About Jacob

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Jacob has created 12 blog entries.

Turning Dreams into Your Reality

2016-11-28T00:07:18+00:00

Greetings Dear Ones!

 

This is Jacob here and I want to share with you my journey through the Epic Living Fellowship Program guided by the Amazing Amber Zuckswert & Ninja Daniel Finnerty. Just to give you an inside scoop of what it looks and feels like to be a part of this miraculous program to see if it may be a fit for you and your life. It's all about turning dreams into your reality.

 

First off this fellowship was exactly what I was seeking in life and has been nothing short of miraculous! Before i came out here in paradise, I was just going through the motions in life back at home in Philadelphia. Life was good; I had a decent job, was teaching a few yoga classes and had a nice place to live. At the time my imagination was filled with visions and ideas of how I could enhance my sense of passion and purpose. The problem was I had these dreams trapped inside my mind for almost 4 years! I Knew it was time for me to step into my power and make changes.

 

So I sucked it up and wrote an application to Amber and Daniel to join them in the Epic Living Academy. Fortunately, I was accepted and a few months later found myself in paradise ready to catapult into the dreams I had envisioned for so long. I am now just few days away from closing out my fellowship & am fully confident in my ability to share my passion and purpose with this world and make a successful business out of it when I return home to Philly!

 

Let me share with you my experience...the Challenges, Highlights & Biggest Lessons I've learned over these short yet POWERFUL 30 days!

 

  • This program was no walk in the park. I mean you really have to be ready to stop dreaming and start doing! Before this program I was plagued by perfectionism and procrastination. Luckily there is no time for that here. From the challenges of writing blogs under a time constraint, I am now able to express my feelings with precision and velocity, something we all need in this fast-paced modern day world. Thankya Lord, and Amber & Daniel of course!
  • But this program isn't just all about hard work. During the extent of these 30 days I was able to check off some things on my bucket list which include...walking through the rainforest seeing animals like a sloth's and wild monkies (watchout those little guys will snatch your phone right out your pocket!) I was able to visit captivating beaches and giant waterfalls I only once saw on Instagram. I went Standup Paddle boarding in the turquoise waters of a cove, practiced yoga while over looking massive rock formations emerging from the ocean tides. Just to name a FEW! 🙂
  • I was encouraged to transform my awful eating habits into a more plant/vegatable based diet. Coming from a guy who never ate a salad in his life before (true story), and stuffed his face with greasy cheesesteaks and pizza for lunch everyday. I may have slipped up on my diet with a falafel or two (SHHH! don't tell Amber) but now I hardly think of the junk I was eating before this program. Its all green smoothie bowls and vegetables for me now, maaaybe with a side of free range grass fed chicken from time to time. All in all, the nutritional diet I endured was such a monumental shift for me and my health & well being!
  • Over all the biggest Lesson I will be walking away with from the Epic Living Academy is something I touched lightly on; the ability to stop dreaming and START DOING! This world is waiting for your EPIC entrepreneurial ideas and visions. But they will never get to experience them if you spend 4 years like I did waiting for the right time, the right words. The time is NOW,  and it always has been! I am now fully aware of that and committed to my life purpose and dreams I have for myself and this world.

 

Because of The Epic Living Academy Fellowship I now have the critical tools and confidence to take the dreams in my imagination and apply them to my life to be a part of the solutions for my personal evolution. I also have the vital training to turn these hidden treasures into a valuable service for the entire world around me.

 

I can't thank Epicself enough for their rock solid guidance! I am eternally grateful and HIGHLY recommend this program to anyone who is SERIOUS about transforming themselves and their dreams into a life they LOVE.

 

So what are you waiting for...Contact Amber and Daniel and get Started... http://www.epicself.com

Turning Dreams into Your Reality2016-11-28T00:07:18+00:00

Pura Vida Vibes

2016-11-28T00:07:19+00:00

Hola mi amigos!

 

Thats about all the spanish i can scrounge up but its better than nothing right! (Gimme a lil' credit haha) It's Jacob here and I'm currently retreating out in the beautiful jungles of Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. A little background history: it is my first time outside of the states and traveled I out here solo to escape the cold winters of the east coast to learn more about myself and life itself. And Costa Rica has not fallen short to accomplish that by any means. For one I learned to refer to back home as "the states" rather than America since where not the only Americans. We can't forget about Central america and south america as well. So it's just common courtesy to refer to home as "the states". Not that I was getting ridiculed by the locals for referring to home as America. That would never happen here in Costa Rica!Costa Rica is known for Pura Vida- meaning Pure Life and that is exactly what it is like out here in the beautiful jungle of central america.

 

Its almost impossible to ignore the Pura Vida Vibes out here. Every person you meet or come across is sure to greet you with a smile or a quick "buenas", short for good day. It seems like you could just about be friends with everyone you meet. Whether its on the local transportation bus or while your hanging out on the tropical sands of the beach, you will not feel like your alone. And if your ever in a rare occasion when you do feel alone just go up to someone nearby and say "pura vida", they will give you a warm hello right back!

