on what she wanted and needed.  Together, we made a plan, and I gave her an assignment to start a conversation with a new woman at the gym, and reach out to an old friend who recently moved to her area.

The next time we talked, I asked, "So how did it go for you?"

She replied, "Meredith, you aren't going to believe what happened.  I swear, this manifestation stuff really works.  So, you know how I was telling you about how I wanted to be closer to women like I was when I was younger?  Having slumber parties and girl time?"

"Yes..." 

"Well, just this week on Monday night, all three of my clients cancelled their appointments.  I suddenly had an open schedule.  My son was staying with his father for the night, and I thought, 'I'll just have an evening to myself...'  Then out of no where, a friend I haven't talked to in years called me up and said, 'My husband's out of town, and I treated myself to a night at a beautiful lodge in Marin.  Would you like to join me here?'"

"Amazing!  So did you?"

"Yes! and suddenly I was swimming in a gorgeous pool, my friend was treating me to dinner, and we stayed up late slumber-party style holding hands in bed sharing our dreams and desires.  It was EXACTLY what I wanted!" 

We both laughed and laughed at the amazement of what happened, but deep down, I wasn't surprised.

Ask, "What does my heart want, above all else?"  Then begin loving yourself and watch the fears, self-doubt and negative beliefs clear away.

The magic happens where courage and self-love intersect.

She had taken the time to connect to what she really wanted, what that would feel like, she was loving herself first and clearing away her fears and suddenly, her desires were showing up on her doorstep.

If you're ready to figure out what YOU want, I invite you to join my #LiveYourVision free training that begins today!

The free training gives a taste of the upcoming online course I'm leading in February, Vision.

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Vision is an 8-week online course for women ready to shift their thoughts and manifest their desires (enrollment and more details open January 19).  The program includes weekly group coaching calls, training videos, audio lectures, handouts, and the personal 40-Day Vision meditation practice I use for manifestation.

Meditation has been a huge part of my life and I'll be sharing the most powerful tools I've learned to shift my beliefs and manifest my desires in the free training.

When you sign up, each day for 8 days you will receive a daily action, video, insight or story to guide you on your path to #LiveYourVision.  

My intention is that these 8 days provide tools for you to connect to an innate love within yourself and a relationship to your inner guide that will benefit you throughout your entire life. 

(Optional) You're also welcome to post your photos of the daily actions on instagram for a chance to win a free spot in Vision!

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Here's your first daily action:

The first challenge is to create an altar and take a picture of your sacred space!

Instagram Challenge Rules:

  • Sign up here
  • Follow me @meredithrom
  • Watch your email inbox or my instagram post each morning with your challenge for the day.
  • Post your photos with the hashtag #LiveYourVision and let me know with a shout-out to @meredithrom
  • After the 8 days I will choose one lucky woman to join us for a free spot in the upcoming online course, Vision.  Simple!

One lucky winner will win a free spot in Vision.

I'll be posting a new picture and action step everyday on instagram until January 18.~

I can’t wait to see your pictures!

With love, Meredith

 

4 Questions to Ask Yourself When You're In A Rut

 

Last week I was on my first coaching call with a woman who had been going through several months of feeling depressed.  "I'm in a rut.  I don't wake up feeling happy like I used to.  I know I'm a happy person, but for some reason, I can't access that feeling right now.  I don't know what to do or where to start,"  she said.

I asked her questions about her life and found out about her stressful 50+ hour per week job, challenges in her relationship, and lack of connection to her body because of how much she was working.  As I listened actively with compassion and acknowledged her for all she had been going through, a lightbulb went off in my mind and I knew the exact next questions to ask her.  

Through my years of coaching women to find their voice, face their fears and manifest a new vision for their life, I have found there are four key areas that we can look at to lead us to greater joy, love and fulfillment.  I have found when I am sharing my gifts, facing my fears, taking care of my body, and creating structures of support around myself, I can't help but feel happy. 

The next time you are going through a rut, or feeling depressed, I invite you to ask these 4 questions:

1. Am I sharing my gifts to the fullest capacity?

It can feel pretty hard to be happy when we know we have strengths and skills that aren't being utilized.  This is why even when my clients are working at full-time jobs and don't plan to leave, I encourage them to find ways to share their natural and innate gifts either through their work or outside of it.  I also support new entrepreneurs who are ready to turn those gifts into their full-time work.  Every time, I have seen when we are finding ways to honor and share our gifts, it leads to a sense of fulfillment, wonder and joy.

2. When was the last time I stepped outside my comfort zone?

I need to consistently step outside my comfort zone in order to feel more alive.  I used to be so afraid to teach yoga, it was one of my biggest fears, but when I jumped in and did it anyway, I felt so full of life and proud of myself.  Now I have to find new ways to challenge myself, so twice a month I show up to a public speaking group where I get to tap into that feeling of nervousness and then feel proud of myself after giving a speech.

