Check out this episode of Rebel Therapist with Maddi! She answers many questions about Heal Evolve Thrive’s Yoga Teacher Training.
Click the link below to listen <3
Check out this episode of Rebel Therapist with Maddi! She answers many questions about Heal Evolve Thrive’s Yoga Teacher Training.
Click the link below to listen <3
BY TRISH DINGMAN
May we please stop trying to make it better all the time. May we please stop being put together. And having it all figured out. And getting ahead. And being abundant.
May we please stop selling abundance attached to a dollar amount.
May we please stop urging each other to move forward. To let go. To be anywhere but
May we please stop selling the fixes. May we please stop being the fixers. Just for one moment- may we please stop trying to be so fucking strong and
To be weak. To be broken into a million pieces.
And then may we give one another permission to invite in all of those broken bits. To welcome them home. To truly permit each messy part. To accept the pain, the anger, the ugly, the fucked upped, the healthy, the sick, the bliss, the shunned, the shamed, the grief stricken, the joy, the unforgiven, the forgiven, the disgusting, the beautiful, the broke, the poor, the unwilling, the motivated, the lazy.... May we please let all of these parts know they are equally honoured, respected, heard, seen and revered.
May we please stop rushing- To be ok. To be better. To be fixed. To be happy. To be rich. To be abundant- I'm beginning to hate that word-
May we please give ourselves and one another permission on the daily- to be exactly where we are. To feel exactly where we are. To be with- intimately, quietly, loudly, unwillingly, willingly- exactly what we are.
Trying to free ourselves of the past. Or move others along to where we think we should all be. May we please stop saying it's all good- the world is an abundant place- it's so wonderful. Cuz it's not always. May we please give each other permission to feel the suffering... the who's who are suffering, the what's that are suffering... may we please stop pretending that there is no suffering. May we tune in and recognize that there is suffering. May we please stop acting like it doesn't exist because suffering is as real and alive as joy. We know... we already know. So may we please give ourselves permission to honour it. To hold our own suffering and the suffering of the world. We don't need to fix it or change it or make it better right now. But may we please make space to invite it in and hold it so tight.
May we please stop rushing so far ahead into our own abundance, or good fortune or pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, our pay off for hard work- and just hold the hurt that exists. The poverty which is right in front of us, ours or others. Cuz that's the way through. And it's not a quick fix. Maybe it's not even the fix our generation sees. But may we be patient and kind and hold what's here now. And honour it. Because there is too much pain out there- in nature, in people's hearts, in our distant memory, locked in our DNA - to rush forward, without first pausing to sit.
. May we please please please stop trying to show each other the right way- our way- the way that worked for us- or the person that wrote the inspiring book's way - or the guru's way ... and just give permission to not know the way. To struggle, to stumble, to fall, to fly, to break, to come together.... may we please stop leading, stop following and just start permitting... just start accepting... just start remembering.
I am expanding and I am remembering.
All of me is permitted and accepted
and all of YOU is permitted and accepted
and all of US is permitted and accepted.
May we please just start here. 🙏🏻
Thank you thank you thank you.
- it's not the easy way, it's not necessarily the right way... but it's an invitation home. To all of the above. No answers. No fixes. Just space to be held and to hold.
By Maddi Rundle
Do you ever feel lost?
Do you ever question, how you ended up here?
Do you look in the mirror and wonder who it is that’s looking back?
These questions come up as a part of the human experience. If you’re one who has endless questions and a yearning to know more, to be more, to see more… I offer the invitation to sit with us.
There have been countless moments in my life when I’ve felt lost and noticed the questions start to bubble up. I noticed more and more that my default was to look outside myself, to compare, to take a consensus amongst my nearest and dearest, to read more, to find gurus and experts and psychics, who I believed held my answers.
Finally, I looked inward and started believing in myself. Quite quickly thereafter, I noticed that the women who began showing up in my life no longer rehashed things with me or tried fixing me, or judged me, or became blue in the face with advice for me… I learned what it’s like to have others hold space for me and be with me and support me and not even have to know what it was that’s plaguing me or hurting me or challenging me… and this set me free.
I no longer saw myself below or above, but instead began fostering equanimity amongst these powerhouses and what I learned was that it is in collaboration that the nature of magic is revealed.
I now have firsthand experience in the power of the feminine and what’s possible when we gather… I feel this power is on the rise and it is what the earth so desperately needs in this very moment.
