Essential Steps to Personal Evolution

There are three essential pieces to all personal evolution: willingness, awareness, choice.

Seems like an unnecessary-to-mention first step, but willingness is like creaking open the door, even just an inch, to peek inside. Without the inch of openness, you’re not seeing anything on the other side. If you’re reading this novella, you’re already willing. Check off the box, friend.

Many times willingness is the hardest step. We’ve all been in a bad mood — and most of us rationally know that if we just change our mind to decide to be in a good mood, we’d eventually get there. But when you’re in the thick of it that’s an obnoxious notion, one that feels like overturning massive, misshapen boulders.

The first step to shifting is just willing to be somewhere else, to feel something else, to exist in a new way in this moment. Willingness can be silent, like taking a deep breath to garner the strength to not argue with your father about politics or deleting the phone number of a toxic ex-partner. Sometimes willingness sounds like a half-hearted yelp out loud, “OK, this isn’t working for me. I am willing to explore new options, thanks.” It can have thousands of different qualities, the one that matters is an openness to feel something different.

Once you decide to feel something new, you must find awareness around how you’re currently being and what you’re currently doing. It’s much easier to change the situation if you understand what’s actually happening. The trick to honest observation is the honesty part —there’s no room for victims here because victims don’t actually don’t want to change, they just want to validate why they’re stuck in the mud. And as a good friends (we’re already friends! I, like, love you), I can’t validate your need to continue suffering when there are so many other juicy options. Continually remembering and committing to honest observation will allow you to start noticing your personal patterns. Once you know your personal patterns, you can catch your BS before it starts to wreak havoc on your full ecosystem.

If you can’t look at your situation objectively, ask an honest, gentle, loving someone else to take a look with you.

And lastly, using the data you’ve collected during your honest observation, you’ll make empowered choices. Empowered choices aren’t ‘right choices’, because there’s no such thing. Empowered choices feel strong and distinct because they’re rooted in intuition and your commitment to growth. Empowered choices nourish the ecosystem, so they can never lead you astray. Empowered choices have enough momentum and promise engrained in their DNA that they encourage you to show up with both feet in the decision, without having to doubt whether it was ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, which usually allows the choice to be ‘right for right now’ merely because of your enthusiasm. A ‘wrong’ choice with lots of enthusiasm, authenticity and gusto can make for loads of learning — and that, to me, is a spicy right choice.

TORY DUBE is a Holistic Nutrition Specialist, Certified Life Coach and Certified Hypnotherapist through Southwest Institute of Healing Arts. She is the founder of Tory Dube Holistic Health (formerly 'Hotchickpea', founded in NYC). Tory writes for several health publications, is a children's book author, hosts international wellness retreats, and works with clients around the world. Follow her here:

The Spiral of Experience

We all have our starting point -- a sacred moment of conception.  From that moment of conception we begin our journey on this planet through the channel of our mother, who is our first home, the first country in which we ever live.  

Photo by Alexandra Chan

After we emerge from the womb this journey on earth becomes our own. As the earth turns on its axis and revolves around the sun, our travels take the shape of a spiral within a spiral. With each expanding circle around the sun, our spiral widens out from our point of conception, and we gain experiences. We process, are affected by, and respond to these experiences. Most importantly, we learn from these experiences.

Consider the universality of the human experience. Each of us in this life will at some point go through the full spectrum from elation to despair. We will experience feelings of both fullness and emptiness. We will know the joy of fulfilling connections and the isolation of loneliness. We will gain recognition of authenticity in others, as well as the recognition of duplicity. Love will be present at the same time as loss. These polarities cannot exist without each other, and the Tantric path teaches us that while our perceptions of these experiences may differ vastly, in fact they are all the same; they are Shakti, Spanda, the sacred tremor of all life and creation.

It is our honor and our privilege to experience the vibration of creation in our human forms. 

With each widening revolution of our own sacred spiral, we gain more knowledge, more perspective, and more space, translating to a strong clarity of vision. So though our experiences of joy, love, loss, wounds and victories may repeat themselves, our responses to them and how we perceive them will change. Our lives become the Japa, the repetition, and if we claim the path of the Tantrika, we go into that spiral of repetition with bravery, clear sight, curiosity, and neutrality, ever pressing forward on our journeys to see what waits for us on the other side.

Marla Cinilia is a heart-based E-RYT 500 and a perpetual student of yoga, spirituality and mysticism.  She teaches and loves in New Hampshire and Maine.

Dharma: Live in Rhythm

We are each encoded with an individual blueprint which guides us towards our Dharma, or unique purpose, in order to create a life of deep meaning and fulfillment. The root meaning of 'Dhra' in Sanskrit is 'that which upholds or nourishes'. Our Dharma is found within our intrinsic constitution and is meant to be accessed, explored and shared with the world for the collective benefit.

The more that we align ourselves with our unique Souls purpose, the more we find ourselves living from a place of love, truth and power.

When we honor our Dharma our lives begin to flow with ease...we feel fulfilled, supported and guided by the Universe in a state of 'effortless effort' -- we cultivate potent relationships, are supported in our projects and find ourselves in beneficial situations which help us move forwards on our path through equal parts action and surrender.

It is through the embodiment of our Dharma that we live in Divine rhythm with ourselves and those around us...

The rhythm of the larger pulse, or Universal Dharma, is the flow of intelligence found in Nature through Seasonal cycles, the evolution of cultures, and pulsation of consciousness. It is the invisible connection and supreme vibration to life and all beings.

The two Dharmas are consistently interwoven like a colorful tapestry. The strength of each thread plays a powerful role in the beauty and longevity of the tapestry. Our individual Dharma (thread) strengthens the entire tapestry through honoring our unique gifts which brings clarity to our values and aims in this lifetime, and ultimate abundance through actions led with integrity and love. The thread of our individual Dharma asks us to step into our highest Self for healing, harmony and the benefit of all beings within the collective tapestry of the Universal Dharma.

The practices of yoga draw us directly into the heart and with steady commitment, move us onto the trajectory of Dharma. 

Do you feel loved, nourished and supported? Do you feel like you live in a state of rhythm or harmony? Or do you feel stagnant, stuck and unfulfilled? These simple questions invite us to reflect upon our life to see clearly when we are walking our path with truth, power and potency. 

Below are simple practices to allow your Dharma to reveal itself...

1. Explore Sacred texts -- Jhana Yoga or the 'Yoga of knowledge' offers the teachings of Dharma through intellectual study. The Bhagavad Gita is one of the most renowned and Sacred texts from the Mahabharata scriptures, and tells the epic tale of Arjuna, a warrior who steps into his Dharma through the guidance of his higher Self.

2. Holistic practices that are nourishing, purifying and strengthening for the body and mind. Disciplines such as Yoga, Tai Chi or Chi Gong aim to bring you into your highest Self.

3. Surround yourself with people who inspire you or you aspire to be (those who are living their Dharma!) -- seek a mentor and build a close relationship in order to learn how they live their lives with skill, intention and integrity.

4. Joy, nourishment and Self-love! Step into actions, relationships and experiences that ignite and nourish you -- create a list of 20 things that bring you happiness and return to the list as inspiration whenever you need a boost.

5. Listen to your hearts desire. Integrate practices that dive deep into what your heart is calling for. Sankalpa, contemplation, reflection and journaling all explore your deep yearning desires and help uncover what is truly at the root of the desires. 

6. Meditation creates space in our mind and moves us into a space of calm, presence and love. This state of mind is vital for our intuition to flow and move us deeper into Dharma.  

7. Cultivate a Kula or Soultribe which create a platform for deep connection and intimacy. It is through our unconditionally loving relationships that become a mirror and help us see our gifts, roles and purpose. 

LAUREN LEE is passionate about holistic health, exploring the world and empowering others to live vibrant and happy lives. Founder of Raise Your Beat, dedicated yogini and sun seeker, she lives for creating connection and enjoying simple pleasures. Read more about her here

Begin your Blog: here's how!

Photo by The Photo Forest

Photo by The Photo Forest

So you want a start a blog? That’s awesome! I've recently spoken with several friends over the last week who are starting blogs, podcasts, and other free resources for their users, which is super rad. 

However, it's not so rad to offer things for free without providing opportunities for energetic exchange. See, if we’re just giving out free stuff all the time, we’re really giving away our life energy. We’re actually tricking the balance of how the Universe likes to work with a give and take, a back and forth, a luscious flow of energy in and out, like the tide flowing in and out.

So how can we create an even energetic flow, in this case between free resources and the consumers of those resources? Here are my 5 suggestions for making the most of and creating energetic and monetary return on your blog.

1. Find Your Niche.

This adds value for your readers. What is their issue and how are you solving for it? Do they want to know how to build a tiny home? Makes sure you have resources that provide theme with a bunch of juicy deets about what to buy, where to buy, and how to do it. It’s awesome to write about your life, but make sure there is a consistent focus, a common theme. That common theme should be the headline of your blog, so that your readers know what to expect.

2. Keep It Simple.

Having a standard post type isn’t boring. It’s smart. It helps your readers know what they’ll get from you every week. If you do interviews, ask the same questions. If you make videos, give them the same intro and closer. If you use photographs, make your photographs cohesive, in the same style and with similar framing. You can switch things up, but make sure you have some standard (special and unique) post types for your blog.

3. Be Reliable.

Make sure you publish things on a schedule, let your readers know when you’ll release new content and stick to it. This is a relationship, and if you don’t show up when you say you will, that relationship doesn’t happen.