 

The lifestyle is quite different from back home on the east coast in Philadelphia, to say the least. Its refreshing to see bungalos made out of local wood and bamboo or sheet metal rather than extravagant homes decked out with every new technology and gizmo available. Now don't get me wrong I'm not hating on the beautiful homes on the east coast they have there place, and I'm not saying there aren't decked out homes and hotels here in Manuel Antonio. There are plenty of those too. I think that's why i love it here so much because there is a healthy balance between extravagance and simplicity, and everyone fits into one category...Pura vida. As long as your out here you cant escape the purity of life. This beautiful land reminds you to appreciate the simplicity of life; the sounds of tropical birds singing, the way the wind sways the tree's, the smell of fragrant colorful flowers. You even often get woken up by the sound of roosters cockle-doodle-dooing, which could be annoying at first but once you wake up and take a look outside your grateful that you woke up to see the miracle of life.

 

I have learned so much being immersed in a different culture. The way of life is different all across the world, and we'll never get to experience the richness of life if we stay stuck inside our bubble back home. Above all, i learned that traveling is one of the most important things to do in life. There is too much to learn, experience and discover outside of your local community and culture. So i encourage you to think about a place you've been dieing to travel to, and to purchase your ticket! It's that simple. If your dream dream destination is too expensive try another option. Don't let money be an excuse for living life to the fullest! There are ways around money. After all money is just energy so use your energy wisely and put it towards creating the trip of a lifetime...you'll be glad you did!

 

Pura Vida Vibes2016-11-28T00:07:19+00:00

Sun Dried Tomato Raw Vegan Falafels

2016-11-28T00:07:19+00:00

For the last three weeks I've been living in Costa Rica with Amber as a student in her Epic Living Academy. She has been living a raw vegan lifestyle for 8 years so I've challenged myself to transform my diet to a whole food plant based approach similar to hers. I'm from Philadelphia, you know the home of the REAL Philly Cheesesteak, and my diet consisted mainly of these yummy yet unhealthy sandwiches. My name is Jake and I would eat these so often for lunch that I even picked up the nickname, "Jake the Steak" at work! Regardless of my past back in Philly, I came out to Costa Rica with the intention to pick up a more nutritious diet like Amber's. I found myself eating salads for the first time, cutting and tasting ripe fruits I had never even heard of. This new diet that primarily focuses on raw vegetables and greens really challenged me mentally and physically.

So, like the little rebel that I am, one afternoon I snuck out of the kitchen for lunch and grabbed a Falafel from a local restaurant. This pita pouch was packed with delicious vegetables and fried falefels. I must say it certainly satisfied my craving! Although, after about a week and a half of mostly raw foods my body was definitely feeling the weight and impact of the fried food. Traditionally falafels are fried, but I have come to discover that there is always a healthier way to prepare the standard affair, like with a dehydrator and whole food ingredients. So here is a delicious raw vegan recipe we created just for you!

Serves: 20-24 falafels
Ingredients:
  • 4 large carrots ground up in food processor to the size of rice
  • 1 avocado
  • 4 purple cabbage leaves
  • handful of sun dried tomato
  • 1 cup of flax ground up dry
  • 1 cup of raw sunflower seed ground up dry
  • handful of diced cilantro
  • handful of diced parsley
  • 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tbsp of curry powder
  • 1 large purple onion diced
  • 2 cloves of diced garlic
  • 1/4 cup of sesame seeds
  • Mac-n-Cheese sauce
  • 1/4 of water for moisture
Instructions:
  1. In a large bowl, massage all the ingredients together until a dough like consistency is formed.
  2. Shape the dough into balls a bit smaller than a golf ball.
  3. Pour your sesame seeds onto a plate and roll your falafel balls through the seeds
  4. Place on Teflex sheet on your dehydrator trays and dehydrate for at least 8 hours or until your reach desired crunch.

To Assemble:

  1. Lay down 4 purple cabbage leaves on a plate
  2. Layer in 2 spoonfuls of mac n cheese sauce
  3. Little helping of shredded carrot
  4. 1 slice of avocado
  5. 2 falafel balls
  6. 1 sun dried tomato

Get creative with the ingredients and decorate as you please!

Enjoy these yummy raw falafels with the family and let the kinds get involved. If I had known how to make this food as a young person who knows where I'd be today.

 

Sun Dried Tomato Raw Vegan Falafels2016-11-28T00:07:19+00:00

Unlocking your Power

2016-11-28T00:07:19+00:00

Good day everyone! how are you feeling today?

I'm feeling alive, awake, connected and refreshed! I'll tell you how...but shhh don't let anyone else know or else we'll all be this happy and alive. The secret to feeling whole and complete to be alive and thrive is moving in your body, nourishing your body and connecting beyond the body. I am talking about practicing yoga, pilates, eating fresh greens and fruits, and meditating daily! And not just one day a week, I mean consistently practicing 5 to six maybe 7 days a week. This is the secret recipe for unlocking your power and feeling like the energizer bunny marching through life to the beat of your own drum.

