Two Weeks into my New Epic Life

2017-04-01T06:22:30+00:00

Changes

During my 27 years of life at least 10 times I tried to change my life. Five of them were successful enough to get myself on a new reality. Every time before each change I would be depressed because of dissatisfaction of a current life I was in. And each time I would end up with a master plan.

To be able to see why I came to Costa Rica this year and took a part in EpicSelf fellowship I need to share a my story:

Since I was little I never did anything that didn't bring me joy. I always needed that fulfillment, happiness or meaning in any activity I dedicate my time to. As good and right as it sounded, this attitude wasn't highly appreciated by my school. You see, students almost everywhere are not supposed to entirely love what they study. They just need to obey to the rules, do what they are told and believe blindly that it is all for their own good. I had really hard time with that system, so I just wasn't following it.

Pure Joy

As I grew older I found out that I didn't have to do anything unless I wanted to and nobody really cared about it. That was true for me all the way through my university years. Then I moved to the US and my paradigm shifted: I needed to make money to survive. For a few years I mostly hustled between dozens of jobs to make money that could cover basic needs like rent and food. And it was one of the most valuable lessons of my life but it also took something from me. I forgot what was like to do something purely for joy of it. And it became clear to me when every day started to be the same and felt like burden. None of the jobs made sense to me mostly because I had to be somewhere by the exact time and stay there during 8 hours. I felt stuck, all the time.

After moving to San Francisco on my 4th year living in the US, I realized that I needed to find my passion. I needed freedom and joy.

Free & Happy

Last year I started looking for remote jobs to be finally happy with a location independent lifestyle. I had a couple of gigs but all of them were over pretty quickly. One day an idea crossed my mind: why can't I teach my best skill to others and help them to be able to speak languages? And I totally could! I always loved languages. I have been studying and speaking English since I was 6 years old and I got fluent in Spanish and Italian thanks to my university professors. And I constantly study new languages and it gives me the thrill, joy and fulfillment.

Well, I was excited. But I was also lost: how should I start all that? Where can I find clients? How can I make my website?

Luckily for me, Universe listens and gives us everything we want. All we need to do is ask and wait. And so I did. In a month I found that Epicself had a Fellowship Program ope and offered trainings in company building that included everything I needed plus yoga/pilates, vegan meals and possibility for an ayahuasca ceremony.

Something Changed

Two weeks in I feel like I have a completely new life: I am on a different reality that I chose myself by coming to Costa Rica and starting my own business. It is been very intense 14 days with lots of business coaching and website building. And I loved every second of it! My health is on a new level now: with daily 90-minute yoga/pilates sessions my body feels amazing. I can't even imagine anymore my morning without it. Mostly raw cuisine gave me a different level of energy. I feel like I can fly most of the times. It feels amazing. Ayahuasca ceremony and sweat lodge that I participated in my 1st week here were so powerful. They gave me clarity in my actions and helped me to let go of anything I didn't need anymore.

I came to Costa Rica with a plan to change my life. In the beginning it was a bit scary, a bit stressful and a little unknown. In the same exact time it was really exciting, super interesting and so fulfilling. I am very grateful for everything that is happening to me. I am on my way to bigger things, creating and inspiring all the way through.

Every day is an opportunity to learn, to discover and to be MORE. Let's make the best of it!

 

Be MORE - Travel

Two Weeks into my New Epic Life2017-04-01T06:22:30+00:00

My Ayahuasca Experience: The Journey Within

2017-04-04T20:54:46+00:00

What If

What if I told that you can see inside of yourself? You can peak through your conscious mind, talk to your soul and see beyond your physical body. Would you believe me when I say that there is an ancient plant that can help you to connect to your inner self in a way that you never knew you could? Would you be interested in something that can heal you and bring you into a superhuman level of clarity? If the answer is yes, I would like to share my story with you.

All the Signs

About 3 years ago I worked with an owner of an interior design company in San Francisco. She was a 30-something vibrant woman with a spark in her eyes. She traveled a lot and one time she was telling me about her trip to Peru and the ritual she participated in called Ayahuasca. I never heard about it. She would go on and on how surreal it was. She shared how she could see herself as a third person and talked about an unbelievable clarity she had during the ceremony and after it. I was intrigued. Later on I heard about Ayahuasca from a friend who had sat in ceremony in San Bruno, CA with a shaman who would come to the city only twice a year. She also told me about traveling to a different dimension and the immense clarity. In her case though she had gone through some heavy physical sensations. After her story I got even more curious.

The Calling

Next day after talking to my friend I did a little research to find out more about this magical plant and how it all worked. And that was it. Even though it was interesting I never acted on it, never thought of going and actually drinking Ayahuasca. A year later I went through a break up and I was really sad and lost. I needed guidance, something that could show me a way out or a different prospective in my life. Surprisingly enough at the same moment I came across a post on Instagram that said: "Epic Awakening. Sacred Plant Medicine + Yoga Retreat." That was it. It called me. I felt it in my gut.."you need to go there." In a couple of days I was set and ready to go on a new adventure. An adventure that changed my life forever.