4. Make The Ask.

If you don’t feel comfortable giving people the opportunity to spend money with you yet, ask them for something else, a follow on Facebook, their email address, or a comment on the blog (actually, always ask for this no matter what). Make sure at the end of every post you ask your readers for something in return that helps you get to know them better or an engagement that helps your business. I.e. “Like this blog post, share it on Facebook.” “Do you want to share your travel adventures? Tag us on Instagram and we’ll comment back.”

5. Turn It Into An Energetic Plus.

This doesn’t have to happen at first, but once people get to know you, they’ll want to work with you more. If you don’t give people an opportunity to do that, it’s like brand blue balls, which can be good for raising your brand appeal, at first…but if you don’t give it up, your readers will get bored and disengaged. Do you offer a travel blog and teach surfing? Plan a trip to Costa Rica with a few friends and sell it online. Do you blog about healthy living? Offer 30 minute consults for lifestyle/food planning and offer to hold people accountable to their goals in an online community.

As a soulful entrepreneur, this is sometimes a difficult concept, but just remember, giving is a gift…on both ends. If you feel an energetic suck from a creative endeavor, think about what you need and how you can get more of that. Ask for help. I’m here for you and I’m sure someone else is too!

Meg Jamison combines design + yoga + life to create a beautiful, powerful, connected world. As a brand designer and yoga teacher, Meg loves to visually express who you are and to guide you on a process of deep exploration. Follow her here:

Find happiness, everyday!

What I desire in life and how I define “success” has changed drastically over the past year. What I used to acknowledge as achievements have become completely irrelevant, and it's even hard to understand what made me think or feel that way in the first place...

I know that this change I'm experiencing is not something that is well understood by many. From a young age, society conditions us to believe that success and respect are earned from a high paid job. The majority of society pushes and molds us in one direction and definition of what success is, ignoring the pursuit of what truly makes each one of us happy and what it would look like to follow our individual truths.

My personal revelation began with my Yoga practice…surprise, surprise! Yoga is constantly teaching me to be myself and be comfortable with that, no matter what. Yoga teaches me to be more brave, to listen to myself, to acknowledge and respect myself. With those powerful seeds planted inside of me, it was only a matter of time...and step by step, I am learning to let go of former beliefs about what life is all about, how it should look, and what my role is in it. 

This process of questioning everything I was used to do, believed in, or spent my time once doing is both, inspiring and scary at the same time! Fortunately though, once the seeds are planted and the ability to follow your heart kicks in, it is extremely difficult to ignore it.

We all have the same desire to find happiness in life, yet many of us are disconnected from how to attain and sustain our happiness...

Quotes such as ‘do more of what makes you happy’ are thrown around these days like confetti...and sure, they can inspire us while we read them, but it takes real bravery and courage to actually use the quote as inspiration to take action towards living as your most happy Self. 

Personally, it has taken me time to reflect the planted idea that happiness and your job, for example, are two completely different things. Before, I was convinced that happiness would come after I had the good education, earned money in a well-respected job, possessed more of whatever I have now, and ideally could pride myself with a picture-perfect relationship. But then Yoga made its way into my life and I realized that happiness is a matter of choice and can be found anywhere and at any place.

Happiness is found within and is not dependent on anything else in our lives. Once I figured this out, it made me thirsty for more…

There are just certain things in life that we have to do. Yes, I will always have to file my tax statement, earn enough money to pay my rent, or study for that finance exam…but besides that, I realise there is ample time and there are endless opportunities at my fingertips that allow me to live creatively and fill my days with joy and pleasure. I believe that a 9-to-5 job can be something we are passionate about, and we have the right to enjoy every day...a Tuesday can be as much fun and free feeling as a Saturday! Why shouldn't it be?

We must ask ourselves honestly how can we access our freedom and passions everyday, not just once we've reached our end result. How can we bring more of what we love into our lives each day? It may mean shifting our perspective to see our current job as an inspirational business idea, spending quality time with friends, taking the time for our yoga/dance/fitness class each week or walking through the park on a sunny day. The key is to find what brings you joy and to follow it, in both big and little ways, each day.

So ask yourself, what is it that makes your heart jump a little higher? 

Sabrina is on the journey to self-love, self-care and connection. Through Yoga and Meditation she learned how to truly connect with and channel the positivity within. Sabrina balances life between her many passions and desire to make a difference in her own life and those around her. Follow her here

The Power of Stories

Myths, legends and stories are an integral part of human existence. Traditionally, in all cultures across the world, they have been passed down from elders to youth to share information and spread teachings.

As the listener, we are invited to become open in order to receive and to tap into our highest states of imagination and creativity. As the teller, we must be present, charismatic and clear in our delivery.

Stories are powerful when told with authenticity and from a place of love...

When these two merge, there is a profound exchange that happens between the listener and the teller. The story becomes the vehicle for transmissions and teachings, and allows the community to grow together through their shared experience of sitting, listening, imagining, creating, reflecting...simply being together. 

The mythological stories have awakened in my own practice over the past few years, and have become one of my favorite aspects of teaching. Through their wild characters (gods, goddesses, demons and everything in between!) and dramatic plots, they encompass the many expressions of humanity through the characters, emotions and circumstances. Like any story, the mythological ones from the Hindu tradition are meant to awaken aspects of consciousness within us. They help us to develop our understanding of yoga philosophy and of our own spiritual journey. These stories illuminate, inspire and nourish us, and provide a beautiful gateway to experience the teachings in diverse ways. 

However, the power of a story doesn't only lie within the context of spiritual teachings...

Stories remind us that no matter how the landscapes change (as they do often!) we are all here with the same challenges and desires. They help us to reflect and answer some of the most meaningful questions in life. They are a thread that has potential to weave individuals into a shared experienced as a community and forever impact them.

There are certain areas in the brain that become active and engaged (different to when we simply hear words/sentences) when we hear stories. The areas in the brain that are triggered, draw us deeper into our emotions in order to connect with what we are being told. 

A powerful story bring us directly into the heart. And just as everyone has a heart, everyone has a story...

I believe that we all have a unique, transformative and potent story to share with the world.

This story is our authentic, raw, sometimes glamorous, and often times messy path of who we are and what has shaped our values...what experiences lead us to this exact moment...what are the wisdom nuggets we've learned along the way, and how can we effectively share them with our loved ones, communities and the world? 

When we tell our stories, to ourselves in our journal, or to an audience in public, we begin to connect the thousands of tiny dots that make up our incredible Selfs. This process is an act of courage and of Self love. It requires us to reflect honestly on our experiences, without judgement, and with full trust that we are living the teachings that we each need to step into most badass God/Goddess version of our individual novel.

When we tell our story, we are reminded that all of the sweat, tears, pain, laughter, love and passion are incredible gifts of the human experience...

When we tell our story, we are empowered to become the author of our life. We see that our story can (and will) shape-shift, and we have the ability to write each chapter before it unfolds.

Most important, when we tell our story, we inspire those around us to also share their authentic story. This creates a ripple and spreads far through greater forms of connection, communication and healing that spontaneously arises out of the shared experience. 

So ask yourself, what is my unique and wild story, and who can I honestly tell it to? 

LAUREN LEE is passionate about holistic health, exploring the world and empowering others to live vibrant and happy lives. Founder of Raise Your Beat, dedicated yogini and sun seeker, she lives for creating connection and enjoying simple pleasures. Read more about her here

Cleanse and release through Smudging

Smudging is an ancient practice used in Native American traditions to clear your body, mind and spirit of any negative, stagnant or unhealthy energies within or around you.

There are many rituals from Shamanic and Yogic lineages which involve the practice of purifying, using the elements and sacred plant medicine. When these rituals are done with reverence and authenticity, they help connect us to a higher source through clearing negative energies and calling in our highest intentions. Through the act of preparing and performing these ceremonies, we are awakened to nature and the intelligence and Divine wisdom it holds.

Smudging can be done as a traditional art form as well as adapted to fit your Sadhana, daily practice. 

Here's some tips to begin your very own Smudging ritual:

1. Create your bundle: take yourself on a walking meditation and forage in your backyard for beautiful herbs, plants and barks that you would like to include. When you create your own bundle from local resources, the ritual becomes even more personalized and unique to you! Dried sage bundles are always a good 'base' item you can purchase if you are unsure of where to begin...look for ethically sourced sage from an organic shop if possible. 

2. Create a sacred space: clear your space of clutter and open up windows/curtains and allow for fresh air to enter. If you have an alter space you can use this area and store your smudging items when your not using them. Creating a space that feels clean, safe and supportive will help focus your attention.

3. Become present: move through the ritual mindfully and slowly. Take 3 cleansing breaths to center yourself before you begin. With a greater sense of presence, you will be more likely to move through the practice with sacredness and reverence for the plants (Divine nature) and anyone else (ancestors, current loved ones, people in your life) you would like to acknowledge and bless.

4. Call in the four directions: the four directions (East, South, West, North) symbolize the various dimensions of health and the cycles of life. Calling in these directions acknowledges your whole and complete Self. In Native American tradition, various tribes interpret the Medicine Wheel differently, however the four directions most often correspond to the following:

Stages of life: birth, youth, adult (or elder), death

Seasons of the year: spring, summer, winter, fall

Aspects of life: spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical

Elements of nature: fire (or sun), air, water, and earth

5. Practice with heart: this is the most important thing to remember when moving through any spiritual ritual/ is so easy to go through the motions and become mindless, even when in our spiritual practices. Be sure that you are smudging from a place of intuition and loving attention. Smudging may be a daily practice for you, or it may be something you do on special occasions - when you smudge authentically and from the heart, there is no way to do it wrong. When you are ready to light your sage (or other herbs), acknowledge any intention(s) you are setting with the ritual. Become present to the elements as you light your bundle, and gently fan the smoke with a feather (or your hand) around your body, anyone else in your space and the room, symbolizing the clearing and purification.

