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Everything Shapes Us

Everything Shapes Us are words I find truth in. These words are printed on the front of one of my favorite journals pictured here and was a gift from a dear friend when I completed my yoga teacher training at the age of 51 in 2012. I had been working on my yoga teacher training in fits and starts. I was working full-time, raising children, and trying to fit it into my busy life by doing an occasional weekend training here and there.

Becoming a yoga teacher had been a long-held dream and one I hadn’t quite committed to fully until 2011. Experiences in my life helped guide me towards a new way to show up in my life. Yoga helped my life take a different shape and not only in a physical sense.

A catalyst for leaping wholeheartedly into my yoga teacher training was the death of my beloved sister, Kristy in 2011. I had introduced her to yoga and we both had embraced yoga as a healing modality. She had lived with cancer for 12 years and had taught yoga in her last few years, but passed away before she was able to complete her 200-hour RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher).

I had begun this yoga journey and I was ready to commit to finishing my training. I changed gears from the weekend trainings through YogaFit and I signed up for a 9 month continuous program where I earned my 230-hour RYT. This program through the Yoga Center of Minneapolis was not just about yoga fitness. It was a well-rounded program of hatha yoga and taught through a specific lineage of teachings inspired by Tirumalai Krishnamacharya. He was an Indian yoga teacher, scholar, and healer in ayurvedic medicine. I graduated in October 2012 a year after Kristy's death. I did it for both of us.

I had grown to love yoga and how it helped shape and literally save me. I learned how to breathe deeply into every aspect of my life, how to try to let go of things not meant for me, and began to learn how to surrender. Breathing deeply aided my increasing ability to stay calm, centered, and peaceful. I began to practice mindfulness meditation on and off the mat. Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice for me. All aspects (8 limbs of yoga) assisted me in navigating the challenges I was facing in my life.

Yoga has been a common healing thread and lifeline for me. It has been woven into the very fabric of my existence throughout the last 20 years. I was literally on my knees surrendering to all of the illnesses and deaths that were occurring around me and in my family. I could not control any of it. I needed tools to help me stay afloat in a world where I could have just as easily drowned.

When I see this journal I get the same warm feeling in my heart as I do when I walk into my garden or see my yoga mat and meditation cushion laid out ready and waiting for me. They are invitations and reminders of things I love that have shaped my life in positive ways and taught me how to practice self-care. Gardening, yoga, meditation, and writing are all essential tools in my life that grant me access to my inner world.

Inside the front cover of the journal my friend added a beautiful quote, "Once you get over the fear then it's a cinch, she said. And then she leaped into a mountainous and unexplored region of her heart." I have come to understand the power of letting go of fear and the incredible vastness and wisdom of my heart. Listen and follow your heart. She knows the way. She will always guide you to the truth of you.

This particular journal holds a sweet significance and where I began to write down things that inspired and touched me deeply on my yogic path. It came into my life during a time of great transformation. Life is filled with beginnings and endings. Joy and sorrow. Yoga helped me stand in the center of it all.

When I jot something inspiring down in my journal there is a subtle alchemy that is quite magical. The sacred act of physically writing down words that inspire or dwell in my heart has become an essential part of the way I add depth and seasoning to the essence of me. My dreams become manifest by sharing these words. The song of my heart travels outward on the unseen life force that pulses from my heart and travels through my veins out my fingertips and spills forth onto the page. An act of connecting invisible heartstrings from my heart to all I encounter.

I write down yoga sequences, meditations, and breathing techniques that I learned and wanted to share. Many pages have become filled to overflowing with musings, prayers, and dreams. It is a journal filled with tiny treasures that sparked beautiful ideas.

I opened a random page today from this journal and I am reminded of a chakra balancing meditation to practice at the end of the day that I learned from yoga teacher, Anodea Judith's teachings.

Lie down on your back on your yoga mat with your eyes closed.

“Breathe in and notice,

where was your conscience today?

Become aware of your awareness beyond your thoughts.

Become that silent witness.

Breathe in and out and settle into the peace of this deep awareness.

What was your vision for your day?

What came to pass?

What inspired you?

What did you see today that you had not seen before?

Allow all of the sounds around you to settle into one sound

and let it lull you into quiet and listen deep into your core…”

Ah, such rich and exquisite words. This taught me to not only be aware of the power of my intentions, but it taught me how to feel the awareness resonating in my body deep down on a cellular level. What were my intentions at the beginning of the day and did they follow the same intent throughout my day?