Eleanor Roosevelt says, "The very next thing you should be doing is what scares you the most."  So what is something that scares you?  Can you commit to facing that fear, knowing how good it will make you feel?

3. Am I listening to my body's wisdom?

Our bodies are full with wisdom and send us very clear signals when something needs to shift in our lives.  We develop pain, skin problems, or other symptoms when something is not right.  It is our job to listen to those signals instead of pushing them away.

I believe intuition is so important because it guides us closer to our purpose.  When we numb out the wisdom of our bodies, we lose our connection to divine guidance, we forget why we are here, and as a result can easily suffer from depression or feelings of meaninglessness.

However:

When we use our intuition, we are guided to our highest potential as beings and are able to live more meaningful, synchronous and connected lives.

The place to start, is simply taking good care of your body.  Eat well, take time to rest, exercise, do yoga, meditate.  When we are doing the simple acts of self-love and self-care, our body's wisdom will start revealing itself to us and we will know the next steps to take to lead us to greater joy.

4. What kind of support do I need?

I remember recently when I was going through a difficult time, I found myself relying mostly on my partner.  However, it became really difficult when my partner went away for two weeks and I didn't have him to listen to what I was going through. 

I told my friend Kevin about it and he shared a metaphor with me.  “If you’re only relying on one person in your life, it’s like you’re standing on top of a flagpole.  That’s a lot of pressure on one person, especially if his or her life is calling him or her to be elsewhere.” 

I imagined myself standing on top of a flagpole, shaky and worried of falling.

He continued, “However, if you become like a spider, with many legs supporting you, it’s okay if one of them takes a break.  You still have seven other legs to lean on.” 

When you are supported in all directions, your weight is evenly distributed.  It is so much healthier.

I think it’s really easy to get swept up in relying on just one person for our emotional, physical and mental needs.

However, when we create more structures of support through friendships, therapy, coaching, healers, and especially in community, we can really thrive.

So what kind of support could you need through this hard time?  Is it more friendship?  With women? With men?  Or could it be a therapist or coach that would be the best kind of support to you? 

When we are able to set up multiple layers of support around ourselves, no matter what happens, there will always be someone to turn to when you're looking for someone to listen. 

If you don't know where to start when it comes to sharing your gifts, facing your fears, listening to your body's wisdom, I invite you to ask for support.  I would love to connect with you more, hear what you have been going through and see how I may be able to support you, or point you in the right direction.  You're always welcome to contact me personally here.

 

One Life-changing Ingredient for the New Year

 
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There I was, at my favorite restaurant, just having spent two hours in the self-care studio using the steam room, baths and sauna.  Life was good.  There was nothing to complain about.  I had every reason to feel good about my life. Then my mind came in.

I began thinking about the week ahead and all the things I "had to do."  Soon I was quiet and felt a nervous feeling in my belly.  I continued my conversation with my partner, but the feeling persisted.

I finally spoke up about what I was feeling.  "Once I started thinking about my week ahead, I started feeling really nervous and now I can't relax."

Michael asked me more about what I was feeling and I went on to list about 20 reasons why I couldn't relax.

Luckily Michael is an EFT practitioner, a therapy that uses tapping on the body while using affirmations to create new belief systems.   He began tapping with me and I began repeating the affirmation, "I am relaxing now." 

I spoke all the reasons one by one why I "couldn't" relax:

  • "Even though I haven't practiced for my kirtan performance this Wednesday, I am relaxing now"
  • "Even though I have a book submission due this week and I haven't started yet, I am relaxing now." 
  • "Even though the insurance company told me I have to get a new car after my accident, I am relaxing now." ...

I repeated this affirmation or "mantra" over and over while following Michael as he showed me the meridian points of my body.

By the end, I realized even if I am feeling overwhelmed, I can still choose to be relaxed.  

I have control over how I want to feel.

When I began to relax, I looked at my life from a bird's eye view. I remembered everything was going pretty great.  I had to consciously remind myself:

  • I have enough money to pay all my bills and do what I love 
  • I have a nurturing relationship and open communication with my partner
  • I have eight beautiful women signed up for my retreat next May... and the list goes on..

After that conversation, I gave myself permission to relax.  Since then, my life has looked a little like this: 

  • I am allowing myself to be late so I don't need to stress out and rush
  • I am driving extra slow on the roads
  • I am taking the elevator instead of the stairs when I have a lot to carry
  • I am scheduling more massages for myself
  • I am breathing deeply and smiling, even if the line at the post office is going out the door...

This simple ingredient has provided a change in perspective that is affecting my whole life. 

I find myself approaching my business from a place of wholeness and joy knowing there is nothing big at stake, and I am remembering to relax during the times that used to stress me out.

So what is your mantra for this new year?  What affirmation makes you feel grounded and centered?  

I'd love to hear in the comments below.

With love, Meredith

 

 

 

 

I feel like a different person. Here's why ~

 
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I've been home for just over one week now after a month long teaching and singing tour on the West Coast and South West. Michael and I had our homecoming celebration concert in Sebastopol last weekend and... it kind of blew my mind. 

