I start my day at 6:40 AM. I’ve barely slept. It’s probably the most upsetting day of my life. I remember being this upset when my dad died but this situation is different; people are supposed to die. Trump was elected willingly.
My body feels heavy and my heart has sunk. I just can’t find the light easily. People keep telling me, “dude, you are all about love and people need your light more than ever.” This is true. The world is calling on all of us to step up our connection to light
What I realized is that I just can’t rush back to “happy, happy” and “all is positive” thinking without going through my process.
Someone tells me after class that they were going to post: “good mourning” as their Facebook status. But she didn’t because she didn’t feel like they should be in mourning as a light-worker.
“No,” I said, “ We have got to grieve. Painting on a happy face is not the solution.”
I told her about an expression my Body Mind Psychotherapy teacher has called “emotional constipation.” The last thing we need to do is to stuff our emotions down. The analogy of trying to force a beach ball under the water is apt here. This will only result in it popping up again with greater velocity. I can’t just flip a switch. There is a lot to mourn at the moment.
What specifically? Well, I am currently in Florida (a state that Trump won by 1% of the vote) setting up next year’s EcoKarma event that will help transplant coral on the rapidly dying reefs here.
It feels so futile to do this work when we know that we have anything but a proactive climate-change supporter in the White House.
Long before Trump was ever President-elect, when he was a reality TV icon, I cited him as representing the opposite of the yogic values of love, kindness and compassion.
The purpose of yoga to me is best expressed in a quote attributed to Albert Einstein:
“A human being is a part of a whole, called by us “universe,” a part limited in time and space.
He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.
This delusion is a kind of prison us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.
Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and whole of nature in its beauty.”
This election is a movement away from a widening circle and back to the smaller circle… one that comes with a wall.
After class on my way home, my little son, Ananda grabs my hand and he walks me through the warm Florida morning sun to a bridge overlooking an inlet.
“Let’s find some fish, Dada!” He urges enthusiastically as he tugs on my hand towards the rocks under the bridge.
His joy is heartening. We shift our focus to the plastic bags and beer cans under the bridge. We spend ten minutes collecting them and I vow to make cleaning the plastic up from Miami waterways part of next year’s EcoKarma event.
I walk back to our friend’s apartment holding his hand. I realize the value in the sphere of influence we do have; our friends and family.
I am giving a class called “Chakra and Cello Chill” tonight in Miami. Even though my stores of positivity seem low, it’s ok. This is where I am at now. I am not rushing my way out of it or pushing things away.
All I can do is share my healing process. I am clear about the three things I need most right now.
One, is that I need to shed tears. This is essential to unblock the knots that I feel. Tears are what I need. They just haven’t come out yet and I know I need this.
Secondly, we all need to create a space of retreat. To pull in. We need to be ok in our small circle as the first step. We need spaces to release. We need to feel we are not alone and take solace in being parts of a tribe that understands us.
Lastly, we need to realize that being a light worker is ideally a feeling of lightness. Right now it’s a feeling of heavy. We need to trust in the heaviness and know that it is the journey down that brings us back up eventually. We will rebound
Good luck, Everyone. We will heal. Just don’t rush the process.
We will build a kinder world. Light soon, but first tears.
Posted On: November 9, 2016 | 8 Comments »
By Michelle Naklowycz
Fire only burns as bright as there are flames to continue keeping it alive. Our Blissology Yoga Teacher’s Collective is burning bright and we are so excited to share the first of our Bliss Blogs on some of the amazing spirits and shining lights who are continuing to speak, connect and inspire their Bliss. Thank you Linda Cruse for sharing your light here.
Name: Linda Cruse
Where in the world can we find you? Hobart, Tasmania, Australia with a boot full of yoga mats I have been heading out to teach at community halls since my YTT in 2014, it has been a great way to grow as a teacher. This Spring I will be starting practices at Fit Hot Yoga and Yoga North Hobart to join a collaboration of teachers for different backgrounds, with different styles. I feel very passionate about sharing the Blissology philosophy, what I have learnt from Eoin and my journey, in a space where I have the freedom to share in my own way.
