How to step into your own best life

Life for me has always been about travel. I was lucky enough to spend lots of my childhood moving between the UK, South America and Bangladesh. When my mum died last year I made a promise to do as much travel as possible. Grabbing life with both hands as the grief bought me even closer to the reality that life is short and that procrastinating is a wasted action. The shock of losing her so quickly and so young really hit me hard. It hit us all hard. From that powerful set of emotions though, I had a choice, to let it overtake me or to sit up and pay attention. I chose the latter.

I've been spending a lot of this year getting my sh*t together. I've been doing some very powerful life coaching which has been transformational in how I feel about myself, defining what my dreams and goals are and cleaning up any mess.

I've stopped drinking alcohol on a regular basis. I went to my first drug/drink free festival in June and it was my favourite so far.

I don't want to be evangelical about this but the changes this journey has made in my life are beyond measure. I feel great.

The most important part of this process so far has been self-compassion and care. I've fallen in love with me, not in a selfish way but to really listen to my soul and knowing what I want and then being able to communicate it.

Honouring our promises to ourselves makes us proud, we believe in ourselves and that has a power that shines through.

This isn't a sales pitch but I do want to thank Handel Life coaching, specifically Elena Brower and Danielle Tridenti for guiding me, teaching me and supporting me as I move through this process. I am so happy to be me, my dreams are coming true, I'm healing on so many levels. What a great gift that is in itself.

What changes can you make in your life today, start with a small one, to help you feel proud of yourself?


Yoga, Meet Life Coaching

by Laurie Gerber and Elena Brower

Yoga teaches us to live in the present moment. Yes. Certain schools of yoga posit that the present is the only reality, and all else is illusion. Yet our minds manufacture distracting "illusions" all the time. Our inner voices are constantly re-hashing situations, projecting, speculating, doubting. In yoga practice, we train the mind to soften and get more spacious, via breathing, postures and awareness practices. Alas, we finish class and the talk is back- worse, because now that we've practiced listening to the quiet, the inner dialogue seems more pronounced.

The question: what keeps those voices at bay, for good? How can we truly take the practice into any situation and approach it all with real presence and true grace?

The Handel Method® offers supremely useful tools to practice presence every single day, off or on your mat. The method is like a vigorous flow class: it operates on several levels of our lives simultaneously. At the most basic level, this form of life coaching teaches Personal Integrity® to all aspects of your being: from your heart, you'll dare to devise a dream, with your mind, you'll translate that dream into plans, and with your whole body, you'll execute. Often we're strong in one aspect- great at dreaming, but weak on planning or execution, strong on execution, but weak on dreaming big. At this fundamental level, this is about the alignment of heart, mind and body, via an artful system of promises and consequences, which builds that muscle of Personal Integrity®.

Keeping a promise seems so simple. Except it isn't that easy. If you have a dream, it seems only logical to make a promise to help bring that dream to life, and then fulfill the promise. But we are human, and our doubtful thoughts get in the way. We all know this, and this method gives us the tools to observe and manage those thoughts. The Handel Method® places most of our thoughts into one of two categories, that of the "brat," or that of the "chicken." "I don't wanna" and "no way, I just can't."

There is one other voice that talks to us, the most important one, but it speaks more quietly. That's the voice of our dreams, to which many of us stopped listening long ago- we're afraid of being vulnerable or failing in our lives. Our work is to let our dreams speak more loudly and allow the voices of the chicken and the brat to kindly retreat. Distinguishing the voices in your head and choosing to act in accordance with your ideals, is how you begin becoming present.

Once the those voices are familiar and even funny, we learn to handle the conversations we typically avoid: the ones that involve having to praise, criticize or disappoint others. We train ourselves to be fearlessly graceful in crafting and exciting those conversations, so we can be heard in a new, more potent way and receive others' truths in a way that is safe and nourishing for everyone in our lives. We become magnets for the truth by learning how to elegantly tell it.

