I am going to talk about something that has long been considered taboo in the world of self-help, self-care and mindfulness...money. For a long time there has been a quiet shame around asking for compensation for services in the world of yoga, meditation and self-care. I know that I am not alone in this because I have spoken to several of my friends and fellow colleagues about this topic and it seems to be ever present. I also know that this is true because I myself have fallen into the trap of feeling as though I need to offer my services for free in order to "gain exposure" or "get my name and my brand out there". Ironically, the post below this one is about the free oils class that I am hosting this weekend, which happens to be sold out. Please don't get me wrong, it is my JOY to be able to do this. And I have made a comittment to my doTERRA team to offer education and support in knowing how to use essential oils, because I believe one of the greatest gifts of going through a wellness advocate is that you also, get them and their knowledge. They are also all willing to invest in helping themselves, their families and the planet. That being said, what I do know is that the balance of these free offerings and undercompensation tends to be way off compared to the value that we place on ourselves and our work. This needs to change.
As teachers and practitioners, we have to value our time and our efforts more...
I have been a Yoga Teacher for over a decade now. Not only did I initially invest in my teacher training, but I have taken countless classes, workshops, seminars and programs since that time. I have read and studied and followed this area of interest over the course of the past decade to a degree that I could actually HAVE a degree in it. I do not, nor do I think that matters. But that is part of a problem, as we live in a society, especially in wellness, that so values the ability to PROVE our worth rather than to simply KNOW our worth.
Teaching yoga is a skill. There are so many skill based professions out there that don't require a 4 year degree. For example, when I go to get my car fixed, I don't ask the mechanic where he or she studied. I don't look on the wall to see what degrees are hanging. And while yes, we often go off of word of mouth recommendation, we do most often trust that because they have a garage and are offering their services, they have some kind of skill in fixing cars. It may have taken them years to acquire those skills, or perhaps they were passed down generationally, or perhaps there was a natural talent and interest that led them to the belief that they could actually fix cars and charge people money. But at the end of the day, they believed enough in their own skills to rent a space, buy a sign and charge a fee for their service.
As mindfulness practitioners, we need to be more like the mechanic. We need to trust in our own study, our own knowledge and our own talent. We also must start placing more value on our own effort and the TIME it spent honing our skills. Even more than money, time is our most valued resource. We have a finite amount of it on this earth and in this life. There is no reason we should not be compensated for it, when putting our energy into being of service of others. Service does not have to equal struggle and this is an antiquated mindset that must change. On the other side of things...
...We have to deem ourselves worthy of spending money on our SELF.
I do believe that if we can shift our mindset as teachers as mentioned above, this will also begin to shift. It is another form of teaching really. But yes, we must erase the stigma that it's not ok to spend money on resources that help put us in better connection with our self. Whether we are talking about therapy, yoga, a gym membership, a massage, coaching, essential oils, a retreat or an online course, at some point it has to become ok to help ourselves BE ok. I do not believe it has to cost a ton of money, or that we need to go into debt doing it. And believe me, as a yoga teacher who is married to an actor, I understand all to well the reality of a budgeted household. We are both working every single day to produce financial freedom, while also pursuing what we love, and that doesn't mean that there isn't struggle and sacrifice. But there are still times when we know that our own health and wellbeing is not the thing to be compromised. Instead, we most often choose to forgo the stuff, because for us, it doesn't matter as much as keeping ourselves healthy and our growth as human beings continual. We must also remember that...
...Money is an Energetic Exchange.
At the end of the day money is simply an energetic statement that says "This is where I place my value", both in how we charge people and how we spend on ourselves. We become more abundant in the areas where we choose to focus that energy. Either we ask for what we are worth and trust that those who feel and see that will continue to show up, or we say "I am worthy of spending this money and time on myself in order to feel and be my best self, because that matters to me". Both are in the name of abundance and both come from the choice of where we place value through finanical exhange. But we cannot have it the other way. We cannot put out free energy and expect that one day, someone will finally recognize our worth and pay up. And we cannot only seek out what is free and expect that we will all of a sudden we will feel like a million dollars and that's that. We both get what we ask for AND what we pay for.