We always have a choice as to how experiences can shape us. Is it negative or positive? I can honestly share that my life has evolved in the most beautiful and unpredictable ways by learning to surrender. I surrendered to the deconstruction of who I thought I was and what I thought life and death and the 1,000’s of experiences in-between the two were all about.

Don’t misunderstand me, the evolution and reconstructing of my life has not been easy. Many heart-wrenching and heart-opening encounters I had no control over dismantled my life and shook me awake from the inside out. They cracked my heart wide open, but that is how the light was able to shine in and out of me.

I am continually learning to lean into my life and to trust the natural unfolding. I had to stop getting in the way of that evolution. I am allowing my life to evolve into a clearer vibration of my soul. Part of that journey has been on a purple yoga mat. (purple is the color of transformation and forgiveness). Or on a turquoise meditation cushion ( turquoise is the color of freedom).

Yoga helped me create space in my body and my mind. It taught me to live in the present. It taught me to stand tall with my shoulders back and to face everything in my life in a new way with love, purpose, strength, and awareness. Never forcing anything, but allowing, softening, surrendering, and to breathe deeply into what life is and to what life had to offer.

It also taught me to peel back the layers, like an onion, what I had placed over my heart for protection over the years. Protection from what? We need to feel, to touch the places deep within us that have become tender wounds. They long to be healed and brought out into the light to be revealed, acknowledged, forgiven, transformed, and most importantly LOVED.

Those tender places in our hearts have much to teach us if we only get quiet and listen. When we choose to dive into our vulnerabilities and share them with others it helps us to connect more deeply with ourselves, each other, and we can heal our lives from the inside out. To feel the truth of us is to heal.

Yoga helped me to quiet my mind. We have 60-70,000 thoughts a day. What are your thoughts creating and telling you on a daily basis...moment by moment? Change your thoughts and you can create new neural pathways in your brain and find new solutions.

There is much to glean when I listen to the wisdom of my intuition and of the quiet voice rising up from my sweet, sensitive, heart. I honor that wisdom and I give her a voice. Small murmurings that began as a nudge to go this way or that way. Those nudges turned into a slow flow. A slow flow that was barely an audible trickle now roars ferociously, wanting, needing to be acknowledged and unleashed. A mighty, untamed ruby river of feelings and emotions willing to overflow its banks into freedom and surrender. One just needs to tap into that divine feminine wisdom and watch the magic and the miracles flow forth unbidden.

The catalyst for practicing yoga and becoming a registered yoga teacher was the amalgamation of experiences I had undergone in my life. Yoga helped me immensely process my grief, loss, and many challenges that came my way. I began my yoga journey at Lifetime Fitness by attending a class at the invitation of one of my neighbors twenty years ago. I found yoga to be extremely challenging both mentally and physically. I really did not know anything about yoga when I began this journey. I am so glad that I said, “yes,” to that invitation.

I remember looking around during class and listening to the teacher’s cues and attempting poses, twisting, bending, and stretching in all four directions. I started to notice my thoughts…”I am not flexible. I can’t touch my toes. I can’t breathe.” I was holding my breath as I tried to get into and out of certain poses. I was noticing my thoughts and they were not kind. It was all movement and breathing in new and unknown ways and I found myself wondering, “Is my arm supposed to shake this much? Am I even doing this pose correctly? What did the teacher call this pose? Triangle pose?”

My mind was anything and everything, but quiet. I didn’t know how much more of this yoga I could take. I had quite a few negative judgments ruminating and taking up space in my mind. I was thinking, “I can’t do this. I hate yoga. I hate this teacher. I would look at the clock and think OMG how much longer is this class? On and On and On went my negative thoughts like a runaway freight train roaring down the tracks into a bottomless abyss of my own making.

Then came relief at the end of class with the final relaxation pose. This pose can be very challenging for people who do not like to rest or it may be a struggle to be still for 5-10 minutes. I found it to be amazing. The pose is called savasana (pronounced shuh-VAH-suh-nuh) or corpse pose. You lie completely still on your mat on your back, eyes closed, legs and arms splayed out from your body and relaxed. Palms facing upwards. Your breathing comes back to normal and all of the energy you just exerted comes together to integrate within your body. Ah, I loved the quiet and the settling down of my mind, my body, and my breath. I loved this pose. I could get used to this. Maybe I don’t hate yoga. I guess that teacher wasn’t that bad after all. Maybe I will come back to class and try yoga again. And so my yoga journey began...