The Understanding

What is Ayahuasca and why do people drink it?

"Ayahuasca is an Amazonian plant mixture that is capable of inducing altered states of consciousness, usually lasting between 4 to 8 hours after ingestion. Ranging from mildly stimulating to extremely visionary, ayahuasca is used primarily as a medicine and as a shamanic means of communication, typically in a ceremonial session under the guidance of an experienced drinker." - http://www.ayahuasca-info.com/introduction

"Sacred plant medicine has been used by shamans world wide for thousands of years to heal, awaken and elevate consciousness. The plant we meditate in ceremony with comes from the depths of the Amazon and is revered as the mother of all Master plant teachers. It’s been used extensively to elicit spiritual revelations, heal past traumas, and reverse addictive behaviors.

One ceremony sipping this mystical brew has been described as 10 years of meditation compressed into one night, plus the deepest physical and emotional cleanse of your life. It sparks the beginning of a powerful journey to the center of your heart and the depths of the cosmos." - http://epicself.com/epic-awakening-sacred-plant-medicine-retreat/

Detoxing

By the time I got to Costa Rica I knew so much about the whole ritual. There was a lot to read on the internet from happy and marvelous stories to the darkest, most disturbing ones. I tried to educate myself reading up on the subject as much as possible. One of the main things before the ceremony was dieting and detoxing. This preparation was absolutely necessary. During a week long retreat we enjoyed 3 raw and vegan meals per day prepared by a genius plant based chef. We practiced yoga every day and focused on our intentions and goals for the ceremony. All this helped to detox and clean the body and mind.

The Ceremony

I felt a bit nervous on that day as I kept telling myself to drop the expectations. I didn't want to feel frustrated afterwards.

At about 7pm we headed towards the temple. Right away I could feel the energy of a completely different source. It felt a bit intense and concentrated and at the same time light and warm. I could feel the excitement of others next to me. We were all ready. After the shaman told us about the experience we were about to have and giving us guidance, we came in one by one and drank a little cup of a bitter brewed substance.

The Sensation

In about 1 hour I started feeling the energy going through my veins, a literal wave of energy. I became aware of my skin, my bones and every hair I had on my body. That feeling alone was really unusual. The sensation continued with a few visions. They were abstract for the most of my experience. At the very end I did get one very powerful and very clear vision that was the answer to my question and my intention for the ceremony.

It might sound as if I didn't have any control over my mind, but it was a complete opposite of that. You become suddenly aware of everything that is happening inside and outside of your body and mind. It was a super human level of hyper awareness.

Unknown

There is a certain stereotype about anything that affects your mind and your consciousness. Most of the times this would relate to drugs. And it has a lot to do with the society's understanding of the concept of inner exploration.

A lot of people still consider Ayahuasca to be a drug and a dangerous illegal thing. Sadly, the media and internet don't help in spreading a good word about it. Yes, medical institutions might not approve of it (for a very obvious reason) but it has a tremendous power to heal the body and mind and radically shift someones life forward without any modern world medication. And this is a beautiful thing. Ayahuasca is not a drug, it's an ancient sacred medicine that opens up the doors to the spirit realm.

Conclusion

Since my first experience, I have participated in 3 more ceremonies. Each one was magnificent and transformed my life in a way that only Ayahuasca can do. It gave me a direction and showed me what I needed to focus on.

In our world, full of unnatural material goals, constant miscommunication and lack of self understanding, we need something that can open our eyes, shatter our egos and uplift our spirits. Ayahuasca is a true salvation, wise teacher and healer for those on the spiritual path who are eager to step into their power fully and shed all thats no longer serving their highest potential. Ayahuasca is the greatest gift you can give yourself.

My Ayahuasca Experience: The Journey Within2017-04-04T20:54:46+00:00
  • building my business

Beyond Business: Building My Dreams

2017-01-28T21:53:27+00:00

When I reflect upon this past month, I can hardly believe the physical and mental transformation I’ve gone through. Taking a month to fully invest in my health and my dreams has enabled me to build the strong foundation for a business that is in complete alignment with my passions and gifts. Committing to show up for myself this month even during the moments of difficulty, doubt, and confusion has helped me change my mindset and lifestyle. In essence? This month has been by far the best investment in myself I have ever made. The Epic Fellowship was beyond business - it was an immersion in building my dreams. 

I feel genuinely proud of what I have accomplished and that I’ve been able to discipline and dedicate myself to fully to the creative process for the past thirty days. The results speak for themselves. I’ve seen drastic changes in my energy, level of fitness, discipline, creativity, and work ethic. What a wake-up call to see what I am capable of achieving in just one month’s time!

Lucky for me, I’ve been able to share this beautiful transformation and awakening with three other humans that have officially cemented a space in my heart as soul tribe. The support, guidance, wisdom, and joy that Amber and Daniel (the dynamic duo behind Epic Self) share has been such a gift and instrumental in my personal awakening. They have created such a supportive, encouraging, safe space for me to truly explore, question, and express myself. Not to mention, they have been so patient as I have gone through the process of re-evaluating my life on all levels and questioning the core of my soul’s calling to serve. Sabrina, the other woman here for Epic Fellowship, has been the best surprise soul sister. Her laughter, playfulness, insight, reflection, and sisterhood have made this experience a thousand times more powerful and rewarding than it could have ever been without her.