There must have been forty people in the room, all singing with us.  I had a very surreal moment at that show where I realized how much I have grown.  Over the last year, I have really become a different person.  

I used to be very shut down and afraid to share my voice.  The thought of it would make my chest constrict and it even felt difficult to breathe.

However, in just the last week, I have led four workshops, a private talk, a podcast interview and a concert.  Wow!  

Michael and I have facilitated eighteen events sharing yoga and singing across the country, and I'm about to give my third speech at my public speaking group this Thursday.

It's incredible for me.  Sometimes I look at myself and wonder, when did I become this person?

Through it all, I've learned, it's about baby steps, and practice.  It's about connecting to a larger VISION for the world, and surrendering my fears to a higher power.  And it is most definitely about receiving support.

I'm gearing up for my next VISION online coaching program that begins in less than two weeks.  If you sign up before June 10 you'll receive $100 off.  In this program, I will be providing love, support and encouragement to women from around the world to manifest their desires through a 40-day meditation practice.  

If you have any questions, or want to connect with me personally to see if this program is a good fit for you, contact me.

I also have a new meditation video interview with goddess energy healer Rachael Webb.

Each day over the next five days I will be releasing a new video interview with a new magical empowered woman.

In this video we explore:

  • Why meditation is important
  • How meditation changed Rachael's life
  • What she has struggled with around meditation
  • What meditation is like for her now
  • Tips for how to bring meditation into your daily life

Watch the video and check out some more of my updates below!

With love, Meredith

P.S. Storytime Q & A Teleclass is back! Grab a cup of tea or lemonade, put on your slippers and cozy up to listen to this Storytime Teleclass.  I'll be sharing some of my favorite stories about manifestation. **MONDAY, JUNE 8 AT 5 PM PST* Sign up and submit a question!

 
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Storytime-qa

Why I am choosing life

 
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On Friday, a new woman came to my gentle flow and restorative yoga classes in Santa Rosa.  She was the first person there, so I introduced myself and asked the usual question, "Do you have any injuries I should know about?" 
She replied, "Many. I'm recovering from surgery and my second round of breast cancer treatments.  This time, the doctors had to do several surgeries and I have scar tissue on the front of my body." I was shocked.  Here I was, in my own bubble all week, spending time on emails and to-do lists, thinking about my own little problems.
All my problems suddenly seemed so small. 
More people trickled into the room and laid out their mats while I was still processing what this new student had just told me.As the other students sat down, I asked, "Would you share with us any insights you've been learning and how you have changed your approach to life?" She said, "After I found out I had cancer the second time, it was hard, but I had a distinct moment where I told myself, 'I choose life' and that pulled me through."  I thought about the times in my life when I had sank into feelings of meaninglessness and looked back at this courageous woman sitting in front of me.

It takes courage to choose life. {tweet it}

I realized I had never had that distinct moment of "I choose life" like this woman had.  She reminded me that my life is a gift.  Every moment is a gift, and everyday we have the choice to truly live.  In that moment, I chose life, inspired by her courage.

She went on to say, "I now choose to do something that makes me happy, everyday.  That's why I'm here at yoga."

So today, I simply want to remind you: You are the owner of your time.  You are choosing how you spend it.  

And I'd like to ask you a few questions:

  • What could you do today that brings you more joy?
  • What does 'choosing life' look like to you?
  • Is it different than how you are living right now?  If so, what is one step you can take to change it?

I'd love to hear in the comments below.

Your life is a gift.  Claim it.  Live it.

Love,

Meredith
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About the Author:
Meredith Rom facilitates women's empowerment work, teaches yoga, and is the author of the "4 Day Self-care Reset." 
 

My secret to staying calm and getting stuff done.

 
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Last week I made the time to take a morning off and drive down to Marin to take a yoga class with my friend Tara. Afterwards we were eating lunch and I was telling her about all the things that were on my plate and what I was working on for VISION.  She looked at me and asked, "Meredith, how do you get so much done and still have the time to come meet me for yoga on a weekday??"

I thought about it, and remembered back to the time I was living in New York City and would sometimes spend 8+ hours a day in front of a computer.  I always felt like I was in a rush, behind schedule, and that there was never enough time to get everything done.  I had chronic headaches and jaw tension and began to see the link between spending so much time in front of the computer with my stress levels and the pain in my body.

Today, I work on my business 4 days a week, Monday through Thursday (during a program launch it may be more) and spend between two and four hours at the computer on a workday.  On Mondays I work on the marketing side of my business - writing blog posts and corresponding with administrative tasks, then I see clients in three timeslots over the phone Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. That's it.

In my free time I go to yoga classes, I take an hour and a half to make a delicious lunch and on Fridays I meet with girlfriends for tea, yoga, or I go to a cafe to write in my journal or to write the next chapters in my book.