A Smudging Prayer by Bess O'Connor

May your hands be cleansed, that they create beautiful things.

May your feet be cleansed, that they might take you where you most need to be.

May your heart be cleansed, that you might hear its messages clearly.

May your throat be cleansed, that you might speak rightly when words are needed.

May your eyes be cleansed, that you might see the signs and wonders of the world.

May this person and space be washed clean by the smoke of these fragrant plants.

And may that same smoke carry our prayers, spiraling, to the heavens.

LAUREN LEE is passionate about holistic health, exploring the world and empowering others to live vibrant and happy lives. Founder of Raise Your Beat, dedicated yogini and sun seeker, she lives for creating connection and enjoying simple pleasures. Read more about her here

Tarot: In Sacred Conversation

Ask any holy person, any spiritual devotee, any psychic medium/intuitive and they will tell you the same thing - our spirit guides are always near. The Divine surrounds us as a constant, both internal and external. This source wishes to aid us in our awakening and is trying to communicate with us all the time. We are embodied as humans in the physical/material plane; this is our privilege. It’s how our souls are able to live out their karmic destiny and fulfill their purpose. However, we all know how easy it is to feel as though our clarity is obscured and our path unclear.

Our spirit guides exist in the cosmic/etheric realm and strive to communicate with us in a variety of ways. Even if you are resistant to the idea of spirit guides or the notion that there is a higher consciousness within us, chances are you’ve experienced (even if only once or twice) your own form of connection with this power, a time when you just intuitively knew what to do, or felt peaceful in the midst of a chaotic situation. Perhaps in a moment of extreme confusion you asked for a sign or a directive. Perhaps, while experiencing intense joy, you found yourself spontaneously giving thanks (to what? To who?) These instincts to reach out, to be in conversation with something greater, to give thanks, to ask for help - exist because the connection to spirit is real, even if in your day-to-day you operate more from a place of science and data (sidebar for a topic all its own: spirit and science are not mutually exclusive!)

For those interested in cultivating an occasional or a constant connection with spirit, tarot provides a grounding ritual and a shared language with those guides who surround us and offer illumination. I view tarot as a form of functional, solutions-based prayer. Usually when we reach out to spirit it’s in the interest of getting a question answered or lobbying for a particular outcome - I hope I get that job opportunity! How will I be able to manage my day-to-day life in the face of this unexpected financial crisis? Where will the money come from? I hope I will be prosperous! How can I mend my relationship with my estranged family member? Why do I struggle so much with XY and Z and how can I change it?

When we pray we may receive answers immediately or we may be asked to practice patience while we stare into the void of mystery and simply trust. However, when we bring our questions or even just our current state of mind to the tarot deck as an inquiry for more clarity or affirmation, we receive tangible messages from the divine right away. When we approach with reverence and openness, tarot becomes the medium for messages to be passed directly from ether into matter. As in all other areas of our lives, interpretation, perception, and discernment are important. It’s easy to get swept up in the drama of certain cards (Death! All the swords! The hanged man!) And yes - just as in real life, the cards reflect the full spectrum of our human experience - darkness and light and every shade in between. It's important to view each message through the lens of solution. Our guides exist to help us, not harm. They want nothing more for us than expansion and an upward rising trajectory. Trusting that the messages we receive are meant to assist us as we move forward on our path is essential for an effective relationship with tarot and with spirit.

A certain measure of channeling and psychic openness is useful and necessary if you are reading for yourself. If you are receiving a reading from someone else, it’s most helpful if you have a baseline measure of trust in the clarity of that person’s intuition. If someone is preaching doom and gloom and you leave a reading feeling anxious or defeated, and most likely something has been lost in translation. Even if you pull the home run spread of the darkest cards in the deck, there’s a message of lightness there - a healing antidote, a way for you to BE in order to move through the darkness in a way that is skillful and peaceful. This is our honor and our challenge - the only true constant is change. Your cards will always change along with the shifting consciousness you bring to your prayers and your readings. One day is full of darkness, the next full of light, and all is still well. This is how we live our lives. This is what the tarot reflects back to us, and this is how we learn to find solid ground through sacred conversation with the Divine sources that surround us and want nothing more for us than victory. Trust us, say our guides. Trust us. It is always perfect, and it will always change, and the conversation that serves our forward motion can be constant if we wish it to be so.

Marla Cinilia is a heart-based E-RYT 500 and a perpetual student of yoga, spirituality and mysticism.  She teaches and loves in New Hampshire and Maine.

Cultivate Inner Power through Awareness

The deeper I dive into my practice of yoga and meditation, the more fascinated I become by the sensation of thoughts. My mind is like an entire world visible to no other but me, and the more I understand my thoughts as simply 'thoughts' the more I began to feel extremely liberated. 

We are used to thinking non-stop. Whatever is happening around us, we internally comment on it, reflect upon it, do anything with it -- anything but let it be. Even the most simple things in life can become awfully complex just by putting thoughts (more attention) into them. This complexity can become overwhelming, especially when these thoughts keep us in a vicious circle of destructive and pessimistic thinking. Don't get me wrong, our minds ability to think is an amazing tool, however we must put right effort into learning how to properly use it - instead of being used up by it.

This cycle is exactly what I have experienced. At times, I have been used up by my thoughts, keeping myself small and insecure and full of doubts. Without a single question, I accepted whatever my mind gave me, which most of the times have been a vicious circle of rumination, negativity and judgement. I also believed in the past, that I was the only one who experienced this, but I've come to realise we all have that inner voice that, and if not handled accordingly, can tear us down.

In one of my latest readings, I stumbled across meta-awareness. Meta-awareness examines our mind wanderings, how easily and often we get distracted by everything, I really mean everything. Reading this took me back to my first meditation practices where I felt as if I just couldn't get it right. Why? Because my mind kept distracting me. I couldn't even count until 6 before my mind was taking me back to yesterday's conversation with my sister or I was thinking about tonight's dinner plans. I thought I had missed an essential part of the practice, and maybe meditation was just not for me.

What was happening instead was exactly what meditation is: being distracted by thoughts, noticing them, observing them and trying to return to the present moment, only to be distracted again.

The first encounter with the meta-awareness was followed by a slow and ongoing realization that my thoughts are not facts and not true. My thoughts are often noise. Distraction. Confusion. Interference.

The more you are caught up in a certain thought, the more likely it will keep coming back. That can be a frustrating cycle, however, there is a way out. All it takes is practice!

If you want to take on your thoughts and gain the power back over your mind, the most important tool for you is awareness. Here, it is not necessarily important how you practice awareness, but most important is that you practice it. And a practice needs to happen regularly, even if it’s just 5 minutes a day. Try and make it your healthy habit.

Here's how to practice more awareness:

Meditation: I start my day with a 12 to 17 minute meditation practice. Sometimes, I feel the need to sit longer or even twice a day, so I try to schedule that in. I see it as taking care of my mind, just like taking care of my body by heading to the gym or preparing delicious food.

Time-Outs: If you find yourself in the middle of negative thoughts tearing you down, be pro-active and take a time-out. This can literally be anything. A walk in nature, a couple of pages in a good book, some music or just two minutes sitting in silence following your breath. The most important thing is to give yourself a change of scenery and act upon it.

Write it down: If there is one particular thought or a series of thoughts that keeps showing up, write them on a piece of paper and ask yourself critically: are you tricking yourself into something, are you thinking in black and white terms only, or could it be possible that you are expecting perfection from yourself? I like to ask myself if I would expect my dearest friends to act in that way or make that certain decision. The answer is usually no. So why continue to be so harsh upon yourself? 

Gratitude: Every evening before going to bed I write down three things that I am extremely grateful for that specific day. I don't worry about writing it poetic or beautiful ways – I simply note whatever pops up in my head first. Since my gratitude journal is usually the last thing I see before closing my eyes, this helps to shift my perception of the day I experienced.

Remember, awareness is the driving force behind your thoughts.

If you practice shifting your awareness away from your negative and destructive thoughts, you withdraw the power.

Like with anything, the more you practice, the better you will learn how to use your mind and thoughts as the previous tools they are. 

Sabrina is on the journey to self-love, self-care and connection. Through Yoga and Meditation she learned how to truly connect with and channel the positivity within. Sabrina balances life between her many passions and desire to make a difference in her own life and those around her. Follow her here

Step into Spring

The Spring Equinox is celebrated as the first day of the new season, when day and night are equal in both hemispheres. This is a particularly potent time in the year when nature comes alive after the hibernation months of winter. Seeds are germinating, buds are bursting on trees and the power of the sun is increasing. This is a dynamic and expansive time of the year which symbolizes fertility, growth and opportunities. 

Here are 3 simple tips to stay balanced and maximize your potential throughout this time of transition:

Embrace Creativity

Spring is a season where things come alive after the cool and dry winter months. This change is a beautiful time to manifest intentions, as we are supported through the natural cycle of transformation -- birth, sustainment and destruction. During Spring we are in the 'birth' stage with changing weather patterns, welcoming fresh air, cleansing rains, and warmth from the sun which provides an abundance in life and energy. Use this dynamic energy present within nature, to support our expressions of creativity as we expand into new projects, roles and practices. Reflect on your core values and intentions you hold for new responsibilities moving forwards and hold yourself accountable to expand with integrity and awareness.

