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Category: Yoga + Spirituality


Endings and Beginnings: Reflecting on 2016 before entering 2017

Endings and Beginnings: Reflecting on 2016 before entering 2017

Posted December 18, 2016

Here I am…tapping away on my laptop. It’s almost dark and I’m sitting here on my bed with only a Himalayan Salt Lamp on; casting a warm, womb-like glow across the room. Big fat wet tears rolling down my face, pooling at my lips, soaking back into my skin. I can barely see through these tears…Yet I knew I had to open up my laptop and write. All week I’ve been feeling this bubbling up of emotion. The inner cauldron of all my truths, thoughts, feelings and experiences amping up from a slow, gentle simmer to the raise-the-lid kinda boil. The kind of boil that will inevitably spill over into a watery mess if I don’t turn my gaze to and respond quickly enough. And sure enough, despite the sign-posts all week the latter has happened. I didn’t have the space and time to ‘go there’ – you know, to cast my attention to that simmering feeling. So here I am… here I am a watery, blubbery mess. [Side note: oh wow, does it feels good to FEEL like this. To feel vulnerable and overwhelmed with emotion. It makes me feel alive and connected and tapped in – always has] The things that have set me off all week – tender moments between baby and dada. A random act of kindness from a stranger in the street. A generous exchange. Watching a mama hug her injured child in Aleppo. Hugging my dear friend and saying Merry Christmas – have all pointed to connection, the power of the tribe, gratitude and the simplicity of love. Powerful, universal sorta stuff. But what set off this moment, right now, the avalanche of tears and the impossible-to-contain soul speak in the form of FEELING? My nanny just wrote to me to say she was no longer able to work with us (due her own personal career goals). #firstworldproblems Then IT all just hit me. This year has been so challenging and yet so unbelievably beautiful. (Side note: I had originally written “so fucking hard” but perspective whacked me in the face and I had to dial it back!) I’ve created so much. I’ve barely slept. I’ve nagged and argued about nonsensical shit with my sleep deprived husband. I’ve started a new business. I’ve coached divine women through their blocks and fears. I consciously worked on healing myself energetically, emotionally, physically, mentally. I’ve done things I never thought I would, or could. I said YES without reason, just a feeling. I’ve grown a team and watched them grow too. I’ve learned that I don’t know what it means to be a leader. I’ve decided to lead with love and serve wholeheartedly. I’ve felt so much mama-guilt. I’ve felt so much mama joy, love, elation. I’ve faced so many fears, slowly. I’ve watched parts of me fall away and dissolve. I’ve surrendered. Over and over and over again. I’ve found my feminine power – fierce warrior mama within. I’ve fallen in love with parts of me I didn’t notice before. I’ve juggled coaching, creativity, business around tantrums and toddler tactics. I’ve stared at my forever changed body and swung from love, to admiration to disgust and back to love. I’ve stared at my forever guy and cried tears of gratitude for him minutes after crying tears at frustration over him. I’ve meditated. Daily. Committed to stillness, daily. I’ve moved and stretched and breathed. I’ve set goals and failed at them, and reset them over and over until I nailed it. I’ve held my baby sick and feverish feeling equal parts scared and supremely blessed. I’ve failed at being the perfect mama/wife so many times – forgetting to cook dinner, turning the TV on too many times, letting my frustration take the driver seat. I rocked motherhood too… often. I’ve battled to stay in my centre, to be calm, to stay strong when sometimes it all just felt too much. I’ve watched my dad getting older, weaker, sicker. I’ve felt the love and support my mother always delivers. I’ve cried tears of happiness watching my little girl play with her cousins, something I never had. I discovered some shit about myself I’m grateful I can now see, but that hurt to look at. I raged. I cried. I fell apart. I cracked. I put myself back together and said ‘Let’s DO this’. I prayed many times for relief and peace. And then accepted when I didn’t get it. I found a circle, a sisterhood, a tribe where we honour shame, vulnerability, joy, success and dreams. Like I said, a really big, hard, beautiful, FULL, messy year. ++ I am a deeply changed woman. Motherhood… life, it’s eroded the old me and reshaped me much faster than any other experience has in my life. I feel more than I’ve ever felt. I think more than I have ever. I worry more. Pray more. Strive and thrive more. I fail more. I’m more considered and conscious. I dig deeper than I ever have and insist on MORE from the universe. I love more than I thought was possible. I care about people, this earth. And yet with all of that I also feel more overwhelmed, futile, and held back than I ever have. My eyes are more open and so is my heart. EVERYTHING is dialled right up. My desire to create change, my desire to find balance and to help others heal. My desire for abundance and for financial success and stability. My need to hide away and hush the world. My desire to make a difference. My desire for a humble life with my sweet little family. My desire to GO BIG and chase my dreams. I feel all of it….My need to make this life matter, to honour the gift of this life and do it justice. To live up to my soul purpose and to do so with authenticity and love. As I write this there is a small voice in the back of my […] Read more