I began to attend a weekly class, and then two or three times a week, I started to notice subtle changes in me that I liked. My judging thoughts began to diminish somewhat. My physical body began to become more flexible and I was getting stronger. My mind became quieter and my thoughts became more flexible. I noticed how I felt after class and how the great feeling stayed with me off the mat and followed me into my day. I wanted to know why when I left a yoga class it felt as if I had just gotten a massage on the inside and the outside of my body. There was a calm, but heightened awareness that I felt.

I began to read more about why yoga made me feel so great. The hard work and magic of yoga had shifted my life and I loved it even though it is still challenging. Yoga was a way to gather up all of my scattered parts and bring them back to the center of my being and helped me to feel whole. I met myself on the mat. Yoga is a gift you give to yourself. Every yoga class is a practice. Life is a practice.

My yoga journey was helping me with processing the breast cancer diagnosis my sister, Kristy, had gotten in her mid 40’s. All of the memories of what I had witnessed with my mother and what we all had experienced were coming up again in my thoughts and it was overwhelming to face it again now with my sister. I had intimate knowledge of the ravages of mind and body that breast cancer took on my mother and my family. I was also aware of the fear that can lurk in the dark recesses of one's mind.

My mother had battled breast cancer when I was 15 and that changed how I viewed life and my own health. Breast cancer was oftentimes a fear in the back of my mind. Especially when I would go and get a mammogram. I would feel fine until the tech doing the testing would begin to ask me questions about my family history. Then the tears would begin to form in the corners of my eyes. I would start to think, am I going to get breast cancer?

I used to take my mom to her chemotherapy and radiation appointments. Whenever I would witness my mother’s scarred body it sent shivers throughout my body. It still does when I think of her. I remember it all. The place on her chest where her breast used to be. The black marks on her chest where the doctors targeted her radiation treatments and the hollowed out area under her arm where lymph nodes and muscle had been surgically removed. I would think about how the chemotherapy had destroyed her veins on the inside of her arm and left the skin on the outside of her arm an angry red color, puffy, and dry. These treatments ravaged her tiny body, but unbelievably not her spirit.

I will never forget my mother’s incredible strength and her ability to stand tall in her unwavering faith that she would be ok and she never fell down into victim consciousness or despair. She took everything in stride or she was a master at hiding everything she felt about her body and her life. Honestly, it was probably a combination of both. My mother lived to be 87 years old and she did not die from breast cancer.

Now, my sister had been diagnosed with breast cancer. The statistics were 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer. There were 8 girls in my family. Was Kristy the 1 in 8? My sister’s breast cancer went undiagnosed for 2 years. Hers did not show up in a mammogram. It was not a lump or a mass. Kristy’s breast cancer was dimpling on her skin in a starburst pattern.

We lived 12 hours away from each other, but we were close and talked often over the phone. We were raising children around the same ages and we would share our challenges and our triumphs. We could laugh and cry together. Yoga had become a lifesaving tool for me during this time. It was helping me navigate my life in a new way. I was better equipped to handle all of the emotions and the grief I was feeling.

I loved the quiet time on the mat before and at the end of an hour long class. It was the gift of an hour I gave to myself several times a week. My yoga mat became a sacred space for me. A place to quiet my mind, send quiet prayers out to the universe for my sister, myself, and our families. A place I gathered up strength to handle life’s unfolding. Yoga did not take away my grief or any challenges in my life, but it helped me to view life through a different lens.

I had been practicing yoga for a year or more. They needed teachers at Lifetime. I looked into taking training through YogaFit. I signed up for a YogaFit Level 1 weekend training that was in a town an hour north of where I lived. It was long, exhilarating, and exhausting at the same time. I did not feel equipped to teach after one weekend of 20+ hours of training. But I enjoyed what I had learned and had deepened my knowledge and it had enhanced every aspect of my practice. I was proud of myself for stepping outside of the proverbial box.

There was so much more to yoga than I could learn in a lifetime, let alone 1 weekend, but it was a good place to start. I was able to practice at home if I could not make it to the gym. My practice was becoming deeper and more important to me. Yoga had saved me and I wondered why more people were not practicing yoga. It could not take the cancer diagnosis away, but it helped me walk the breast cancer path again with renewed strength, compassionate understanding, and resilience.