My schedule may seem relaxed, but behind the scenes I am loving up my eight one-on-one clients, having client consultations over the phone and skype, and am putting tons of energy into enrolling my online group program.  I am also an active member of my local toastmasters chapter where I have to prepare 10 speeches over the next few months, I make time to lead workshops and one-day retreats, I create teleclasses, I show up for biweekly meetings with my mastermind group, oh and I teach yoga classes!

Because I am so sensitive to spending too much time on the computer, I know I need to focus in order to make the most of my time and actually get things done.  

Here are a few of my secrets:

I Start My Day With A Run

I've been working to raise up the heat levels in my body (I'm generally very cold) so I have been doing more cardio exercise.  In the last month, 2-3 days a week I will wake up, grab my ipod and go outside for a run.  It takes 30 minutes out of my day, I run down the road outside my house for one mile and run or walk the mile back.  Starting the day with the fresh air and moving my body energizes me for the rest of the day and connects me to my intuition and priorities.

I feel more focused and productive from the start.

I Eat More Protein

Since I started my business I have had to learn how to hustle and feed my body in the best way to provide me with the energy I need.  I remember being in nutrition school and listening to founder Joshua Rosenthall share about how he started his nutrition school.  He ate a macrobiotic diet for most of his life, and then when he was creating his school, he actually started eating more protein and occasional meat at that time.

He was building an empire, and his body needed more protein to push through.  As I have been creating my online program and enrolling for it, I have been feeding my body more protein - sunflower seeds, kale, fish, tempeh, beans, and most recently bone broth.  Having this extra protein in my diet gives me the energy and sustenance to BUILD all I want to create.

I Ask For Support 

Last Monday I sat down with my partner and said, "Michael, for the next two weeks I need your support.

I am going to put EVERYTHING into enrolling for this program, because it is so important to me that these values and teachings reach more women.  

Just for these two weeks, I need more support.  I am not going to be doing the laundry, tidying up the house, making meals or doing the dishes as much as I usually do.  

I need to devote my time and energy into my business right now and I am asking that you step up and support me during this time."  Michael saw how important it was for me to step up for myself, my business and the women who will be joining me in my program, so he gladly said, "Yes, I'm here to help." 

I Take Baths 

Now, more than ever, I see the importance of my own self-care.  I know I can't be telling my clients to go to yoga, take baths, or take time to cook organic homemade meals if I am not doing it myself.

Every time I take a bath or do something loving for myself, I think of the women I teach and know that I am a living example of my teachings.

Every time I take a bath, I feel any stress from the day melt off my body and I sleep more soundly through the night.

I Meditate

Meditation is my time to connect to my WHY.  Why am I doing what I am doing?  Why is it important for me to reach out to these women?  Why is it important for me to create this program?

When I connected to my mission in this life, I realized, "There is no time to waste."

I need to show up for myself, because I care so deeply about teaching women how to step into courage and self-love to honor their bodies and live their passions.  I feel it is so important to join together in sisterhood to gain the strength for us all to elevate the consciousness of the world.

When I remember that, I push through my fears and blocks and get things done.  In VISION I will be teaching my personal meditation practice for manifestation, and we will be supporting each other through 40-days of daily devotion and meditation.

I Follow Time Mastery Tools 

I work with a number of tools including batching and bookending that allow me to accomplish more in a shorter amount of time.  I use spreadsheets, I have financial tracking systems in place, and I use an online scheduler.

Being efficient with my time has been KEY to getting things done without wasting time at the computer.

In VISION I will be teaching the tools I use as part of the week on "Grounded Action."  We will be taking our dreams and visions, and actually putting them in the calendar.  We are going to create a roadmap of the entire year ahead.

I Created My Ideal Schedule 

"You are the owner of your time and you choose how to spend it."  When I learned this statement at the Live Free retreat I attended in October, I took the time to sit down and map out everything that needs to happen in my week.  I created my personal and business goals for the year and then I put them into my weekly schedule so I knew my goals and ambitions would have the spaciousness in my schedule to actually happen.

In manifestation, we sometimes think we can just wait for everything to come to us, when in reality we need to take action.

I will be guiding the women in VISION to create their ideal weekly schedule to find the time to "fit it all in."

If you are ready to step up for yourself and be held accountable for making your dreams a reality this year, I invite you to join VISION.

It is time to step up, face your fears and take action towards your dreams.

There are 4.5 days left to enroll, and only a few spots available.  If you are ready to take grounded actions toward your visions, and honor your body and spirit in the process, I highly recommend you join us. 

Deep down you know if this is the right next step for you to take.  Don't waste any time and miss this opportunity, enroll now. 

Love, Meredith

P.S. On Wednesday night I am leading a Storytime Q&A teleclass.  You can ask me ANYTHING - questions about how I run my business, how I make time for it all, questions about VISION, my meditation practice, etc.  I will be sharing a few personal stories of synchronicity and manifestation - how I fell in love, how I found my home, and how I created relationships to take my career to the next level.  You can sign up and submit a question in advance here.  All sign ups will be sent a recording the following day.  See you there!