Strategy of Surrender

Strategy of Surrender

Posted August 30, 2016

Strategy for surrender Since the day little Soleil was born, in fact, since she was just a bunch of little cells multiplying I’ve been hurtling down the rabbit-hole of surrender. Over and over, day-by-day I’ve been asked to let go – to surrender. Surrender who I think I am. Surrender to who she is. Surrender to the struggle. Surrender to the sleep deprivation. Surrender to the loss of control and structure. Surrender to the chaos. Surrender to the beauty, and joy and insane love. Surrender to the god-like connection motherhood creates for me. Surrender to the sides of me I don’t like or thought I had ‘healed’           Surrender to the mess Surrender to the present moment           Surrender to it all… And you know what? I’m not there yet. How do I know I’m not there yet? Well, because I find myself trying to ‘figure out’ if there is something wrong – am I doing it right? Is Soleil OK? Have I missed something? I find myself looking for solutions where there aren’t any. Or getting lost in those feelings of futility and exhaustion that weeks and weeks of sleep deprivation do to you. I find myself pining for ‘time’ and trying to think about how to get more of it. I find myself getting trapped in the idea that ‘if only things were XYZ then it’d all be better”. When I notice I’m in this heady, catastrophizing, weary mindset I know that surrender and I have forgotten to nurture our bond. But here’s the flipside to it all. I know I’m never supposed to be and never will be ‘there’ with surrender. Not fully, completely. Not 100%. Why? Because we, surrender and I,  have a deal. I’m supposed to experiment with it, lose faith in it, find it again, go deeper with it, start all over again. Becoming a mama is so much more for me than creating a life (which is a miracle) and experiencing that journey. It’s about my own soul-journey with surrender. And this realisation always brings about the question, WHY? again.. The deeper why is because I’m meant to dance with surrender so I can share it all with you. I’m here to help you become besties with surrender. It’s my thing. it’s my job. And everytime I mess it up, that’s another up-leveling, re-education and re-learning so I can scrub up on my surrender skills. That’s what we do as teachers and guides, we have to keep growing and learning in order to help you grow and learn. So here I am, once again, letting go of the idea that I have to ‘fix’ things with my little Sunbeam. She is healthy, bright, BOLD, happy, oh-so-spirited. There is nothing wrong. Nor do I need to fix anything with myself as a mother, woman, wife, friend, daughter – I do enough, I am enough, I love enough, I care enough. I simply must accept, embrace and let go of the expectations and need to control. It means offering up my plans and my ideas and trusting that as and when it’s supposed to unfold, it will. ++ Take a deep breath with me now, because in true Claire style I’m going to flip all of that on its head. There are always two sides to every coin and this journey of surrender is much the same. Within the realisation that I must surrender and embrace the journey of letting go, I’ve also come to realise that part of this version of surrender (in mamahood) I must also take ACTION and come up with a strategy. I don’t have to give up every dream or desire to surrender, I just have to work with it in a different way. One of the massive stumbling blocks I’ve been facing is time. When your toddler is waking countless times each night and then only wants to nap on you during the day, well there isn’t much time left over. Domestic duties, cooking, eating, showering – these are the basics I’ve been fitting in amongst it all. Trying to fit in joyful work, creative time, spiritual practice and connecting to loved ones has been a battle. Surrender often wins. However, I’ve come to see a massive truth that surrender has delivered to me lately. It has said this; Claire, you DO have time, if you allow others to support you in caring for Soleil. You choose for Soleil to be the centre of your universe and for you to be hers. It’s your choice to prioritise her over anything else. It’s always up to you how and where you create and find time. Truthfully, I’ve hid behind being Soleil’s mama and ‘surrendering’ to her needs and the ebb-and-flow of her evolving being. I desperately don’t want to miss anything as she grows, but many of my dreams and desires with work and in life are ALL about creating opportunity, security and happiness for HER. So how to find peace between the desire and spiritual NEED to surrender over to her and to motherhood with the need to build, create, grow, call in abundance and success? And surrender once again answered with; Hire more help. Lean on your in-laws. Hand over the reigns to your husband more. Let go. You cannot be the only one to care for her. So there it is. And so it is. Surrender has sent me a strategy. I now see that I can fully embrace surrender day-to-day with my little one when I create more space and time for me to take action where action needs to be taken! It’s time that I let surrender become my strategy for life in both the moments of PAUSE + ACCEPTANCE as well as those of ACTION + CREATION. I choose to trust that surrender will only ever deliver me into what is right and good for my soul. Love + light, Claire xx OM MAMA LOVE… Mamas, I’m letting you in early on a little something special. […] Read more

Bringing Aphrodite Back. Feminine Power, Silence + Stillness.