There is a quiet, invisible force that is all around you supporting you, loving you, and holding you. What’s most powerful about this force? That it’s invisible. That it’s mystical. That it’s magical. That it’s constant. That it’s unwavering. That it is an endless well of energy.
CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE MAGIC.
By Maddi Rundle
There’s something sacred about silence. There’s something even more magical about keeping things to your Self.
Has this ever happened to you?
You experienced something beyond your wildest expectations, maybe even beyond your wildest dreams… or better yet, you had an idea… a crazy, wild idea that hit you like a ton of bricks and between your two ears, up in that brain space of yours, it’s FABULOUS!
Then… you share.
Or, “That won’t work.”
Or, “I don’t get it.”
You shrink. You swallow. You shrivel up.
It’s gone. The magic is gone. What was sacred within – now lost.
That sacredness is within us all. Most of us are simply too busy to get still enough to hear the whispers, to experience the love, and to savour that silence. Most of us are too scared to get quiet, to slow down, and to truly be with ourselves.
Most of us share our ideas, our experiences, and our stories before we’ve actually even sat with it ourselves, and the words, and the response, and the opinions, and the judgments of others shape that story, that experience, that idea, even our own feelings.
Perhaps the magic is letting something exist without having to explain, or justify, or analyze, or even understand, but instead, to simply let it linger – let it exist, let it be. This challenges all our being. This challenges all our faculties. This challenges our wise mind that works tirelessly for us.
In the past, one of the highest compliments paid to women was, “she’s so selfless!”
This is changing. There is a shift at play and, I’m sure if you’re reading this, you’ve felt it. You realize you have a Self. You realize you’re important. You realize you need to fill up. You realize change needs to be made.
This is step one.
Get quiet. Get still. Get honest… and even before you go analyzing and thinking it over and questioning it and discussing it with your friends… just do it. And what’s more? When you’ve sat with yourself and felt the stillness that resides within your body and the wisdom that’s been aching to be released… You’re going to continue to quietly sit with whatever wisdom arose and simply let it percolate.
What happens in the silence?
Don’t get me wrong… we’re not all taking a vow of silence or silencing yourself the way I know you have for the last few decades of your life. Let’s be clear – you are getting quiet so that you can finally hear yourself, see yourself and know yourself!
Let that knowledge, that strength and that wisdom fuel you. Let it fill you up and bubble over in the way that you move in the world.
The most powerful part?
We are crying out to be heard, but do you even listen to your Self?
Start there, my loves. Start there.
So, as people continue to ask what HEAL EVOLVE THRIVE is, I continue to smile and be filled with wonder even thinking about what happens to these women internally. But the what and the how don’t matter. Leaving the what and the how out of this, fosters the MAGIC.
The biggest honour I’ve been gifted thus far is learning how to hold space for others to heal, to evolve, and to thrive. HEAL EVOLVE THRIVE is simply the next gift I’ve been graced with to offer women who are searching and ready to answer the call.
We (well, \ I for sure) throw around these terms, that we (again I) expect others to know how to use... but just to get clear- so that we can Heal Evolve Thrive together. Here's some of the biggies that have helped me create a tool box of Self Inquiry and healing.
A container to hold the instruments that help you build and create... not just for construction workers and not just a physical container. Can be a metaphysical space in your mind/spirit to hold all of the lessons and practices you learn to move through your life more effectively. I like to imagine that this Tool Box, is like Hermione Granger's bottomless bag- so that I can collect infinite amounts of tools, for this human journey.
Getting curious about who/why we are. Asking ourselves a million questions to learn more. Turning every thought, action, situation into an activity which excavates deeper parts of ourselves. I'll turn this one over to one of my favourite teacher's- Adyashanti, who says,
"What is inquiry, really? This is a good question. And like most really good questions, it is very basic. Authentic inquiry is allowing yourself to care, to take on the weightless burden of caring. Everyone knows what it’s like to inquire out of intellectual interest—asking for the sake of asking or because you think you should. This is not caring. When you care about something, it gets inside of you. It gets inside the shell that keeps you from being affected or bothered, the shell that keeps anything really new from happening."
So the Merriam-Webster dictionary says, "a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end." I'll agree but strike the word "end", as the spiritual process can go on forever! It's a journey into infinity!
How we communicate with God/Divine/Universe/Spirit
This is one of our favourite words. In movement and speech it is elegance and refinement. In prayer it is surrender. From God it is blessing. My very favourite teacher, Caroline Myss, says that there are 7 Graces: Wisdom, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, understanding, piety and reverence.