What originally drew me to yoga? This Canadian guy….and Power Yoga for Happiness
Blissology to me is…Everything that keeps my energy centres balanced… Love, Yoga, Meditation, Nature, High Prana foods and my Blissology family
My life mission is…To share the gift of yoga
The most important thing yoga has taught me is…Yoga has taught me many things… the most important thing is love, being open to give, receive and the freedom to be 100% Linda without fear of judgement.
When I’m not on the yoga mat, I’m…In the water or my garden and thinking about where my practice will take me next, physically and spiritually
The cause / project I am most passionate about is…Changing someone’s life through yoga. The transformation it brings has a ripple effect that I believe is changing the world.
I am learning to….Accept, forgive, love and live in the present moment.
What I want to teach others (through yoga) is to…Be patient, accept who you are, your limitations, honor the feedback you receive from your body and love yourself, the rest will come.
Most inspiring yoga related experience? A student in my practice sharing that yoga has changed her life…
Favorite yoga pose? At the moment Upha Vishta Konasana. Because it has been one of my best teachers, there have been times when I pushed to find the pose and I hurt myself. There is no rush, we should slow down and listen to our bodies when moving into a pose and be patient, everything comes in time. When you let go of the fight and be in the pose regardless of the depth, it brings freedom and the acceptance that this is me and that’s ok.
Best way to fuel up after yoga? Can I say beer?? But seriously, just water and uncomplicated food, anything green.
Yoga and music are….An opportunity to let go, find freedom and yourself…
I create community with Blissology by….Sharing a practice that opens the door to yoga on and off your mat, encouraging a connection with nature, kindness to yourself and others and keeping things simple.
I am most grateful for…Every single breath and recognising how important it is to stay open to love and spiritual growth.
What advice do you have for aspiring yoga teachers? Be you! Lighten up and have fun…Get out of your head, come into your heart and it’s always ok to fart
You can contact Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find Linda at:
Posted On: August 24, 2016 | No Comments »
Day three, the Saturday before the YTT begins is all about the final preparations. Teacher’s Training courses are like sailing: You’ve got to have all your knots tied, supplies and courses charted before you leave port. I’ll be runnings sessions all day, everyday for the 13 days straight until our break. There is no chance to create new course materials now, especially in my case where 100 percent of the contact hours are with me. I remember a decade ago when I was up at night creating manuals after long days of teaching and I reached new levels of exhaustion.
Now, we’ve got a 300 page manual and it keeps growing. I am also supported hugely. In fact, my last big preparation was meeting our epic assistants this year, Leanne, Gina and Gillian. Of course Ellie is always around and Christine Edwards our Anatomy Geek is arriving in a few days.
We met in yet another stellar Bali veggie eating establishment taking in some serious bowls of prana and kale-coconut smoothies. We spent hours setting intentions and making game plans for transformational experiences.
After that meeting, my whole attitude shifted into relaxation mode. It wasn’t that there wasn’t still plenty to do. The preparation could never end for this course, but instead of feeling like a student pulling an all-nighter cramming for an exam, Iwent the other way and chilled out as much as possible.
It’s been a hard lesson for me to learn. When I was younger I tended to rely on passion to carry me through. Because I had a mountain of passion inside me, I could do this. The tagline for Blissology is “Love is the Ultimate Renewable Resource.” This partly means that love doesn’t exhaust itself. Like the wisdom parables suggest, you can light a thousand candles from your candle and it doesn’t diminish your flame.
This is very true to a point. But, I’ve learned that sometimes the biggest gift you can give to others comes from self-care. This is really what a yoga practice is all about. It’s really me-time, not time to take care of others. But because we take this time to restore our energy, our candles burn brighter. The me-time serves the we-time.
I watched the sunset, more kites with their invisible lines. Then I took advantage of the plethora of $20 massages in Bali. It launched my own little silent retreat that still continues to this moment.
George Washington once said if “I had ten hours to cut down a tree, I’d take the first six and sharpen my axe.” I love this. But I wish he was a yogi and then we would have added that he would have taken 10 minutes to relax, meditate and practice pranayama!
Preparation is key and it has been done. Relaxation is Power. These are today’s lessons.