Last year, I started a new business. I asked people to trust me enough to pay me and in exchange I would coach them using my years of experience as a student of yogic philosphy and mindset training and practice. Like the mechanic who decided they were worthy of opening up their own shop and asking people to pay them, I put value in my knowledge and asked the very same thing. In 9 months, that business has doubled. I am still not where I want to be, but I know that I can continue to grow and continue to ask for what I am worth, because energetically I know my own value. And I know the value of doing this kind of work and saying yes to spending your time, effort and money on it.
I will admit that last year, I gave away a lot of my time and services in the name of that old mindset of thinking that's how to gain exposure and get my name out there. And there will still be times when that is appropriate, becuase truly, I find great joy in being of service and making myself available and accessible. But I am also in a new mindset that knows I have a greater responsibilty if I really want to shift the landscape of how we view self-care and wellness. I ask people to put themselves first for a little bit of time each day and that MUST, at some point include energetic investment, including money.
My dream is to be financially abudant enough to have the freedom of time with my family AND to work and live with the utmost of generosity, in service of others. In order to make that happen however, I must first value and be willing to fill my own cup. Speaking of that...
I have two workshops coming up in February and March. Both of them are online and both of them cost $30. They will each consist of an hour long masterclass and then continue on throughout the month with support from me and a like minded community. February's workshop falls in line with this topic very much as it is called "Fill Your Own Cup" and is all about how to place yourself at the forefront of your own attention and care, for a little bit of time each day. March is a Meditation workshop and challenge to help get you started and strong in a daily meditation practice. In the $30 cost, I am essentially asking you to value your own time and attention at around $1 a day (a little more in February and a bit less in March). I am also asking you to value the time and effort and thought that I am putting into these two programs, which spans over a decade of time and study. Let's shift the narrative around this topic of self-care, self-worth and the value of taking time to care for ourselves, both as the teacher and the student. Let's value our own energy so that there is no confusion, or shame in knowing our own worth. I am worth it and so are you.
To Sign up for One or Both workshops (and get a small discount for doing so) click HERE.
On January 19th at 8pm EST I will be hosting a Free Online Essential Oils Class for Stress and Anxious Feelings. There are a couple of things that will make this online class totally unique and unlike anything I have ever done before:
1. For those who sign up to participate, I will be sending you the samples of the oils we will be using ahead of time through the mail. This class will be an interactive experience where we will put the oils into direct practice that night and experience what they can do first hand. And the best part is, you can do it from the comfort of your own home.
2. The space will be limited, so any questions that come up will be able to be answered and everyone will recieve more personal attention. Spots are already filling up, so it won't be long before it is sold out!
3. I will speak to some of the science behind each oil and how it works in our bodies and brains. This will allow us to have some insight as to why they work and how to intelligently use them.
4. There will be a raffle for everyone who attends and a giveaway of doTERRA's latest blend that includes the most studied essential oils to help with stress and anxious feelings.
5. A personalized kit will be made available that night to all those who attend.
I would love for you to join me for this exciting new way to offer and teach the education behind essential oils and how to use them effectively!
Sign up HERE and feel free to share with any friends and family members who you think would enjoy it. Space is limited and half the spots are already taken, so make sure to do so ASAP!
My 2020 Goals are: To do everything I was doing in 2019, simply with more presence and consistency. I am going to trust the unfolding and process of my life by not needing to be a new version of myself. I am going to honor this last decade, with love and admiration for what it brought me and open my arms to all that is yet to come in this new one. I am not going to promise to do more. In fact, I am looking for ways to do less so that I can BE more. And this entire life I have been living has been leading right to this moment. And this moment is leading right to where I am headed next and it is all one big, beautiful, imperfect adventure of moments and pieces of time strung together to create this one precious life. I am grateful for it all, the past, the present and the future. Presence and Consistency. And Trust. Here's to 2020.
Honesty: I was super hesitant to send Audrey to more "traditional" school. For a long time after she was born, I researched and looked up all different kinds of alternative schooling. Homeschooling, unschooling, Montessori, Waldorf, Forest. You name it, I have probably seen it and read about it. I am a huge fan of Sir Ken Robinson and a lot of his work. And believe me, I still see and recognize all of the merits of each of the options listed above. Truly. And there may come a day when we decide still to take that route. I do not love the ideas of standardization, nor do I love the Common Core.