Cleanse and Awaken

After the stagnant, introverted months of winter, it is important to bring a sense of lightness to the body and mind. Utilize the warmer weather and use nature as your playground (walk, run or cycle) to get your body moving in new ways and counter any lethargic tendencies, wake up and sleep 30 minutes earlier, cleanse your diet and eat more fresh vegetables/fruits and drink plenty of water! Reflect on the previous months through a 40 day Sadhana (practice) which guides you to release one negative habit, and replace it with a positive one. Clean your home/office/car and keep spaces open, light, and inspiring. Try to donate something each time you take in some new to make sure you don't accumulate unnecessary clutter.

Gather in Community

Welcome the new season with enthusiasm! Join together with family and friends to celebrate, reconnect and share your intentions/ideas for the months ahead. Community is wonderful for support -- when we voice our intentions/dreams/aspirations we are much more accountable for our actions. Empower yourself through the love, joy and encouragement of others.

LAUREN LEE is passionate about holistic health, exploring the world and empowering others to live vibrant and happy lives. Founder of Raise Your Beat, dedicated yogini and sun seeker, she lives for creating connection and enjoying simple pleasures. Read more about her here


Sacred Community: Rise together!

The rise in consciousness throughout the world calls for deep reflection and true revelation in order to create sustainable change. 

Many of us are questioning previous standards of society and choosing to live more mindfully, from a place of compassion and love. With our advancements in technology and abundance of material resources, there is a deep desire for inner fulfillment and a call for spiritual awakening on a global level. We have reached a point where our connection to self in the safety of our yoga mats, may not be enough. In order to live more sustainably and protect the Earth, we must not only stand up for our authentic truths, but learn to lead with example and positively impact those around us.

Our individual efforts are 100% needed for a collective shift, however it is the collaboration through sacred community which will bring powerful worldwide change. 

I began practicing yoga over 10 years ago as a disconnected and disillusioned teenager. Throughout my consistent practice and purification, I became more clear on my own authentic gifts and how I could best serve the world. While I am grateful to teach drop-in classes at studios, I have found that deep transformation arises out of experiences where you are deeply immersed in the teachings collectively with community. 

In the same way a child learns when they are in a supportive environment, as adults we have greater success on our spiritual paths when surrounded by experienced mentors and like-minded community. There is a loving-kindness, strength and sweetness cultivated when we step into a challenge together as a group. Mutual understanding and compassion arises out of the shared experience and inspiration is gained as we literally hold one another up, through breath, advice or a helping hand. 

Most important, ideas become are more powerful when shared, which leads to a greater impact in the way we live in society through right intentions and actions. 

In community we encourage others to treat themselves with the respect they deserve through acceptance and self-love. We feel seen, heard and felt from a place of neutrality…

This is the power of kula (sacred community) - our sisters and brothers provide the platform for loving-kindness and a safe haven of support. They help us to shape-shift ourselves into better partners, employers/employees, mothers/fathers, daughters/sons. They remind us of our innate power and responsibilities within the world. They hold us accountable without shame or blame. They honor our uniqueness and help us integrate with tenderness…

Celebration of our unique gifts and collaboration to serve others is at the heart of sacred community.

When we understand that our brothers/sisters are our own direct reflection, we began to take initiative and start the process of healing for the benefit of future generations…we naturally rise into our highest selfs and invite others to do the same!

LAUREN LEE is passionate about holistic health, exploring the world and empowering others to live vibrant and happy lives. Founder of Raise Your Beat, dedicated yogini and sun seeker, she lives for creating connection and enjoying simple pleasures. Read more about her here

Studentship: Continuing your Education

Adihkara (studentship) is one of the most important aspects of life. As a yoga teacher advancing your education is not only beneficial, but vital for your personal and professional growth. It's imperative that we invest in ourselves through our own practices -- our daily Sadhana, as well as deeper immersions with more skillful teachers to aid us in the process of purification.

Our personal experiences of yoga are the highest gifts we can offer our students (families and communities!) and help us to honestly and effectively share our truths.

Studentship invites growth and deep transformation, however it is not always easy. With age and lack of awareness, our egos can sway into unhealthy states as we become conditioned by our previous beliefs and build resistance to 'emptying out'. This important process of emptying out allows us to step into a beginners mindset to receive, digest and integrate new teachings. Studentship is a practice of full humility, receptivity and surrender.

The qualities of studentship are intrinsic to Prakriti (nature). Life is programmed to evolve -- everything is born with a unique purpose and desire to dynamically dance through the Dukha (challenges/shadows) and Sukha (sweetness/beauty) of life...

The role of a yoga teacher requires healthy and consistent studentship, on and off the mat.

Just as the teachings are vast and diverse, so are the ways in which we share them with our students depending on each students needs. It is our duty to make the teachings accessible and empowering to all. There is huge responsibility that comes with teaching yoga as we are invite people into their many diverse layers for the purpose of purification and transfromation. 

Teaching requires an incredible amount of steadiness, skill, intuition, authenticity, neutrality and loving-kindness.

While these qualities are more easily available to some teachers earlier than others, most likely they were not developed overnight or after the first Yoga Teacher Training. Our brains can only retain a certain amount of information at once, so it takes years of practice, study, and life experience to integrate teachings from a place of authenticity.

To become experienced and refined teachers, we must continually move through the cycle of studentship with the same devotion and commitment we expect our students to exude.

Below are 3 ways to step into your seat of the teacher:

1. Practice practice practice! When we teach from a place of personal experience we can better express the sensations, challenges and ways we moved through something, whether it was learning to hold hand stand in the middle of the room or maintaining integrity during a difficult negotiation. When we speak from experience we can better relate to how students are feeling as they move through a similar process. The more we practice our yoga as teachers, the more we build our strong containers and learn to hold space and inspire our students to do the same! 

1. Study with experienced teachers: with thousands of yoga teachers in the world, we must be discerning with who we practice with if we are truly looking to evolve our own practice and teachings. While an experienced teacher will be more costly to join at a workshop/retreat/training it will be well worth it. Quality over quantity is a simple mantra to hold close when choosing events. Invite a balance of teachers to learn different methodologies and be okay with keeping only what resonates with you at this moment in your path from each. Most important, put into practice what you have learned. In the beginning it may feel as if it's an imitation, however as you practice there will be an integration and eventually innovation, where you create based on previous teachings/inspiration. Check out Teach.Yoga for highly experienced teacher immersions to take part in!

3. Seek a mentor: traditionally this was one of the most important aspects of learning. Mentorship creates greater depths of support through an intimate relationship, on and off the mat. This teacher gives us personalized attention and tools specific to our needs, knows our boundaries, and holds us accountable to challenge ourselves when we are ready. A mentor should ideally be someone you align with and is interested in providing long term value. Many experienced teachers look to take on 'apprentices' to share their knowledge with and train for future assistance during their events. Mentorship in the yoga world is unique to any other sort of mentorship within business, as the yoga practices encourage a vulnerability, sensitivity and honesty which aid in creating a close, sweet and loving relationship.

LAUREN LEE is passionate about holistic health, exploring the world and empowering others to live vibrant and happy lives. Founder of Raise Your Beat, dedicated yogini and sun seeker, she lives for creating connection and enjoying simple pleasures. Read more about her here

10 tips for leading Retreats

Retreats are beautiful spaces to immerse ourselves in nourishment. Healing happens through yoga, nature, food, rejuvenation, knowledge, seclusion and community — essentially retreats are a ‘time out’ of our daily lives and a ‘free pass’ to devote every moment to ourselves. 

As a teacher, being able to create these sacred spaces for students is one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences. 

So when do you know if your ready to lead your own retreats? 

Well, here is the big secret, you’re never ready unless you ARE ready. Being ready means feeling confident in what you offer as a teacher. It doesn’t matter the style of yoga, level of experience or amount of minutes you can sit in meditation…if you can 100% authentically deliver and express your teachings to students in a safe, accessible and inspiring way, then you have something valuable and worthwhile to share with the world. 

If you feel strong, healthy and empowered as a teacher then read through my simple tips which can help you organize and share your best possible self on retreats. 

1. Have integrity: What is your intention behind leading a retreat? Sure, retreats are a great way to experience new cultures and also give yourself a break from daily routines (yes, teachers have loads of fun and relaxation on retreats too!), but never plan a retreat with ulterior motives because ultimately it should be about sharing your practice and dedication with others. Know as a teacher that leading retreats is much more than a gorgeous place in the world and a suntan…it is an opportunity to experience, learn, grow and challenge yourself.

2. Activate your Pita (inner fire and organization!): Planning retreats takes a minimum of 5 months. Give yourself 1 month to create your retreat - choosing a theme, solidifying the venue and putting together your marketing. You will then need a minimum of 4 months for promotion leading up to the retreat. Use Google Drive so you can easily access and update your documents - your retreat plan, contracts, expense and student booking form and marketing files. Highlight most retreat details on your personal website and create a more personalized and detailed PDF which you can send to potential students when they inquire. 

Attention to detail, consistency and organization from the first day of your planning will only help to ensure smooth the behind the scenes work and actually retreat is smooth and enjoyable.

3. Finances: When you are planning your retreat, work out your personal costs and calculate how many students minimum you need for the retreat to be financially and energetically successful. Give yourself a deadline before the retreat (one where you won’t lose out on the full deposit for the venue) in case you need to reassess your logistics or postpone the retreat for a later date. Overall, start small and begin with a retreat where you only need 4 students to cover your costs so you can be sure the retreat will take place.

4. Choose wisely: One of the biggest aspects of your retreat is where you will host it, this includes which part of the world and in which type of venue. What you want to offer, what feels authentic to you and your student demographic should all determine your selection.