 

I want to share with you how I've been treating my body and living my life over the past month, with hope to inspire you to pick up a tip or two.  So I am out in the beautiful jungles of Costa Rica enduring a fellowship program with Epicself and ill share what a typical day has looked like for me over the last few weeks out here...

 


 

-Wake up with the sunrise. Chop up some delicious ripe fruits, maybe some banana, papaya, mango, strawberries or pineapple and then mix in some greens like kale and super foods spirulina, macha and cacao. Yes cacao is a super food surprise, surprise! Then mix it all up in a blender and voila you have yourself a nice cream for breakfast!

 

-Then we take off for a hike to the beach where we will practice a combination of yoga and pilates with some mindful meditation mixed in. After a challenging flow of movement we make our way into the ocean to wash off all the sand and sweat sprinkled across our bodies.

 

-After a well needed wake up call with our movement practice we usually get down to work. Computer work that is. We share social media posts about upcoming events and updates for Epicself across all of her social media platforms. This has been interesting seeing what information captures peoples attention and what doesn't. A distinction that could be the difference between success or failure in a business.

 

-Then we move on to writing some of our own content. We share what we have been learning and any inspiration that captured our imagination. (hints this blog post:)) We also have a designated block of time to work with Amber of Epicself on creating our very own online business! This has truly been a blessing, since creating a website to display my work has been a dream of mine for years now.

 

But the time is Now! So all throughout the day during our fellowship, we have been on a tight time crunch. I guess you could say were getting an inside look at the hectic yet rewarding entrepreneurial lifestyle. It is quite challenging, but even more gratifying after we put in all that hard work mentally, physically and spiritually. It really pays off...(see what I did there, its a pun? haha nevermind)

 

Anyway, I would like to share with you my biggest take away from all this training we have been going through. I am discovering so much about myself and what holds me back from going after what I want in life. Whether its holding 3 more deep breaths in a Pilates pose or forcing myself to write these blogs in an hour, I have truly stepped out of my perfectionism/procrastination. I have learned that these two characteristics go hand in hand in my experience, and are what have been holding me back from designing a website about my passion and creating a business around it. But because of the intensive training I have under gone almost everyday the past 4 weeks, I am well on my way to creating the life of my dreams, and getting paid to do it! Kinda like baking my own cake and eating it too, with a cherry on top as well! This cake took a bunch of ingredients and a lot of time and dedication but it's in the oven almost ready and oh boy is it going to be sweeeeet!

Unlocking your Power2016-11-28T00:07:19+00:00

Seeking Peace and Bliss?

2016-11-28T00:07:19+00:00

How bad do you want a life full of peace and bliss?

 

If your like me you may have spent thousands of dollars on workshops, seminars and training's seeking the answers to find peace and bliss in your life. If your not one of those people well then I think I may have a solution for you and it may just save you from draining your bank account! Not to mention, save you from years of stress, anxiety and fear.

 

The answer to discovering that missing part in your life that will bring you sweet serenity and joy is MEDITATION.

 

I believe meditation is the most important thing we could "make time" for during our day. We are thrown so many things to juggle all at once on any given day. For instance, my current state of mind while I was preparing to write this blog was pretty erratic. At the time I was juggling with the stress about how the heck I was going to finish creating my website within a week, pondering what I should eat for lunch, sinking into the ache in my neck from all this computer work; all the while questioning what the heck I was going to write about for this meditation blog...phewww! I'm sure you can relate to the feeling of stress and anxiety that was overcoming me.

 

So you know what I did? Exactly what I have been trained to do in moments like this! I stepped outside unrolled my yoga mat, sat in lotus pose and began to draw deep breaths in and out.

 

I am a yoga teacher (student 1st of course!) and Dhyana or meditation is the 7th limb in the traditional 8 limbed path of yoga. Dhyana fuses together all the practices prior in an attempt to create an uninterrupted flow of concentration. With enough diligent and persistent practice one may be able to reach the final stage in yoga, Samadhi or complete bliss! It could take a lifetime (or lifetimes) of sitting in lotus pose to even scratch the surface of Samadhi! But this level of transcendence isn't necessary to reap the benefits of meditation. Also, you don't need to be a yogi sitting in lotus pose with a perfect posture to feel the effects of this miraculous practice.

 

Below I will share what my meditation practice looks and feels like, and few tips that help me get into that peaceful state of mind we talked about.

 


 

1. Find a nice quite place where you won't be distracted

 

  • Normally I plug in my headphones and listen to some soothing music to avoid any external distractions. Also this allows you to pick a song that is the duration you are looking to practice for.
  • Although alot of times one of my buddies will call in the middle of my meditations. But I just listen to my intuition and allow the phone to keep ringing, knowing that I chose this time to sit, breathe and BE! (Sorry friends and family! haha)
  • One of my favorite artists to listen to is Anugama. You can find his music on YouTube.