That being said, we decided to go ahead this year and take the option of New York City’s UPK program. In NYC you have to list the school’s you prefer in order of preference because there are so many options. This is both awesome and overwhelming. I naturally went on a hunt for the most progressive programs and put them at the top of my list. However we also listed a couple of schools close by, because we do have some great options, though they are deemed as “more traditional”. One of them being right across the street from us. Wouldn’t you know, that’s where she got in. I was admittedly hesitant, however I was excited for the very brief commute and the time it would save us each day. Because the reality is, every morning her school begins at 8:15 and we leave at 8:10. And every day we waste no time getting back home so we can head right to the park on nice days, or have play dates immediately afterwards.
Looking back now in these past 4 months here are some major realizations I have had:
This post simply started as a fond reflection of how much I have loved this first half of Audrey’s “traditional” Pre-K experience. Her teachers are incredible, her friends and their parents...we are lucky and oh so grateful. But also the education and wisdom it has offered me as her mom and a citizen of this world, has been so strong. And this is simply, my personal experience. I know many others have very different thoughts, opinions and experiences. Please know, I am in no way shaming or condemning the other options. I mean it when I say, there may come a time they are more right for us as well and I truly see and understand the merits. I remain open. But as of late I feel immensely grounded in the understanding that life doesn’t have to be an OR, it can be an AND. AND our experience of doing the exact opposite of what I ever thought we would do, has given me so much. So I thought I would share.
Today I stood in my favorite spot, in my favorite park and cried. They weren't tears of sadness or anger or hurt. In fact, the circumstances around which they flowed are quite wonderful really. But they were tears of overwhelm and emotional tension that definitely needed to be released.
The truth is, this past week our family has been going at full speed with a lot of things juggling in the air. All of it wonderful and in the name of abundance, truly, I am grateful. But the reality is that even when things that we are happy about happen, overwhelm can still exist. This is not meant to sound like a loss of perspective, but simply an honest and open share that life sometimes, even when full and exciting, can feel big and heavy.
For the past 26 days I have been sharing a personal challenge of mine with 32 other people. We have committed to moving our bodies in some way for 30 minutes, for 30 days. Many of you are on this email list. My moment of release came after a brisk walk through the park while listening to one of my favorite meditations. I realized on the walk home that those two tools: that of movement and meditation are what allowed me to find the ability to release my overwhelm through wonderful, beautiful, salty tears. Cultivating such tools has been instrumental for me these last few years. Many days I repeat the same ones: Oils, Meditation, Journaling, Breathing, Movement. Some days it's one that takes the lead, some days it is many of them multiple times throughout the day. Each one in their own way helps me to navigate my own emotional waters with intelligence and a kind of care that helps me move through whatever the experience is rather than feel the need to numb or avoid.
It really does seem simple enough, even as I type this. But the reality is that learning to turn to these tools has been some of the hardest work I have ever done. And I don't think I am alone in this. Having made the decision to take this very personal work and now create a career around it, I now see every day, how incredibly challenging it is for all of us to choose ourselves in this way. Or how it can be easy one time and maybe a second time, but to consistently choose this work over and over again is indeed hard. And that's ok. And also, it doesn't mean we don't keep trying.
I speak a lot about forgiveness with my clients. How it is utterly important to consistently forgive yourself for not choosing yourself in a moment or when we "fall off the wagon" so to speak. Because it's through the act of forgiveness that we teach ourselves that being an imperfect human being is ok. That it is ok to feel overwhelmed and in need of a release or a break, when things feel great and when they don't. And then after we forgive, we once again pick up our tools to help move us along.
I am writing all of this to you because I believe so passionately in how the discovery and consistency of my own tools has changed my life. There was once a time when I would have turned to the numbing and avoiding and the overwhelm would compound and my happiness and love for life would have suffered. No longer. And I am incredibly passionate about guiding others through their own work of this discovery. This is what Let's GLOW 2020 will mostly focus on. The consistent implementation and discovery of our tools for not only self-care, but for loving yourself back into your life, after all kinds of circumstances arise. We will use oils, movement, meditation, journaling and support our bodies with incredible supplements.
I want you to join me. I genuinely want your next year to be filled to the brim with the deepest, strongest most potent love this life has to offer. That of yourself and your willingness to care for yourself consistently.