 
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storytime

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About the Author:

Meredith Rom helps women find the balance between divine feminine and masculine energy to manifest their dreams and live their visions.  She helps women tap into self love and create a life full of magic through her writing, coaching, and yoga retreats.

How I got real with my money

 

This year I got real with my money. I was lucky to have enough money from family during college, and had savings to travel with after school, but it wasn't until this year, in January 2014 that I made a commitment to start reaching my income goals.

I had been living in the angst of "Why am I not earning what I need?"  "Where do I even start?" and "How can I ever pay my rent as a yoga teacher??" 

I have always spent time taking care of myself through yoga, healthy eating, rest, and drinking lots of water, but when it came to my finances, I ignored them.  

I rarely opened my credit card statements to read through the transactions, didn't look at my bank accounts except for when I took money out, I spent money freely, and hoped it would all just "work out" at the end of the month.  Living this way added a lot of stress to my life - especially when things didn't "work out" and I had to use my savings or money from my parents.

After months of living in that game - I felt pretty crappy.  I felt bad that I wasn't financially supporting myself, and that I couldn't live within the means of the money I was earning.  What I began to see was:

Looking at your finances is just another form of self-care.

As yoga teachers, healers and coaches, sometimes we think we need to offer our gifts for free or donation-based in order to be of service.  However:

You need to earn a good income to continue doing your great work.  {tweet it}

If you're not able to pay your bills at the end of the month, and you have to go back to finding another job, you are not honoring your gifts, or the people who are coming to you for them.

What I've learned is:

If we choose to ignore our finances waiting for everything to “work out” then we:

  • limit our potential
  • our impact
  • our ability to retire one day
  • we’ll probably always have to rely on other people and
  • we take away our freedom to make empowering choices for ourselves

BUT...

If we choose to take our finances into our own hands:  we can live a life with:

  • freedom
  • empowerment and
  • we can focus on how we want to give back and be of service to the world

This year I invested in myself in ways I never had before:  I hired a coach, a photographer, and a web designer, I attended Marie Forleo's B-school, and I went on my first retreat.  Every time I invested in my education and my business, I gained back huge amounts of knowledge (and income) in return.

In April of this year, I began meeting the monthly income goals I had never been able to meet before.  I led my first group coaching program, I consistently gained new clients in my private practice and I even saved enough money to go on a trip to Hawaii.

I've been talking to other women, and clients who are in a similar position I was in: taking steps to take better care of themselves, but looking the other way when it comes to their finances.  So, I decided to lead a teleclass series on this topic, to share all I've learned with you.  I'm calling it, "Financial Alchemy:  3 Calls to Create a Money Mindset." 

In this series of 3 free calls I'll be sharing: 

  • Practical tools to track income and expenses
  • How to create a budget and save more money
  • How to spend with awareness
  • How to know and own your value AND
  • Alchemical tips to earn more income in service to your passions

The first call is Wednesday, October 29 at 5 pm PST. You can sign up to receive the call info and recordings here.

Love, Meredith

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About the Author:

Meredith Rom is passionate about empowering women to embody their Divine Feminine presence and rise to new levels of financial abundance.  She works with women one=on-one and in groups through yoga, online programs and writing

 

Yin yoga to access your intuition (new video)

 
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I just arrived back from nine beautiful days in Hawaii.  I was blessed to co-teach a class with Erica Jago while I was there.  

We designed a class blending two of my favorite styles of yoga ~ kundalini and yin.  I taught the yin poses while Erica taught kundalini.  We were joined with live music by our partners - both named Michael (hehe).  I even brought my harmonium with me (it folds down to fit in the overhead compartment of an airplane!) and we sang and sang. And today, I'm happy to share with you a short yin yoga practice video you can do at home.  

Yin yoga is where the poses are held longer, 3 - 5 minutes, and the muscles are soft.  When we hold the poses longer, we begin to stretch the connective tissues, the tougher ligaments that join the bones together.  This is thought to be where the meridian system is held.

Yin yoga not only balances the body on the physical level, but brings balance on an emotional and energetic level by harmonizing the meridians.

It is a practice to be present with your edge - the edge that may not always be so comfortable, however in my life, I have found when I am willing to be with the difficult sensations or emotions, I discover so much growth.  And even more than this:

When we are willing to be with all aspects of the human experience, the good, the hard, the beautiful and the ugly, we have greater access to our intuition and the wisdom of our body.

So I invite you to set aside some time this evening to do this practice with me.  Be in the silence, with your body, however it feels in that moment, and see what wisdom, guidance or intuition arises.

And if you are local, join me at The dhyana Center in Sebastopol for my Yin Yoga & Harmonium series.  The theme tonight is, "Cultivate Patience, Release Anger: Yin postures for the liver and gallbladder meridian."

Love, Meredith

Some photos from my trip....see more on instagram @meredithrom

 
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30 ways to heal a broken heart

 
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In the last few weeks, I have been meeting more and more people going through a break-up.