Last night on the new moon, Sabrina and I took time to share our prayers for the next steps we’ll be taking in life, business, and relationships as we make the transition from this incubator and rebirth ourselves into the world. We laughed, cried, and were overwhelmed with gratitude for what has shifted in both of our minds, bodies, and spirits.

Mind

Mindfulness, mindfulness, mindfulness. Consistently practicing meditation has brought a deeper awareness to my internal dialogue and thought process. This month I have bombarded my brain with positivity, affirmations, and focused as much mental energy as I can into creating a healthy mindset that supports my goals. But let me tell you...redirecting that mental focus hasn’t always been easy as pie. It is hard work to retrain the brain! Yet I will continue to do the work because I can see how those mental shifts have rippled out into the creation of positive, healthy habits.

Body

I thought I knew my body. I mean, I’ve been living in it for 25 years! Then I took my first Pilates class with Amber. She has taught me more about alignment, strength, and body mechanics during this month of pilates, yoga, and myofascial release than the culmination of all classes and teachers I have worked with before. A month of daily Pilates practice has been rocking my world. I feel so much more confident at the core of my being -- directly related to the fact that I’ve been accessing deep muscles of my core that hadn’t been activated through other forms of movement. My body feels in alignment, which has brought clarity to my mind. I have learned how to move efficiently with proper alignment, moving my body as unified organism instead of separate parts.

Spirit

I don’t think ‘life-changing’ even encapsulates what the Epic Fellowship has been for me. I have come to understand that everything I have done up until this point in my life has led me to fully accept the responsibility to share my message: music and creativity as a pathway to awakening. I am here to share the profound and positive shifts that can ripple through all areas of life when we awaken the power of our voice and creative expression. Breaking down to break through into revelation after revelation, this month has been the best investment in myself, my time, my dreams, my health, and my business.

Epic Fellowship? More like: deep dive into your soul’s most primal yearnings for expression, your purpose on Earth, and your place in the universe. Sound intense? Why yes, at times it was. And I’m sure that it will continue to be, but it is so worth it. I am ready.

Beyond Business: Building My Dreams2017-01-28T21:53:27+00:00

Come For The Fellowship, Stay For The Vision Quest

2016-11-30T18:01:15+00:00

This month-long fellowship has been one of the most transformative experiences of my entire life.

No joke.

Although, it is also kind of funny. Its funny how, in such a short amount of time, you can let go of patterns that have been keeping you stuck for years and alter your whole perspective on what you are doing here.

I came down here to Costa Rica for the Epicself Fellowship with a inner commitment to shift myself out of this holding pattern I'd been in around my business and my relationship to money. What I got was an entire re-orientation of my sense of self-worth, and a newfound trust in myself and process of life unfolding.

The things that used to make me feel hesitant or insecure about moving forward with my business, the really deep stuff like: Who am I to be doing this kind of work? Or who is going to want to pay me $200 for one of my necklaces? Or what if no one can afford to come on my retreat? Those stale worries have entirely lost their power over me in a way I can't fully explain.

They have since been replaced with a sense of my own worthiness and a faith in the Universe to reflect back to me the love that I am putting out into the world through my work. I have discovered a wellspring of motivation in me that will never run dry because it comes from a sense of responsibility. I have a responsibility to not only put 100% into what I came here to do, but to allow it to sustain & nourish me. And who am I not to do that?

How did all this happen in a single month? Well to be fair, arriving here in Manuel Antonio and working with Amber and Daniel was the culmination of a journey already well underway to level up in my life, my biz, my soul's purpose.

Leveling up, of course, has to do with doing all the practical things required. So that means building a website, having a marketing plan, etc. And that is what I thought I was coming down here to do. To learn how to do those things that don't come naturally to be from the experts. That, and to detox my body with raw vegan food and get my butt back in shape with yoga and pilates every morning. Upon reflection, like with most experiences in life, what I actually came here for was far beyond what I had been able to foresee.

The real meaning of this experience was deeply spiritual. It was nothing short of redefining my entire relationship to myself and to my work. I thought I was here to find clarity around my logo but I really came to find clarity about my destiny. I thought I was here to crystallize my business offerings, but I came here to crystallize my soul's purpose. This fellowship was essentially a vision quest that included web design and sale's training.

To get there, I had to face one of my greatest fears, the fear that I am not enough, don't know enough, can't do enough, blah blah blah. The plant medicine ceremony I participated in here opened my eyes to the ways in which I have been sabotaging myself again and again with these misleading beliefs. I was brought to tears and humbled to the point of prostrating my ego before Mama Ayahuasca. She then gave me the loving embrace I needed to trek back up from that place of surrender & submission to the summit of my divinity and power. Making the ascent to meet my highest Self was the journey that helped me to truly see my enough-ness. I am so much more than enough.