When my sister was scheduled to have her mastectomy, I drove 12 hours in the car to Cleveland, Ohio with my two younger sons. I was going to help her husband take care of her three daughters while she was in hospital for a week. We went for a walk one night to visit the college near her home where she had been attending classes. I found a book on yoga. A Course in Yoga & Metaphysics, by Roberta A. Holliday.

The author of the book taught classes at this college. I purchased the book and it was filled with new information I voraciously devoured. I shared some of my newly acquired yoga knowledge and demonstrated poses for my sister, her daughters, and my sons, the night before Kristy’s surgery. I explained to them how it was helping me shape a new way to be in this world. I had no idea at the time how my journey into yoga would change all of our lives.

Kristy had her mastectomy and reconstructive surgery all in the same day. She was in hospital for a week. In time, she healed from the surgery and had chemotherapy treatments. While she was having treatments she continued going to school to get a degree in exercise management and she became a personal trainer at the college. Health and fitness were extremely important to her, too.

She had become quite a role model for her students, children, husband, and for all who met her and worked with her. She was a living testament to what the human spirit and body can endure when faced with a life-altering diagnosis. She did anything and everything she could to survive at least until her three daughters graduated from high school.

I had planted the seed of yoga in her awareness. She won a scholarship and used the money to take the YogaFit Level 1 training that I had taken. We shared many conversations about yoga and its healing benefits for the mind, body, and spirit. I attended YogaFit Level 2, 3, and YogaFit for kids. I was teaching yoga at school to staff and my middle school students. I was teaching yoga in my home and at my husband’s company. I shared yoga with anyone and everyone who was interested.

Kristy also took level 3 YogaFit training. Along with the personal training she was doing at the gym at her college, she began teaching yoga classes there, too. She started to teach the yoga classes that Roberta Holliday, the author of the book I had purchased prior to her surgery, had taught. I could not have seen that one coming. It was all in the divine plan and yoga was meant to be in our lives.

Kristy and her family came to our home to stay a few days before we all drove to Iowa to attend a niece’s wedding. She had not been feeling well and had been experiencing severe abdominal pains. Before they had driven to Minnesota, she had gone to the doctor to have some tests done. Her doctor called her while they were staying in our home. I can still picture her, sitting on my deck on the phone with her doctor, as if it were yesterday. She was informed over the phone that her cancer had metastasized to other parts of her body. Her doctor gave her a terminal liver cancer diagnosis over the phone with a prognosis of a possibly 2 years' survival rate.

We were all devastated by the news. She had been in remission for awhile and we had been lulled into thinking that maybe she had beaten the cancer. We all shed quite a lot of tears that day and for many days to come.

Kristy called my parents and all of my siblings individually and informed them of her terminal diagnosis. I watched her try to be upbeat, laugh, and try to shoulder it all. I think she thought it would be better to let people know ahead of time before seeing her in person at the wedding so they could process before we gathered for the celebration. She did not want to be the center of pity or focus at the wedding. The wedding was joyful and sorrowful at the same time. We celebrated the union and we celebrated life. The magic of tears flowing and being shed can be joyful tears and sorrowful tears at the same time. A release nonetheless.

Kristy was never a fan of the outdoors. She had not shared in the same way I did any interest or love for gardening. But after spending time at our house and getting the terminal diagnosis, her attitude shifted. She loved my peaceful garden sanctuary. She enjoyed staying at our home and she loved spending time in the screened porch, surrounded by lush landscaping, birds singing, and listening to the sounds of the water fountain. She thought that our yard was extremely beautiful, well-cared for, and very peaceful. A seed had been planted in Kristy. She wanted to make a peaceful place outdoors at her home where she could rest, reflect, restore, and enjoy a cup of tea in nature. When she returned to Ohio she was inspired to create a peaceful place outdoors on her deck. She and her girls painted flower pots and planted several flowers for their deck. They added a water fountain for sound and purchased comfortable furniture. They had created their own garden sanctuary. Their deck became a place for them to gather together and enjoy time as a family.

Then in May of 2009, my brother Brian became extremely ill with his own abdominal pains and ended up in an intensive care unit in a hospital in a suburb of Denver. His illness and infection came out of the blue. Kristy had been battling breast cancer for years and we were grieving her illness and always wondering how much time she had left and then Brian ends up in the ICU.

