Archive of ‘The Daring Diva’ category

Bring It On!

Those who will not slip beneath
the still surface on the well of grief

turning downward through its black water
to the place we cannot breathe

will never know the source from which we drink,
the secret water, cold and clear,
nor find in the darkness glimmering
the small round coins
thrown by those who wished for something else.

~David Whyte
The Well of Grief

 

I’m no stranger to grief.

When I was 30, I was devastated by a sweeping cascade of losses.  In a 3 month period, I lost a pregnancy, my marriage, my home, my ability to handle managerial responsibilities as a hospital department director, my position in society and all the dreams of the life I thought I was building.

The two years following those losses were as transformational as they were challenging.  I call them “the years of tears” because I never knew when I would be overcome with waves of grief.  

One of the many gifts I received from those years was the ability to fully and unapologetically grieve and emerge with insights and treasures – like the  ‘source’ and the ‘small round coins’ in David Whyte’s poem.   Another gift I received was the ability to hold sacred space for another’s grieving.

In the last 18 months I’ve experienced another series of losses (the end of a 20 year marriage, loss of property, wellness and dreams) which culminated in my son’s departure for college.   

I know many of you reading this have children who have recently headed off to college or married.  While college and marriage are life changes to be celebrated – I also know there’s a kind of grief for the parents.  In my case, I knew I’d feel the loss of my son’s presence and my role in his life deeply.  

So I prepared.

I organized my life to allow for the time I would need in order to dive fully into it and move through to the other side.  Instead of trying to carry on business as usual: seeing clients, teaching classes, giving keynote addresses…. I drastically reduced my commitments for 6 months.  For the 3 months prior to taking my son to college I kept only the absolutely necessary items on my agenda in order to be fully present for the experiences of high school graduation, Olympic Swim Trials, packing and moving.  I also allowed myself the time to rest, walk with friends, cry, journal, cry, pray, cry, dance, cry, sleep, cry and – when I simply couldn’t handle any more….binge-watch Netflix and cry ☺

For the 3 months after dropping him off at school I scheduled myself to travel and lead workshops and retreats interspersed with time for resting and healing.  In fact I’m writing to you from my friend Britt Steele’s YogaFarm where I’ve spent 2 weeks hanging out with goats, donkeys, horses and golden retrievers; eating veggies from the garden, resting, doing yoga, dancing and leading a weekend retreat.  

I’m telling you all of this because I can’t find many examples in our culture of ways to take care of ourselves when we are grieving a life transition like this.  What I know in my bones is that diving in and fully feeling grief is actually more effective and efficient than putting on a happy face and moving on too quickly.

I also know, that having allowed for deep grieving, I’m suddenly feeling ready to move on to the next phase of my life.  It’s such a great feeling that I wanted to share one of my favorite songs to dance to when I’m at the end of grieving and ready to BRING IT ON!  Hope you enjoy the music and that you’ll dance along with me ☺

 

 

Music:  Bring It On by Jana Stanfield http://www.JanaStanfield.com

Bring it on!
Deb

Being a Warrior Goddess for Beauty, Truth and Love.

This is a banner week for me.

I’m leading my first ever teacher training….teaching women how to lead PranaShakti dance class.

As you know, I love teaching my  PranaShakti dance class.  It’s way more than a dance class. As the women in my class say, it’s church + a workout + a dance party + therapy”.  For me, it’s all of those things….plus it’s my community. My sisterhood. My red tent.  I can’t explain the huge love I have for this class and these women.  It’s beyond words.  

For more than 15 years, women have asked me if I’d train them to teach the way I teach.

And for 15 years I’ve said “No…  I simply don’t have the bandwidth or the desire. My energy is focused on providing for and raising my amazing son.”

But things changed.

The day my son signed his letter of intent to join the swim team at the University of Missouri, a portion of my brain was freed up and I literally heard a voice say, You can train PranaShakti teachers now.  

So I called the women who had been asking me to train them and I committed to creating a training.  That was in October of 2015, and I set the training date for July 28-31, 2016.

I chose to make this first training a ‘beta test’ in order make sure I create the best teacher training possible.