I have so much gratitude to Amber and Daniel, to the best fellowship fellow ever, Kait, to my family, my Beloved, & everyone who supported me on this journey. To Ayahuasca, the master teacher and to the wonderful beings who held that sacred space for me. To the Earth and her infinite blessings and finally to myself, for showing up to do the work.

 

Come For The Fellowship, Stay For The Vision Quest2016-11-30T18:01:15+00:00
  • Remembering my true nature

Remembering My True Nature

2016-11-28T00:07:09+00:00

They say hindsight is 20/20 and that sometimes we find what we were looking for in the least expected places. Both are popular sayings because of their relevant and timeless truth. This past week, the meaning of both phrases merged together as I found exactly what I had been looking for in an unexpected place and in hindsight, it made absolute and undeniable sense. How did these deeply personal insights arise? They arose while spending three nights in ceremony with an ancient, sacred plant medicine called Ayahuasca that helped me through a process of remembering my true nature as a creatively expressive human.

First, allow me to back it up for a moment. You see, for the past three weeks I have been living in Costa Rica at the Epic Self headquarters for a month-long Epic Fellowship. Each day I have been steeping my soul in self-reflection, strengthening my body during daily movement practice, and building new habits and a mindset that reflects the life I am intentionally creating. My body has been cleansing itself of accumulated toxins through an entirely raw vegan diet and I have been shedding the literal weight of a life that wasn’t in alignment with radiant health.

Everything I’ve done during the fellowship has helped me crystalize my voice as a conscious entrepreneur, work diligently toward my vision, and build the foundations for my business. Each day has been challenging me to push beyond my preconceived creative limits. Building a business and figuring out exactly how I want to be serving the world is no cake walk, but my self-inquiry and meditation practices were helping me gain some clarity, slowly but surely.

All of the above was, unbeknownst to me, preparation on many levels for the ceremonies that I took part in last week. Detoxifying my body through clean and pure food for the past several weeks while also adhering to the specific pre-ceremony diet allowed for a much different experience with the medicine. My body is a much cleaner vessel than it was during previous ceremonies, which allowed Ayahuasca to work less as a physical medicine (through purging) and more as a healing experience through emotional and inner self exploration and expression.

For the first two weeks of the Epic Fellowship, I couldn’t quite articulate the purpose of my business, what exactly I’d be offering, and how I would tie my unique gifts into offerings that would uplift, inspire, and better the lives of the people I’d be working with. Before the ceremonies, I had been overwhelmed with a number of different ideas that I couldn’t seem to weave together into a cohesive, strong business plan that highlighted my lifelong passion as a musician and my gifts as a coach and advocate for a healthy, creative lifestyle. During the Ayahuasca ceremonies, however, my prayers for clarity were answered and the uncertainty and confusion that had been clouding my mind was dispelled.

During the first ceremony, I was invited to share a few songs. Ayahuasca gave me greater control over subtle nuances in my voice and I was able to open it in ways that had been previously inaccessible. I felt so comfortable sharing my musical gift in a ceremonial space. For the past several years, I have been enamored with learning and carrying medicine and prayer songs from different cultures and traditions around the world. To be able to share some of them in a prayerful setting was a gift.

Playing music during that first ceremony was a journey deep into my body, my mind, and my purpose. I was invited sing and play music for the next two ceremonies to be of support to others. It was an honor to be entrusted with responsibility. I felt understood, valued, and respected for the art that I have been practicing my entire life and for who I am — as a musician and open channel for divine inspiration. I felt completely supported and I stepped into my power.

My music is my medicine. It has been a constant, solid rock throughout my entire life. It brings me such peace and is my greatest joy. It is life’s greatest gift to express myself through music. It has been a healing journey to unlock the power of my voice, yet through that process, I have transformed my life into one that is aligned with curiosity, health, and self-awareness.

It was uncanny how natural and right it felt to be sharing music during the ceremonies. It became very apparent that it was not only medicine for my own life, but for the lives and experiences of others and that it was my responsibility to continue sharing it.

Music always brings me back to my center, no matter how far I may have strayed. The inspiration that flows through me has no beginning or ending — it is always there, patiently waiting for me to turn on the faucet so that it can pour through me. It is the one thing that, without fail, always connects me to my Creator and a sense of purpose and beauty beyond comprehension.

Ayahuasca helped me uncover the vision I’d been praying for. It showed me how to integrate two integral parts of myself. I was also shown the ways in which I had been unconsciously self-sabotaging my creative efforts. With the help of this plant medicine, I tapped into the areas of self-expression I had been shielding myself from. It became clear that my passion for singing and playing music cannot be separated from my never-ending journey to greater health and vitality. The two are inseparable in my life. The better care I take of my body, the more energy I have. Translation? Energy is life, inspiration, love, expression. Each day is a new commitment to take better care of myself than I did the day before. As I make that commitment, I open opportunities to create, receive, and be of service in the world.

This past week, a quote by Marianne Williamson has been my mantra:

“Our deepest fear is not we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be.”

When we remember our true nature, we remember the fearless love that yearns to light up the world. As I remember my true nature as a creative, divinely inspired and integral part of life, I effortlessly shine my light. Ayahuasca is a medicine that I have deep respect for. In my experience, it has always uncovered the imbalances in my life, helped me reflect on the path I am on, and how to reroute if necessary. Though it may show the pathway to healing, it is always up to me to listen, act upon, forgive, and follow the awakened path of the heart.