This name... this name comes in many forms... for me this name means ONE. The place before we separated. The place we will return after we journey in human form/ separate form. Divine, Higher Self, Spirit, Mother, Gaia are all appropriate names.
Thank you thank you thank you. Thank you for the lessons- the easy, the challenging, the bliss filled, the terror filled, the sorrow filled... thank you thank you thank you. Namaste. Amen. Aho. Thank you. The most powerful prayer we have.
This is how we listen. This is how we receive divine guidance. This is how we hold what is sacred. We get quiet. We get still and we observe. We do not need to tell. We do not need to share. We get still and we listen and then we get still again and listen harder. We could get silent forever and still have more to hear, in the quiet.
Guidance is always finding you. Awake, asleep, when you are listening and when you are ignoring. Guidance is always flowing in. It is your intuition. It is your inner knowing. It is the sudden thought of "I should do this". "I shouldn't do this." Ignore it or not... guidance never stops flowing.
Let's read what Caroline Myss has to say,
"Your current spiritual practice might occur within the framework of an organized religion, or as private individual meditation. Whatever the structure, taking charge can enhance that practice.
One way you invoke a spiritual presence into your life is by asking yourself: “Why am I here?” Another is to ask the Divine for a new car. No level of prayer is right or wrong, but examining the quality of your prayer life can bring you to look beyond your own own personal self–toward something more intelligent and powerful. Whether you refer to the Divine as God, Great Spirit, Allah or Christ, seeking divine guidance means to stop asking for “things” and start asking for what really matters: trust, patience, faith, endurance, gratitude, acceptance and love.
When you step up the the plate with the Divine, be prepared to have your life reordered and false voices taken away. Distractions can be eliminated and you might be left only with the clear voice of divinity. More realistically, when this voice speaks–often in unexpected ways–it can leave you confused and unsure of what you really want. Additionally, it might be months, even years, before you’re aware that the Divine has spoken to you.
There are four stages you’ll move through as you bring a spiritual presence into your life:
While the stages often occur sequentially, they don’t necessarily have to, in fact you might not even recognize them until all is said and done. It happens with the big things in life, and with the seemingly insignificant."
A seeker of God/Divine/Oneness.
Ceremony or actions created for celebration, rite of passage, seasonal/celestial occurrences and changes.
A Woman honoured and adorned. Female power, intelligence, grace, mystic. Sweet sister and teacher Sianna Sherman says,
"As you begin to do this work, the Goddess energy can make a dramatic entry into your life that demands your full attention. She may rush forth into your field of consciousness. Or she may rise within you like a peaceful sunrise that opens you to a new way of embracing life. Regardless, as you begin to reassemble yourself through her stories, images, songs, rituals, and mantras, the wounded places in your own psyche begin to heal and you realize that indeed you are a sacred form of the Goddess. Her powers are endless and her forms infinite. She wields every weapon necessary to defeat the demons of shame, guilt, betrayal, unworthiness, blame, victimhood, greed, arrogance, anger, separation—anything which limits your from being the full expression of your own juicy, creative nature."
To move towards wholeness.
To transform. To move through. To make space. To get curious. To explore. To adventure.
To celebrate wholeness, fullness, spaciousness and vibrancy. To overflow.
I have noticed, this year, this week especially, social media posts and personal stories of people standing up for themselves and others- which is AWESOME! However, I have also noticed people activating from a place of defence and fear- fists up, ears covered, mouth wide open- screaming insults to those they disagree with or feel oppressed by. Hate begets hate. We already know this. We've all quoted the great Martin Luther King Jr. But perhaps we've forgotten the rest of what he said,
Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love.
May we activate from a wide open heart. May we educate instead of fighting back. May we put down our boxing gloves and step into debate.
Attacking the attackers doesn't change a thing; Does it?
For me FIGHTING for what I believed in, in the past, has always felt exhausting. At moments when I "stood up to an aggressor" my ego would feel fuelled up, proud, like a winner- but my spirit would feel depleted.
I believe the Power of the Feminine IS the healing energy the earth needs right now. The teacher. The leader. The warrior of light. The one who is willing to stare into the dark and not look away.
The Goddess listens. Tries to understand each side. Can see herself (or himself, or their self) in the aggressor, the problem, the victim, the debate and the solution.
She (let's just let her be she for now... But know that she is also he and also them) is curious enough to learn the whole story. And empathetic enough to care, even when she doesn't agree. She meets hate with wisdom, experience, education and love.
She can stand up for someone who seems smaller, attacked or victimized; but she stands tall, soft and clear- no hate in her words- only a caring need to start a discussion, to sit in unknowing for awhile and maybe just maybe to come up with a new way of doing things... To spread love.