The options for creating a unique retreat which aligns best with you are endless. 

Choose a theme and create a program that are personalized and will interest students. Instead of simply ‘Hatha', why not offer ‘Hatha and deep relaxation through yoga nidra', ‘Hatha and art to boost creativity’, ‘Hatha and sacred circles to tap into your hearts true desire’ — give students something unique to remember your retreat by! 

Offer a retreat in the same way you would enjoy one. It should be an experience that is well-rounded with different practices and plenty of extra touches. Most of the time these ‘extras' are free, all you need to do is get creative - think juicy savasana adjustments, fresh flowers, tibetan bowl meditations, meditation walks, communal circles.

Knowing your unique theme and who the majority of your clients are will help you to narrow down your options of where in the world to host your retreat in and which type of accommodation to look for (basic, comfortable or luxury.) 

My first retreat I ever hosted was in Costa Rica (a country known for its nature, yoga and beauty) at Nautilus Hotel, which I knew would appeal to a broader demographic as it was in between basic and luxury. It was a comfortable and affordable (in relation to other yoga retreats in Costa Rica) boutique hotel, with charm and in a quiet location minutes from pristine beaches. One of the reasons why I chose to host my retreat at Nautilus was because it was family run and I personally connected with the owners. It was obvious that they were committed to helping my retreat be a success with their attention to detail, flexibility in meal preparation and consistent communication. I chose to support Nautilus because they have similar ethics and standards. It is important that you feel good about the place where you are hosting your retreat, and trust that they want your retreat to be as successful for you as it will be for them. 

Hosting your retreat at a well known venue can also be helpful in bringing students as they already have a student base and websites with very high google rankings. Most often they will help with marketing (promote on their own website and social media) and will naturally attract guests as they will have trusty clientele who continue to invest in holidays year after year due to the high standards. Note that while most of these retreat centers (while beautiful) may be much more expensive which means a higher overall retreat price. 

5. Be proactive: This is one of the most important (and sometimes most scary) aspects of leading a retreat - how to ensure you will have enough to make it financially and energetically sustainable? Even if you have a steady clientele of students, they may not be in the position to go on a retreat during the dates you offer, so don’t count solely on them. Look for ways to promote locally within your community to potential students who may be able to personally meet with you and/or come take a class before signing up for the retreat. From my experience, 75% of students on retreats know you somehow through a friend, family member, coworker, etc. Of course there are many useful websites (just to name a few,, which act as yoga search engines and can expand your demographic beyond your local yoga scene. Look for sites which have high traffic and will also market for you on their social media pages. 

Whether you enjoy it or not, self promotion can be extremely useful. Social Media is a great tool to connect and reach a more personalized demographic - people who may contact you because someone they trust knows you and/or your yoga. Although it can feel like an uncomfortable ‘ego boost’ to post about your personal events, when done with genuine enthusiasm, there is nothing wrong with these posts. Personally, I would much rather my newsfeed be filled with inspiring cultural/spiritual events than negative status updates, so I actually appreciate when a friend shows excitement about their own hard work and shares it on their social media. 

Building an ‘online foundation’ for yourself is key. Not only using social media, but investing in a website for yourself is vital. A website is a landing page which essentially becomes a live portfolio and peek into your career and lifestyle. A website gives you professional credit and can be showcase your teachings in a unique and creative way. Website builders like Squarespace are user friendly (for both designers and users) and has my vote for simple, clean and fresh templates. Using high quality images are key in creating a site that is visually appealing and professional. Tory DubeNora WendelMeg Jamison are a few recommended designers who can help to create you online presence.

6. Be professional: Always maintain a professional attitude towards this ‘getaway’, but work to find the balance between being the coordinator, teacher and friend. Retreats are overwhelming and entail lots of organization from the moment you begin planning. Students require your attention and efforts before, during and after the retreat - make sure you are ready to support them with minor details such as arranging travel before hand via email, or on the mat when they open up and may share personal stories and experiences. Be present and tune in. Step back from your ‘leading role’ as often as the group allows, and enjoy the community dynamic without always feeling as if you need to be ‘center stage.’

7. Plan a schedule: But be willing to alter it, everyday if need be. Planning for a retreat is absolutely necessary to ensure you are clear in what you plan to offer, which brings essential stability to the program. This will automatically send signals to your students, telling them to trust you as their guide, sit back and fully relax. However, be ‘flexible’ in your program (mind!) to change timings, classes, activities and even themes once all of your students have arrived as a group and the retreat is in full swing. Know that being in a group community people naturally reflect one another’s energies. Keep in mind that any immersion into yoga (detox from daily comforts, change in routine and environment, etc.) will act as a cleanse and be transformative for people. Depending on their frequency of practice and health, it is natural to have students feel as if they have hit a ‘breaking point’ or struggle as they work through deep rooted blockages. When your students arrive to their mats feeling exhausted, know its your job to gently guide them into yoga nidra and skip ‘awakening the core’ for another day, or maybe even another retreat. Be incredibly intuitive and let go of your own ego and expectations for what you thought you ‘should’ offer. Instead, offering students what they truly need moment to moment is a natural gift of wisdom, and one which any true teacher embodies. 

8. Expect the Unexpected: Flight delays, illness, injuries, grumpy and hard to deal with participants — I have heard all kinds of stories from friends who have been leading retreats for decades, and have even witnessed many of them myself. As the teacher (leader) you must not be swayed by any of the ‘negative’ circumstances. Maintaining your inner strength, focus, determination, compassion and pure love is key, especially during circumstances that are challenging. If you truly believe that each experience happens for a reason, then you should easily integrate these real life problems (even when in paradise on retreat) into teachings…ultimately moving any darkness out and making room for more light.


9. Grab a friend :: A great way to dive into the world of leading retreats is with a trusty friend! Even better if it is someone who has had previous experience leading retreats or is a mentor to you. The most important factor is that you have a healthy relationship with this person and value what they can offer your students. Clearly map out your professional ideas and roles to ensure you have a similar vision. It is vital that you respect each others unique teaching styles and personalities, while finding a balance to fuse your differences together to offer a more specialized retreat (why have 1 amazing teacher when you can have two!?) 

Co-leading retreats are extremely useful in terms of reaching a larger network and can help to take off some of the pressure as you will ultimately have a larger network, more time and double the amount of energy. And the best part of leading a retreat with another teacher? You give one another unconditional support throughout, and at times, the opportunity to learn and enjoy the retreat through the eyes of a student.

10. Stay positive :: While retreats are immense amounts of hard work and effort, be ready for the hard work to pay off in the most rewarding ways, and be prepared for them to happen at any random times. Usually these are the most simple and profound moments that remind us of why we do what we love - seeing your students completely blissed out during savasana, witnessing the group bonding over nourishing foods, or a long nurturing hug from a grateful participant. 

Still overwhelmed? Start locally! Even if you are confident to lead an international retreat, take the opportunity to organize a retreat locally. At the time when I hosted my first retreat, I was living in Costa Rica. It was important that I could visit the area and hotel where I held my retreat so that I could personally feel confident giving my students advice. Since I knew what to expect, I could easily translate this to students, giving them a sense of security before they even arrived. 

By planning shorter long weekend retreats closer to your home, you can advertise through local studios, grow your network of students and build a foundation. This foundation gives you experience which leads to trust in you as a teacher, allowing you to make smoother transitions when leading groups to new parts of the world you may not have even explored yet. 

Remember! Stay open to suggestions, feedback and ways on how to improve every retreat. This will help you to transform your retreats so each one can be more smooth, enjoyable and an in depth experience. Think back to your very first yoga class you ever taught - and now fast forward to your most recent class you've taught - witness your personal growth. Know that just as your classes have evolved, your retreats, too, will organically grow and flourish over time with patience, effort and dedication. 

Go into each retreat you lead (the first or twenty-fifth!) with the same enthusiasm, devotion and passion. 

Embrace the imperfections, be open minded and willing to grow, while maintaining your confidence by staying true to your unique and beautiful self. 

LAUREN LEE is passionate about holistic health, exploring the world and empowering others to live vibrant and happy lives. Founder of Raise Your Beat, dedicated yogini and sun seeker, she lives for creating connection and enjoying simple pleasures. Read more about her here

Soul-based Partnerships for Entrepreneurs


2017 is a new age for the world of work: The Age of the Personal Brand. Instead of the traditional model of spending your adult life with a soul-sucking 9 to 5 job in a beige cubicle, you’re forging ahead with visionary, meaningful and deeply personal work. This exciting new frontier is filled with passion and purpose, but it’s not always easy. 

It can be exhausting and confusing staying focused and aligned while bootstrapping your business and building an ecosystem to support your uncompromising vision, all while eyeing “the competition” and their similar work. 

I'm here to say: You don’t have to do this alone! As a solopreneur, I am lucky to have built a tribe of supportive partnerships, in specific with my 'partner in shine' Yoga & Meditation teacher Lauren Lee, who I co-host international Yoga & Wellness Retreats with. We have found immense success (mind, body, spirit and wallet) through our collaboration and know that the path to the most abundant destination is not a solo journey, but best travelled together!

1) It All Starts With Heart:
Soul-fueled business starts with intentionally addressing a worthy cause. If the enthusiastic commitment to that cause is shared by all partners, it will serve as the indubitable compass for future progress and discovery. Disagreements, doubt and obstacles can exist in every business, and nothing is more detrimental and contagious than fear. But with the nourishing and galvanizing strength of shared purpose, you can always rely on seeing through the most difficult of trying times.  