Posted On: April 30, 2016 | 2 Comments »
My Friday started early here as I plan ever day to do. I’ve committed to these 4am wake-ups during the next month to get my lesson plans sorted, to keep one eye on my business projects, to write these blogs and even work on a book. It’s my favorite time of day in Bali. The peace and clarity is extreme as I type under the stars.
I’ve been amazed this trip at how easy the jetlag is to deal with. My friend once told me, “when you travel on an airplane your body moves at the speed of a plane but your soul moves at the speed of a donkey. It takes that long to catch up.”
My soul must be Pegasus because this has been a breeze.
Part of it, I realize is that I’ve cut out wine and beer from my diet recently. I am not a big drinker but I did start drinking one of those incredible craft beer IPA’s in California a day.
My friend asked me “what’s it like living in the U.S.?” thinking it must be radically different than Canada. I told him, “Oh, it’s just like Canada except the Whole Foods has incredible craft beers!” (grocery stores in Canada can’t sell booze, for those who have never been)
The point is, I’ve consciously cut out this habit. Partly because I want to get rid of my love handles and mostly because even though I love the taste of beer and wine, I always regret it later when I sleep. After even one drink, I sleep better for the first two hours and shitty in the middle of the night.
I know people use alcohol as a traveller’s crutch and I watch people downing free drinks on the airlines pretty much from the moment they get on the plane but I really advise against it. I’ve learned this trip.
It’s not just the clean, booze-free system that has given me my super jet lag avoiding powers. I’ll be the first to admit that getting in the ocean surfing and doing yoga in the tropical heat help. But there is more; it is pure passion and stoke.
This is really the theme of yesterday. What life is like following your bliss.
I’m a professional “bliss-follower.” I make my living from my bliss which is not just yoga; my ultimate interest is in creating deep, authentic human connection to Nature and Community (my working definition of Blissology.)
I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t work my ass off yesterday. I am sure I spent 8-9 hours in front of a laptop. Sure a lot of what I work on I am passionate about like lesson plans and creating new course materials but mostly I do a lot of menial tasks. I am continuously buried under emails and a trillion small details that keep the filing cabinet of my brain over stuffed.
I know people think I am just doing yoga on the beach like my instagram feed suggests but the reality is “Bliss” and “Bills” are almost the same letters just rearranged to form some kind of cosmic joke.
I work a ton. But I am so inspired!
A large part of the upcoming Blissology YTT course is finding what we call our “Life Mission.” Mine is to be a Conduit for Love.
It’s just such an amazing feeling even when you are going cross-eyed behind a computer like Ellie and I did yesterday (Ellie is our awesome program manager for Blissology trainings who lives in Bali) to know that all of those spreadsheets and schedules will light a fire in the hearts of many; to know that what you do is a contribution to the flow of positivity.
It is incredible medicine for the combination of jetlag and computer drudgery.
Luckily Bali, especially Canggu (pronounced Chah-n-goo) has an incredible amount of tasty cafes and hip, organic restaurants. I can’t even begin to describe how it blows anywhere else in the world away for the number of hipster eating establishments per square meter. The closest I’ve seen is Abbot-Kinney in Venice Beach, L.A. but this is a whole other scale over here.
If you are an entrepreneur working behind an Apple laptop on a creative business, the café culture of Bali (and the more commonly known Ubud) is your Shangri-La.
There is a shadow side to this cushy, hipster ex-pat Bali life and that is the rampant disappearance of the rice patties. Like a mushroom out of control, L.A. hipness is transplanted where rice used to grow.
Ellie and I made the circuit of a few of those cafes. I’m definitely going into this training feeling insanely prepared. Stoke is one thing but preparation is the key for the A-Game.
As I scootered home during sunset, as often happens here, I stopped checked out the Bali sky. I am saying that wrong: I didn’t stop. I was stopped in my tracks and could not avoid taking in the stunning light.
They fly kites here in Bali in the April breezes. I sat for a few minutes and stared up at a kite in the Bali sky. It was one of those moments where you are lost in time and don’t even realize you are doing what you are doing.
When I left Ananda and Insiya at home, we always tell each other about the “invisible line” that connects our hearts to each other. I look at the kite at the end of the string and think how lovely that we have people in our lives that make our heart fly like this.