Bringing Aphrodite Back. Feminine Power, Silence + Stillness.

Posted July 05, 2016

We are always guided and supported… and sometimes we are nudged to pay attention to one particular thing, even if it seems to have  absolutely no relevance to you, whatsover. Well, this recently happened to me. I was guided towards the Goddess, Aphrodite. I kept pulling her in oracle card readings. I would randomly open to a magazine article that mentioned her. Facebook posts would appear with reference to this Goddess. It all culminated one Friday night. I saw an offer from Marianne Williamson on her facebook page (that was about to expire in less than hour) that said with the purchase of her new book I could get free access to her Aphrodite training…The book didn’t resonate with me (yet) but the training did. BIG time. I didn’t hesitate. I paid and signed-up. I’ve been down this road before enough times to know how to get out of my own way and pay attention to the clear sign-posts from the divine. And it was less than 10 minutes into the first training video that the penny dropped… I understood that quickly why I needed this training. And I’m going to hazard a guess that so many of us women, collectively need a little more Aphrodite too. Aphrodite. Goddess of love, romance, sensuality, sexuality, birth, joy, energy, creativity. Divine Feminine energy… As I dove into this training this is the question(s) that presented itself; Where have we disowned her? Where have we replaced this divine, feeling based feminine energy with the action, the doing, the headiness of the masculine? And why? I’m going to be honest, I’m still in the midst of this training… and, well, still in ‘training’ with Aphrodite. So I’m definitely not sharing this with any expertise. However, what I am learning so far has struck such a deep, primal, almost ancient chord within me that I had to share it. ++ I’ve come to realise lately that the disowning of my inner Aphrodite began many years ago. Striving for success. Building my business. Conforming, to fit in. Aligning with feminist viewpoints (and taking it to the extreme) Focusing on the external world. Living an ‘action’ based life. Ignoring my intuition. Wanting to be seen as a capable woman. Hiding my emotions (so I don’t seem weak). Rejecting my moon cycle. Appropriating masculine ways (of talking, dressing, behaving, working…) Pregnancy, birth and so much of this motherhood journey reconnected me deeply with an inner softness, the energy of feminine magic and goddess nature. I even wrote this blog – Crossing Over From The Head to The Heart – on how I’m learning to live a more heart-based life since becoming a mama. However, there is so much catastrophizing, headi-ness, organising, structure, over-planning, action, doing (instead of being) that comes with motherhood too. And it has done a phenomenal job of muscling its way back in to sideline that beautiful Aphrodite energy. Today I’m in a push-pull game between surrendering into the softness, the love-bubble of motherhood and the divine feminine, with the masculine world of action. Trying to find my power in being ALL things to all people (a great mama, wife, business owner, coach, domestic goddess) sometimes leaves me depleted instead of empowered. Making sure I keep my shit together sometimes feels like I’m striving for a badge of honour. Yet I’ve never felt more delicate, vulnerable and called towards the internal world of stillness. Often I just want to be still. Go inward, retreat. Simultaneously I can feel so fired up, ready to make my dreams a reality, driven to action… The masculine and the feminine – two powerful energies playing all out together. And that’s ok, right? We all have the feminine and masculine energies within us. But truthfully, whether you are a male or a female in our world it’s so much easier to revert into the masculine way of action, strategy, solution, doing, planning, thinking. It is for me at least. ++ Reconnect with the power of your feminine silence; Harness your inner stillness. Since starting this training with Marianne Williamson, there has been one major take-away that keeps playing in my heart on repeat. And this is what I really want to share with you, because it’s really helping me to call Aphrodite in – to invite her to play a bigger role and to find her place within my life with more solidity. Let me explain this idea as simply as I can. Feminine energy is threaded with vulnerability.  That Vulnerability = power. In fact, it it is our power. However, it is a different kind of power from a different source. Underworld vibes. Goddess energy. Mystical almost. This power is magnetic. Internal. Intuitive. Deep. It has an immovable, unshakeable quality. A stillness. A presence. A rawness. This is the true essence of woman. Emotive. Wise. Loving. Nurturing.  As women we reflect, listen, invite in. Now this has really hit home for me – we also offer a place to rest to those that need softness, love, nourishment, tenderness, beauty, joy. A safe place to be vulnerable and raw too. We bring others into our magnetic stillness. We offer healing. The most incredible bit is that the feminine energy can do all that in total silence. Without words. Without a song and dance. There’s no need to ‘do’ anything. The Divine Feminine HOLDS space for your pain, your joy, your vulnerability, your hurt, your happiness, your struggle… The Aphrodite energy of love is powerful. It can move mountains, and create great change. And it can do it simply by harnessing stillness, through silence. By simply being and not doing. We have a voice, and yes we are woman, hear us roar. But maybe we should try whispering a little more, or even saying nothing at all… As I was absorbing this lesson from Marianne, my head was spinning. And my heart was screaming YES! Silence. Sweet surrender into stillness. Presence. The real art of listening. Cracking open in the darkness. I scribbled these words into my journal… “Just because I have a voice that doesn’t mean I always have to use it. It’s time to reconnect […] Read more

Lead with the positive. The struggle doesn’t make you worthy.