I have long been a believer in the truth that none of us is guaranteed tomorrow. I had learned along the way that life and death happen without warning. Sometimes we have time to put things in order and complete any unfinished business with someone who is terminal. Other times, people die unexpectedly or quite suddenly and you are left in a state of shock and disbelief. You process the sudden death by attempting to pick up the shattered pieces and make sense of it all. It is a gift when you begin to live from a place of love and truth and are able to communicate from the deepest parts of you with people who surround you in your life. Death is never easy. Grief and letting go are heavy lessons we need to experience, face, and to feel many times throughout our lives.

After my first brother passed away suddenly in 1996, I started to make choices in my where I could live a life without regrets. I try to live in the present moment. I began to live with an open heart. I would tell people I loved them. I worked on forgiving people faster and not holding onto unresolved issues. I wanted to be completely transparent.

Before Brian had been in hospital, I had signed up for a four-day conference of YogaFit training. I debated as to whether or not I should attend or cancel and drive to Denver when I found out he was ill. The hospital did an exploratory surgery and was still running tests on Brian, so I decided to keep the schedule to attend the conference in downtown Minneapolis. I am glad that I listened to my intuition and went to the conference and was able to complete Level 2 on communication and Level 3 on introspection. The confirmation came when the first teacher looked like my brother Brian’s wife. The second teacher’s name was the same as my brother’s daughter’s name. One of my fellow student’s names in my training was Brian. I was right where I was meant to be and I needed the tools I learned from attending the 4 days of training to help me with what was happening in Denver.

After three weeks in the ICU, Brian's health was not improving. I got the call from my niece, “You might want to come if you want to see my dad and talk to him.” I left school where I working at the time and went home to hurriedly pack. My husband and I drove 14 hours to Denver. I brought a laptop computer with me in the car and I started to write a post on the Caring Bridge website for Brian. This website is a brilliant tool that aids family and friends in staying informed and connected to a loved one's journey. It frees up your time and needed energy from constantly retelling the story. We arrived at the hospital in the middle of the night and were greeted by my nephew, Brian’s youngest son who was keeping vigil. Brian was also awake. It was good to see him.

I did have some difficulty with understanding some of the words that Brian tried to communicate to me, but I could see and sense he was beyond thrilled and happy that we had come to see him. I leaned in close and looked at him in his soulful, chocolate brown, eyes. Tears were filling my own eyes and I whispered to him, “I love you and everyone is coming to see you.” That news seemed to greatly bolster his spirit.

I met his wife, daughter, and granddaughter in the lobby of the hospital the next morning and we shared a cup of coffee at the Sacred Grounds coffee shop on the first floor of the hospital. She asked me what I had said to him the night before because he was a changed man. I explained to her that I had told him that everyone was coming to see him. I waggled my pinky finger in a gesture of, “hello” to her young daughter. Her daughter became very excited and looked at her mom and exclaimed, “That’s how grandpa waves to me!” I had no idea that was something Brian had done, too. It warmed my heart.

Throughout the week, the family began to trickle into the hospital to visit Brian. Siblings came from across the country. When the O’Brien clan gets together we make quite a sight. You never know what kind of drama will ensue. We can be very loud, dramatic, teary, share laughter to lighten up the situation or inevitably an argument will quite possibly break out. We are a family who has known grief, experienced loss, and easily wear it on our sleeves.

We had to don gowns, gloves and masks, before we were allowed into Brian’s room because of his infection. We befriended the hospital staff and they became accustomed to our large group being around. There were O'Brien's everywhere you looked. Every one of us was trying to process our experience and we all handle things differently. I was meditating, praying, and doing yoga poses in the waiting room area. When someone is ill and in hospital there can be a lot of time waiting around. You wait for information from the doctors and you wait for test results. You wait for people to talk with the person who is ill. There are things you might want to ask or to share with the person who is dying. Open and honest conversations can be a gift you share to bring healing.

There was one evening where all of my brothers and sisters (11) of us in the room. 10 of us gathered in a circle around Brian's hospital bed and held hands. We began to say a prayer for him. In the background there was a radio playing softly in the room and Come Sail Away by the band Styx began to play. We were stunned into silence as we listened intently to the lyrics, “A gathering of angels appeared above my head, they sang to me the song of hope and this is what they said, they said, come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with me.” It was a song we had played at my brother Kevin's funeral in 1996. All O’Brien children were together 11 in person and one in spirit. I knew Brian's time was nearing the end.