Photo credit: Jenna Belevender Photography

Remembering My True Nature2016-11-28T00:07:09+00:00

The Faces of ONEness

2016-11-28T00:07:09+00:00

This past week has been one of the single most transformative weeks of my life, as the culmination of a long journey and simultaneously an awakening to the conscious unfolding of my destiny.

Before I start to get too heady, let me back up for a sec and give you some context.

I am down here for the Epic Fellowship where I have been mentoring with Amber and Daniel, working tirelessly on my personal growth and professional development. It has been one breakthrough after another. Every moment of everyday here has been filled to the brim with self-improvement, releasing old patterns that no longer serve, creating new wellness habits, and re-aligning with my center, spine and all. Either I am working on my fitness, nourishing my body with organic healing foods, feeding my soul with time out in Nature, or I am working on my business. Even that hard work feels like play because the business I am building encompasses all my passions, celebrates my life's purpose, and cultivates in me a tenacious sense of personal power. So that's what I have been up to since the beginning of November.

Now add to that a Kambo frog medicine ceremony and two ayahuasca journeys with an amazing group of human beings....

GTFO right?

No, this is my life.

Now, I had been waiting to sit with Mama Aya for maybe six or seven years now. I had been invited on several occasions to join friends in ceremony but I knew somewhere in my gut that the time wasn't quite right yet. Now I know that this experience here in Costa Rica was what I had been waiting for. The plant spirit calls you when she is ready for you, and that is only when she knows you are ready to receive her message.

Cleared of the toxic residue of my former life with my ex-husband. Free of toxins in my body. Free of other people's doubts and limitations. I was finally ready to step up in life a way I never had before. I was finally ready to meet her.

I went into my two ceremonies with a clear intention. I was coming to the medicine for clarity around my purpose here on Earth. Tall order! I meditated around this intention for the days leading up to the ceremony, I called on my spirit guides to be with me, I picked oracle cards to offer me wisdom and guidance on my journey. What I am saying is that I did all the things.

Doing all the things matters. Being mindful and intentional sets the space for the type of experiences you are going to have in plant medicine journeys, as in life in general. Equally important is honoring the sacredness of the ceremony,  embracing its structure, committing to the dieta leading up to the ceremony; fully participating in its living essence is quintessential.

I'm not going to even begin to go into the details of my experiences with the medicine. It will take a book, one I may write someday. For now it has taken up all the remaining blank pages of my notebook. What I will do is share with you my most significant revelation and what I took away from this epic experience.

I have a spiritual responsibility here on Earth, as someone who has received this message, to share it through all that I do, with my brothers and sisters. The message is simple, it is not unique, it is rather cliche in-fact, but it is critical nonetheless.

We are ONE.

That's it.

But of course there are implications that necessarily follow such a general statement.

When I say we are ONE, what I mean is that you reading this, and myself writing this, and everyone else here on planet Earth with us are not individual entities unrelated by anything other than homo sapien genetics. No, I literally mean we, the idiosyncrasies of our individual personalities, the apparent singularity of our physical bodies are, on a deeper level of reality, illusory. On the basement floor of the Universe, at the foundation of all reality, there is just ONE of us here.

The medicina allowed me to directly explore that ONEness though the experience of shapeshifting into different people and through doing so, allowed me to reconcile the "challenging" relationships with all the perceived "Others" in my life; my ex-husband, a old lover/friend who left my life, my stepmother, etc. They are all the faces of ONEness! Overnight, those relationships where healed through a quantum paradigm shift in perspective, all for the purpose of allowing me to move forward to the greater work that needs doing.

This medicine has transformed me, irreversibly, mind, body and spirit. Mentally, I gained the clarity I had sought. It is simple, I am here to lead others back to the ONEness. Physically, my body underwent a healing that I can't fully comprehend but felt as the medicine worked its way through my organs, my ligaments, even my chakras. It spread its way through the places where I was holding trauma in my body and cleared it out. Spiritually, I feel a sense of profound freedom and peace that is unlike any other. I feel re-aligned with Spirit. Like a clear channel, I feel open to receive divine inspiration and humbly serve.

The Faces of ONEness2016-11-28T00:07:09+00:00
  • goddess circle

Epic Self Fellowship: Finding My Why

2016-11-28T00:07:10+00:00

The first week of my Epic Self fellowship went down like this....

When I showed up in Manuel Antonio after traveling for almost an entire day, changing planes 3 times, and riding in on a 3 hour shuttle from San Jose, I WAS SPENT. I had just come off from a month-long trip to Greece where I had led a successful  Goddess retreat and travelled the countryside visiting family, all of which was deeply satisfying but also very taxing; physically mentally, and emotionally. When I returned to the states I only had 4 days of jet-lag recovery time before I was off again, saying goodbye to my Beloved, and heading down here to Costa Rica for this fellowship with Epic Self.