If doubt sets in between us regarding about a retreat, workshop or otherwise, we always go back to the heart of our mission— bringing health, freedom and happiness to our students. If that mission is still being honored, regardless of any secondary goal, we know we’re still on the right track. This anchor allows us to be malleable in our approach, but loyal to our clearly defined, ultimate goal. This is the concrete, unshakeable foundation upon which our partnership has been built. 

Guiding questions: What are your personal values? What are your professional values? What are the values of the event or project you want to co-create? Where do they overlap— and are those overlaps powerful enough to rely on? 

2) More Than Money: 
Clearly define and agree on your metrics of profit. There are numerous ways to interpret the success of a project aside from financials and it’s imperative that you and your partner agree on what feels abundant.

Is the project still ‘successful’ if you didn’t hit your monetary goals, but you received valuable media coverage? If you created a foundational, important relationship with the venue for future events? If you now have photos and videos for use in promotion for the next project? If you made new industry connections, affiliates, and brand partnerships? If you received signups for your newsletter or a different program? 

Guiding questions: What are your personal metrics from ‘profit’? What are 10 ways to feel abundant, no matter the financial outcome, within this project? If you’re not seeing the profits you expected, what is the protocol for determining whether you comfortably switch gears, reschedule, or cancel? 

3) Overcome The Delegation Dilemma: 
Choose someone that complements your strengths.. and then surrender and trust their talents. Especially as a multi-hat wearing entrepreneur, it can be difficult to delegate. To utilize your time and energy, the most beneficial, potent and efficient partnerships are those that align with grace and ease. 

Lauren is a pro with retreat logistics, pricing and details, I have a knack for promotions and brand partnerships. We both can admit what tasks we’re excited about and what we’d rather delegate without shame or embarrassment. We both can truly appreciate and honor the strengths of the other without jealously or insecurity. We honor one another as an essential and incredibly valuable asset, and through that we both want to show up with integrity, honesty, and smart work. 

Guiding question: What is it going to take to properly plan and execute your venture? Together, make a general plan of action, including expected roles and responsibilities. Separately, make a personal list of responsibilities that genuinely excite you to complete. Together, compare lists and assign roles, settling on what feels exciting, fulfilling, and for the best for the project. 

4) The Whole Picture: 
Relationships are holistic. The most authentic way to truly have reverence for a partner within your project, you must also have reverence for their personal lives. Respect their boundaries, encourage self-care, support their other projects and partnerships. Trust and respect are also holistic, it’s impossible to lean fully into a project with someone if you do not respect their personal choices and this is something you should seriously consider before committing to co-create. 

Not only do we support one another in our outside endeavors, but we often find we can refer one another to many new partnerships! Instead of worrying about being stretched too thin and diverting energy away from our co-created projects, we trust that there’s enough room for us all— and that loving support, all around, is always the answer. 

Guiding questions: Do you and your partner have similar standards for self-care? Can you clearly define your needs outside of the workspace? (Ex: I need to be offline before 7PM each night, unless there’s an emergency). 

TORY DUBE is a Holistic Nutrition Specialist, Certified Life Coach and Certified Hypnotherapist through Southwest Institute of Healing Arts. She is the founder of Tory Dube Holistic Health (formerly 'Hotchickpea', founded in NYC). Tory writes for several health publications, is a children's book author, hosts international wellness retreats, and works with clients around the world. Follow her here:

Shakti Rising

The world is at a unique turning point and a shift in consciousness is felt on a global scale. From the rise of yoga with millions of practitioners worldwide, striving to live a more meaningful and mindful existence, to the recent movements for the environment and equality...more individuals are stepping into their innate power with the intentions of healing the world. While it's easy to focus on the mass fear, hatred and aggression that continues to take place, it's vital to bring our attention (and sustain it) on the love, unity and action that has been, and continues, to shape shift our future. 

Over the past year I have felt my own inner strength and authentic voice rising, and these past weeks have confirmed that I am not alone in these feelings. Women and men all over the world stood up for values that went far beyond politics...we gathered in celebration and expression of the desire for justice! We brought attention to the cruel separation of humans and the disgusting destruction of the planet. We marched, sang, danced, laughed, rapped and screamed our way through the streets while soaking up the passion and enthusiasm of our surrounding sisters and brothers. Whether we met in person or watched from our screens, the rise in consciousness is clear and contagious.

Ideas are more powerful when shared...and when love is the basis of those ideas, they are unstoppable! 

This is what Shakti, the feminine energy represents — she is a free-flowing fierce, creative, intuitive, receptive, wise and unconditionally loving energy that rises and expands in all directions. Many of us are channeling these qualities and stepping into our light...we are no longer afraid to say no to anyone else's ideas of how we should live our lives, and instead are honestly looking at what is soulful and truly brings a state of health/happiness to our lives. We are questioning why it is we are alive, and slowly finding the courage to follow our hearts desires. We are able to see past our own challenges and feel empowered and able to serve the world. We know that our individual transformation is absolutely needed for a collective transformation... 

This past week proved that we are ready as a global community to fearlessly and peacefully take action towards a more unified, bold and beautiful world backed by the qualities of Shakti for our future generations. There has never been a better time than NOW to rise into our power and fuel our intentions with love.

It's safe to say that every cell in my body is completely inspired, rejuvenated and full of hope. I feel my whole being vibrating and I have never been so proud to be a human, grateful to be a woman, and motivated to share my opinions freely. 

So this post is a thank you…

Thank you Universe for this precious life and the ability to transform.

Thank you to the millions of women and men who view and treat others equally and who aren't scared to call themselves a feminist.

Thank you for taking a stand against fear and limiting beliefs and continually stepping out of your comfort zone — even when you may be criticized.

Thank you for providing inspiration through your courage and for believing that together we can move move mountains! 

Warriors of the 21st century, you are heard, felt and needed...may we continue to rise with clarity, steady action and peace. 

LAUREN LEE is passionate about holistic health, exploring the world and empowering others to live vibrant and happy lives. Founder of Raise Your Beat, dedicated yogini and sun seeker, she lives for creating connection and enjoying simple pleasures. Read more about her here

Tips to stay Healthy during Travel

With a passion for adventure and a desire for deep connection, travel has become engrained in my lifestyle. I have created a life which fuses together my passion for teaching and travel, leading retreat immersions (in some of the most gorgeous places on Earth!) which means I spend a lot of time moving between countries and time zones. Besides my love for travel, movement is inherent to me as my main Ayurvedic constitution is Vata (air + space) which means I naturally move quickly, adapt easily, take on too many projects at once and talk...a lot! With a lifestyle that rarely involves set structure and planned routine, it's vital for my health to follow simple, yet transformative routines. 

When we travel our bodies and minds are stimulated with change in environments and energies. Our senses are exposed to new sights, sounds, smells and tastes which can lead to over stimulation and imbalances. Imbalances show up differently for all of us, however the most common during travel come in the form of exhaustion, stress, anxiety, insomnia, digestive issues and even disease. Our bodies naturally have amazing physical capacities to heal, however, it takes awareness and effort to stay grounded, healthy and balanced in both body and mind.

Below are my top tips for accessible practices that personally help keep me feeling vibrant on a daily basis, no matter where I am in the world! 

1. Hydrate hydrate hydrate!

Water is one of the most over looked and simplest ways we can nourish. Water naturally cleanses, moisturizes, maintains and rejuvenates our entire body - organs, muscles, joints, skin. Reduce your caffeine intake (especially when on long distance travels!) and instead drink water or soothing herbal teas.

During Travel: carry a BPA free bottle by your side as a reminder to hydrate and refill when there is fresh water supply to save money and reduce wastes! Carry herbal tea bags with you - they are light and barely take up space, and may be a life saver when in rural areas!

2. Eat more color! enjoy as many fresh, unprocessed foods and remember, less can be more.

Almost anyone who has an interest in their health (and tastebuds!) is aware that a balanced diet is imperative to our health. Ayurveda believes that each meal should incorporate the six tastes (sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter, astringent) as each taste produces a different effect on our body-mind physiology. A variety in diet will represent all food groups, nutrients and will leave you feeling more satisfied. 

Each person's diet will vary depending on their body type (it's okay if you cannot survive solely on a vegan/vegetarian diet) however, as a general rule of thumb, eat more fresh, local and unprocessed foods. 

In traditional cultures it is believed that our health begins with a strong 'hara' or 'agni' or the internal fire, known as the digestive system. Simply put, when the body's digestive 'flow' is working well, you releases toxins and absorb nutrients needed to fuel your body and mind. 

The most transformative way to shift your diet is to eliminate and reduce processed foods and unhealthy substances (white sugars/flour, alcohol, caffeine) for more wholesome foods (raw/coconut sugar, pure maple syrup, whole wheat, grains, green/rooibis/chamomile teas). Reduce your intake of heavy foods to digest such as dairy (cow milk, cheeses, yoghurt, ice cream) and instead begin to incorporate alternative plant based foods (almond/oat/rice milk, tahini, nut spreads) - you may surprise yourself at how quickly the cravings subside and your body begins to ask for healthier options! 

During Travel: bring a small emergency stash of nuts, seeds, goji berries & dried fruits which won't expire and are nutritionally rich. Homemade raw 'granola' bars filled with all of these ingredients are also great options. Some of my personal favorites are GoMacro or Perfect Bar.

3. Indulge in juices: An easy and delicious way to boost immunity is through juicing, especially when you don't have time to prepare fresh foods or don't have access to them. Drinking your veggies and fruits in liquid form gives your digestive system a break from eating solid foods and allows a natural cleanse to occur, releasing excess toxins and re-energizing your organs. Look for cold pressed juice or juices which have no additives (sneaky sugars) or preservatives (dangerous chemicals) so you get the benefits of living enzymes from your juice. Soak up Mother Nature's vitamins and super foods to stay energized, mentally alert, and vibrant!

