Now that we’ve come to the end of the second pathway and building the Dream Team for your own personal healing, wellness and happyness, this is where it gets good. This is where you get to feel the healing in whatever mode that may fit you best. This is where you get to be creative! But this is where you get to sit back, relax and make up your own rules. Everyone has their own creative outlets so don’t be afraid to try something new and different. The one person we have left for the biggest role in the Dream Team is YOU. And without creativity, music, joy, friends, family, nature, and laughter, then the Dream Team would fall apart. Everyone is focused on you and once you’ve found the best people to support your healing journey at the time, be it Cancer or Divorce or building a Business, anything else that needs a team of specialists, then it’s your turn to start moving forward. And moving forward with grace takes skill. Ultimately graceful is how you will feel when you look back on the entire situation in the future, because you can. It’s your story, so make the most out of it. And Yes, I have to warn you that new dream team members will come and go throughout the journey, but remember, that it’s always in the best interest of your happyness, even if it make no sense at the time. Learning how to trust your intuition and the larger role in life you are playing is where I will start:
Cultivating creativity starts with listening within and this is the hardest and easiest job on the planet. Let me explain. We are so caught up in the drama of life with advertisements all around us trying to get us to buy X so we can feel Y, and then there is Social Media where you may feel as if your life isn’t nearly as exciting as someone else’s or Hey, Look! They are getting married, or they are having kids or they are way more happyer that I am mentality, which is the negative mind getting to much air time! There is also the family and bills that never seem to stop or slow down long enough for you to breath and take your own vacation. Life just seems to keep rushing past you and you think you’re supposed to be here and there and here and Hey, what’s that shiny thing over there?! I need one and I need it NOW! OK, Veruca Salt, slow down a minute…
In comes yoga for the soul and this is just one way anyone can learn the tools needed to be their own guru, which means one that leads you from the dark to the light. You know, a coach, an angel, whatever you feel best to hear. Your path may include education about wellness or nutrition or maybe you want to write a book, or just run. It’s all good. The trick is to know which voice to listen to, because your brain has it’s own messages and it wants so bad to send you on a wild good chase that leaves you exhausted and broke. I know, I’ve been there. But then, there is the voice when I’m at Barton Springs feeling uncool and alone sitting under a tree that whispers, “Wait” that takes over and feels calming to my nervous energy that just wants to walk around because I feel like everyone is watching me wondering if I have any friends. And to my lovely surprise, my new friend finds me amongst the hundreds of Austinites enjoying the Sunday evening in the cold springs and sits down next to me for a lovely visit. Getting there is the journey that unfolds, and for me, only truly unfolded once I was put in an excruciatingly intense situation like cancer. But you are much wiser than I. You are here to get the pearls of wisdom that I gladly share! Obstacles come in many shapes and forms. For me, who couldn’t see all the signs, it was a brick across the head that finally got my attention. I was so off my path that not one, not two, but three obstacles lodged themselves firmly in my way as I continued to bang my head against them one by one until I got the message. I can laugh about it now – OMG – seriously – WOW – what a hot mess! And gratitude to everyone who was in my path. Life is a symphony and we are all just playing our parts, and the #7PH came out of my experience so that you can all find healing and happyness around any type of obstacle.
There are more than 5,000 different types of yoga, but my choice for Teacher Training was the most intense, most sacred, most profound, and the one based on technology with evidence-based results passed down through time. It is Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan and what drew me to the experience initially was the sound of the gong at the end of class back in the early 90’s while at a community center on Stanford Campus. I couldn’t get enough of it and just like I am currently drawn to energy outlets for hand stands against a wall, my feet are drawn to the sound of the gong as we would lie on our backs during the final relaxation period of class before the teacher would turn down the lights, and we’d close our eyes, get comfortable and they would play the gong for an extended period of time where the sound vibrations would flow through you, take you away, transport you off somewhere, even crash all those thoughts out of your mind, and the music would work towards a release and then continue towards integration leaving you feeling amazing and peaceful. The sound worked to take over where you and your meditation left off. Even if you can’t meditate or turn off the background noise in your life, the gong will take care of that immediately.
Gongs in the past were only owned by Kings and Queens because they were expensive and made of rare metals like gold and silver. Only the wealthy owned them in the past and they would clear out the noise so that they could take the time to listen to their deepest callings. They had the time to pay attention and thing big. Not anymore. We can all do this ourselves and with the technology of the gong (sound), mudras (hand positions), and pranayam (breathing techniques), you can realize the dreams held deep within yourself. Understanding your life’s passion and taking steps to move forward towards wellness and happyness takes intention, focus and even luck! Kundalini is the Yoga of Awareness and I’ve been teaching it since 2008 after trying out so many other creative outlets but what I didn’t know was how it gave me the tools to overcome so much grief, anger, rage and dis-ease with my life.
Keep in mind that I’d been teaching group exercise all my life starting with high impact aerobics in the 80’s, then while in California found Spinning that later became Cycling, then to pilates until I took Kundalini Yoga and Meditation Teacher Training in Austin in 2007-2008 that I was forced to tap into everyone and every thing I knew once I was diagnosed with breast cancer while going through an international divorce that forced me out of Switzerland and back home to Houston. So, while living in my parents’ guest room sinking into oblivion, I was diagnosed with Cancer and that in itself saved my life. As soon as I was diagnosed, the lights came on and the music started playing again. It totally surprised me. The tune was off beat, and the sound was shrill and sharp, but it was my job to work on making the music play. At the time, I was at my perfect weight, working at a good job, teaching yoga and pilates, dating a big whig and then like the snap of a finger, it all broke down into ashes and dust. Having cancer is a wake up call. It changes every single little thing. It evokes learning and feeling and made me realize just how absent I was to my true feelings and passion in life. So, when I say get creative and BE the person you were meant to be, I mean it. Here’s an example:
For me, I say Kung Fu Cancer because during cancer I knew I had to laugh no matter what. Research had shown that laughing promoting the creation of killer cells, that are our bodies defense system for Cancer. Every day they eat random cancer cells that come into our system, so laugh! So, I started watching a funny movie every day and Kung Fu Panda was the one that synced with my life. He is this big clumsy Panda who wants to be a Warrior but he has so many other things he and his family wants him to be that he avoids his true calling. Only to be forced into becoming what he truly is, and that is a Warrior! You have to see the movies. But at one point, his guide allows him to see the Dragon Scrolls that hold the truth of life itself. It’s in a large beautiful temple and high above the sacred pools held by a statue of a dragon in his teeth. Of course, only a feather can finally dislodge the scrolls and when he gets it, he unrolls the scroll and then freaks out at the blinding truth! It’s a mirror. He is the true nature of life itself. Inside he has all the keys to life. At first he thinks there must be a message, because he can’t see it. But then, he starts to remember his true nature. That of a Dragon Warrior. I used to pretend to BE the Dragon Warrior and Karate chop cancer cells in my mind. I did it all the time. Especially going into the chemo room when I was scared, just in my mind or as a mantra said over and over. In the blink of an eye, I had completed chemotherapy/warrior training and went on to create the Kung Fu Sandy team of cyclists to raise awareness and funds for those diagnosed with breast cancer.
What comes around goes around – so give it all you’ve got! Join me during the upcoming Gong Yoga + 7 Pathways to Happyness Retreat in Greece on Paros Island September 19 – 25 and save $100 when registering with the secret scroll code SANDY or go to http://www.gongeurope.com/