The week was one filled with emotions. There was deep sadness and grief in my family. We were losing another beloved brother. Kristy was battling a terminal cancer and the apparent shock and disbelief that Brian was dying before her had left her shaken and reminded all of us of her terminal diagnosis. Brian was the second son my parent's will have lost. He was a beloved father to his daughter and two sons. He was a grandfather to one beautiful granddaughter. We had all come together to share stories of his life and to hold each other up when it was time to say, "goodbye."

Brian passed away after a month in the ICU. Everyone who loved him was able to see him and say goodbye. We had a beautiful send off for him at his favorite golf course. Beautiful words of his life were spoken. The love and loss were shared by his daughter, my father, and my sister among others who were brave enough to stand up and speak. His oldest son was a fireman and his entire team of firefighters were in full-dress uniform. An emotional sight in and of itself. One fireman was the officiant of the service and one played the bagpipes. When the loud, shrill, and haunting sounds of the bagpipes began to reverberate around the clubhouse piercing all of our hearts. I laid my heavy head down on the table and wept. I was able to unleash a vortex of sadness and grief. My wailing was drowned out by the bagpipes and for this I was grateful.

Kristy lived longer than the 2 years that the doctor had initially offered her. She tried many different treatments and healing modalities. All helped at some point on her journey and healed parts of her, but in the end she did not survive. She lived long enough to witness the high school graduation for 2 daughters, college graduation for her oldest, a few years of college for her second daughter, but passed away at the beginning of her youngest daughter's senior year. Kristy died September 25, 2011.

I woke up early the morning she passed away and felt a deep sense of peace all around me. I could almost touch the peace in the air. Her husband called me to tell me of her passing. He had confirmed what I had known already. I felt her so very close to me now. She was no longer a 12 hour drive away. She was part of everything again. She had joined my brothers and other ancestors in heaven.

I got out of bed and made my way out into my healing garden sanctuary. A place I could shed my sorrow through working, meditating, planting, weeding, and just being present to my sorrow. A sacred place where I would always go to feel surrounded by the healing of nature. I stayed all day in the garden feeling the loss. I became aware that I had been grieving the loss of her for 12 years. Always waiting on the precipice between life and death. Always wondering when I would get the call. Somewhere along the line I forgot to live my life fully. I was always thinking to the future of what my life would look like without Kristy in it.

Kristy’s death opened my heart wide into my life. I was no longer waiting for the inevitable to happen. It happened. I was no longer afraid. I had survived. I was still here. I signed up for Yoga teacher training that month and classes were to begin in January of 2012. I also jumped out of an airplane that month with my youngest son and his girlfriend's entire family. Live your life. there is no time like the present.

My sister was with me in my heart and my mind throughout the year of training. During meditation she would float in and out of my awareness. One night during a Kundalini Yoga workshop, we did an 11 minute meditation with music and chanting. Kristy was sitting in my heart in a lotus pose. It was magical. I felt, sensed, and knew she was with me every step of the way.

Before she died she told me that every time I see a yellow finch that will be a message from her reminding me that she is still with us. As I was preparing for my final yoga test, I looked out my window and there was a yellow finch sitting on an orange Gerbera Daisy in my window box just checking in with me. I teared up and knew I was not doing this alone and I continued putting together my yoga sequences I had to teach later that day.

When I got to class, one of my core yoga teachers said that her mother who lived in Oregon had sent her a yellow finch feather in the mail and she was not sure why. My teacher felt the urge to bring it to class. I lost all of my composure. I raised my hand and said, "I think that finch feather is for me, I cried!" I had not shared with anyone in my yoga teacher training about my sister, her death, that I was doing this training for both of us, or about her messages to me from the yellow finch. The synchronicity was undeniable.

I have always been a curious observer in life and while searching for answers to things out of my control, I began to find solace and inspiration everywhere by touching things that I loved and listening to my own wisdom. I began to truly live my life from a new and deeper place of introspection and perspective by seeing with new eyes and listening with new ears. I began to drink in all that life had to offer and stopped labeling experiences as good or is. I imbibed in all things that inspired me and offered inner peace and strength.

Take a look around you and begin to notice what inspires you to evolve into the truest version of your soul. Go in search of what makes you live your life to the fullest in truth and love and share those gifts with the world. We are all waiting to see what you have brought with you to share.

Namaste. The light in me sees and honors the light in you.

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