I had been so busy from running around all over the globe that I hadn't even thought about this fellowship, really since May when I had been accepted into the program. I was so stoked when I was offered to opportunity because I knew I was meant to be here. So after it was a done deal, I didn't really think much more about it until I was riding the shuttle-bus through the jungle and wondering what experiences awaited me here. Sometime I think it works out better that way; when you are focused only on the next step directly in front of you there is no worrying about future unknowns and more time spent living in the present.

That first night, exhausted and hungry, the crew took us out to dinner. Amber and Daniel's energy was so warm and engaging that it immediately shifted my own. Kait, my fellow fellowshipper was just as cool and as kind as could be. Before the meal was through, I went from worn out and haggard, to and attitude of gratitude, remembering just how blessed I was to be here. Like magic, my exhaustion dissipated. In its place prevailed a buzzing excitement and a deep awareness that this journey was divinely orchestrated (But then, what isn't?), for my highest growth and evolution.

So here I am, a little over a week in and experiencing growing pains one jam-packed day at a time. My raw vegan detox is feeling amazing! I can't even remember why I wanted to eat any sugary crap in the first place. I don't have a scale, but I'm pretty certain I've dropped at least 5 lbs. of toxic waste in the last week, maybe more. My body is feeling stronger and more vital than it has in a while thanks to Amber's morning yoga/pilates fusion class. After almost a decade of yoga, I am learning things I never knew about proper alignment. I've begun the journey of retraining my body to move in ways that build strength and do not risk injury. Sounds like I've just been kicking butt and taking names. I totally have. But I have been kicking my own but and it's been super intense inner work as well.

My biggest challenge in this last week eventually turned out to be my biggest revelation. Of course, I only realized it after it had knocked me flat on my emotional booty. It all had to do with why I do what I do. Why do I care about the work of women's empowerment and what makes me think I'm qualified for the role? I could list off a million reason right now about the patriarchy, and sisterhood, and the divine feminine rising; about how I've studied feminist psychology, and lead moon circles, etc. but none of those would really be my why.

In my first coaching session with Daniel, he asked me what I felt a responsibility towards in the world. "Ok, not so hard," I thought. I feel like it is my responsibility to help women see themselves as the Goddesses that they truly are. Yeah, that's my thing. So what?

I'll tell you what. At that point the Universe conspired to remind me of why that mission is so important to me in the first place. A few days into the fellowship, while looking through photos for my website, I came across some old pictures of me and my ex-husband. I looked so unhappy, so unlike myself today, and I was reminded of how hopeless I felt back then. At the end of last year, I left my 5 year marriage and almost decade long relationship to a very controlling and emotionally abusive man. Looking at the pictures, I remembered how I felt back then, thinking that this was the best love that life had to offer me. That I wouldn't find anyone who would treat me ancy better.

But I did. Turns out that I could love myself better, much better in fact. Back then, I could never have imagined I would be where I am now, doing all the things that make my heart sing. I never in a  trillion years would have predicted meeting my soulmate (I didn't even believe in soulmates), and being so in love with someone who treats me like a Goddess everyday.

Then I knew my why. I thought about all the women, women who I know and those I don't, feeling just like I felt, resigned to relationships where they are not shown the love and respect they deserve. Resigned to jobs that are unsatisfying and soul-sucking, unaware of the true gifts they have to offer. I thought again about Daniel's question and saw that this is my responsibility. Because I had gone down this rocky road, I get the responsibility and the privilege to hold my sisters' hands in mine and reflect back to them just how worthy and deserving they truly are.

You are divine beauty inside and out. You are here because the world needs your gifts and to bring forth your gifts you need to be tapped into your joy. And to find your joy you need to love yourself, to see your true worth. You need to awaken to your own Goddess-hood and proclaim that you deserve the best that life has to offer, the highest love, the freest life.

This was my biggest revelation so far during this experience, and I am so grateful for the clarity of purpose this has brought me. Looking forward to the rest of the fellowship and what else I might discover along the way!

 

Epic Self Fellowship: Finding My Why2016-11-28T00:07:10+00:00

Unlock the Power of the Voice

2016-11-28T00:07:10+00:00

Up until three years ago, I was scared to sing in front of other people. I felt so vulnerable and nervous whenever I sang — like I was baring my heart and soul to the world. At that time, it felt very uncomfortable. I didn't know how to unlock the power of the voice. I still feel like I’m laying my heart on the line, but my relationship to vulnerability and fear has changed drastically since then.

I began taking an honest look at the unhealthy, unbalanced areas of my life. Taking a holistic inventory of my life meant acknowledging that all facets of my life are inextricably linked and when one area is out of balance, all other areas suffer. Bringing awareness to the fears I was holding around my creative expression gave me the opportunity to examine them closely and realize they were merely self-imposed limitations aimed at holding back my artistic expression.

When we explore our fears and choose to move head-first in the direction that they block, we free ourselves from their burden. And that, my friends, is where the juiciness lies. The fears that were once locked doors in my psyche transformed into the very keys that opened up new pathways for health, creative expression, and healing.