 

2. Find a comfortable position you can totally relax in.

 

  • I started off sitting naturally in a chair with my spine nice and tall. Sometimes I would lie down, it all depends how your feeling. But you often see people sitting in that iconic lotus position with there hands in what we call a mudra. This is to connect your roots down into the earth and extend your mind up into the universe; there are many intentions behind this position but most important is that you are comfortable and relaxed. so choose your position and...

 

3. Begin to breathe fully and intentionally.

 

  • There are many specific pranayama (breathing) techniques in the practice of yoga but to start off I would just take full and complete deep inhales and exhales. This will naturally draw your awareness and concentration inwards and allow your heart rate to slow down.
  • I like to try and tap into the pause that happens at the top of the inhale and exhale. It is very subtle unless you have a steady yoga practice but this brief pause is enough for us to catch a glimpse of Samadhi (bliss)

 

4. Attempt to become completely aware of ALL of your senses.

 

  • Try to listen to each and every instrument playing in your relaxing song, or every noise around you if your in nature. Feel every limb in your body, the tension in your face and hips.
  • Listen to the thoughts passing through your mind. There will probably be an abundance (Haha) That's okay, just listen and let them pass. NO judgement, just listening and feeling.
  • Sometimes this is harder than it sounds. So a technique I like to use is imagining a giant magic eraser and wiping my mind clear of any thoughts.

 

Meditation may not be the easiest thing to do, but it is something we MUST do if we want to find peace, joy and bliss in our lives. Give up all your excuses, such as "I don't have enough time I'm too busy." If your one of those people you should probably meditate three times a day! It doesn't matter how long, or if your mental chatter continues. All that matters is you do it.

 

How bad do you want your life? Your happiness? Your peace and bliss? It is all there waiting for you. Don't wait, the time is NOW...

Seeking Peace and Bliss?2016-11-28T00:07:19+00:00

Why You Should Practice Acro Yoga

2016-11-28T00:07:19+00:00

For those of you that don't know, Acro Yoga is short for Acrobatic yoga. And I'll just be blunt and tell you, you should practice Acro Yoga! There are many different styles of acro yoga that vary from a therapeutic approach where you are soothed with Thai massage in between movements, to the eye catching flows that look more like a circus act. Either way one thing always remains the same with acro yoga, there is always you and a partner, and some even get fancy enough to include as many as 6 or 7 even more partners fused together in a synchronized harmony of movement.

Acro yoga is a beautiful practice, it is primarily based off of balancing each other's weight with positive and negative forces of gravity and flowing with grace throughout this process. Not an easy task when you're holding your partner upside down as they spin round n round like a washing machine on one foot! Okay we're not all doing things like this in the acro yoga world, this would be a more advanced variation. But none the less you could totally be one of those whirly twirly birds flying in paradise with your partner, with some diligent focus and practice.

Now I'm no expert Acro Yogi, I've only taken a handful of workshops but even in this short amount of time I was able to experience the transformative effects of this unique practice. We can learn so much from Acro Yoga, about ourselves, our partners and just the power of connection with one another in general! Acro Yoga is truly a one of a kind practice, and here's a few reasons why I think YOU should start (yes  I am talking to YOU silly)...

  1. Well for starters Acro Yoga is sure to get you out of your comfort zone, in a good way of course! Are you one of those people who see's the beautiful inspiring posts on Instagram and wonders, "how do they do that?, I wish I could do that!" Well if your one of those people don't feel bad that you haven't gone to a class. It is scary and a little uncomfortable walking into a classroom to try something new you have no clue if your even capable of doing. But this is the first step to getting out of your comfort zone, walk into a workshop you wont be disappointed in yourself. In fact you will surprise yourself at how STRONG and able you are. You will be amazed at how dynamic and adaptable you are to situations and subtle movements. In short acro will challenge you and help you realize that you are much more competent than you could have imagined.
  2. Acro Yoga builds TRUST! When there are two people moving in a very specific way with a spotter grounded in supporting the flyer who is flying above you...and the ground, there needs to be a quality sense of trust. This ability to trust one another from crashing to the ground happens all through the ability to communicate. The communication in acro yoga happens in many ways, whether its through touch by squeezing a hand to infer a levitation of the hand or maybe its through voicing a gentle encouragement to place your foot a little higher into the hip for more stability. Either way when you practice acro yoga you are guaranteed to learn more efficient, considerate ways to communicate. And these new tools will greatly effect your everyday relationships with your friends, family boss, heck it may even help you save your romantic relationship or job.
  3. The most compelling reason I am attracted to acro yoga is because the practice attracts a certain community of individuals who are just open, loving and compassionate. To be able to flow in a synchronized fashion takes so many more than the few aspects I named. The cooperation, focus, determination, patience and power it takes to lift, float, breathe move and dance together is a highly sensitive art that Acro Yoga does a phenomenal job accomplishing these characteristics. So it's no wonder the people you meet at a Acro yoga workshop are so darn AWESOME. The Acro Yoga community is so warm and welcoming and the amount of joy, play and love that is expressed will have you addicted and coming back for more in no time!

