Speaking + Living our Truth | Meet the Tribe that Inspires me to Live and Be in Truth
"Words have the power to both destroy and heal.
when words are both true and kind,
they can change our world."
Last week i started writing about the many many many people in my life who have inspired me to follow my inner voice, speak the truth and therefore live in that truth in as many moments throughout the day as presently possibly. then i realised, wow! this is a book in the making! so that's for later....and for now i'd love to highlight the tribe that continues to help me to just keep it real!
this newsletter highlights our vishuddha chakra (throat center) which to me, is all about truth. please in-joy my top 10 list that came to mind immediately, including our two featured writers on this e~newsletter, shauna slingsby, our twee yoga collective (tyc) managing goddess who writes about "loving communication," and my dear friend, gaby aschwanden, founder of theyogapage.com, yoga teacher + swiss banker.
please continue below to read more about how my tribe of friends, teachers, family, + guides continue to inspire me along my journey and how they might complement your living in truth too as well.....
sending love and joy from the waves in hawaii,
twee (spending my 40th birthday surfing + yoga'ing in hawaii, morocco (oct 26th actual day) + bali for an entire birthday month)
Brilliant lyricist + passionate musician | he inspired me to pay more attention to the lyrics and the music i choose to listen to
have you ever heard ben's lyrics for "wicked way?" it is one song that always brings a smirk to my face every time i listen to it. i remember the first time i viewed the video on youtube and then a year later it had the same effect on me when i experienced it live in l.a. this past august. the lyrics are arousing and entertaining for both the female and male audience. i remember how frank, sergio + i turned to each other after ben played it acoustic style, and his guitar and the microphone hummed to a dead a silence in a blackened theater. we had huge grins on our faces and just nodded in agreement...as if to say "well done, ben, that's good stuff."
ben's a "cool cat." it's fun to be in his presence when he gets so jazzed about great lyrics and even recites them by heart before the artists even sings it. he inspired me to really pay more attention again to the lyrics of the music i choose to listen to. isn't a large part of communication....listening? so here are a few artists i love to listen to and songs that come to mind immediately for their lyrics that definitely strike a few chords in my heart......michael franti (stay human, all the freaky people), sarah mclaughlin (hold on), pink (dear mr. president), michael jackson (man in the mirror), the beatles (let it be), bob marley (where do i start?), and ben taylor (after it's over)..oh and of course bob dylan ;) of course bob dylan!
has been a guest teacher in holland complementing two of our teacher trainings. in our embodying the flow foundations of prana flow yoga, he shared how tone + body language, in addition to word choices, can enhance the exchange and connection between teachers and their students. as we all know, these principles apply to the yoga of living as well....for instance when you read an email, you might interpret it from one tone. let's say you read it interpreting a tone of judgment or condescension. before you come to that conclusion....try this.....ask a friend or co-worker to also read, out loudly, the same email without giving them your "story" behind it. have fun with it, and ask them to read it out loudly with a very friendly tone, another with a very bitchy tone, another with a grumpy tone, a tired tone..so on and so on and so on. you might get a chuckle from this and realise that there might be a chance that your first interpretation could have been misinterpreted, yes? see where i'm going with this?
why fill in the tone when you are working with words on a screen. when in doubt, check it out. pick up the phone, call the person who wrote the email and get some tone behind it. or even better, get some tone and body language...if you can't see them in person, go to skype and get the real deal. try to get more real by going beyond just the words on screen. according to nlp research words only make up 7% of effective communication. the rest is , 38% tone, and 55% physiology. wow!
as a follow-up to our trainings, stephan offered additional resources...
.....for more specs/info, take a look at the following links: (albert mehrabian)
....and maybe this is also interesting: (study of human body motion by ray birdwhistell)
....ps. in nlp, the 3v's are mostly used to be more conscious of the impact of voice and expression, in general many people think that words are the most important. and in nlp (coming from anthropology) it is important to know and see the interaction of the human body and how you feel and think.
Gorgeous gospel singer + yoga teacher from munich | she gave me a spontaneous voice training exercise to help me to project my voice from my center...down lower below my throat...into the pit of my belly.
f, s, sh! f, s, sh! f, s, sh! f, s, sh!
try it. it's like kapalabhatti breathing but instead of just voluntarily pushing out the exhales, instead you sound out f, s, and sh as quickly as you can with as many repetitions as possible...and most importantly from the navel area. it has helped me a lot not only with projecting my voice, but also by continuing to speak from my core when i teach in classes and teacher training discussions.
Manager of airyoga zurich | delaying emotionally charged emails in the draft folder first
and what about those emails that have bits of daggers attached to them? oh no, we yogis never send those out, right? let's take a hint from my friend and a tyc tour host, andre buhlmann, manager of airyoga zurich, who reminded me to go ahead and write the email, get it out, but to first put it in my draft folder, and send it the next day or days later. "let it sit," he says, "and most likely the next day or two, you probably won't send it at all." (or maybe you'll change it just a bit, or a lot). the emotions will settle and release, and it's done. you'll just pick up the phone to talk or meet in person, or just write a different email that more closely reflects your more pure intentions.
Founder om butterfly jewelry | accessories for the goddess | clear crystal devi necklace for clarity + communication
i cannot say enough how the this om butterfly necklace around my neck has helped me with my own self expression over the years since i first met joan at exhale in l.a.! i am often reminded when i look in the mirror and see it reflecting back at me right at the base of my throat chakra, my communication center, that the clear crystal is a representation of how i want to communicate with absolute steadfast resolve and clarity. thank you joan, for creating such a beautiful necklace that i can wear (and almost never take off) that reminds me of this durga quality from within.