Many of my yoga students and close friends of mine have been letting go of their relationships.  With the recent autumn equinox, I've seen it is a cosmic time of letting go.

An astrologer once told me a break-up happens when you are no longer able to fulfill your purpose while in the relationship.  If somehow the relationship has been preventing you from living as your most true and authentic self, the planets align to end it.

A break-up creates the space for you to fulfill your sacred contract with life.  {tweet it}

There is something comforting to know that as difficult as it is to go through it, that there is something so much greater on the other side:  Living as your highest self.

I've been thinking back to my own break-ups, and what has gotten me through those difficult times.  I remember those were the hardest times for me to take care of myself, but that was actually what helped me through it the most.

So, whether or not you are letting go of something or someone in your life, I created this list of 30 ways to take care of yourself as a reminder to come back to basics, and the small daily actions to remember the love you can have for and with yourself.

30 Ways to Take Care of Yourself Now

  • Use essential oils, I have a diffuser in my house and it changes my whole state when the room smells like wild orange or lavender
  • Make your bed luxurious and comfortable – buy nice sheets, pillows, plants, and a nice mattress
  • Meditate for the love of it, not because you have to, but because you want to.  This means doing what is enjoyable to you - try pranayama, writing, saying affirmations, or drinking warm tea while you sit down in silence.
  • Keep crystals around your house to surround yourself with beauty
  • Do a tarot reading
  • Do yoga – this is an obvious one, but so many of us avoid yoga because we don't want to feel the difficult emotions we are going through.  However, feeling them is the way we can move through them.  Try a few yoga poses at home to ease back into it.
  • Turn off technology by 8 pm.  Create space to ease into sleep.
  • Make a vision board
  • Ask a girlfriend to hang out.  Take initiative with your friends.  Tell them what you're going through.
  • Invest in yourself.  Take that new yoga class, or get the massage you've been putting off.
  • Buy a box of raspberries.  Raspberries for me, feel like the most luxurious purchase.  It is expensive compared to other fruit at 5 or 6 dollars a box, but ultimately 6 dollars for a luxurious afternoon eating raspberries is worth it.
  • Buy flowers for yourself, for no reason.
  • Drink your favorite tea.
  • Use a hot water bottle.  This is a great comfort item, to have something warm with you in bed, and is also good for cramps.
  • Journal.  Try "morning pages" from The Artist’s Way.  Write three pages each morning on anything - just let it all out on the paper.
  • Give yourself a pedicure.  Wash your feet in the sink.  Put on nice lotion and paint your nails.
  • Take an Epsom salt bath.  This relaxes and soothes the muscles while removing toxins from the skin.
  • Be generous.  Take a girlfriend out for tea or make dinner for someone.  Giving takes the mind away from ourselves to come into a space of giving back.
  • Be creative.  Make a card, a collage, or a drawing.
  • Rub body butter over your body while reading the affirmations.  Try the affirmation, "I am healing my past easily and naturally now."
  • Buy something fun and new, and this doesn’t have to be expensive.  I was in Mexico last year and I bought a couple $1 woven bracelets.  They were bright and beautiful and brought me so much joy.  When I went home, I gave them to 6 friends.
  • Declutter your life.  Let go of the things you don't need.  Sell and give away things you don’t use.
  • Keep your home tidy and clean.
  • Surround yourself with plants.
  • Learn something new.  (Try picking up a new instrument and taking lessons!)
  • Write a list of your strengths.  Then ask other people what they think your strengths are.
  • Write a list of things your grateful for.
  • SING.
  • DANCE.
  • Create a new vision for yourself – write it down and read it every day.

PS.  Tonight I am back to teaching Yin Yoga at the dhyana Center in Sebastopol at 7:45 pm.  Tonight's theme is "Release Fear, Cultivate Wisdom."  If you would like to join us, click here for details.  

 

Sync with the moon

 
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Since last Wednesday I have been sleeping outside in a tent watching as the moon grew full over the horizon.  I drove from my home in Sonoma County, CA up to Mount Shasta and to Oregon for a music festival.  (check out some photos from my travels here).  Sleeping outside on the land, watching the moon brighten to its fullness and start to wane again has made me think about the connection between our bodies and nature. You may notice you feel more social during the full moon and more introverted with the new moon.  The moon pulls the tides and can also sync with the woman's body during her menstrual cycle.  Traditionally, women would menstruate with the new moon and ovulate with the full moon.  The new moon energy of drawing inward would coincide with the woman's time to rest.  The energy of the full moon would energize the woman during ovulation and nature would optimize the conditions for her to find a mate.

Unfortunately, with so much artificial light both inside and outside our homes, many women have lost their connection to the moon.  So today, in honor of last weekend's full moon, I have a few tips for you to harmonize with nature and sync with the cycles of the moon.