Lead with the positive. The struggle doesn’t make you worthy.

Posted May 31, 2016

Struggle doesn’t make you worthy. Before you jump on me, no, I’m not saying that if you are going through a tough time that you are unworthy. I’m saying something completely different. I’m highlighting that we, as a collective, glorify the negative, the struggle, the hard times instead of choosing to lead with the positive. Let me be SUPER CLEAR HERE – if you are going through a really challenging time (the spectrum for ‘challenging’ is so wide) please know that I am 100% for taking a good hard look at the shadows… feeling all the feels from the pain to the anger and beyond. We cannot honour this human existence without being authentic and real with where we are at. But this post is not about embracing the shadows. It’s about learning to not get entangled in them and making the detrimental choice to, day after day, lead with our struggles. Many of us ‘front up’ to life peering through the lens of the negative, me included. And I think it’s time to choose differently. ++ At the end of the day when you are chatting to your partner (or your bestie or your mum) about your day what is your ‘default’ summary of the day that was? How do you package up your day? What attitude threads through your review of how the day unfolded? Does it go a little something like this: “Oh god, I’m so tired. Today was hectic.” or maybe… “Yeah, I’m ok. So glad today is over. I can’t believe how many things went wrong” or if you’re a full time mama/papa maybe this sounds more familiar… “I’m done. Today was a complete mess. Bub threw more than my fair share of tantrums, wouldn’t eat lunch and flat out refused to sleep…” ++ So this is my recent pondering – Why do we always run a highlight reel of everything that went wrong? Why do we always lead first with the struggle? This is something I noticed myself doing a few months back and it’s been a slow, steady road towards changing that, since then. So, hear me out here while I flesh this out… I absolutely do not think it’s worthwhile to avoid and disregard those moments of sheer frustration and irritating challenges that we face, daily. Sometimes it feels good to share it, get it off our chest and be done with it. It feels good to get it all out. But that’s exactly the point – being ‘DONE with it’ should happen not far after the moment. Yet we file them away and take a ‘count’ of all the struggle moments we’ve had as if it’s a honourable badge of self worth and effort. Almost as if it’s a measure of how hard we worked that day and therefore how valuable we are. On a sub conscious level, many of us are running this program, this belief that struggle equates to value. The more challenging and crazy busy the day the more kudos and brownie points we receive. We did good, we fought the good fight. The tougher I did it, the more worthy I am.  I’ve often found myself feeling guilty for the good times. I’ve noticed that sometimes, when I go to tell my husband that the day I just had was amazing, exciting, inspiring. Or just simply, nice. Why do I feel guilty? Aren’t we all out for a slice of happiness? Don’t we deserve that and also want that happiness for our loved ones? Or, even worse still, something else I’ve noticed is that the tougher the day the more sorry we can feel for ourselves… and the more we then believe someone else should fill us up with love. We want to be recognised for how hard we’ve worked and how we’ve struggled. This recognition, temporarily makes us feel good enough… ++ What I’ve come to learn is this; It doesn’t make you a better person (or better at being a mum, at your job etc) to be fighting and struggling all day, it doesn’t make you a bad person either. Your worth is not measured in how hard you are doing it. It won’t make you feel any better to be perpetually focused on the negatives. It might feel good to get it off your chest, but it certainly will not lift you up and into the light It is no one else’s responsibility to fill in the empty gaps with thick layers of happiness and love to cover up and make up for the frustration, exhaustion or anger you are feeling. It never satisfies your soul to seek recognition, love and approval from others. This is our ego hunting for love in the external world. Yes, an admirable goal, but one that is simply just a shell of what you are truly looking for. It’s not fair to dump the worst of you on the people that deserve the best of you. Time to reframe and find a new way to be in your day: Let’s start with this truth… Your worth is based on WHO you are. Which is a beautiful soul. You are worthy simply for existing. Ok, got that? Good.. you might not believe it yet, but start to tune into this universal truth. You are worthy. Just because. Now, when it comes to going about your day and being your precious human self know this… How you choose to respond, be and behave in the light of happiness or the shadows of struggle is what really matters. It’s not about what is actually happening. The context, ultimately is irrelevant, because some things never change and some things are constantly changing… What do I mean by this? Soleil, for the moment, is always going to be teething, throwing public displays of protest (read: tantrums) and just being her toddler self. So, if that is my reality for now, my focus should be on how I respond, behave, be, act, think within this context as opposed to focusing […] Read more