If you want to find a new way to express yourself, connect with yourself and others, all the while having the time of your life, then Acro Yoga is for YOU!

Don't wait Sign yourself up...NOW!

 

 

 

Why You Should Practice Acro Yoga2016-11-28T00:07:19+00:00

Pilates for Men?

2016-11-28T00:07:19+00:00

Is Pilates for men? I am a young male, yoga instructor who loves to find new ways to move in his body. I enjoy being challenged mentally, physically and emotionally, whether it be through a vigorous vinyasa yoga class, trekking through rocks and cliffs on my mountain bike, or climbing on the side of a steep rock wall. These are a few ways I typically like to challenge myself and get my adrenaline pumping, and blood flowing.

Recently I have been working on behalf of Amber from Epicself, who is a yoga and Pilates instructor. So as you could imagine Amber has been sharing her love of Pilates with me and my fellow, fellow. Oh yea I guess I should tell you I am participating in Amber's Epic Living Fellowship Program and me and another fellow have the joy, (and torture) of working with Amber and her vast knowledge of yoga/Pilates. So you might be thinking, wait this is a guy speaking and he is practicing Pilates, isn't that for the ladies?

Well yes I am a male and YES I have been practicing PILATES, and I am proud to say it! I would have never imagined the power it takes to flow through some of the most basic Pilates movements. The amount of focus, and strength it takes to stay up on your foam roller and engage your core properly is incredible. Prior to my fellowship program with Amber I had never heard or seen any males practicing Pilates. I always had it in my mind that, "oh Pilates is just for women, I need a real work out." Or, "Pilates is just a mild version of yoga movements put together, I don't want to waste my time doing that." I had all these thoughts and stigmas about Pilates and I had never even tried it. I'll be honest I never thought I would be practicing Pilates. After all, it is something you normally see on the cover of a women's health magazine while your in line at the grocery store.

But I have to say, being a man who loves to move, and loves to learn new ways to be challenged in my body; Pilates has surprised me tremendously! I would have never thought that I would NOT be physically able to perform the movements in Pilates. And I'm not even talking about flexibility, I am talking about deep raw core strength.

During my first few classes I was learning so much about the subtle adjustments in the positioning of the body that really ignites the deep core muscles in our body. Now not to toot my own horn or anything, but I have a pretty strong yoga practice, I can do all the fancy handstand floats and tricks but I found myself struggling to even stay stable on a foam roller. It was because I was using muscles in my body I didn't even know existed.

So occasionally (more like quite often haha) I would crash off the foam roller and have to get back up and strategically place my back, neck and head the way I was instructed. This was all to assure my skeletal structure was in correct alignment and that I was firing up the targeted muscles Amber was going for. After a few deep breathes of being in the correct position, my core started screaming like it never had before in any handstand or yoga pose!

I am still trying to recover from yesterdays "gentle" flow! I have to admit, Pilates has been kicking my butt, and I am actually enjoying it! Over the past two weeks I have connected to muscles in my body I was never even aware of. I have released tension all up and down my spine helping me to sleep better at night and wake up feeling open and limber.

I have discovered so much about my body and its strengths and weaknesses through Pilates. Pilates has done miracles for me. I hope to see more males practicing this fine tuned movement art, so that they can receive the miracles of Pilates. Don't be shy guys, its not just for the ladies give it a try and try not to cry!

Pilates for Men?2016-11-28T00:07:19+00:00

Practicing Yoga is Like Practicing Life

2016-11-28T00:07:19+00:00

What do you think of when someone says yoga? You’re probably picturing a petite young lady contorting herself into a seemingly impossible position. Does she look like a pretzel? Or maybe you’re picturing a man creviced into a mountainside with long dreads, meditating. How long do you think he has been sitting there? Never mind those silly questions and visuals! Yoga is so much more than putting ourselves in weird looking positions or sitting in silence. Practicing yoga is like practicing life! It allows you to practice being, after all we are human “beings” and we could totally use some practice at being. With all the struggles of modern day life such as, packing the kid’s lunch in the morning, sending them off to school with their homework finished, driving them to lacrosse practice, all the while making sure your work is done and the bills are paid. Life throws a lot at us and we seem to throw a lot back at life. We say things like life just isn’t fair, why me, or oh no not again! Don’t worry there is nothing wrong with feeling this way and you’re not the only one feeling this way, so breathe. Just sit back and breathe, inhale and exhale…hey look your practicing yoga! You see, it’s not as hard as the magazines make it look. Now let me share with you a few reasons how yoga is like practicing life…