4 tips to sync with the moon:

1. Sleep in total darkness during the new moon and allow light to come in through your window during the full moon

The body will attune to the moon the way women did in ancient times sleeping outside with the moonlight.  Make sure there are no digital lights in your room when you sleep and do your best to turn off all technology.  Leave your blinds open during the full moon so the moonlight can seep in.  Your body will begin to naturally sync your menstrual cycle with the cycles of the moon.

2. Rest during your menstrual cycle and save times of rigorous exercise, movement, dancing and socializing during ovulation

The menstrual cycle is a time to focus on intuition and listen to the body's subtle messages.  It is a great time for gentle yoga, journaling, and reflection.  During ovulation, the body will have much more energy to be social and active.  See if you can sync with your body's natural rhythm.  If you are not sure when you ovulate, count 14 days after the first day of your period.  Plus or minus 3 days of this time will most likely be when you ovulate.

3.  Eat foods to support your own moon cycle

Did you know certain foods are beneficial during the woman's menstrual cycle?  The best foods to integrate into your diet at this time are dark leafy greens, like dino kale, beets, and sea vegetables like kelp.  Try adding a few kelp leaves to the mix when you cook brown rice.  These nutrient dense foods will replenish the body during the depleting time of menstruation.

4.  Practice these restorative yoga poses during menstruation to relieve low back aches and menstrual cramps

This sequence of poses was adapted from the Iyengar moon cycle series for women.  The poses support the downward flow of energy during the woman's moon cycle.  I used this sequence just a few weeks ago during my own cycle when I woke up in the night with aches.  After twenty minutes, I felt relief and was able to fall back asleep.

[av_video src='https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cp7tAnOBb14' format='16-9' width='16' height='9']

Have you ever thought about connecting to the moon?  Let me know what you think of these tips in the comments below.  Try out these poses the next time you're on your "moon" and let me know how it goes!

With love, Meredith

_____

About the Author:

Meredith Rom is a women's leadership coach,  yoga teacher, and group facilitator.  She helps women tap into intuition and manifest their dreams through yoga, writing and retreats.

 

The Cedar House Retreat

 
yoga and meditation-retreat-self care

You are invited to the first Cedar House Retreat in Occidental.

This idea came back in April when three of my girlfriends (Mackenzie, Jasmine, Amy) and I did a self-retreat where we each shared our gifts and teachings with each other.  We thought, "Wow! We should do something like this for our community!"

Just months later Jasmine closed the deal on a new house and moved in this month  - and just like that -  the perfect space appeared to hold it.

I will be teaching a yoga class, Mackenzie will lead us in a sounding song workshop, Jasmine will lead an embodiment meditation and Amy will guide us through a sensory garden tour!

Join us:

Sunday August 3, 10 am - 4 pm 

Bohemian Lane, Occidental, CA (address will be sent to you after registering)

The Vision: 

A retreat for men and women to join together to explore the divine masculine and feminine energies of the self

Nourish, Connect, Sing, Rejoice

Sunday, August 3

10 am - 4 pm

Led By: 

Jasmine Amara, 

Meredith Rom, 

Amy Winzer and 

Mackenzie Myers

Includes:

90 minute yoga class

Sounding song workshop

Embodiment meditation

A sensory garden tour

A homemade organic vegetarian lunch

The Land: 

7 acres of redwood trees, beautiful flower gardens, fruit trees - figs, persimmons, and lemons, a large house made entirely of cedar with a big deck for sun basking.

Will you join us?

$30, Limited to 15 

Register in ADVANCE

We will only accept money at the door if there is space left, so reserve your space now.

We've already had an overwhelming response to this retreat.  The deadline to register is Wednesday July 30.  To Register:Email or call 707-775-1525.   You will be added to the list and sent payment options.

Love,

Meredith

A taste of the retreat in photos:

 

The Missing Link I See in So Many Relationships

 
relationships-meditation-self love

A few weeks ago I had a client tell me about her relationship.  "He's stuck.  He's not moving forward.  I think he's afraid of change." 

I listened and asked, "Is there anywhere in your life you feel stuck or not moving forward?  Is there anywhere you are not facing your fears because of what might change?"

She replied, "Yes, I think so..." and went on to tell me about it.

Our relationships are a reflection of what we need to see in ourselves.

When things aren't going our way it is much easier to look for what's not working outside of ourselves instead of looking within.

I shared with her about a time when I felt something was "lacking" in my relationship.  I was earning less than I knew I needed to at that time, and put my stress on him.  I thought, "You should make more money to fix this problem!"  I realized I needed to look at what was lacking in myself.

I know it's hard to make that step...  I was afraid, and didn't know where to start.  That's when I decided to enroll at IIN, commit to healing my blocks around money and take a closer look at my finances.  That was when everything began to change.

Whenever you feel you are not "getting" something you need in your relationship, take a moment to ask, "What am I not giving to myself?" 

A practice that has been so valuable for me to love myself first (rather than waiting for love and approval from the outside world) is metta meditation, or loving kindness practice.

