Shedding their Skins

Yesterday was the completion of my yoga studio’s second 200-hour Teacher Training Program.  These programs are amazing and I am inspired every time I lead one of them. Yoga, in part, is about becoming more authentic, more connected to our Higher Beings, the divine part of ourselves.  It is a transformative journey that leads us closer and closer to God, other people, and ourselves.  You often hear a common quote in the yoga world, “Transformation In Progress.”  Yoga peels away the layers that keep you from being your most authentic self and this is an ongoing process.  Teacher Training allows us to go deeper into this journey of self-discovery and transformation.

The teacher training process always reminds me of a snake shedding its skin.  In the Native American culture, the snake is a symbol of transformation and healing.  The shedding of the skin is seen as a death and rebirth.  It sheds its skin as it outgrows the old.  It is also said that, as the skin begins to shed, the snake’s eyes begin to clear as if they will see the world anew.  This is my experience with teacher training.  When students start the process of teacher training, they come in with their life’s perspective based on their upbringing and past experiences.  They have deep-seeded beliefs about who they are and what they are and are not capable of.  Teacher training allows them to stop and look at their belief systems and evaluate how they serve or do not serve them.  It gives them the opportunity to step out of their comfort zones by dropping what they know and completely emptying out.  This is where transformation begins, with self-inquiry.  People start to question their thoughts, feelings and beliefs instead of believing that it is all the Truth.  As they start of outgrow their old way of being, they start to see the world in a different way.

When a snake sheds its skin, the animal is vulnerable for a period of time.  Vulnerability is inevitable in transformation.  In teacher training, students start to get real with themselves and others and that can be incredibly vulnerable.  Through vulnerability we can experience true connection.  As the teacher trainees start to shift their perspective of themselves, others and the world and become more open and vulnerable, they start to shed their old way of being and start living from a place of authenticity and possibility.  Old scripts, like “I am not good enough” and “I am alone,” are no longer automatic beliefs.  They shed the self-doubts and live from their Higher Being.  Teacher training is the beginning of an incredible journey of self-discovery and a lifetime of shedding the skins that no longer serve.

I am blessed to be on this amazing journey.  Every time I witness someone shed their skin, it inspires me to keep shedding what no longer serves me.


Intentions for 2014

With it being January 1, 2014, I, like everybody else, is filled with hope for new possibilities. In yoga we are taught to set intentions for what it is we want.  So of course, I began to think about what intentions I wanted to set for the new year and decided to share them with you.

In 2014, I choose to step into my Power and Greatness.  I truly want to do this so that I can inspire others to do the same.  This year has been a huge test of faith for me and I am grateful for each and every experience that occurred.  After the accident at the studio happened in October, I have become more aware of how I am (like everyone of you are) here on this Earth for a reason and my work is not yet complete.  I always thought I was meant to be a guide of some sort that is why I became a psychologist.  I wanted to help people transform and create their lives.  After finding that yoga was the vehicle I was meant to do this from, I created my life so that I could begin doing that.  Since opening the studio, it has become more clear to me that my “Zone of Genius” (Gay Hendricks, The Big Leap) is writing, coaching and leading teacher training programs.  I think I needed to move away from psychotherapy completely and immerse myself in yoga for a while.  Now I believe that I am ready to bring the two together to create something Big.  That was the original concept of the Yoga Shrink- adjunct mental health treatment using the 8 limbs of yoga.

So in 2014, I plan to bring the Yoga Shrink out in a big way to the world.  I plan to teach, lecture, and publish as much information about Yoga for Optimal Mental Health.  In terms of my work in coaching and teacher training programs, I am committed to helping people see what is getting in the way of their Greatness.  I set the intention to live Big so that everyone around me can live Big.  All of this I do in the name of Service- Service to Others.

What is your intention for 2014?  Write, Say It, Let It Be Known and then Do It!