  1. The hardest part of practicing yoga isn’t touching your toes nor is it doing a handstand. The hardest part of yoga is showing up on your mat! It takes courage, determination and dedication to show up on your mat every day, or once a week whatever it may be in your case. However often you practice yoga isn’t necessarily important, it’s that you’re actually stepping onto your mat on a consistent basis. This shows a lot about your character. It shows that you have will power, and that you’re willing to be vulnerable. It shows that you care about your health and well-being and want to be happy, healthy and wealthy. Showing up on your mat to practice yoga means so much more than it actually looks like. It’s all the character attributes it took to get your lazy butt up off the couch and onto your mat to practice BEING.
  2. How often have you wanted to give up in life? Whether it be giving up on a relationship or a lifelong dream you’ve imagined since you were a child. Or maybe it was giving up on your new diet (oh yeah “diets” always die, but that’s for another post). Anyway giving up is not empowering by any means, and we usually then make ourselves feel guilty for “throwing in the towel.” It’s easy to give up in life, it’s difficult to deal with the uncomfortable moments we are presented in life. And that is exactly what these moments are, “presents” they are opportunities for us to open up and expand our ability of what we think and feel is possible. This concept of practicing your power over giving up shows up in a yoga class almost every other breathe. For instance, your teacher calls out Eagle pose, you know the one where your legs are wrapped around each other in an awkward position and your arms are all tangled up in front of your face making it difficult to breathe, and you think oh God not this pose! But I bet you dismissed what your silly mind had to say and wrapped yourself into that pose. You may not of felt or looked like an eagle flying gracefully, but the important thing is that you didn’t give up. You got out of your comfort zone and exercised your will power. The power to have will over what your crazy monkey mind was saying, GO YOU, now just 20 more breaths!
  3. Practicing yoga is like practicing life, in the sense that it reminds us to SLOW DOWN, and BREATHE. Most of us forget to breathe, I mean yea were always breathing (thank God) but are we aware of the quality of our breathe? Are we aware of why are heart is pounding out of our chest, or why it feels like an elephant is standing on our chest, you know that thing we call stress? Are we even aware of these feelings and why we’re feeling them? Practicing yoga reminds us to constantly be aware of our breath, because if it becomes unstable or erratic we know, okay back out of that twist a bit, or skip this vinyasa. We develop a sensitivity to what and why our body is reacting the way it is. In other words we are able to listen to our bodies’ emotional guidance system. Throughout the practice of yoga we are able to control the quality of our breath and bring ourselves into a state of peace and stillness through this breath! And oh man is that a good feeling!
  4. Yoga is also like practicing Life because it teaches us to be PATIENT. This is one of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn and currently am still learning! But because of yoga I am now okay with that. I can sit back, breathe and be at peace when I can’t get myself into a pose, and the best part is I don’t judge myself. (Well at least not all the time hahaJ). We live in a demanding society, we want this and that, we want the super-sized version with all the gizmos & gadgets and we want it NOW! This is where yoga becomes such a vital component to practicing real life problems. For example, a lot of people lack the flexibility to touch their toes, and they want to be able to do it so bad. But in yoga a good teacher reminds us that it’s about the journey not the destination, and if you try and expedite the process you’re probably going to hurt yourself or make things worse. So in this way practicing yoga teaches us to take our time and enjoy the process, and that one day our hard work will pay off and we’ll be able to touch those darn lil’ piggies!

So get up off your butt, unroll your mat.

 

Sit up tall, relax your body. Breathe.

 

Let go of everything that happened earlier today, and BE.

 

Be present, right here right NOW.

 

And BOOM not only are you practicing YOGA, but you’re practicing LIFE!

 

Doesn’t it feel good?

 

NAMASATE my friends, hope to see you on your mat 😉

Practicing Yoga is Like Practicing Life2016-11-28T00:07:19+00:00

Stop Being a Perfectionist

2016-11-28T00:07:19+00:00

How many of you are perfectionist out there? I know I'm not the only one who struggles hours longer than everyone else to write the "perfect" blog post, or takes 4 years to actually make his webpage because they were waiting for the "perfect" time.  Perfectionism is  an awful disease to have. I don't mean disease in the literal sense but more in the sense how it causes dis-ease whenever we refuse to accept anything less than "perfect."  Perfectionism holds us back in so many ways and limits our ability to do the things we want to do and say the things we want to say. Our so called strive for perfection almost always leaves us more incomplete than if we were to just say what we wanted to say or do what we wanted to do. Now, perfectionism can be a super power in some regards, but it almost always is the source of one's downfall from being fully self expressed in fulfilling their desires. If your anything like me, I think it is vital to our sense of peace and joy to LET GO of this habitual idea of perfectionism! Here's why we should stop being perfectionist ASAP...