This practice reminds me to fill myself up with my own love.  It reminds me to turn to my own heart and look within before placing blame or judgement on the outside world.  It reminds me to love myself first, and then send out love unconditionally to those around me.

The missing link I see, is simply self-love, and the willingness to look within ourselves, and find love there.

By loving ourselves first, we offer genuine love to others.  {tweet it}

 
 

You can learn all about the meditation in my next summer yoga video:  Loving Kindness Practice.  Watch it here:


With love, Meredith

Do you recharge when you're alone? and how I handle parties as an introvert

 
courage-strength-power

Have you ever found yourself crossing the street just to avoid having small talk with someone you know?  What about hiding behind the bananas at the grocery store?

Do you feel rejuvenated after having a night alone?  Do you love having the house to yourself to recharge?

If you answered yes to these questions, you may be an introvert.

I know I am...I just spent the last 6 days at home alone while my boyfriend was in Colorado, and despite missing his presence, it was quite wonderful to have the house to myself.  I listened to music, read in my bed, and sang while I cooked.  I taught my yoga classes and saw a few friends throughout the week and spent the rest of my time alone in my house.  That was enough social interaction for me to feel totally satisfied.

I was called "shy" as a young girl, refrained from speaking up too much in school and avoided being the center of attention.  Unfortunately in our society, the "extrovert ideal" of having an outgoing and gregarious personality is often praised over being quiet or cerebral.  It was difficult for me growing up quiet and softspoken.  Sometimes I wondered what was wrong with me for simply being myself.

Luckily this year I found Susan Cain's book, Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking.  I was so relieved to discover someone researched the topic of introversion.  When I read her book I realized, I was not alone in my need to be alone.

I learned many introverted people are born that way, have a more sensitive nervous system, become overwhelmed easily by large groups and are more sensitive to public speaking.  One way to tell if you are more introverted or extroverted is to ask, "Do I feel recharged when I have time alone?  Or after being out and about with a big group of people?"

I learned being introverted is not the same thing as being shy. Many introverted people thrive on connections with others; they just prefer connecting to one or two people at a time, and need their alone time at the end of the day.  I also learned almost half the population is introverted.   So even if you aren't an introvert, you may be dating one, or have an introverted child or family member.

A great trait of being an introvert is a powerful ability listen.  I think that's why I love my new role as a health coach.  My clients feel safe to open up and tell me what is really going on in their lives.  They share their deepest fears, their biggest dreams and sometimes things they never heard themselves say before.  My clients leave the sessions feeling heard without judgement, and through my questions and listening, are able to come to new discoveries on how to reach their goals.

Susan's book helped me see the power in being quiet.  Many leaders throughout history have been introverts such as Mahatma Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates.  This year I've embraced my softer side by teaching more yin, restorative and gentle flow yoga classes as opposed to "power vinyasa".  Living in my strengths has connected me to a new sense of power.

I've also began to speak up more as a "quiet" leader, because I realized if only extroverted people stepped up to lead (or teach yoga), the world would be quite imbalanced (and exhausting).

However, one struggle I've had as an introvert is going to parties and networking events where I don't know anyone.  I used to think I "should" attend these events and felt guilty when I chose to stay home and read a book.

But, when I let go of who I thought I had to be, I discovered I can enjoy going out and connecting with groups of people I don't know.  I even found myself telling stories and being the center of attention sometimes!

So here is what I told myself to be more courageous, step outside my comfort zone and make connections with people I don't know...

1. You can leave when you want to 

I used to think I had to stay til the end of a party.  Then I realized I was totally free to leave.  I found when I gave myself full permission to leave as soon as I felt like I reached my social capacity, I started going to more parties and events.  I didn't feel obligated to stay somewhere I felt uncomfortable and made some excellent connections by being willing to show up.

2. You don't have to drink

I remember the first time I went to a bar in San Francisco and ordered a club soda with lime at the bar instead of an alcoholic drink.  Did you know it's free?  Just because everyone else is drinking, it doesn't mean you have to.  If you find yourself ordering drink after drink at an event, ask yourself, "Do I really want to be here?"  You may be masking the little voice inside of you that just wants to go home.  Try skipping the alcohol and listen to your instincts.

3. It's okay to connect with just ONE person in the room

I used to think I had to talk to loads of people when I went to a party or networking event.  Then I realized the event would be a total success in my mind if I could just connect to ONE person.  I started looking around for someone friendly and introduced myself.  When I was in conversation with just one person, there was less pressure to "impress" and I felt like I could sink into being myself.  I skipped the small talk, asked more meaningful questions and created an authentic connection.

So where could you be a little more courageous in your life? What have you wanted to do to step outside of your comfort zone?  Is there a networking event coming up around the corner?  Or a party you've been trying to avoid?

Or do you need to take a step back from your social life and recharge with some alone time?  Let me know in the comments...

Love, Meredith

PS.  Do you know any introverts who would appreciate this post?  Share with them with one of the links below :)