To my surprise, when I made a single post on FaceBook about my intention to lead this beta test training, TWENTY-TWO women enrolled in less than 4 hours!

So as you read this, I am sharing everything I know with those 22 women so they can return to their communities and spread the healing.

One of the purposes of a PranaShakti class is to help women move and express emotion through their bodies.  I speak with women all over the world when I’m doing Intuitive Guidance sessions and I’d say that at least 90% of the time my Guides insist that I help these women find some place to dance where they live.  Women need to dance!  

There’s a lot going on in the world and in your own life, so I know you are feeling many emotions right now.  I hope you have a place to dance and a community to dance with so you can keep moving those emotions through.  If you don’t, then look for Nia , Qoya, Journey Dance, 5 Rhythms, Zumba  or Ecstatic Dance where you live.  And someday, maybe there’ll be a PranaShakti class nearby

Meanwhile, I wanted to share with you what I read in class today as well as the playlist I used. My prayer is that these words help you access stuck emotions and that you will dance to the playlist in order to liberate those stuck emotions. That’s what we did. And we stepped out into the world to radiate beauty, truth and love.

Here’s what I read in class:

Excerpt from *PRONOIA IS THE ANTIDOTE FOR PARANOIA*
By Rob Breszny

Let me remind you who you really are: You’re an immortal
freedom fighter who longs to liberate all sentient creatures from
their suffering. You’re a fun-loving messiah who devoutly wants
to help all of your fellow messiahs claim the ecstatic awareness
that is their birthright.

Try to remember. You’re a vortex of fluidic light that has
temporarily taken on the form of a human being, suffering
amnesia about your true origins. And why did you do that?
Because it was the best way to forge the identity that would
make you such an elemental force in our 14-billion-year
campaign to bring heaven all the way down to earth.

I’m not speaking metaphorically here. You are a mutant deity
in disguise—not a Buddha or a Christ exactly, but of the same
lineage and conjured from the same fire. You have been
around since the beginning of time and will be here after the
end. Every day and in every way, you’re getting better at playing
the preposterously amusing master game we all dreamed up
together before the Big Bang bloomed.

Lately, I must admit, our work has seemed almost comically
impossible. Many of us have given in to the temptation to
believe that everything is upside-down and inside-out.
Ignorance and inertia, partially camouflaged as time-honored
morality, seem to surround us.

Pessimism is enshrined as a hallmark of worldliness.
Compulsive skepticism masquerades as perceptiveness. Mean-
spirited irony is chic. Stories about treachery and degradation
provoke a visceral thrill in millions of people who think of
themselves as reasonable and smart. Beautiful truths are
suspect and ugly truths are readily believed.

So no, at this peculiar turning point in the evolution of our 14-
billion-year-old master game, it’s not easy to carry out our
mission. We’ve got to be both wrathful insurrectionaries and
exuberant lovers of life. We’ve got to cultivate cheerful
buoyancy even as we resist the temptation to swallow thousands
of delusions that have been carefully crafted and seductively
packaged by those messiahs among us who bravely
volunteered to play the role of know-it-all deceivers.

We have to learn how to stay in a good yet unruly mood as we
overthrow the sour, puckered mass hallucination that is
mistakenly referred to as “reality.”

Maybe most importantly, we have to be ferociously and single-
mindedly dedicated to the cause of beauty and truth and love
even as we keep our imaginations wild and hungry and free. We
have to be both disciplined and rowdy.

And here’s the playlist we danced to:

Playlist-July29

May you step up as a warrior goddess for beauty, truth and love.

You sister,
Deb

Two Secrets to Surviving Chaos

I’m going to cut to the chase.

In my community and in my family, there’s been a lot of chaos in the last few weeks.

So I thought I’d share the two most powerful tools I have for surviving times like this.

Surrender
Surrender gets a bad rap because people think it means ‘giving up.’ But the kind of surrender I’m talking about means letting go of the way you think things ‘should’ be going, releasing all your frustration and fear, and aligning yourself with Divine Will.