Singing became a joy! As I began working consciously with my voice, my life transformed. The more I sang, the more my confidence grew. It positively affected the way in which I saw myself and related to others. I courageously spoke what was on my mind more effectively in all of my relationships. Working consciously with the voice opens pathways of communication within the body and throughout life.

4 ways to unlock the power of your voice

Meditation & Breathwork

Spending 10 minutes a day meditating can greatly enhance your vocal practice. During your meditation and throughout the day, observe your internal voice. Is it one that empowers and encourages you in all that you do? Does it belittle and scorn you? There is no judgment for your internal dialogue, only awareness and compassion. We cannot change what we are unaware of, and once we take note of our internal dialogue we can offer it affirmative speech to guide and support us.

During meditation, focus on your breath. Take deep belly breaths and exhale with control, engaging your core. When you sing, the power comes from the breath and core — not from the throat — which allows you to project a strong voice. You are breathing deeply and oxygenating your body while moving vibration throughout your body. Powerful emotions may arise as you work consciously with your breath and voice to release fears you have around expressing your voice.

Nourish 

Creativity is greatly magnified when we live healthy, nourishing lives. Your voice is propelled and affected by many different muscles. Take special care of them! Hydrate your body with enough water and drink special teas (such as lemon ginger honey or licorice root) that will soothe your throat. This will relax your speaking voice and lubricate your singing voice. Limit foods that cause mucus in the body as they will congest your throat, sinuses, and ability to speak and sing clearly. Some foods that cause excessive mucus are: dairy, gluten, alcohol, sugar, and caffeine. Nourishing your body with cleansing foods and drinks will enhance the flow of energy in your body.

Sing!

The heart of it all! By bringing awareness to the voice on a daily basis and practicing vocal strengthening techniques, you will begin to unlock the power of your voice. It doesn’t matter how you sound now. The point is to practice consistently. Just like other muscles in the body, the ones used when we sing need to be stretched and strengthened. Think of your voice as it truly is: a expression of muscles and breath working together. You wouldn’t a novice runner to finish a marathon with no training and you shouldn’t expect your voice to sound perfect when you start either.

Enjoy yourself, practice often, and sing whenever you can — in the shower, the car, or belt it out as you listen to your favorite song. Join a choir or work with a vocal coach if you want to develop your voice more rapidly.

The process of unlocking the power of your voice is a fulfilling, creative exploration. It is a journey deep into the heart of who you are. It is an evaluation of the way you communicate with yourself, in your relationships, and with the world.

Singing is joyful! By living a healthy lifestyle that is nourishing to our body, creative mind, and heart, our ability to express ourselves through our voice and song with joy and ease is greatly enhanced.

 

Photo credit: Lucas Zhao Photography

Unlock the Power of the Voice2016-11-28T00:07:10+00:00
  • beach walk

Goddess Alchemy 101

2016-11-28T00:07:10+00:00

So I'm a Goddess. Now What?

Enter Goddess Alchemy.

Goddess alchemy is based on the understanding that there are patterns in the human psyche, powerful forces within us that transcend time and culture, known as archetypes. The Goddess archetypes are complex female character types that we intuitively recognize in ourselves, the women in our lives, and in our culture. Essentially this means that the Goddesses of the past, think Aphrodite, Kuan Yin, Saraswati are psychological forces, alive and well in the collective unconscious of humanity and present in each of us.

The Goddess archetypes most commonly talked about are the Greco-Roman ones, because they are most familiar to the Western world. As a Greek American, they are also the ones I feel most connected to, hearing these myths all my life. However, each polytheistic culture had their own version of the same basic archetypes, they each had a Goddess of Love and a Mother Goddess figure, with different names yet often very similar myths. Take the myth of visiting the Underworld, a journey down into the soul. There is the Sumerian myth of Inanna, who descends into the Underworld and there is Persephone, who gets abducted by Hades down there. These different myths constellate around a similar archetype that connect them, even though they are from different cultures. The journey to the Underworld is a myth that we relate to during those times when we are taken to our darkest places, when we are stripped bare of our egos, during  times of depression and loss. We've all been there.

How can this knowledge benefit you?

There are seven main Goddess types (with their Greek and then Roman names):

Artemis (Diana), Athena (Minerva), Hestia (Vesta), Hera Juno),

Demeter (Ceres), Persephone (Proserpina), and Aphrodite (Venus)

Knowing about these main archetypes will help you to better understand yourself and your behavior, and all the women in your life. For example, take Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love and Beauty. Think about a women you might know who embodies her. Maybe its you. Maybe your someone who loves beautiful things and feeling beautiful. Of course we all do, every Goddesses is potentially present in all of us (Some are just more developed than others), but an Aphrodite women will simply exude it. She might take extra care with her appearance, maybe by working out or maybe with her hair and make-up. Either way, she has a very feminine sensuality about her, a je ne sais quoi.

Most of us have 2 or 3 Goddesses that we embody most prominently  however as we go through the different phases of our lives, they can change. Getting pregnant, you might discover a nurturing Mother Goddess like Demeter, that you didn't even know was in you. Maybe you're a women who isn't particularly erotic but one day you meet the man of your dreams and lucky you, turns our he's in to you too! And now, all of a sudden, you're more in touch with your fun and sensual side then ever before. You've awoken to this new erotic energy and now your so in love that everything is beginning to look beautiful to you, and you are looking more beautiful than ever. Aphrodite just came online in your psyche and isn't she radiant!