Find Your Tribe

Find Your Tribe

Posted May 24, 2016

It’s time to find your tribe. Find your collective, your crew. Connection is a deep soul craving that will nourish and cradle you. This is the message my base chakra kept sending me. Granted, my base chakra needed a lot of work after pregnancy and birth and a key element to rebuilding my base chakra was to really zone in on the areas I most felt depleted in. Or where I felt ‘lack’ or weakness. Through meditation and self-reflection married with my understanding of what the base chakra represents I came to truly know what was needed to rebuild this vital, foundational energy centre. Amongst the mess of my finances, career, feeling grounding, home life and structure the stand out was finding and being part of a tribe. They say it takes a village to raise a child and I now know that to be the most on-point statement around motherhood ever. For many of us we don’t have that village vibe. You might not live close to your family. Or perhaps, like me, you do live very close but for various reasons you can’t lean on them as much as you want to. Or perhaps they don’t quite satisfy you on a soul level. Gratefully, as I worked on rebuilding my base chakra through meditation and energy work, my base started working for me. Calling in situations, circumstances, people to guide me home to my tribe. The importance of connection As I’ve shared many times before, the first 3-4 months of Soleil’s life was so challenging it truly catapulted me into a different space, time, dimension. [BTW if you want to hear more about those early months of mama hood for me, head HERE to listen to my podcast interview with Amy Taylor-Kabbaz] It was this cataclysmic, seismic shift that drew me into an isolated bubble. I wasn’t able to make it to Mother’s Group for months. My parents were away overseas for 3 months. My sisters were busy with their children and fighting virus after virus – which meant I couldn’t see them for most of last winter. One day, I had 30 minutes to myself so I headed straight down to the beach for a walk. I spotted a mother’s group and something dragged me over to them. Their babies looked the same age as Soleil. And despite the tears literally welling up in my eyes and jamming my throat I gingerly approached them. Now, if you know me well enough by now you’ll probably balk at the idea that I did anything ‘gingerly’… it’s not my style at all. I’m more the direct/opinionated/confident type (with a decent helping of introvert thrown into the mix). But, as described I was isolated, all out of whack energetically and in a really dark place. So gingerly, nervously, is how I approached these beautiful women. They saw me coming. They smiled over at me. All the while I was thinking ‘Claire, what are you doing?!’… and yet I was propelled forward, my feet moved, my voice opened and I started talking… I mumbled something about never being able to attend Mother’s Group. I quickly shared that Soleil was a very unsettled baby but I’d love to come to the next meet-up. These women looked liked they had their shit together – a big leap from where I was in that moment. And it terrified me – comparisonitis kicked in, but yet still… I kept going. Something greater than me with more knowing powered through me in that moment. They were so warm. So loving. So gracious and patient. Many months later I personally thanked one of those mamas who, particularly, had been so inviting and compassionate to me. She told me that she saw how broken I was but she was impressed that I had reached out to them. That meant a lot to me – to know that she could really ‘see’ me in that moment and chose to respond from her heart. This Mother’s Group became the beginning of a massive realisation. It was my base chakra that dragged me over to them – to give me a taste of what sisterhood felt like. To remind me that sharing experiences and connection was vital to my soul happiness.  I did my best to attend these groups weekly and the women were (are!) all incredible, loving and straight-up good eggs. But there was something missing for me, although I never placed my finger on it. Find Your Tribe It wasn’t until one late winter’s day that I took Soleil out, in the ergo baby, for a walk to a local cafe. Underneath this beautiful little oasis of trees I passed by another mama carrying her hub. We smiled at each other. And just as we were about to pass each other, her beautiful bubba and my little sunbeam reached out to each other. Those little, chubby fingers stretching out wanting to grab hold of each other. They kicked and giggled. We practically did the same. The connection was and still is real. Myself and this other mama stood there chatting in the way that only mamas do. Hurried, excited, jumping from one thing to another in an effort to learn and absorb as much of each other as possible. It’s almost like speed-dating. 3 minutes to decide (before your babies start whinging to move on) if this woman is your type of mama. I knew instantly – she intrigued me. She is so different to me yet so aligned. We exchanged numbers. And from that day on I bumped into her and saw her everywhere. We eventually found a groove and started catching up with mama/baby play dates. Not long after that in late spring down at the beach with countless babies and mamas at the kids pool I found myself talking to one particular mama. I trust my intuition implicitly and on reflection I can see again how I was sub consciously gravitating towards certain energies. This mama is into health, wellness, spirituality. She is so generous – […] Read more

