Friday, July 6, 2012


I've been thinking alot about inspiration lately and what that means to me.  It's something that expands my being, lifts me up to my higher self and connects me to my essence, makes me feel like I want to give more, makes me feel centered and conected to everyone and in divine synchronicity, and sometimes it just arises within me without any catalyst.  So, in a nutshell, it is in these times when I feel like the best version of myself.  I realized some time ago that this is an essential part of being happy, content and living a joyful life.  When we feel inspired everyone around us becomes inspired.

This also brought me to thinking about how to cultivate this energy and not just waiting for it to arise. Seeking out those things that expand me and lift me up to my higher self.  I go through this exact scenario with writing, waiting to be inspired instead of just sitting down and seeing what flows through me and then remembering that the process of writing inspires me!  That is just one example, I have a list of things that inspire me and some I do on a daily basis.  For instance, I know that my morning practice of prayer, meditation and yoga connects me to this energy so I like to start my day out that way. Connecting and working with people connects me to this energy and that's why I created a a space to work in that nurtures this and have created a wonderful network of friends that feed this energy. Creating things with my hands like haircutting, haircoloring, painting, writing, preparing food and making jewelry also connect me to that energy.

 I observe my partner and his love of skateboarding and seeing how different he is before he skates and when he comes home from a session. He knows what plugs him into that energy and he is faithfull with seeking it out because it expands him and makes him the best version of himself, connecting him with his higher self.

 I watch my Mom take care of all the people in her life and how joyful that makes her. I used to not understand why she spreads herself so thin and then one day I realized that this is where she connects to that energy. She experiences the best version of herself when she is helping others. No coincidence that her name is Theresa!

 I see my brother when he is performing his music and how he is in a state of bliss, almost as if his body is there but I can see his spirit is soaring. This is where he connects with that energy and the audience can feel it.

 So, I've realized through exploring many things and observing others that if this feeling is not arising naturally within us then we can do specific activities that will cultivate a feeling of inspiration. Almost like a refuge for when we are not feeling our best selves. At the end of the day it's about a choice to be happy and that usually comes from cultivating a life of inspiration.

 My question to you is, what inspires you? Do you seek those things out? Are you sharing your higher self with the world around you?

 All the Love

Friday, June 1, 2012


The recurring theme that has been showing up in my life over the last month has been forgiveness.  This is virtue that I used to struggle with until I was given some amazing tools 10yrs ago.  Now, it amazes me how quickly I am to forgive and this is because I know on a very deep level that resentment and anger hurt me, not the other person.  Not only is it dangerous for my health (it causes stress on the heart) but it's hazardous to my soul. Resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.  When someone angers us to a point where we shut down and can't forgive this is not about the other person anymore, it's about US.  There is a past hurt that we are re-feeling and this current situation is just showing us our wound.  So we must start examing our anger instead of being the victim and focusing on what the other person did to us.  I've learned that Anger is a great teacher and it holds tremendous information and insight to our true nature.  Most people walk around reacting with anger and then waiting to cool off, never exploring the situation further or even worse suppressing their anger, being afraid of it, and never communicating what's really going on.

Anger is a secondary emotion, meaning that we feel another emotion first(for me it's usually hurt or feeling not considered) but immediately switch to justified anger because that is easier to sit with than sadness, hurt, insecurity, etc.  But if we can take the opportunity, in that moment, to sit patiently with ourselves we will learn how to sooth our pain rather than throw it back on the other person.  We must stop these patterns otherwise we will continue to pass this on to our children.  Unfortunately, they don't teach exploration of the feelings and communication in schools and most parents are acting out in their relationships what they saw growing up, so the children, in turn, learn that same way of non-communicating.  A few questions to ask yourself...what model of relationship did you see growing up(it's usually our parents, but we must not place blame, just understanding of where they were coming from)?  Explore your past relationships or the one you are in now, how is it similar?  What is the recurring theme in your relationships?  What role do you play?  How would you like it to be different? etc.