Then we address the past. Each of us is haunted by a finite number of circumstances. Everyone has their list of memories that keep us afraid, wronged, right or confused. Some memories are replicas of your parents' memories; some are all your own. Together they tell a story about you that needs unraveling. Partial, misremembered memories have been guiding your behavior and leading you in particular directions that all need to be carefully verified. That verification process involves research, letter writing, interviews, apologies, letters and a variety of other acts of healing. On the other side of that unraveling, your true mission is revealed, and the default mission, in which you've been living, is laid to rest, along with certain aspects of your lineage and your ancestry, that you no longer wish to perpetuate. Relieved of this burden, your mind becomes clear, and can again focus on your most heartfelt dreams.

Yoga, Meet Life Coaching

Our yoga practice gives us feelings of clarity, kindness and awareness, yet we struggle to consistently cultivate those qualities in our daily interactions. Handel Group® Life Coaching sees yoga as an efficient entry point to greater consciousness and consistency. If we truly wish to live our practice, we have to cultivate its values everywhere in our lives, especially in our families and our personal relationships. We are at a critical time in human evolution, a time when we can generate true shifts in consciousness. To that end, there is a growing movement of people who want to exemplify truth, caring and consistency in the world. The values we cultivate in coaching, noted below, resonate from yoga practitioners to teachers of all kinds, and back.

Oneness: A recognition that everything is universally connected, with a deep regard for how you impact yourself and others, using your thoughts, feelings and actions.

Truth: Not only the ability to know, evaluate and say what you really think, but also living your life in alignment with your truest, highest ideals for yourself.

Alignment: The understanding that wherever you're holding yourself back from being honest, you're suffering the results of that misalignment. And when you're truly living your dream, you're aligned, open, capable of fearless communication, and ready for anything.

Love: Truly loving yourself and others means coming from a place of balance, in which you can regard your own truth, and that of another, with equal weight, and respond from your heart in any moment.

This combination of yoga philosophy and coaching work yields a clarity that will help you be remarkable with yourself, with your family, and in all your relationships. Let's get proud of who we are in every part of our lives.


Laurie Gerber and Elena Brower

P.S.- If you are in the London area and want to learn the tools to practice presence on or off the mat, please join Laurie for the Life Coaching Crash Course on April 20-21st. In just one weekend, you will discover what you need to change in your life and design a personal plan for making those changes now. Make sure you mention The Yoga Geek when booking.



Art of Attention

If you haven't heard of Elena Brower yet and love yoga then I recommend you check her out. She has lessons on Yogaglo which you can do from home (along with LOTS of other fantastic teachers) and she has co-created this fantastic book which is a must have for all yoga lovers, especially teachers. So if you're looking for a present for a loved one then this is my suggestion. I was one of the original funders and very proud to be part of such an exciting project. Counting down the days until my copy arrives! Go and buy your copy here


Watch how you treat others

I had a situation over the past 24 hours when someone I don't know decided they were within their rights to be rude and unreasonable towards me. I felt their anger with full force and was quite taken aback how someone could be so full of that emotion and decide its ok to take it out on someone they have never met. Their reaction towards me was unjustified and I'm lucky enough to realise that something else must have been happening in their lives to have treated another person the way they did.

I tried to help them with a situation but nothing was going to make them happy.

The lesson I have learnt is to stand my ground and protect myself when I was suddenly drawn into a situation I didn't want to be in the middle of.

This time of year in the UK is all about Vata in Ayurveda and it does seem to unground people and emotions seem to run high. There was also a full moon on Monday which heightens people's emotions as well. This is not some hippy talk, if the moon is strong enough to affect the tide it stands to reason it'll affect our bodies which are made up of over 60% water.

Make sure if you're feeling emotionally charged, out of sorts, ungrounded, angry, upset or anything that unsettles you to do some sort of nurturing. It can be a bath, early nights, massage, yoga, relaxation, meditation or pranayama. Just make sure you spend some time doing stuff for yourself so you don't end up reacting badly to those around you and affecting them too.

As it happens my poor family has seen me feeling stressed and preoccupied and very impatient today. Needless to say I'm about to right that wrong and not spread the bad energy started by this other person.

Hello hip openers, forward bends, core strengtheners and relaxation. Hello to feeling grounded and being nice to everyone.

Here's a great video I came across from Elena Brower which has helped me turn this situation around in my emotional body too. Thank goodness for the reminder!

Mindful Smack