I learned the following petition from Robert Fritchie (who teaches a course on how to heal with Divine Love at http://www.WorldServiceInstitute.org) and I use it often:

“With my soul, I accept Divine Love and surrender my will to the Creator’s Will.  I acknowledge (state the problem here) and ask that the source of this (problem) be released and corrected with Divine Love according to the Creator’s Will.”

Dance

Dancing helps move all the fear, frustration, anxiety, worry, confusion and anger out of my body  – which makes true surrender possible.

Here’s the playlist I used today.  My best advice is to put this music on, let it move you, and then at the end…when you’re all danced out…. lie on the floor and surrender.

 

Playlist

Blessings of peace and comfort,
Deb

Just in time for summer….

Ever since returning from a 3-week panchakarma (deep detox and healing) in India I have been part of a beta test group using this super clean, plant- based protein powder – MySmartShake – for my morning smoothies. It’s gluten, sugar, soy and dairy free; 18 grams of non-GMO pea and potato protein with healthy fat from coconut oil + 8 grams of fiber. My system is so sensitive that I haven’t been able to use any protein mixes on the market – but this one digests so easily and makes me feel great!

MySmartShake

 

The new MySmartShake is now available to the public – and I loved it so much I decided to incorporate it into my Clear the Way Digestion & Detoxification program!

My next Clear the Way group begins May 16th.

If you want to:

  • lose belly bloat
  • boost your energy
  • have more radiant skin
  • improve your body’s digestion
  • sleep better
  • reduce the toxic load (we’re exposed everyday to toxins!)

Then I encourage you to join me in this super simple, mind/body/spirit integrated jumpstart to better health.

Click here to join me and to learn more details.

Here’s to being lighter in every way by summer!

Deb

Why I went halfway around the world to heal.

My issues were stuck in my tissues. This is not a normal blog topic, but it’s something I feel called to share with you because I know I’m not the only one who has dealt with this and I’m hoping my story will be helpful.

Last year my marriage ended a few months shy of its 20th anniversary. It was a marriage that I cherished and nourished and tried my best to make work; but ultimately I couldn’t keep it going.

Despite all the tools in my tool belt (prayer, meditation, PranaShakti dance, yoga, journaling, etc) and all the help I received from therapists, body workers, energy workers, spiritual guides and friends I couldn’t seem to let go of the past and pull myself out of grief, depression, fear and anger.

I knew I needed to let go and move on, but it just wasn’t happening.

 

IMG_4307

Then I received bad lab results.  The stress had taken its toll on my organs, glands and immune system.  This news added a new emotion:  shame.  After all, I’d spent 27 years studying and teaching mind/body techniques for healing.  I, of all people, knew that every cell in my body was eavesdropping on my thoughts.   So why was I still swimming in an ocean of unhealthy thoughts?

 

Unfortunately, knowing that my stressful emotions were the cause of my physical symptoms wasn’t enough to heal me.  So I did what I always do when I can’t find an answer with my intellect:  I prayed for guidance to come in my dreams.  And the very night I said that earnest prayer I received clear guidance to go to India for panchakarma (the Ayurvedic protocol that eliminates toxins and strengthens immunity.)  While it made perfect sense to do panchakarma, I thought there was no way I could take the time to travel all the way to India!   

I felt like one of my clients when they simply can’t see the logic in the guidance I’m offering – only to discover after following the guidance that it was exactly what they needed.  So I ignored all the ‘logical’ reasons why going to India for 3 weeks was not feasible (I’m a single, working mom with a son who’s about to go to college!) and booked the trip anyway.

My whole nervous system instantly relaxed when I arrived at the Ayurvedic hospital high in the mountains of Tamil Nadu, surrounded by tea plantations and eucalyptus trees.  And that was the first step in my healing….relaxing and breathing pure, mountain air.

IMG_4320

Next week I’ll share the exact protocols I followed – and how you can do some of them at home.   Stay tuned

AN INVITATION:

It’s not India….but it’s wonderful self-care you can access for free from wherever you live.  My friend and colleague Ashley Burnett interviewed me along with some of my favorite women (including Terri Cole, Rochelle Scheick and Sianna Sherman) for an online event called the “Uninhibited Women Leadership Conference.”   Just click on the image below to register:

Speaker-Kern(1)

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