So, as adults, we must take responsibility and educate ourselves.  This means learning about ourselves, why we do things, who we are and using tools to become better and ultimately, take responsibility!  Fortunately, I had a significant amount of pain in my life 10yrs ago that encouraged me to start exploring this and I feel like I was given the tools to navigate through my life and my emotional/psychological landscape, a Design for Living!  Unfortunately, for most people they don't get to experience a life altering circumstance which makes them stay in the "just existing" mode where life is "happening" to them and they contue having the same experiences with different people over and over again and utimately feeling like a victim.  What they are missing is that their soul keeps attracting this same situation because it wants to break the pattern but in order to recognize this there usually has to be a significant amount of pain.  Pain is the touchstone to all spiritual growth but it is not necessary.  You can choose to have better relationships but it's going to require facing and sitting with who you "Really Are."  This can involve seeing a therapist, commiting to a spiritual path of self-knowledge or joining a 12 Step group if you struggle with Alcohol, drugs, food or relationships.  All of these paths lead to self-discovery and ultimately self-love which then enables us to truly love unconditionally.

This will lead us to making peace with those we are angry with and making Amends where it is necesssary which will ultimately lead to not continuing this self-sabotaging.  Amends is different than an apology.  It's taking responsibility for your part and commiting to do things differently next time.  It is not about just saying I'm sorry!  I learned a great deal from my Father while he was dying a year and a half ago.  I asked him why he was so scared to die and he said because he didn't feel like he lived the way he could have.  He chose to be angry with his brother for many years and never had a chance to really mend things with him before his brother died.  He told me of a few other instances theat were almost identical to that situation, where he was always stubborn and unable to forgive.  So in the end, we are going to have to face ourselves and our actions!  Whether you believe in heaven and hell or reincarnation, at some point we will have to pay the price of our actions and eventually learn the lesson why not now? There is no better time than the present to "Be the change you wish to see in the world" as Gandhi said.  What we want to see in others, we must become first, this is how it works. Typically if we are hard to forgive others we are hard to forgive ourselves.  It all comes down to YOU!

I know, this is not easy and surely not for the faint of heart but in the end the freedom that is experienced is indescribable.  And, you receive the gift of having the relationship you've always wanted....the one with yourself!  Not needing someone to understand you because you understand yourself.  Not needing someone to console you because you can console youself.  Not needing someone to love you because you love yourself!  This is the greatest gift of all.

Who do you need to forgive?  What conversation do you need to have?  Can you choose love and forgiveness instead of fear?  What steps are you taking to change your behaviors?

All the Love

Friday, March 23, 2012

What is your body trying to communicate to you???

Being healthy is vital to living a joyous life!  Being someone who has healed myself of many things physically, mentally and emotionally I feel like it's part of my duty to let others know that they can truely heal themselves.  All of the answers are within us, not outside.  This takes some time, getting to know ourselves and uniting the body, mind and spirit.

Good health is being active and having high energy, eating a balanced diet, being free of worry and fear, going to sleep and awakening easily, having a good memory, having a sound mind, having a light heart, having our thoughts match our actions, having supportive friends and family, and being honest, considerate, compassionate and loving to everyone in our lives.

Disease, aches and pains are the body's way of getting our attention and communicating with us.  Unfortunately, when this happens most of us run to the medicine cabinet or drugstore and take a pill.  This is a way of ignoring what the body is trying to tell you and opting for a short term solution. Instead, when this happens, it is the perfect opportunity to sit quietly and ask your body what it is trying to tell you.  Sometimes a headache is just dehydration that can be solved with more water. Anxiety may be there because we just need to deal with some old fears.  This can be true of life threatening illesses as well.  If we want long term health we have to start listening to our bodies.

I want to share a few stories of my own relating to my health.  About 6yrs ago I was laying on the table in my friend Andrea's office.  It was the first time I had met her and I was recommended by a dear friend to go and experience her healing.  I didn't know what to expect and my friend really didn't know how to describe what kind of work she actually does.  She just said "trust me", so I went.  Andrea started to massage my feet and immediately said "you have Gallstones" what are you so angry about, what are you holding onto?"  She was practicing a healing modality called Reflexology.  I said, "what do you mean?"  She explained that the every organ in the body has an emotional and psychological counterpart and when we are not healed and balanced in those areas they disease will manifest physically.

She pointed our that the Liver/Gallbladder were anger/resentment vessels and prescribed me a meditation to do each morning upon awakening.  I left her office and every morning I did my meditation, which was asking my higher self to reveal to me what I was holding onto and what I was so anrgy about.  I also  used this meditation while moving through my yoga asana practice and one morning I remembered that I had experienced sharp pains in the center of my chest on many occasions over the last couple of years.  Pains that I had dismissed as anxiety and indigestion.  I decided to make an appointement with my doctor out of curiosity, but of course I didn't tell her that I had seen a healer.  I just mentioned that I had pains in my chest that I thought may be gallstone related, after some research, and asked her to order me an ultrasound.  Low and behold I had Gallstones!  The first question doctor's ask is about your diet, because this could also be a cause, but my doctor knew that I was vegetarian and eating very healthy for years, so she was stumped.  I, of course, knew exactly what it was.

