Thursday, 26 April 2012

My Teachers

I have a confession. I don’t have a teacher.  I hear everyone drinking tea all sweaty after class hanging around talking about their teacher. Their guru. What did I miss? Where do I get this teacher. So I guess the hunt was on, I needed a teacher. I mean how can I grow if I don’t have the one special teacher that I can call my own?
So I went to my favorite kundalini class, YES she is my teacher, I mean I love my Kundalini teacher, hands down she is an amazing women. Then I went to one of my favorite Vinyasa teachers classes, YES he is MY teacher, when I left I wanted to stop everyone on the street, hug them and tell them they needed to go to this class. Then I met a teacher from out of town that my daughter and I agree is an incredible teacher and person. She is 5, after this SHE had a teacher. I take classes with teachers that continue to challenge and move me at the farm, in town and on the Island. I continued my quest on how to find and decide which one of these amazing teachers would be mine. I have been to teachers that are brand new and learned so much, I have been to teachers that have been practicing and teaching for decades and they have filled me up with inspiration. On weekends we tape teachers that leave us breathless and full of gratitude to be so fortunate to not only be in their class but be taping them to share with others. When I have the opportunity to go to a class. I can’t decide. There are SO many awesome teachers with so much to offer. Then I realized I have many teachers. I have teachers all around me! My kids, friends, family are all my teachers. We can find different lessons from different teachers. The lessons I learn may be different from what you learn. The teachers that bring me to a place of pure bliss or make me question myself may be different from those that do the same for you. My teacher today may be different from my teacher tomorrow or not. What I am thankful for is all these wonderful teachers who put themselves out there, sharing and practicing and teaching. We are all teachers and we are all students. We take turns. Sometimes we listen sometimes we speak. I say, have one teacher, have one hundred. Just be open, enjoy the practice, inhale the lesson and find the joy of being on both sides.  Thank you to my teachers.


Thursday, 19 April 2012


In 1999 I was in a major car accident. I was hit by a drunk driver as I was crossing the street to go to a friends house. I spent years in and out of the hospital going through different surgeries and continuously seeking expert advice from a variety of doctors. I never got very good feedback or positive answers.

It was all very traumatic, and I suffered for years with chronic pain, chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, Fibromayalgia, Ulcerative Colitis and post traumatic stress (to name them all).

I found yoga at my very darkest time. A time when I didn't want to live and go through life in this amount of anguish and pain. I was ready to give up, on my self and on life.

My mom was doing yoga at this time and invited me and my sister to class. It was AMAZING! I was 30 lbs heavier, and unable to do most of the poses very well, however it was the first time I allowed myself to feel the quality of my breath and the sadness in my heart. The teachers instructions were perfect, clear, simple and meaningful!

"I NEED HELP" - I heard this in Shavasana that day. Even though it took me another class before I could ask for this. Before I could speak those words out loud. I had to surrender inside. Falling to my knees and asking for help is not something that comes easily for me. This was 2 1/2 years after "the accident".

After this, I started seeing a psychologist regularly. Once a week for a year, then twice a month for 4 more years. His name is Paul Peel and he's the softest, most gracious, unbelievably intelligent and compassionate men. I am grateful every day for what he taught me. He inspired me to continue practising yoga, and asking for guidance and help from family friends and inspirational leaders/teachers.

I used to think that asking for help was a weakness. Surrendering was shameful. Being Vulnerable was ugly.

I thought you had to "suck it up Princess" and figure it out. This stubborn, tough skin has helped me in many ways, however it's also created unnecessary stress & tension in my body, mind and heart too.

Vulnerability, asking for help, saying your sorry (and meaning it), forgiving someone who has hurt you and crying when things are tough. These are some of the most beautiful acts of the heart.

A friend and Coach of mine (Beth Hanishewski) told me once to imagine all the times I've helped someone. To remember how good it felt to lend a hand, to be kind and step up. Then she asked me to think how someone else would feel by helping me. They would feel good too. People WANT to help! WOW!!! Thank you Beth, I still get scared when asking for help, and I think of this every time.

Maybe you are in pain and need help, or maybe you are still angry at your ex for breaking your heart or your girlfriend for ditching you last weekend. Maybe you refuse to cry in front of people or have a hard time saying "I Love YOU".

Either way, May you shed the guilt, step into the fear and ask for what you need.

BE VULNERABLE, ask for help!


It has changed my life.

Xo Lauren

To bring this to life and practise one of my favourite meditations, check out METTA (loving kindness meditations). There are many different "scripts" out there, I like this one,

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Between the Ball and the Slide

Two days ago I watched my 4 year old son and one of his closest friends in the backyard of her house. They had been playing with a new ball she had just given him and her slide. They ran around kicking it, passing it, throwing it up the slide, down the slide, you know doing what kids do best, playing and being in the moment. Then my friend, her mom, and I look out from their kitchen window to see the two of them sitting in the grass beside the slide in deep conversation. There were hands moving, smiles, listening. They were pointing to their knees and feet. They were just sitting there between the new ball and the slide and enjoying each other’s company. Totally in the moment. They weren’t thinking about school tomorrow or what book to read before bed they were just there together. Then they jumped up and started running around again. 

I couldn’t stop thinking about this moment after we left. I am often planning the next thing or thinking about the last thing but what I really have is right now and it always feels good to just be present. So much can happen when we are present. We laugh hard, cry hard, notice other people in new light, smell the beach....

Life insists that we make some plans and look ahead, it is how we make it work. But when our plans are made lets take those moments between the ball and the slide and see what amazing things happen in the present moment.


Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

PEACE - Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti

After spending the last 3 days with a nasty stomach flu that ended with me in the hospital, I now seem to see things clearly. 


The smaller things I was stressing about, seem unworthy of the time I was wasting stressing about them. The sun seems brighter and my daughters eyes wiser. 

I sit here grateful for the simple things in life. Family, breath, love, compassion!

So in honour of simplicity, I offer you today what I hope will allow for clarity and inspiration.......

Gandhi's Prayer for Peace
I offer you peace.
I offer you love. 
I offer you friendship.
I see your beauty. 
I hear your need.
I feel your feelings. 
My wisdom flows from the highest source.
I salute that source in you. 
Let us work together.
For unity and peace.

With you on this path,