Founder of golden bridge yoga + kundalini teacher | "say what you mean, mean what you say"
"say what you mean. mean what you say." when i heard her say those words at a yoga journal conference in estes park over (maybe) seven years ago, i knew this would become my mantra too.
Thank you gurmukh!
My role model, teacher, mentor, mitra, + surf soul sister | "there is no time to be other than authentic"
need i say more on this? clearly another mantra i live by as well. shiva is one of the most authentic people in my life. i am so blessed to have been inspired by her truth in revealing and sharing so much of herself to her students, friends, and tribe. may we all continue to be inspired by what i call shiva-isms to live by. i know this is another collaborative and collective project in the making....a book on shiva~isms!
photo left | shiva + i in kerala, india | march 2009
My father | he's losing his voice from living with parkinson's, but he still has us hovering on his every word
my father has always been the quiet one in our family and especially at the dinner table. with a very vocal mom always sharing the gossip of the day that she brought home from the blue-haired customers from the beauty shop she owned, to my older brother talking about his high school sports, or my younger brother and i sharing our mischievious adventures on our bmx bikes, or my sister sharing her stories of abundance from her newspaper route...it always seemed that dad was quite satisfied with just listening and not adding in too much. he probably couldn't as we hardly gave him any room between all the interruptions we gave to each other. but let me tell you, when dad spoke....we all stopped. not in fear. heck no. because we knew...like all the other times...when dad spoke he had something really cool to tell us. something profound. something for us to ponder on for days or years to come. he had that magic. he could "command" a room. he spoke slowly. decisively. kindly. sometimes softly. and what he had to say...let me just say...every holiday meal...when he lifted his glass to make a toast...wow....i know my heart blew open in so much adoration and gratitude that i had "the smartest dad in the world."
now that his parkinson's is starting to show up more, dad's still the best man in the world (to me) and we make sure we even stop eating so that not even a fork clinking the dinner plates can disturb his now even softer voice that whispers from deep back in his throat. there's a lot more swallowing and coughing and clearing going on for dad now...he even has to rest to take in more oxygen...but we wait. for sure we wait. hovering on every word. that's just how it's always going to be when dad speaks.
photo above | my dad, nephew, + brother | 3 main men in my life who help me keep it real
My god-brother| the quiet one who observes from the corner, but when he speaks it's so profound the entire room stops talking and we all become uber present
i remember the first time i met alan. he was the shy one with the soft blue eyes and the shaved head in the corner of the room. we met at a teacher training i had offered in the sunshine coast of australia. there was a lot of excited energy in the room as not a lot of presenters came to this part of australia..the suburbs of brisbane. they went to sydne
My exboyfriend who i moved to australia to be with before this tour | a surfer, environmental consultant, and one who always spoke the truth even if it hurt to hear it
i remember calling peter selfish so many times when the two of us would get into our heated "discussions." both of us are scorpios so i had definitely met my match on so many levels when i shared a home with him in perth, australia during one of the most transformational years of my life. what was really going on when i looked back soon after i left perth, and peter and went on tour was that what i called selfish was often his ability to be selfishlessly selfish. okay sometimes he was just being selfish. let's keep it real. but come on. i'm sure i was guilty of being a bit selfish too :0) so, by stepping back and reflecting on what it was within me that i was more upset with than his "selfishness," i realised that i was coming from a place where i very very often gave my own voice away. meaning, i would often answer for the "other."
so when asked what i wanted to do for dinner, for the weekend, small things like that (and maybe some big things too)...i realised i was answering to please others. now, i thought i was done with that, but i realise there was still some residue left over from those other past relationships....saying things to please others. saying yes when i really meant no. what was that? oh my goddess, so "old school." what is that about? how does living for others and not for yourself serve anyone? while on the other hand would peter ever do that? no way! he spoke for himself and stood up for himself, and sure sometimes it seemed insensitive or the timing was a little off...but hey....you always knew where peter stood. you didn't have to agree but he was very clear and had his opinions for sure. he still does. goddess bless him. love that man. he taught me so much!
we are great friends, peter and i now. and i'm getting ready to finish the tour and settle into new york city again after traveling for three years and have been in the most intimate relationship of my life...with myself and with goddess. i have had to compromise very little and i love love love speaking my truth and saying "no" more than "yes." well, it's easy between goddess and i. it's been a great practice. and sometimes painful at time to say. but it's been life changing and so inspiring to look back at my teachers, including peter hudson, my ex from australia, the surfer i met in costa rica and fell madly in love with and moved to australia for....he taught me to be selfishlessly selfish by speaking my truth. sure i try to be sensitive to others feelings and to get the timing right (maybe a little softer than peter did for me at times :) but we are both scorpios let's remember and we both had good stings on our tails. but regardless, i can say with no doubt at all...one reason we were together is so that he could teach me to speak and stand in my truth. i look forward to bringing that into my next intimate relationship not only with my future beloved (who might be able to catch me better when i land in one place ;) but to my family, friends, students, peers...all that i'm lucky enough to share my truth.
Peter is a freelance environmental consultant + landscape designer | currently traveling thru indonesia + thailand | please email firstname.lastname@example.org to connect with peter about environmental projects for world-wide luxury resorts.
Om aim saraswati aye namaha!
i bow to the divine goddess of communication, creativity, self expression, music, academia, and the arts!
imagine her sitting on your tongue when you speak. she is the divine goddess, who when in her presence, or embodying her strength, you only want to express very clear words that reflect your purest intentions, otherwise you are inspired to just stay silence.
Feeding your throat chakra
liquids in general: water, fruit juices, herbal teas tart or tangy
fruits: lemons, limes, grapefruit, kiwi
other tree growing fruits: apples, pears, plums, peaches, apricots
spices: salt, lemon grass
"if you don't have something nice to say,
then don't say it at all."