I continued to see Andrea so that she could guide me, in many ways, how to listen to my body and release whatever it was I was holding onto.  This was such a powerful process!  During the same time I was recommended to see a surgeon to remove my gallbladder.  I explored all of my options and in the end I listened to my intuition and I decided to take the longer harder route, which was to face why Gallstones formed to begin with.  Considering myself a pretty happy person I still had many things that I was angry with that had formed over the years, resentments that weren't dealt with fully, relationships that weren't healthy and also just old belief systems that no longer worked for me, but I still felt responsible for. I also struggled because I thought it was wrong to be angry so I even had to let go of the shame involved with that.  I believed that if I removed the gallbladder it would only manifest somewhere else in the future so I needed to do the emotional work if I wanted to be healed.

Little by little I began to let go, on the table, in meditation, on the mat and then in life.  I had to face each thing and work on forgiveness and letting go.  This took much longer than the few hours it would have taken to have the Gallbladder removed but I trusted in the process.  From that moment on I never had another pain in my chest.

By bringing my awareness and attention to that particular part of my body everything I needed to know was revealed to me.  We live in a society now that when something is uncomfortable we get rid of it instead of taking an opportunity to work on it.  Everyone and everything is our teacher but we must humble ourselves enough to listen.  I am full of gratitude for all of the ways my body and mind communicate to me helping me realize just how connected everything is.

What is your body trying to communicate to you?

Andrea Vlaco-Christos: 215-620-1413

Book Reccomendation:  You Can Heal Your Life by: Louise Hay

All the Love

Monday, March 12, 2012

Dharma.....Your Life's Purpose

Yesterday I led a workshop on Manifesting in Business and Beyond with my lovely friend Bridget Morris. It was the 2nd session of a series of workshops called The Ladies Luv Sessions created by my dear friend Julia Horn of Forma Yoga and hosted by the divine Lilavati at Temple of the Lotus. These are practices created by women, for women and done in the company of other women to foster, nurture and radically unleash the Divine Feminine.  We are meeting every Sunday in March.  So far I am blown away by the magic that is being spun in these sessions and am full of gratitude to be able to participate in such a big way.

One of the main teachings in the Bhagavad Gita, a sacred Hindu text, is the importance of the realization of Dharma (Duty or Life's Purpose). This teaching is conveyed through a conversation that takes place between Krishna ( God) and Arjun ( a Warrior).  Arjun is conflicted because he is fighting in a war between families and is being asked to kill.  He doesn't want to carry out his Warrior duties because he feels it is wrong but Krishna explains that it is his Dharma and there is no right or wrong when it comes to duty.  So, sometimes our duty may not be exactly what we want to do, but it is why we are here, and if we don't play the part everything else will not carry out as it's supposed to.  So recognizing your part and where you fit into the larger picture is a key component to your happiness.

I spent most of my time talking about Dharma yesterday and how this is a vital part in achieving happiness and abundance and necessary in order to manifest anything great in your life.  The question "what do I want to be when I grow up" can be replaced with " what am I here to do?"  By answering this we are lining up with the universe and coming from a place of intention.  We are all here to contribute something very special and only we can contirbute our gifts, no one else.  It's only when we synchronize our actions with this energy that everything else falls into place effortlessly.  So in other words, if you are feeling stuck and lacking in joy and abundance chances are you are not aligned with your Dharma!

This reminds me of a conversation that I had with my amazing Father 10yrs ago.  He has since passed but I still am reminded of all of his teachings.  We were stopped at a red light and I was sharing how I was bored and uninspired in my cosmetology teaching job.  This was something I had been doing for a little over a year after leaving the salon industry for various reasons.  I was sharing how even though I was unhappy other people were telling me that teaching was a wiser choice than being a hairdresser because it provided more reliability, steady pay and health insurance.  He responded with, " people tried to tell me the same thing about bartending and being an entrepreneur but I'm glad I didn't listen because for the last 50 years I have woken up happy, successful and loving what I do....who cares about reliability and health insurance.  I do what I do because I love the people and so do you!" He was a simple man who managed to give a major life teaching in 2 sentences!  It was at that moment that I understood Dharma and recognized that it was a very natural thing for me to be a hairdresser and time to get back to that.  But, there was another element that was missing and that was why I left the industry.