So how else can Goddess Alchemy help you?

By knowing what Goddess archetypes you most strongly embody, you'll recognize your personal strengths and weaknesses, because each of the goddesses had their strong suits, the things they ruled over, and those they were not so good at. You can see it in their myths. For instance Hera, Zeus's wife, was constantly dealing with his infidelity and stayed by his side, however she was also notoriously not so good at dealing with her jealousy and mercilessly took it out on the other woman. Does this story sound familiar? We have all seen in on TV and maybe know someone like her. Learning about which Goddesses you do or don't relate to will help you see where your best areas for growth are.

There are three main category of Goddesses; virginal, vulnerable, and alchemical. Virginal doesn't mean literally a virgin. Virginal goddess women are self-sufficient, don't necessary need a man because they are sharply focus on their own goals, unlike the vulnerable goddesses who are so much more relational, seeking relationships and are thus more vulnerable to being hurt by men.What has being so strongly an independent, fitness-oriented, feminist Artemis woman cost you in terms of experiencing deep intimacy with men? What has the woman who has gone from bad relationship to bad relationship not learned about being single and empowered? Alchemical is the last category of goddesses and Aphrodite is the only alchemical Goddess as she is neither virginal nor nulnerable. Rather she symbolizes the creative and transformational power of love itself.

You might also what to know which Goddesses you don't relate to at all. That will better help you see the least developed parts of your psyche or your shadow side. It may also help you better understand the women you know who embody those archetypes and make sense of the dynamics of your relationships. Having an Athena type of mother is a very different experience than being raised by a Demeter mother. The Demeter mom has always wanted children, and will love being pregnant. An Athena woman may not want to start a family but is she does, she will still have her career and is looking forward to when the kids old enough to go to school. So depending on what Goddesses you most relate you, you will have a very different relationship to these two different moms. Make sense?

Think about what Goddesses you most resonate with and why? Share your thoughts with us!

~Sabrina Ourania

Goddess Alchemy 1012016-11-28T00:07:10+00:00
  • goddess

What is a Goddess and Am I One?

2016-11-28T00:07:10+00:00

What is a Goddess and are you one? 

With the word being thrown around a lot these days, it might be worth clarifying with this one simple question:

Do you identify as female?

  • If you answered YES, you are definitely a Goddess
  • If you answered NO, you’ve still got some Goddess in you, but you just might have a bit more uncovering to do to get to her.

Right about now you might be saying, “I don’t get it. Is everyone a Goddess?                                            How is that even possible?

Great question! Allow me to elucidate.

When we bow our heads in Namaste at the end of our yoga practice, we are bowing in recognition and reverence to the divine spark within each and every one of us. Of course, you knew that already but did you consider that we are not all the same?

I am a woman, so that divine spark in me is expressed predominately as Goddesses.

And not just one, I might add. There is a little bit of every Goddess in each of us even though we will relate more to some than to others. I like to think of myself as an Aphrodite lover with Artemis's sense of purpose and Persephone's calling to go down into the Underworld.

What Goddesses do you relate to?

So back to my point: you are a Goddess and you have been one all along, whether you knew it or not.

Turns out you don’t even have to look like what you thought a Goddess was supposed to look like. You don’t even have to have a Goddess-sized bank account or wardrobe. Because you, when you crawl out of bed with your morning breath and drool-crusted cheek, are still a Goddess.

It is as simple as that.

So if we are all Goddesses, then why even bother calling ourselves by that name?

Aha! That is the juiciness!

We call ourselves Goddesses to remind ourselves and one another that we are in fact spiritual beings incarnated into this world with the power and majesty to heal ourselves and one another through our divinely endowed Goddess qualities of compassion, love, & wisdom, just to name a few.

We call ourselves Goddesses to remember that as women, with the power to bring new life into this world, we deserve the utmost reverence and respect and that we will not tolerate being treated as anything less than the heavenly beings that we are.

We call ourselves Goddesses to remind ourselves and one another when we have forgotten. And we will forget, and that is OK, but we will call ourselves Goddesses to remember. And when we bow in Namaste we will remember that it is not just a sanskrit word, it is an honoring of the Goddess that we are.

Now for you men, like it or not, there is a little Goddess in you too and you might want to learn not only to accept it, but embrace it as a part of yourself and I will tell you why. As you embrace your inner Feminine you will open yourself to a process of healing that will help you grow in all aspects of your life, but especially in your relationships with women. Most women want a partner who can recognize her Goddess nature and worship her as such, while also being able to tap in to his own inner Goddess, his emotional self, his sensitive side.

As human beings we each have masculine and feminine quantities, we each have Goddesses within us, and in honoring both sides of our nature we can show up as whole and integrated beings here on Earth, ready to do our part to serve humanity.

~Sabrina Ourania

What is a Goddess and Am I One?2016-11-28T00:07:10+00:00
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