And she can only do this once she knows herself. Truly knows herself. Knows her dark and knows her light. And loves her dark and loves her light. She knows that she is imperfect and she is ok with sitting in imperfection. She sees the parts of herself which are broken and doesn't rush to fix them.... Because she remembers they make her more human; more empathetic, more willing to listen to what and who scares her, or triggers her or angers her.
She has taken the time to know herself. She has taken the time to take care of herself. She has done the work. She has the tools to sit with and express anger non violently... She knows to enter a heated moment without wearing her opinions and familiar past experiences, like heavy armour. She enters into debate with an open heart- because she knows her own... And to know her own and love it, is to activate from an open heart.
The communal heart. The heart which connects us all, human, plant, animal, creature, organism, bacteria... ALL OF US. The heart of Gaia herself. Where all of nature's beings are equal. Where all of nature's beings (no matter how wrong or cruel one may appear, because appearances are deceiving before they are unravelled) deserve to be seen, heard, loved and helped. FOR REAL. No being deserves to be met with hate- NOONE.
In the moments we get strung out on power, on passion, on the burning desire to make a change, to do what we think (what ego thinks) is right- may we step back and activate from love.
May we slow down. May we breathe deeply. May we listen before we react. May we ask questions before we defend. May we only stand up with wide open heart. From ONE HEART. From this shared heart.
Really we are. When we begin to activate from love. Even if we think no one else is doing it... Even when the overwhelming urge is to fight back... To do what we think is right.... To win. (and no one ever wins... Everyone just keeps hurting)
May we step back and then step up and activate from love.
Some times life gets so big. It becomes so many things all at once; that it's hard to remember to take a deep breath. I find on any given day my life can be beautiful and complete chaos; fulfilling and totally overwhelming; mindful and "I don't know where I left my keys or how I'm going to find time to feed myself- let alone the rest of the family".
This is compassion fatigue. Compassion Fatigue effects 85% of caregivers. (wikipedia) Compassion Fatigue can creep up on the most spiritual, well adjusted, intelligent individuals. Compassion Fatigue can take hold, even in the midst of living a life you adore! Most of the articles and studies I have read about Compassion Fatigue go something like this:
...found in nurses, doctors, mothers, teachers, healers.... Some physical signs and symptoms are exhaustion, insomnia, headaches, tendencies to get sick, somatization and hypochondria, weight gain, weight loss, gastro intestinal issues. ...Common emotional and psychological signs and symptoms are: emotional exhaustion, distancing, negative self image, depression, cynicism, dread of working with certain clients, resentment, feelings of professional helplessness, heightened anxiety/fear/worry, intensity to emotional material, hypersensitivity to emotional charged stimuli, loss of hope, failure to develop non work related aspects of self or life. ... Some behavioural signs and symptoms: increased use of alcohol or drugs, missing work, anger, irritability, avoidance of clients/ friends/ family/ situations, inability to make decisions, problems in personal relationships, compromised care for clients/ patients, family.(1) "...there are no known clinical treatment options for compassion trauma, but there are a number of recommended preventative measures..." (2)
Borrowing from a great paper, by Françoise Mathieu, "Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma", here is a breakdown of some of the Compassion Fatigue Symptoms that can start to wreak havoc on our lives- when we don't take time to personally refuel, nurture ourselves, seek out professional help- like therapy, breath work, yoga and other forms of inquiry for healing.
Avoidance of clients: Examples of this can be: not returning a client’s phone call in a timely fashion, hiding in a broom closet when you see a challenging family walking down the hall, delaying booking a client who is in crisis even though you should see them right away. Again, these are not behaviours that most of us feel proud of, or that we are comfortable sharing with our colleagues and supervisors, but they do sometimes occur and then we feel guilty or ashamed which feeds into the cycle of compassion fatigue.
Anger and Irritability: Along with cynicism, anger and irritability are considered two of the key symptoms of compassion fatigue. This can come out as expressed or felt anger towards colleagues, family members, clients, chronic crisis clients. You may find yourself irritated with minor events at work: hearing laughter in the lunch room, announcements at staff meetings, the phone ringing. You may feel annoyed and even angry when hearing a client talk about how they did not complete the homework you had assigned to them. You may yell at your own children for not taking out the garbage. The list goes on and on and it does not add up to a series of behaviours that make you feel good about yourself as a helper, as a parent or as a spouse. Try this: spend a full day tracking your anger and irritability. What do you observe? Any themes, recurrences? Any situations you regret in hindsight or where your irritability was perhaps out of proportion?