  1. Perfectionist are Pro Procrastinators. Whether we want to admit it or not as perfectionist we are constantly procrastinating. We say oh I'm waiting for the right words to write that email to my boss, or oh I'm waiting for the right time to ask that cute bartender out on a date. We wait, We wait, we wait...We wait so long for the perfect time that we never actually say or do what we actually desire to do! We are so good at tricking ourselves into thinking there is going to be the perfect time, or the perfect words to say, but you know what...the perfect time is NOW! If we had just acted in the moment of now, who knows we probably would be getting ready for that hot date out at a fancy restaurant because we can actually afford it since we emailed our boss for that raise! You get the idea, there is no perfect time, other than right NOW!
  2.  Perfectionist often get triumphed by the "go-getters." You know the people who just go after what they want, say what they want, when they want and more times than not actually get what they want! While the perfectionist is still perfecting the perfect words to persuade the contest judges, the Go-getter has already won the darn contest because she was so adamant about getting what she desired. the go-getter just poured her heart out in an instant, rather than trying to craft this perfectly persuasive paragraph. Perfectionist often miss out on the opportunities they care most about because they are way too concerned with a perfect piece than actually just sharing from their heart, which probably would have turned out to be perfect anyway. Poor perfectionist. 🙁
  3. You are already PERFECT! As human beings we are already whole, complete and perfect just the way we are. The problem is instead of being a human "being" we are a human being trying to be perfect. If only we had just stuck to being, all else would have flowed from us! The perfect words to write that essay for that contest we were dying to win. The perfect idea for the your new blog post, or the perfect time to share your hearts desire with your partner. If only the perfectionist would have acknowledged that they are already perfect and that the perfect time is now. Then those silly perfectionist might have there idea of a perfect job or perfect partner. If only if!

 

Now I do think there is always room for improvement (that would be the perfectionist in me). But I don't think we should allow this idea of perfect to hold us back from being fully self expressed and going after the things we want in life with such a burning fire. We need to find the balance between using the perfectionism as our super power, and letting go of our need to be perfect. This will allow us to be fully aware of our actions and words, so we are able to analyze and criticize, but only so much to the point that we avoid that paralyzation we often face as perfectionist. So embrace your perfectionism because you are already perfect and the perfect time is NOW! So what have you been dying to do or say to someone? GET UP and DO IT. THE TIME IS NOW!

Stop Being a Perfectionist2016-11-28T00:07:19+00:00

My First Ayahuasca Experience

2016-11-28T00:07:19+00:00

It was the night of my very first ayahuasca experience! If you're not familiar with ayahuasca it is an ancient plant medicine found in the amazon rainforest, that Shamans have been using to guide people who are eager to feel a deeper connection to themselves, life itself and nature as a whole. I was one of those people eager to feel a deeper connection to my soul and what I have come here (Earth/Life) to be and do. And ohhh boy did Mother ayahuasca awaken me to the deeper aspects of myself and the work I have come here to do, and I am forever grateful for my ayahuasca experience! Let me share with you how it went.

I was part of the Epic Awakening crew, a retreat program Amber and Daniel put together for people seeking a similar experience I had been looking for. There was a week prior to the ceremony that had prepped us mentally, physically and emotionally for the powerful spiritual journey we were about to partake in. Throughout the week Amber helped us awaken our vital prana and remove any unnecessary energy that was no longer needed in our bodies through daily yoga, pilates and deep myofascial release exercises.

We also took fun adventures to Manuel Antonio National park, visited the beautiful Nayuaca waterfalls and took trips down to the local beaches in town. All this was accompanied by a very rigid and specific diet/meal program that, Kendra our personal chef whipped up in the kitchen every morning, afternoon and night. We had been preparing all week so that we could enter our ceremonies with awareness, intention and purity. Fast forward to Friday night...

I was suited in my clean white clothes, taking deep breathes anxiously waiting for the ancient ceremony to begin. The whole Epic Awakening crew began to walk through the dark jungle path and soon stumbled upon the unique temple where our transformation was about to be birthed. We removed our sandals and walked into the sacred temple where we took a seat on a nice comfy cushion. The lighting was low and gave the moment a very deep and sacred feel. The Shamans, one a woman; Chiara the other her husband; Gustabo sat at the front of the altar with the magical ayahuasca potion in a decorative bottle surrounded by ancient artifacts and crystals.

The Shamans shared some general rules and guidelines, offered some beautiful prayers and then I knew it was about to get Real! We went around in a circle and each of us came up to kneel in front of the altar to accept our dose of the ancient plant medicine, Mother ayahuasca. It was my turn and I slowly walked up to the altar, my heart pounding, palms sweating I took a deep breathe and kneeled down to accept my dose of medicine.

I could see the silhouette of Gustabo as he poured the magical substance into a bamboo shot glass, he put his hands over the cup and murmured what I assume was a prayer and then offered it to me. This was it, the moment I had been waiting for since 2012, I took a deep breathe said my prayer to let this medicine do the work it needed to do and then bottoms up! The ayahuasca was a dark substance and had quite a unique taste from anything had ever ingested, I can taste it right now (as my stomach rumbles haha).

I walked back to my cushion and stretched my body out, anticipating what was about to come over me. About an hour of silence passed and I had almost fallen asleep until, I heard Chiaras voice say the altar is now open, and she welcomed us up for another dose. I wasn't feeling any different other than a little drowsy, so as you could imagine I walked up, took a kneel at the altar and turned the bottoms up for my second dose. Moments passed and I started to hear the sounds of my fellow journeymen purging. Some stayed in the temple and purged into a bowl and others walked out into the jungle and echoed sounds of release.