A tall, perennial plant, Lemongrass has a subtle citrus flavor and is used in Asian cuisine in soups, teas, and curries as well as with fish, poultry, beef, and seafood. In addition to its unique flavor, Lemongrass essential oil promotes healthy digestion and acts as an overall tonic to the body’s systems when ingested.* It’s also purifying and toning to the skin, and is frequently used in skin care products for these benefits. Lemongrass is an ideal oil to use in massage therapy. Lemongrass has a pungent, herbaceous aroma that can heighten awareness and promote a positive outlook.
Directions for Use:
Diffusion: Use three to four drops in the diffuser of your choice.
Internal use: Dilute one drop in 4 fl. oz. of liquid.
Topical use: Apply one to two drops to desired area. Dilute with doTERRA Fractionated Coconut Oil to minimize any skin sensitivity.
Click HERE to watch a video on how Lemongrass is sourced. Click HERE for more science of Lemongrass Oil.
Coconut Lemongrass Red Lentil Soup
Warm and satisfying, this soup is great for any occasion.
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 large onions, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic finely chopped or pressed
1 tablespoons fresh ginger root, minced
1–2 drops Lemongrass oil
4 tablespoons tomato paste
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
8 cups vegetable broth
2 cans coconut milk
4 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
3 cups dried red lentils
4–6 handfuls baby spinach
Salt and pepper to taste
On rainy days, I try to find fun and creative activities for our family to do! Today we decided to try making our own playdough! It was incredibly easy...I'm talking 10 minutes or less and the end result is pretty awesome!
And as an added BONUS, we decided to add in the scent of our favorite essential oils corresponding to color! So now Audrey has completely safe, non-toxic and aromatherapeutic playdough and I am happy because I know every single ingredient in it!
Here is the Recipe:
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
1 tablespoon Coconut Oil
1/3 cup of Salt
1 cup of water
Food Coloring (all natural, plant based if you can find it)
Add all of the ingredients to a medium size saucepan and turn the heat on medium/low. Stir together to mix and add in the color while still liquid as this is the easiest way to distribute. It will come together rather quickly so have the food coloring ready to go. Continue to stir as lumps form, which is totally ok, and eventually the dough will pull together and away from the pan. Lay the dough ball on wax paper and let cool. If adding essential oils, knead in your favorite scents once cool enough.
Things to keep in mind, use only the highest quality oils, we only use doTERRA in our home which you can find HERE and keep the oils kid friendly and mild! Our favorites are Lavender, Geranium, Spearmint, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime and any of the emotional aromatherapy blends!
People often ask, “What are the benefits of Eucalyptus oil?” If you haven’t experienced the tranquil yet refreshing aroma of Eucalyptus, you’ll love what this cleansing, relaxing, and soothing essential oil can do for you.
Need more reasons to use Eucalyptus oil? Keep reading to learn more about this unique oil and why you definitely want to add it to your collection.
Reason 1: Eucalyptus oil promotes relaxation
If you’ve had a long day, full of worry and stressful feelings, Eucalyptus oil is the perfect oil for you. Diffusing Eucalyptus oil can help create a tranquil atmosphere in your home, while also decreasing feelings of tension and promoting relaxation. Eucalyptus oil is frequently used at spas due to its relaxing aroma and properties. No matter what the day throws at you, Eucalyptus oil helps transport you to a calmer, more relaxed state of being.
Reason 2: Eucalyptus oil promotes feelings of clear breathing
Because it contains the chemical component eucalyptol, Eucalyptus oil is useful for creating a cooling vapor when applied to the skin or inhaled. When the seasons change, you can rub a few drops of Eucalyptus on your chest to promote feelings of open airways. You can also diffuse Eucalyptus oil when you want to promote feelings of clear breathing.
Reason 3: Eucalyptus oil can be used as a cleansing agent
When you’re looking for a quick yet powerful way to clean up around the house, Eucalyptus oil is optimal for cleansing surfaces. Combine Eucalyptus with Lemon and Peppermint oil in a spray bottle, and then use the mixture to wipe down surfaces in your kitchen, bathroom, or other common areas of your home. Not only will the essential oil mixture give you peace of mind concerning the nontoxic cleanliness of your home, but you’ll love the wonderful aroma that lingers after you finish.