Mini Mindful Moments for your monkey mind

Mini Mindful Moments for your monkey mind

Posted May 07, 2016

Experiment with these Three Mini Mindful Moments Have you noticed how many thoughts you can have at any given time? Sometimes I’m blown away by my minds ability to layer thought, on top of thought. I could be thinking of Soleil, and what to make her for dinner. Simultaneously I’m considering my next client coaching session, whilst reminding myself to book my new biz launch calls into my diary. And truthfully, I’m certain there are many more layers than this. So it’s easy to see why being present and mindful is such a challenge. Our minds are powerhouses of energy, processes, thoughts. Our minds are divine and incomprehensibly talented super computers. It often feels futile to even attempt to out-smart it and find mental stillness and clarity. But we must. We must try to find that soft state of presence. We must, as often as possible – and even if it’s a fleeting millisecond moment – find a moment of peace within the mental chatter. Why? Because those pockets of peace and quiet are a direct line to our inner truth. Our higher voice resides in those gaps between our thoughts. And in there we have access to our highest potential, a well-pool of creativity (hence why, just as your falling asleep you can have some of those sparky, bright ideas!), a pathway to our intuition. Those still points in the spinning whirlpool of our minds tap us into our soul-voice.  ++ Mindfulness is at the core of many spiritually focused practise. The crux of buddhism, and a commonly shared anti-dote to the monkey mind. But how can we bring mindfulness into our everyday? Today I want to share with you 3 MINI MINDFUL MOMENTS within short increments of time where you can invite mindfulness into your life and experiment playfully in that space of stillness. Try these and comment below, letting me your experience with you. Or better still, share some of your own tried and tested ways to practice mindfulness. 5 MINI MINDFUL MOMENTS 1) 5 Minutes: Brush your teeth + wash your face At the end of the day as you stand at your wash basin ready to brush your teeth and wash your face can you make a conscious choice to clear your mind and bring FULL attention to the task at hand. Squeezing the toothpaste onto your toothbrush. Carefully and with focus brush your teeth. Focus on the sensation, the texture, the temperature. Do the same as your rinse your mouth and move onto wash your face. Whatever is part of your ‘regime’ pay as much attention to each tiny element and detail. As your mind wonders bring yourself back to the present and feel into each moment again. 3) 15 MINUTES: Eat a meal When you sit down to eat your meal choose to silence your phone and put away all electronic devises. If you can, choose to eat alone. Here, bring full attention to your meal. Before you take the first mouthful gaze upon your meal. Look at the colours. Note the shapes and textures. What do you smell? How do you feel as you prepare to eat. Then begin to eat. One mouthful at a time, fork and spoon down between each mouthful. Chew slowly. Deliberately. Notice with your FULL body the tastes, textures, aromas. Pay attention to the environment you are in. Notice your posture as you eat and how your body responds. Slow down between each mouthful. PAUSE. Eat as if there was no time. Eat as if this was your last meal. 3) 30 MINUTES: Go for a walk Again, alone if you can. Head out for a walk. No phone, no music. Just you, the fresh air, sunshine. Be in mother nature… head to a park, or to the water’s edge. Wherever you can that connects you to the divine mother. Walk slowly. Carefully. Zone your attention into what you hear first – close by and then further afield Slowly move your attention to your body. Your feet, take one step at a time. The way your arms gently swap. Breathe. Deeply. Where do you feel that breath in your body? How does the air feel as it fills your lungs? How do you feel as you walk, consciously? Notice your surroundings. Are there animals? Birds? Children playing? Try not to follow thought patterns and create stories, but notice something and move on. Note and move on. ++ Mindfulness is a powerful tool that, when practised within your daily life, will invite in a deeper sense of presence, calm and inner stillness. If you don’t always have the time to sit down and do a dedicated, seated meditation learning to invite in moments of mindfulness will transform you from being captive to your mind and inner chatter, to being empowered to choose what you wish to think and when. Your mind doesn’t have to rule you. In fact, your are in charge and can run the show. Here’s to a day ahead of presence and peace. Love + light, Claire x Read more