I was sitting in the temple with my spine tall, affirming my mantra, "I trust in the divine unfolding of this plant medicine." I still wasn't feeling much at the time but wondered what everyone else was experiencing if they had been purging? It was at his time I had the urge to get up out of the temple and sit by the fire, an option the Shamans confirmed was okay, but to come back to the sacred ceremony afterwards.

I wasn't sure if I would even be able to walk but I gathered my balance and was able to stumble out to the fire. I sat and watched the way the fire moved with the wind and began to feel a deep connection to the sounds of the insects chirping, the wind passing through the jungle leaves and even heard sounds of monkeys howling. The ayahuasca was definitely settling in, when all of a sudden I had to pee. So I intently walked into the jungle, took my stance and was about to pee, when a thought,  "oh is this disrespectful to mother nature?" struck my mind. Then I said to myself no I am going to use this release as a release of negative and fearful thoughts such as the one I just had.

Also that this would be a fertilizer for new empowering thoughts. So I finished going to the bathroom and was really feeling like I wanted to stay out and connect with nature and the stars, but remembered what the Shamans said about coming back to the temple. I thought about it back and forth, "should I stay outside or go back inside?" I was trapped in my mind with fearful thoughts and emotions, about what to do in this predicament. It was all so quick and powerful but in this short moment I realized that for my whole life I had let fear hold me back from doing what I truly wanted to do, regardless of what society said or the shaman said.

I wanted to respect the ceremony but at the same time I wanted to be free! It was in these few short moments of reflection that I had overcome fear itself and that to be free I needed to...JUST BE!!! It was like the palm of the universe had just smacked me across the face and I woke up to the fact that in life I was constantly living in the past or future projecting my fears into the only moment we ever have...NOW! I surrendered all my fears, took a seat on a bench and contemplated the HUGE revelation I just discovered. In that short amount of time, and the moments that followed I learned how to live in the eternal moment of now. The access to this moment of now is through Being, and after all we are human "beings", I thought.

So now that fear was non existent and I was fully submerged into this everlasting moment of now through my state of Being, what was I to do? This was the question that awakened me to the fact that I am a Creator, and as human "beings" we're all creators! It was like this revelation sunk deep into my consciousness and fully integrated into the deepest cells of my being. I think it really did, because from then on I found myself downloading loads, and I mean loadsss of information and ideas.

I was guided to reflect on an idea I had in the past about starting a Conscious Lifestyle Clothing brand, something I was really passionate about at one time in my life. Feelings of excitement joy, love and wonder floated around my mind about this idea. Throughout the night I layed on the bench looking up at the stars who seemed to be communicating with me, and I held my journal close by filling it with all the genius ideas that came across my consciousness. It was as if I was just channeling creative source energy. It wasn't me. I was just being, and from my open surrendered state of being, god, or source, or mother ayahuasca, whatever you want to call it was feeding me all the things and ideas I needed to hear and see.

As all of these breakthroughs manifested, I was serenaded by the magical sounds of flutes, guitars, bells and the sound of an angel singing from the depths of her heart. The angel was the shaman Chiara but I could tell she was channeling the same sort of energy I was, something much more than her it was spirit moving through her; at least that's what I was perceiving. Her songs were magical and the vibrations rattled my body with peace and ease.

All the while my pen was still scribbling onto the pages of my journal, filling it with the visions I was being gifted in my imagination. This went on for a while until I heard Gustabo and Chiara bringing the ceremony to a close. So I hustled back into the temple filled with peace, joy, love and a sense of freedom I had only caught glimpses of before. I sat in a lotus position listening to the final prayers and songs of my first ever ayahuasca ceremony. So much happened in these 6 to 7 hours, a lot of it hard to even try and put into words but it was miraculous none the less.

My first ayahuasca experience was not exactly what I had imagined it would be like, but it definitely was exactly what I needed. I guess my mantra, "I trust in the divine unfolding of this process" really worked, because I rode that feeling of bliss out of the ceremony and continued to flow with the grace of the eternal moment of now and allowed myself to BE. After the closing of the ceremony I still felt the effects of the medicine and went back to the house where my fellow journeymen shared our breakthroughs and awakenings. They were all different and unique but relatable in the sense that they had gotten such clarity on themselves and their lives but were not aware they even needed those things. It was almost like a blind-spot we had in our mind that we were not even aware of!

It was now about 2am in the morning and I could not sleep. I was so alive awake and aware. I was filled with so much energy and excitement I couldn't even sleep, so as everyone headed for bed I headed for the open field to look up at the starry night sky and connect and reflect all that I had just experienced. And that was only night 1! Night two is a whole another story I'll have to share some other time. But all in all, I'd have to say my first ayahuasca ceremony is a miraculous experience I will never forget and will strive to incorporate the revelations I had into my everyday life. After all it was pretty easy, JUST BE! But easier said than done right?!

 

My First Ayahuasca Experience2016-11-28T00:07:19+00:00
Load More Posts
SUBSCRIBE TO THE TRIBE
Are you ready to experience full throttle living? Grab Amber’s free ebook, The Guide To Epic Living, to get started right now! Receive weekly event updates and wellness tips galore straight to your inbox.