Reason 4: Eucalyptus oil can be used in a soothing massage
Not only are the cooling properties of Eucalyptus incredibly useful for promoting feelings of clear breathing, but they also make this oil great for massage. When you want to ease sore muscles, consider combining a few drops of Eucalyptus with a carrier oil like Fractionated Coconut Oil or an unscented lotion. Gently rub the combination on the problem area and enjoy the cooling, soothing effects of Eucalyptus oil. Not only will this massage feel amazing, but the aroma of Eucalyptus will help to clear the mind and calm feelings of tension and stress.
Reason 5: Eucalyptus oil can help clean and revitalize the skin
With Eucalyptus oil’s powerful cleansing and purifying properties, it’s beneficial for the skin. If your skin feels oily, consider adding a few drops of Eucalyptus to your daily moisturizer or toner to experience the oil’s skin-revitalizing benefits. If you apply a Eucalyptus-infused moisturizer or toner in the morning, you’ll have the added benefit of carrying the uplifting, vitalizing aroma of Eucalyptus with you throughout your day.
Reason 6: Eucalyptus oil can provide support during menstruation
Due to its soothing, calming nature, Eucalyptus is frequently used to provide support during menstruation. Simply massaging Eucalyptus oil into the lower abdomen daily during menstruation can provide the help you need during this time of month.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to use Eucalyptus oil for a better day. To learn more about Eucalyptus oil, click here: What are the benefits of Eucalyptus oil?
In addition to meeting online every week, The OM Collective - Live Your Yoga Sessions will include self-inquiry work and practices. Each week after our meeting, I will send you an email with the following:
* Journal Questions. This is one of my favorite ways to inspire inquiry. By simply sitting down and asking and answering questions of ourselves, we open a doorway to visibly seeing what our thoughts are. So much of my own self-discovery has come out of this practice.
* A Reading/Listening for the week. There are a few books that I am using to inspire this work. I will be sharing them with the group and suggesting some of the readings out of them that are relevant to our work. Oftentimes I also throw a podcast to listen to as well, as this is another beautiful way to generate ideas, creativity and inspiration.
* A weekly meditation. My most foundational practice. Each week you will receive a recorded meditation that will go along with our work that week.
* A weekly Asana practice. I will be combining my One OM at a Time classes with our work and each week, I will have an actual physical practice for you to take the work we are doing in our minds and our hearts, and place it in your physical body. If you are not able to catch the practice LIVE, I will also be emailing it to you!
* Other tidbits of inspiration including an Oil of the Week and suggestions on how to use it and a few extra challenges and exercises along the way, depending on what our work is that week!
All of this will align with the specific Yama or Niyama that we are in the study, observation and work of cultivating.
I strongly encourage you to set up a free 15 minute call with me or send me an email if you have ANY other questions!
Your wholeness is your healing. Don’t let one side of your story be the narrative that defines you. Sure, you are an imperfect human being who struggles to be great at times. But that struggle is equal to the greatness. When we embrace the areas where we are just ok, not great, we offer ourselves the opportunity to work and grow from love. Rather than letting those spaces become the ruling narrative, we can zoom out and understand that being just ok at something is a necessary part of the process. What it actually means is that you are a WHOLE human being, both great and just ok. And where you are just ok only means that you have the honor and pleasure of doing the work to know yourself and create your life in a way that you desire. Your wholeness is your healing because you are not now, nor ever have been broken. You are just a human. Great AND Mediocre and always, whole
This came up a lot in our work creating Rituals last month in The OM Collective. I suspect it will come up again over the course of the next 4 Months when we do the work in the Live Your Yoga Sessions. I hope you will join us, because the more whole human beings means the more we see ourselves in one another, the greatness and the mediocrity and the more we can love it all.
is a Mama, Wife, Teacher, Writer and Creator of One OM at a time. She has been teaching and studying yoga since 2008 and has taught at studios in Syracuse, Boston and New York City. For two years her hOMe was wherever she, her husband Justin, their daughter Audrey and pug Oscar find themselves as they traveled for Justin's job on the national tour of Matilda the Musical. This way of living has really taught Sara that yoga and mediation requires nothing more than some time and a space for your mat. You can find Sara teaching regular classes in NYC, workshops and retreats all over the country as well as in her very own online studio right here!