Living yoga off the mat with Karen Spitz

Living yoga off the mat with Karen Spitz

Posted February 23, 2016

This blog series is a reflection on how incredible yogis are living yoga off the mat – taking the powerful and ancient principles of yoga into their world. ++ Karen is one of those women who literally light YOU up and the room she is in because she shines so bright. One a yoga student of mine, I (truthfully) would look forward to the moment when Karen would walk into class. She is bubbly, effervescent almost. ALIVE. She’s one of those rare souls that just seems to OOZE an understanding that life is joy. Life is love personified. Which is why when you get to know Karen and her story below you’ll appreciate her light even more. I know I did, and still do. The way she lives yoga off the mat, what  she is here to do, and how she is doing is truly an inspiration. Please, stop whatever you are doing and read the below. You’ve got 3 minutes. It’s worth it. love + light, Claire Finish this sentence: Trigger warning: contains themes of sexual abuse. My yoga practice is… ever-changing. I am not static and neither is my practice. Accepting this reality makes it easier to identify what I need in the present moment and take action that is most beneficial. To me, yoga means…. a place of connection. It is no longer the ‘thing that just happens on the mat’, it is how I treat myself and others, how I understand things, and now it is how I make the world a better place. My experience of the mat has… been and still is one of extreme humility. I am in awe of the practice’s ability to challenge me, to show me how strong I am, how much I am capable of, while at the same time giving me unquantifiable comfort. I am deeply grateful that the practice meets me where I am at regardless of what I bring to it or how long it’s been between ‘down dogs’. It is there ready to hold me and it allows me to unfold as I need to. The biggest shift/epiphany/moment of insight I’ve ever had during yoga was….. The greatest gift yoga has given me is one of connection. As a survivor of early childhood abuse I lived for many years almost entirely dissociated from my body. I had a fractured, apathetic relationship with my physical being. This disconnection manifested as very toxic emotions, thoughts, physical symptoms and constant pain. Yoga opened the door to acceptance. Fourteen years on I still have to work at it but yoga gave me that feeling of deep joy in my body, the deliciousness of movement and a comfort in my own skin. Yoga has given me a home. Quick Fire Questions: What are the lessons you carry on a daily basis, off your mat? Connection, presence, authenticity. The practice doesn’t lie – if my brain is agitated, I find balance challenging. If I am exhausted then holding myself up is hard. It’s all there in the practice, particularly the bits I don’t want to see. And the anger that I feel towards my teacher when she makes me “do something”… it has nothing to do with her or that third Utkatasana. I brought that into the room. Being connected to myself, present and bullshit free allows life to flow through me unimpeded and that is the best version of myself. Why are these important to you? Because what is the goddam point if we are super-bendy, hot-looking and zen on the mat but we are an asshole to our mothers, friends and colleagues? The practice in and of itself is not the point, the real stuff happens once we close the door of the studio and are out of the world. That is when the real Yoga starts and what the work on the mat prepares us for. What yogic principle have you translated for yourself – what, how and why? Non-attachment, non-attachment, non-attachment – I say this three times so I remember. I have been working with this for SO long. I really struggled with this concept, resisted and riled against it [loudly]. I am a smart, passionate, engaged woman, how can I be non-attached? I thought this equated with a kind of ‘giving up’ which I refuse to sign up for. Now that I understand this as a surrender to the outcome, while I still do my bit, I feel almost comforted by this notion. Surviving trauma comes with a whole host of shitty aftermath and a lot of ‘why me?’. Non-attachment allows me to be grateful for what the trauma taught me or what I have chosen to do with it without having to be grateful for the trauma. More broadly, I don’t accept a world where we are silent about sexual violence but I understand that we can choose do our bit [or not]. How and when we see the changes we want to see, no one knows. We just have to keep at it. What does ‘Living Your Yoga’ mean to you? Finding my little corner of the world and starting there. Being of service, trying to do so as gracefully as possible even if it doesn’t look as glamourous as I think it should or doesn’t happen on my timeframe. Choosing compassion over anger. Staying open when I want to close. Being real, not the kind of real that makes me look good on social media but the kind that makes me feel like I am plugged into life. ++ Karen’s goal for 2016 is introducing 100 teachers to trauma informed teaching. See her website for workshop details Connect with Karen: Website | Facebook | Instagram Read more