I realized that people were walking away with much more than a hairstyle when they left my chair.  My clients were feeling good about themselves( and not just esthetically) and inspired.  It was from there that I knew I had to create a space ( hair studio) for this to happen on a much greater level in order to carry out my Dharma, which is to provide and hold a space for people to heal.  So, I started to explore what this would look like, what this would feel like through a simple process called manifesting.  It was from there that I discovered that my desire had to be followed up with intention and taking a risk, something I saw my Dad do all of the time.  No matter what my father always jumped at an opportunity when he felt strongly about it.  So that's what I did, it was scary, very scary, but I knew this was a part of the process so I kept on.  It took almost a year but after setting the foundation everything started to fall into place.  The right people showed up to work there and the clients just kept coming.  After being in business for about a year and a half I realized that my Dharma needed to be stretched a little further.  I needed to provide a space for my staff to grow and heal, as well.  So, at that point I decided to step away from the chair on Thursday's. I now coach my staff on many things, not just to reach business goals but to reach their personal goals and to overcome the obstacles standing in the way of their happiness and abundance.  I have had the opportunity to witness such amazing growth in them and feel blessed to be on this journey with them.  I draw so much inspiration from the clients and the staff.

I am sure my Dharma will continue to expand because I am in complete sychronicity with my purpose, "why I am here."  I continue to follow the signs and take risks as they arise.  That is something else I realized on this journey, when you are aligned with your true purpose the Universe will conspire to support you and continue to affim that you are in the right place!

Are you feeling stuck?  Are you living your Dharma?  What is your Dharma?  Are you recognizing the signs the Universe is giving you?

From my experience a daily practice of Yoga or meditation can be an amazing tool in realizing this.

All the Love ~*~

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


As you can tell from my profile I like to keep busy with my creative pursuits, sometimes getting caught up in a dream/astral world to the point where I have to ground myself.  That being said I do a pretty good job maintaining my reality.  I returned from Colombia 2 1/2 weeks ago and just hit the ground running with projects.  I spoke to an MBA class on Leadership, began working on a painting for a show in May and have been preparing for a workshop on Manifesting for this upcoming weekend.  The objective for the painting is to translate how in order to truely be our authentic selves we must embrace our shadow, not ignore it.  So, in other words, we must accept our negative traits along with the positive, the yin/yang, so to speak.

The saying is "Art imitates life" but my experience was the opposite this last week.  After starting the painting I found myself facing my shadow on quite a few occassions with my significant other.  This tends to happen often while I'm working on something, the universe gives me some material for inspiration.  Like they say in 12 Step programs, if you want to know your defects of character get into a relationship!  Observing my reactions I became embarrassed and then proceeded to get angry at myself and full of shame for still responding the same way I have for years.  How could it be that after all of these years of self-analysis and practice I could still be facing these things, on a much smaller scale, of course?  This, I realized, was self-defeating and instead I decided to explore it in my meditation.  What came to me was that these reactions are based on events, samskaras (imprints on the soul) or karmas (deeds from the past) and have nothing to do with the person I am in the relationship with now.  Whether I keep it in this lifetime and say that these reactions developed as a child through my relationship with my parents or if I go deeper and say that I brought these behaviors came with me from previous lives,  either way I have to look at it as my own stuff, my karma!  Our natural state of being is love,  it's all of the other stuff that causes the fear.  Learning to come from a place of gentleness and compassion with myself, not force or shame because without darkness we could not appreciate the light.  This is Tantra Yoga!

I have had the awareness for quite sometime but it's no longer enough, now I have an opportunity to do something different and change my reaction to things.  Not react the same over and over and just apologize!  I need to continuously come back to that place of love, while in these moments, before reacting, not a place of fear.  Responding as Danielle now, not the 3yr old inner child with these vritti's (fluctuations of the mind) that are telling her a false story.  We are not the mind, we are much greater than that!  Recognizing that this beautiful soul, and every other soul for that matter, is here to show me where I can be better, they are my teacher.  Trying to move past the situation and on to the lesson, this is my goal.  Healthy relationships inspire us to communicate better and grow and I am fortunate to be experiencing that today.

Needless to say the week ended with me feeling pretty good about myself and grateful for my relationships, my practice and all of the tools I have been given over the years. This helps me to live a life of reflection and guarantees that I will become a better version of myself everyday.  I will continue to polish this beautiful soul of mine.  And also, to take myself a little more lightly because everyone has "their stuff", not just me!  Now off to finish my workshop planning for Sunday:)

All the Love ~*~