Impaired ability to make decisions: This is another symptom that can make a helper go underground. Helpers can start feeling professionally incompetent and start doubting their clinical skills and ability to help others. A more severe form of this can be finding yourself in the middle of an intervention of some kind, and feeling totally lost, unable to decide what should happen next.
Distancing: You find yourself avoiding friends and family, not spending time with colleagues at lunch or during breaks, becoming increasingly isolated. You find that you don’t have the patience or the energy/interest to spend time with others.
Reduced ability to feel sympathy and empathy: This is a very common symptom among experienced helpers. Some describe feeling numb or highly desensitised to what they perceive to be minor issues in their clients or their loved ones’ lives.
Resentment: Resenting demands that are being put on you by everyone. Resenting fun events that are being organised in your personal life. Resenting your best friend calling you on your birthday. Resenting taking an extra shift because your colleague is away on stress leave.
I most definitely have suffered on and off from compassion fatigue. (and until January, not even knowing that Compassion Fatigue was "a thing") I am a helper. I am a healer. I am a perfectionist. And now I'll get really personal and share something which is VERY hard for me to admit:
A lot of my self worth comes from helping others and watching them succeed and heal because of my help. A lot of my self worth comes from the recognition of being a great teacher, a patient healer and putting others before myself... I get my love hit, by helping someone else and hoping for love in return. (this by the way is exhausting and usually unfulfilling) Sometimes- especially when I am deep in overwhelm and exhaustion I refuel on other people's "Thank You"'s and praise.
AND I KNOW THIS IS NOT A LIFE AFFIRMING WAY TO REFUEL.
Truth is I KNOW BETTER and I have the tools and self knowledge to DO ME BETTER than these old patterns. But the other truth is when I am in active compassion fatigue and overwhelm- IT IS OFTEN JUST PLAIN EASIER TO REVERT BACK TO MY OLD PATTERNS- which in turn drives me further into exhaustion, people pleasing and over extending.
Early this winter, I was feeling particularly exhausted. I considered subbing my classes, to stay home and sleep and worry, daily. I numbed out on Netflix when I had a few minutes to myself. Put my partner, my students (and even the dog) before myself to the point of beginning to resent the time I was spending with (on) them. So I went searching for a retreat or course for these feelings I was having and I came across the term COMPASSION FATIGUE. This was it! A name for the thing I suffered from!!! And other people suffered from it to?
I read a lot about it... but couldn't find a place to recover. A retreat? A rehab centre? So.... I contacted my favourite psychotherapist and friend- Maddi Rundle and said-
We need to create tools for women to deal with compassion fatigue. And not just to deal- but to evolve, inquire, heal and thrive. And we need to do it in nature. And we need to bring ritual back into women's lives. And we need to laugh!!! And we need to understand we are NOT alone. And we need to create it NOW! Because I need to start using these tools... because I NEED TO THRIVE !
And I believe Maddi just said- YES! Let's do it.
And so... here we go....
As we create. I begin to practice these tools we are unravelling and working into programming format for the retreat. I look big into my life. I question my focuses and how they are serving me. I question why and how and whom I am serving. I check in with my resentment and anger. I sit with it. I run with it. I do yoga with ALL OF MY FEELINGS. I spend time with other women now... talking... sharing... laughing. I say NO! - when I don't have time or energy- no excuses- just a NO! I make lists. I prioritize my lists. I make time to practice yoga. To meditate. To write. I eat what nourishes me. I exercise. I sing. I hike in nature. I sing in nature. I make time to treat myself to studying with the teachers who nourish, inspire and refuel me. I unplug from social media, when I need to. I cuddle the dog. I laugh really hard. I play in the forest. I spend a day in silence when I can. I consciously move towards REALLY taking care of myself. I invite myself back in to myself. Home. I invite myself home. I practice really filling myself up. And then being able to serve from a place which is not just full, but overflowing.
Heal. Evolve. Thrive. is the beginning of my recovery from over extending, from giving to others first and me second. It is the beginning of my recognition that the more I understand myself, the more I know who I am... the more deeply I fall in love with myself- and that is how I BECOME MY OWN FIRST PRIORITY. and knowing that this is not a selfish action BUT A NECESSARY ONE.
1 and 3- Signs and Symptoms of Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma, Françoise Mathieu 2009
2- Huggard, P. (2003). Secondary Traumatic Stress: Doctors at risk. New Ethicals Journal