During Travel: treat yourself to juice when its available, even if it is a fresh squeezed orange juice - a healthy dose of Vitamin C is always great for immunity! 

What makes cold pressed juice so special?

The fresh fruits and vegetables are pressed using a hydraulic press juicer that applies a tremendous amount of pressure to extract the nectar directly from the pulp. The pressing action (instead of blending or grinding) won't oxidize or degrade the fruits and vegetables and will keep the nutrients and enzymes intact. With a blender, the fruits and vegetables are being cut and ground by a blade and are exposed to heat, which removes many of the essential vitamins, enzymes, proteins, and minerals that we want from our juice. Pressed juice is simply the closest thing to raw, pure fruit or vegetables, and allows you to get a concentrated amount of nutrients that would otherwise be difficult to achieve just by eating raw fruits and vegetables alone.    - Pressed Juices

4. Touch the Earth: Get grounded physically. Immerse yourself in nature with a swim in the sea, walk barefoot or sit in a garden. Get as connected directly to the earth as possible for it least 20 minutes a day. Spend time outdoors breathing in fresh air and soaking up the sunshine. Nature has incredible healing properties which can help us to slow down, reconnect and relax.

During Travel: find sunny places to sit, attune to the rhythm of your breath and take off your shoes to feel a connection with the ground. 

5. Move your body: Visualise your body as a beautiful map full of highways, roads, trails, rivers, lakes, streams - these act as communication pathways to entire physiology and must stay clear and unblocked in order to transport nutrients and circulate blood, fluid, oxygen and energy. Pathways become easily blocked without continual movement (especially joints, when traveling and sitting for long periods of time during transit!) which leads to a build up of tension and strain. 

Movement is one of the simplest ways to keep the circulation of healthy bodily fluids and energy flowing. Our bodies should have a minimum of 30 minutes per day of cardiovascular strengthening to maintain a healthy heart. Walking, running, hiking and playing sports are all ways to include intervals of movement. Include a holistic practice which encourages breath in alignment with therapeutic movements and mindfulness, such as Yoga, T'ai Chi and Chi-gong. It's vital to begin or sustain a holistic practice for body-mind-spirit health. Create a self-practice which is accessible and enjoyable. Your self-practice is yours - it doesn't need to 'look a certain way' or even include 'postures or forms'. You can be as playful, creative and open minded with your body as feels good. 

During Travel: opt for the stairways instead of escalators, walk rather than take a taxi, rotate joints (neck, wrists, elbows, ankles) and stand up every hour while on long journeys. Choose the same time daily which you can dedicate to your self-practice and start slow -- 10 minutes a day is better than none! Buy a thin travel yoga mat which can be easily folded - my personal favorite is Manduka! 

6. Let your body be still: use your intuition and listen to what your body/mind is craving - there is a time for movement and a time for stillness. Both are important to our longevity and must be incorporated equally for optimal health. 

Start with a healthy sleep pattern. Despite disrupted sleep schedules during transit, aim for 6-8 hours of restful sleep to feel alert and energized. Restful sleep means that you’re not using substances to sleep and you are sleeping soundly through the night. If you feel energetic and vibrant when you wake up, you have had a night of restful sleep. The best way to ensure restful sleep is to follow a pattern that follows the natural rhythms of nature: rising within an hour of the sun and sleeping before midnight when the hours are most rejuvenating. 

If you're feeling tired and need to nap during the day, do so. It is more important to give yourself rest then to over extend and reduce your immunity.  

And as important as physical sleep is for our bodies, peace and quiet is vital for our minds. The best way to still your mind, enhance your focus and energize is through meditation.

It can be done anywhere, anytime and for any length. 

Meditation is proven to have higher results when practiced daily. Begin to incorporate a short meditation each morning/night of 5 minutes. With time you can slowly increase the time you sit as you become more comfortable. 

During Travel: place a cushion or a pair of jeans (evenly folded) under your hips to encourage a lengthened spine for your meditation. Before travel download a relaxation app or sound healing songs on your phone so you can plug in and tune out, even when you don't have your own personal quiet space.

7. Create sacred spaces: create spaces which are comforting and inspiring. It can be as simple as putting something you love in the space you are inhabiting, such as a fresh flowers/plants, seashells or photos of loved ones. Open windows for natural light and fresh air and keep spaces as physically clean as possible. You will feel more in tune with your personal space (which is so important when traveling and outside of your normal comfort zone!) and create a sense of bhakti or devotion which will keep you feeling safe, nourished and connected.

During Travel: organize your belongings and unpack as much as you can, make your bed and light your favorite inscent, candle or make a soothing essential oil spray blend with water to clear the space. 

LAUREN LEE is passionate about holistic health, exploring the world and empowering others to live vibrant and happy lives. Founder of Raise Your Beat, dedicated yogini and sun seeker, she lives for creating connection and enjoying simple pleasures. Read more about her here

Invite Love into your Life


Love is more than a is a basic instinct and a vital aspect of our existence. In the same way babies need love for survival, as adults, we too, need a deeper connection and sense of intimacy with others. When we think, speak or act from a place of love, our lives begin to flow. We find ourselves inspired and aligned with our work and purpose, our relationships become supportive and nourishing, and abundance seems to arrive in all shapes and forms. These shifts can feel like mini (or big!) miracles -- and the best part is that we have the ability to create them, everyday! A miracle is simply a change in perspective, which is related to a cognitive shift in our thinking process. It happens when we move from a place of fear and serve ourselves in the highest way possible, by cultivating more trust, gratitude and allowing a cycle of growth: reflection, acknowledgement, compassion and discernment moving forwards. 

This practice is most easily tapped into when we are nourished from within, through a process of deep listening and honoring. These moments of self-nourishment (in whatever shape or form they take) are healthy periods of gestation and integration. They are absolutely necessary for action, creativity and growth. 

Yoga encourages us to look within and build intimacy with ourselves, in order to self-nourish and channel more love into every aspect of our lives.

Through the practices we loosen and release years (even lifetimes!) of blockages (stress, trauma, etc.) that have built up, restore and balance the nervous system and become more aligned with our intuition and authentic Self. 

It is inevitable that the benefits felt in body and mind will eventually follow us off the mat and shape-shift the many layers of our existence -- most importantly they will open and strengthen the heart space to live with more courage, peace and positivity. 

The same way in which we build muscles in our physical body, we work to build energetic strength in mind and heart.

The more that we move from a place of love, the more easily we can cultivate it at any given moment. 

Our yoga practice is one of the many paths which heals and invites awareness to help us love every moment. 

Create more love in your life through a daily practice. Each time you arrive on your mat, set a Sankalpa (intention) to love deeper and more freely. Focus on one particular aspect of your life or create an intention. Keep the intention positive and in the present moment as if it is already happening.

For example: I am loved and can share this with others

Allow this intention to follow you throughout your practice through an openness of the heart through backbends. Start your practice with three gentle backbends and finish your sequence with three deeper backbends. Beginning and ending your practice in the same way will remind you of your intention.

While in your backbends, emphasize relaxing the body (especially upper back, shoulder and neck area) and breathe deep while maintaining the focus on your Sankalpa. You can devote each backbend to a specific person or aspect of your life that could use more love.

While in your backbends, visualize yourself shedding negativity, fears, stress and worries on the exhalation, and on the inhalations breathe in your Sankalpa.

Setting an intention and enhancing it through physical movements (heart opening postures) is a simple, yet powerful reminder throughout your day to keep your heart open.

LAUREN LEE is passionate about holistic health, exploring the world and empowering others to live vibrant and happy lives. Founder of Raise Your Beat, dedicated yogini and sun seeker, she lives for creating connection and enjoying simple pleasures. Read more about her here

How to Deepen your Yoga Practice

When you begin a yoga practice, an entirely new world opens up. You are introduced to new sensations (hello new muscle groups and easeful joints!), perhaps more moments of calm, and a 'high' or energy running through your body which you haven't felt before. Most likely you have made new friends and built community through your studio and become more aware of your actions, relationships and lifestyle at home, off the mat. 

These shifts occur at different times for each practitioner, depending on the consistency of practice, engagement and receptivity. The yoga practices aim to shift our inner world through refinement of the physical, mental and emotional bodies, and create an inner brilliance (more peace, contentment and love!) which can't help but radiate outwards. The transformation through personal evolution is one of the most rewarding aspects of a consistent practice, however, to maintain growth requires steady perseverance. Yoga is a constant study of the Self and requires us to be forever students. Yoga asks us to 'see' our reality clearly and be willing to do the work to heal and better ourselves. 

Here's how to deepen (or re-invigorate) your practice for personal growth:

1. Return to a beginners mind: Remember the first time you stepped on your mat and the experience you felt as you moved into your body with absolutely no expectations. For many students, the first few months (even years) of the practice are incredibly purifying and humbling. With so much 'crap' (stress, trauma, etc.) to move out of our bodies and minds, we are incredibly challenged in the asana to stay present with our breath. It is always important to return to the foundations of our practice, and even more so once we feel strong in the asana and calm with our pranayama, in order to refine the experience within. Like with anything we can easily become conditioned. It's not uncommon that most of us practice with incorrect alignment, flowing through poses without proper engagement or integration, etc. Try a beginners class or workshop to revisit the basics, and do your best to let go of any other knowledge you have acquired. Let yourself be fully present and open to receive new ways to be guided into your body, breath and mind. 