The power of silence

The power of silence

Posted January 19, 2016

The power of silence. Have you heard the phrase “Silence is Golden”? It’s a beautiful idea, isn’t. Peaceful. Serene. Blissful. Embracing the quiet. It really conjures up a stunning image of serenity. Alone, on a beach somewhere, with no sound other than the gently crashing waves and the wind whipping through your hair and the sun setting it breathtaking fashion. But that phrase also has so much more power to it when we place that silence between two people. When we place silence at the core of any interaction or exchange between two people the result is often a profound shift, realization or revelation. Recently I attended the Rise Sister Rise event where my spiritual mentor – Belinda Davidson and her new partner in crime, Rebecca Campbell held the space for group of light-seeking, spiritually minded women (and one awesome man). The day included chanting, prayer, white light healings and some group work – the latter which served as powerful reminder to me that SILENCE can often be the best tool we have for transformation. We were pared up and simply told to ask a series of questions to our partner. Questions that dug deep into fears, soul voice, and desires. We were asked to not say anything, or even respond in any way, other than to hold the space for our new friend and to keep asking the same question over and over until the designated time was up. We were asked to buy into the power of silence. As a coach it is part of my work to ‘hold space’ in this way regularly. But it is definitely something I had to ‘learn’ to do. I’ve always been a great listener, but had to learn the art truly hearing someone, without needing to respond, share, guide, impart wisdom, or (worse) interject with your own anecdotes, stories and woes. At the Rise Sister Rise event I held space for my new friend. It was here that I noticed how often I had to fight the urge to ‘coach’ her. My ego chimed up, internally, more than once, with positive reinforcement, or words of wisdom, or my ‘opinion’. The feeling often burned within me to speak up to support her. But, ever the avid student, I heeded the instructions, shushed that inner desire and simply locked my eyes on hers. My heart connected to hers. My ears tuned into to her voice. And I let her speak. I let my breath be steady, slow, even (just as I do when I’m trying to calm down my bub). A And I cleared my mind of my own agenda and my ‘opinions’. What unfolded was beautiful. My new friend peeled off layer after layer. She came to some mind-blowing truths and did so all on her own. Her soul-voice got louder, bolder, clearer. It was given the centre stage and with that it fervently delivered a few golden realisations into the silence we had created. I try and do this, as often as possible, with my clients but this went a little deeper, and further because someone else had created the parameters. It was four full minutes of staying silent, listening, and hold space so our friend could lean into their soul and reveal their truths. I said nothing. I breathed. I looked into her eyes. I kept my energy clean and light. I said nothing. And … she said everything she needed too. And it was spectacular. The silence was golden. The power of silence revealed. ++ How does this insight into silence apply to you? Well there are two ways. 1) Ask a friend to sit with you in stillness, in contemplation. Explore deep, soul-voice questions together. And hold space for each other. 2)Do the same for yourself in silent meditation. love + light, Claire x Read more

Manifesting in the new year

Manifesting in the new year

Posted January 03, 2016

Manifesting is the buzz word at the moment, isn’t it? It’s the latest craze and personally, I’m all for it. Why the hell not – I mean, the word is empowering, it’s about creation, isn’t it? And why shouldn’t we be creating the life that we want? To me, manifesting is about bringing something (experience, person, attitude, situation) to the forefront – shining a light on your dreams, amplifying your desires and getting shiny-diamond clear. I say ‘forefront’ because what you truly desire, that is for your own growth, already exists… it’s just hanging out in the shadows, waiting to be called forth. It can only be called forth through you – your WILL. Nothing will ever happen without your permission. Manifesting is about realising that within you is the ultimate resource (your own vibrational energy) for attracting what you wan, as soon as you are ready, willing and able. This time of year with intentions and soulful goals flying around, the energy is almost electrified. Most of the yoga classes I am teaching at the moment are packed – a roomful of yogis with hopeful dreams of bendy asana, quiet minds and devoted practice. The point is, this time of year is the right time to really tap into the power of manifestation. It’s not rocket science, but it does take focused awareness and loving attention. In today’s VLOG I guide you through manifestation. A few things I’d like to highlight for you: I share with you what I used to think about manifesting I talk about the energy within us and how this is integral to getting what we want I talk through why (real) manifesting has to be in alignment with your truth, not your surface level desires. I talk about how you already have what you want + how lack perpetuates lack I share a personal example of how I am harnessing the power of manifestation right now I offer up some simple examples of how to manifest When you’ve finished watching the vlog I’d love to hear how YOU manifest or how you are planning on creating + attracting what your soul desires this year?  Share below in the comments! ++ So, you want to manifest a beautiful life? Let me ask you this…do you have your roadmap to happy? How will you navigate towards joy and balance in Mind-Body-Soul? Do you feel equipped to map out your pathway to a year of joy, balance, happiness, success? Do you have the tools you need? Are you ready to take the inspired action to create happiness? This year I am doing something new and oh-so juicy and special. Starting early February, I’ll be holding circle in an intimate group coaching program: Your Roadmap to Happy: 10 Week Online Group Immersion into your Mind-Body-Soul I want to work with YOU, specifically on arming you up with the right tools and knowledge to create your ROADMAP TO HAPPINESS – in Mind, Body and Soul. Manifesting your life of HAPPY begins with immersion – diving in to you, learning the right tools and practices and leaning into the right kind of support. This potent, immersive, empowering group program includes: Click HERE to find out more and join us! p.s places are strictly limited so get in quick! Hope you can join us! Happy Manifesting and happy new year! Claire x Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Read more


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