In this spontaneous moment of gratitude overwhelm, I sent them a silent prayer and toasted the strings that bind us all.
Posted On: April 29, 2016 | 3 Comments »
I’m blogging my journey through Bali during our Blissology YTT! This is always such a transformational journey for everyone including me so I thoughtI would keep a little blog/ diary and share it every day. Check in and share in the adventures. Here is the first post.
Bali day one: The Journey
It took a whopping 35 hours door to door from Santa Cruz, SFO to Denpasar Bali. The plane ride wasn’t so bad largely because of an extra large dose of gratitude I gave myself just to be on the flight! It left at 1:15 A.M. – I decided to take advantage of couch I spotted upstairs by the boarding gate. I set my alarm on my iphone but didn’t hear it. I woke up with a start and made it to my gate with about a minute or less to spare.
Besides this elation for just making my flight it wasn’t as brutal as I thought it could be for these reasons. I scored good karma seating with three seats to myself on my first leg from SFO to Hong Kong. I woke up in the morning and did airplane yoga in the 1st row while in front of zombified travellers attempting the inhumane art of sleeping vertically. I also worked on my manual for the trainings especially the “Commit to Bliss” lifestyle program (I’ll explain more about this in future blogs). I never watch TV but somehow I got addicted to Game of Thrones and loved watching Nicole Kidman’s Queen of the Desert. Normally I am the king at picking movies which are popular but turn out to be brain numbingly stupid but this movie was amazing.
I also did some rocking yoga in Hong Kong and Singapore. It felt amazing to stretch out. My jet lag was kicking in but you have got to keep your chi moving while travelling. Some superflow and handstands did the trick.
I also help long, deep stretches and that felt so felt amazing. I feel like we are over emphasizing standing poses and not floor stretches in the new school yoga I see. Headphones on, ugly carpet, I dropped into the zone of bliss right overlooking the boarding gates.
After reaching hot, humid Bali not surprisingly the 9pm the traffic was horrible. People who haven’t been here are surprised to hear this. “What traffic on Bali?” Oh yeah, it took about 2 hours to drive 20 miles to our villa
I passed out around 10:30 after a quick Facetime convo with the fam. I was trying to not think about what time it was on the West Coast but Ananda was leaving for school which meant my biological clock should be saying, “time to wake up.”
Well, I had probably the best jetlagged sleep of all time – I woke up at 4:15 AM and all the sounds of Bali brought me right back. We have been spending about 3 months a year here over the last 9 years or so and I usually wake up at 4:15 – it’s cool for one but there is so much magic then. Once you step outside your villa in Bali, you are treated to open sky. Even the kitchen has no walls. I paused and took in the moon, Jupiter and the Muslim call to Prayer from a local mosque. I made coffee, unpacked all my clothing, surfboard and props for the YTT making my little bliss army pad ready. It’s a “Joglo” imported from Java I rented on Airbnb. I love these old houses.
I watched the sky turn bright orange with the first rays of the sun on the huge, nuclear explosion style clouds of Bali, took in the Hindu temple music about 100 meters away. After all these years sounds like cacophony with droning chanting and bell which seem to have no rhyme of reason how the rhythm is created.
Yoga in Bali felt amazing because of the humidity. Hot Yoga? Not required here. Yoga was born in the tropics and I see why.
I followed it up with a surf back in the warm Indian Ocean and lunch with Ellie who lives here and has really helped me organize the upcoming training. We have 35 people in the course and 5 assistants including Ellie. I’ve never felt more prepared for a YTT and I am so stoked to share what is about to go down in the next month over here.
Over lunch one of the highlights was when Ellie told me about her trip to
East Bali to LINI where we are running our Blissology EcoKarma Coral Restoration project. They are so appreciative. The dates are April 14 so watch that day on the Blog for sure.
What was cool is that as a global yoga ambassador for lululemon we can allocate funds to charity of our choices. I allocated some of that funding to LINI and they are training five local girls in the small village of Les where LINI is based. For 3 months, they will train these girls at LINI’s Aquaculture and Training Centre to learn skills that could either help them to earn a living elsewhere or continue to work with LINI. These girls are young mothers in the community who would not otherwise have any way to earn money or learn new skills
More updates tomorrow! Check back