2. Try a new style of yoga: Experiencing a new lineage/style is one of the most exciting ways to deepen your practice. Yoga is incredibly diverse with various class styles and teachings, yet they all encompass the same underlying philosophy. You will not be 'cheating' on your regularly practiced style/teacher/studio or forget what you learned before by trying something new...instead, it will benefit your practice as you will learn new ways to access the teachings. Any longterm practitioner will tell you that they enjoy aspects from many styles, and overtime you will learn to use your discernment to fuse together a personal practice that is unique to you.

3. Practice with experienced teachers: Teachers are vital for the depth of our practice. Our teachers gift us the knowledge, but most importantly share with us the accessible ways to then absorb the knowledge. Most important our teachers should act as mentors (on and off the mat) and inspire us to practice with a sense of empowerment and accountability. Everyone needs continual guidance throughout their yoga practice -- and as your practice evolves, so should your teachers. It's natural to outgrow teachers and have the desire to dive into another aspect of the practice. A true teacher (one who has your best interest at heart as the student) will understand this and never hold it against you. 

An experienced teacher will have years of consistent teaching and refined skills to guide students into the more subtle depths of the energetic bodies through theming (philosophy), pranayama, meditation and contemplation. Do your research and try different teachers until you find someone who can support your practice as it advances. If you don't feel the studios near you provide a teacher you feel aligned with, look for workshops with international and renowned teachers which many of the more established studios will offer throughout the year. If this is not an option, look for online resources such as Gaim TV or Yogaglo which offer classes and guided mediations with some of the top teachers around the world at your fingertips! 

4. Develop a self-practice: A home practice is one of the most beautiful aspects of yoga. The desire and ability to roll out your mat (anywhere, anytime!) and intuitively guide yourself through movement, breath and meditation is a priceless gift. A self-practice doesn't have to look a certain way (there is no fixed time/number of poses, etc.) and is not about 'completing it' rather than the consistency of coming to the mat, even if it's for 5 minutes some days. Your self-practice is your own and can be shape-shifted to align with your schedule and current physical/mental/emotional states. It gives us the ultimate freedom to create our own experience, which can often be totally overwhelming when we first begin. Stay tuned for an upcoming post on tips and resources for building your self practice!

5. Meditate more often: Meditation is not only practiced with our eyes closed, in stillness on our mats. The ultimate meditation practice is to cultivate more mindfulness throughout our days through our thoughts, words and actions. Many of us need to begin that process of inner stillness on our mats without stimulation, but with consistent practice, we can learn to tap into states of awareness at various moments in our life. To take your meditation off the mat, get creative with the ways you can incorporate moments with less stimulation where you can put attention on your breath and thoughts. Put away all technology and go for a walk, free journal/draw/paint, listen to a guided meditation while on your commute, or fall asleep to Yoga Nidra. There are so many ways to practice mindfulness in the day, it simply takes the desire. 

5. Go on a yoga retreat: Yoga Retreats are immersive experiences into living yoga. You will experience yoga through nature, self-reflection, like-minded community, consistent practice, high vibe foods and deep sleep - which are the recipe for transformation! Along with these aspects, any quality retreat will include a progressive program with the intention to evolve your practice. A retreat is an intimate experience with ourselves, but also with our teachers who guide us for the extended period of time and get to know our practice in order to help us refine. Retreats give us the necessary space to disconnect from our daily lives, in order to reconnect with what is truly important in life. For tips on how to choose the right retreat for you, read here!

6. Go to a Yoga Festival: What's better than a weekend spent outdoors in nature listening to music, enjoying art and practicing yoga alongside some of your closest friends (and thousands of others!) ?! Yoga Festivals are all the rage and for good reason. With the rise of yoga over the last century, more people are seeking mindful and healthy ways to have fun, spend their money mindfully on experiences and be a part of community. Yoga Festivals provide the platform to play and practice within the diverse world of yoga. Experience Wild Vibes for a festival that gives back to charity or Wanderlust for a global event. 

7. Do a Yoga Teacher Training: One of the best ways to dive into the vast teachings of yoga is through a Yoga Teacher Training course! Teacher Training's are not only for those who have a desire to teach - they are incredibly beneficial to learn proper alignment, build a self-practice, understand the philosophies and learn ways to incorporate a more holistic lifestyle for optimal health and happiness. See tips for how to choose a Yoga Teacher Training here!

8. Infuse your day with more yoga: Bring more positivity and knowledge into your life through the information and entertainment you take in. Similar to the foods we eat, everything we ingest into our bodies and minds have an impact on our physiology. Choose healthy and empowering options for technology through holistic health talks on Wanderlust Speakeasy, Tedx or podcasts. Spend your time reading books, following blogs/social media channels and watching documentaries that inspire you. Create sacred spaces in your home which are cozy and inviting where you can practice, relax, and do whatever it is that brings you a sense of peace. 

LAUREN LEE is passionate about holistic health, exploring the world and empowering others to live vibrant and happy lives. Founder of Raise Your Beat, dedicated yogini and sun seeker, she lives for creating connection and enjoying simple pleasures. Read more about her here

How to Evolve through Travel

Travel illuminates our entire being. When we travel we are exposed to new ways of living and perspectives. We have the opportunity to connect and learn from those who may seem foreign at first, but soon realize that we are all unique in our gifts, but similar in our desires. Travel challenges us and encourages us to question or values, and possibly reassess our way of thinking and living. It is a healthy platform for self-reflection and provides space to disconnect from all that we know, in order to reconnect with a deeper innate intelligence within.

Travel opens our eyes, minds and hearts to the vast and incredible world that is all around us...and while living a life infused with travel is not always the easiest option, it is certainly the most rewarding. Life is too short to stay comfortable and stagnant! If you are feeling called to expand and explore, then travel is one of the most inspiring and invigorating ways to do it.

If so, offer yourself the priceless gift of experiences and memories which will last far longer than any material item you own.

Below are tips to manifest a transformational travel experience today, on any budget! 

1. Travel to an unknown destination: stepping outside our comfort zone is where the real learning begins as we have no other option than to reflect, integrate and expand in how we think, speak and act. When we are in new places with unfamiliar traditions or languages, we engage our intuitive capacities through social intelligence and compassion in order to connect. We don't necessarily have to agree with everything we experience or learn, but instead we will gain a healthy perspective on how to treat and values others with respect. Traveling to unknown places creates a sense of presence, adventure, courage, humility and an overall deeper sense of connection to the world.

2. Travel mindfully: Travel with an intention and purpose. Journal the reasons that you are traveling and ask yourself what most excites/scares/inspires you about the trip. This may help you uncover what type of travel you feel will best support you, whether it is to self-nourish through healthy lifestyle choices on a spiritual retreat, building community/integrating through give back, or immersing yourself in history/nature/culture. When you take the time to reflect on what it is you most desire at this moment in your life, your decisions and experiences while traveling will be more aligned, even if you are planning as you go. 

3. Travel on a budget: travel isn't only for those who have extra thousands of dollars lying is absolutely accessible for anyone no matter what your financial situation is! If you have a strong enough desire to travel, you will find ways to make it happen. When you travel on a budget, you are more likely to appreciate the experience as you have put in effort in order to make it happen. Get creative in how you save money and the way in which you travel:

+ Sell your stuff! Let go of what is no longer relevant in your life. If you haven't used/worn it in the last 6 months, get rid of it. If you can live your life without it, then it's time to reassess why you are holding on to it. This will help to pay for your trip and creates less baggage which physically and mentally blocks you from living the life you want. Consign your items, sell them on Etsy or Craigslist, host a garage sale or flea market. Start with smaller items if you have a hard time letting go, eventually the process will become more normal and start to feel incredibly liberating! 

+ Make exchange a vital part of the process! To offer and receive is what make the world go around. This vital exchange creates feelings of reward, gratitude and fulfillment. Participate in a work trade or volunteer program (Work Away, Yoga Trade, Woofing, Helpx), house-sit or do a house/apartment exchange. 

+ Get a job! Working abroad is one of the best ways to fund your travels, integrate into the local culture and gain a sense of purpose. Some of the best options for jobs overseas are teaching English/Yoga/Diving, becoming an Au pair or tour guide. 

4. Travel authentically: In every place that you travel, set an intention to experience things as the locals do, and to interact with local people every day. For example, take local transportation or walk/bike around cities, taste local foods, go to the local markets and ask locals what it is they recommend you experience while in their home country. Don't be afraid to talk to locals and ask questions about their culture, as long as you are also willing to open up about your culture/beliefs/life. Most locals will be as intrigued by you, as you are by them. Gaining local perspective and knowledge first hand is one of the best ways to learn about a place! As with anything, use your discernment and know when you should follow the guide books, other travelers advice or your intuition.

5. Travel alone: When you travel on your own, you are required to move past any fears or limitations to make skillful decisions and overcome obstacles. You become your own'daily boss' and are empowered to determined exactly how it is you want your time to be spent. But most importantly, when you travel alone you become your own best friend. Spending time alone can be incredibly uncomfortable for some at first, however this is where you will truly learn to love yourself unconditionally. At some point you will have to face your personal judgements, negative patterns or boredom...which is a healthy part of self-reflection and growing. You will have to be okay with silence and learn to stimulate/nourish yourself in ways that other people can't. Journaling, reading, writing, meditating and creating art are all soul-fueled practices which we often neglect when we have the distraction of others. 

LAUREN LEE is passionate about holistic health, exploring the world and empowering others to live vibrant and happy lives. Founder of Raise Your Beat, dedicated yogini and sun seeker, she lives for creating connection and enjoying simple pleasures. Read more about her here