Tag Archives: Open-heart

Taking a break…

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My dear friends and family,

I hope this note meets you well. I feel I owe it to you to mention that I am taking a mini-vacation from the blog these upcoming months. I don’t usually post as much during the summer anyway, but on a more deliberate note, I am attempting to reduce the time I spend online in general. After writing the¬†setting goals post, I now realize a thing or two about my blogging habits and what my priorities are in life at this time. Below are my top three priorities that are crowding out my time for blogging.

Yoga

Photo from yoga teacher training, courtesy of A. Williamson

Work

One part of my choice to take a break has to do with current life satisfaction. In the past I used this blog as a way to channel creative energy that had no where to go in my “real life” so to speak. When I wasn’t working in wellness I needed something to help me organize my thoughts around health. However, I feel blessed to say I have found plenty of avenues to put my creative side to work both at my job at the hospital as a wellness coach, as a doula for private clients, and now as a yoga teacher (I graduated on Sunday!) Thank you to all of you who have raised me up along the way. I couldn’t have done it without your support and encouragement. I feel my vocation is finally coming together ūüôā What that means is that now I feel less motivated to blog and more motivated to get out there and put all my thinking and hard work over the past 5 years into practice hopefully into a business model. I will keep you posted on the progress.

Story-telling

At the same time, I do recognize I have an underlying need to write. I graduated with an English major, and I have been a long time journal junkie – so there is a personal need that the blog does fulfill. ¬†However, recently I recognize that I have another story within me that I need to write. This story is not so much about health and wellness or spirituality specifically, but more so is my own life story, which of course includes health, wellness, and spirituality but it is more raw and vulnerable; it’s more about beauty than meaning and its more about feelings than information sharing. Recently I wrote a few posts for the blog and by the time I finished I felt like they could be a good chapter in a book. So I am considering what that would look like – what shape would this story take? I did not delete the stories but instead saved these “posts” for a future compilation of some sort. Synchronicity might also play a role in all of this as I recently befriended a lovely writer, who is a great mentor,¬†and I won a workshop on writer’s block that will likely align with and reinforce my latest decision to take a hiatus from online writing. I am excited to explore what my new writing practice will look like.

Relationships

The last and most important thing I found is that at the bottom of it all, I love people. I love stories. I love community. And while online can be a wonderful avenue to create community and connect with people, at this time, I feel drawn to do the relationship building work in “real life”. A couple weeks ago I attended a conference where James Fowler spoke, and his message hit home. He mentioned that as much as social media and networking impacts the world and ourselves, that it really is the people who are near and dear to us that influence us the most and vice versa. Well this really resonated with me and it made me realize that as much as I like sharing with people afar, that I first need to spend some time on the ground with my family and then my friends.

Some things that excite me around this work is that I am developing a yoga sequence to teach my mom and dad, and I plan to teach them until they can do the sequence on their own. After years of having my dad walk by me in high school when I was practicing yoga, saying (mocking), “AAAAOooooommmm”, I am proud to say 13 years later, I am being asked as the expert to share that experience with him. How amazing to see how you can influence your loved ones over time? I feel more than honored.

Another piece I am working toward is a trip to Korea in November. It has been 6 years since I’ve been there to visit family. In that time both of my older sisters have been married, two nephews and a niece have been born, the family cow gave birth to twins, and they got a new family dog!

This past weekend in my frenzy of worrying about my test out for yoga teacher training I received 5 videos of my Korean family members wishing me luck. Immediately I relaxed and realized what is important in life – not the outcome of my teaching but the supportive relationships and family that I have. With that said, I already made plans for the visit, so these upcoming months¬†I will need to emotionally prepare and ponder any questions I have about my family’s past, of my past. The last time my sisters came to visit I learned my birth story. It was powerful. I am excited to take some time to be with family and learn more about my roots.

* * *

I have to leave you with this – when I told my youngest sister we were coming to Korea yesterday, she wrote, “My heart bounce bounce.”

I love that image and her words. It inspires me to do more of what makes my heart bounce bounce; I hope we all can find time to do more of that in our lives.

In the interim,  if you want to keep up with me in the real world, feel free to send me an email at mandalareflections[at]gmail[dot]com. I look forward to connecting!

Take care and talk soon.

Blessings, Kali

Storytelling: How to communicate to motivate

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Dangerous Old Woman

When was the last time you sat around a campfire, taking turns, telling or listening to stories? Do you miss that sharing? Is it lost to you, or can you open your heart and find that like an ember, that story and many stories are sitting inside you, ready to be lit afire?

This weekend my name finally made it to the top of the list at the library for the CD set, “The Dangerous Old Woman: Myths & Stories of the¬†Wise Woman Archetype” by¬†Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Est√©s. I first learned of Dr. Est√©s through her book,¬†Women Who Run With the Wolves,¬†but¬†I especially enjoy the storytelling on her CD set.¬†If you have any curiosity about the wise woman archetype or simply love stories, I strongly urge you to look into this series. Listening to her work is like being reintroduced to stories around a campfire. So powerful and so rich.

She begins with the fairy tale of Snow White and then goes into depth about its meaning and significance. I won’t spoil the details of her insight and would if I tried, but I will say, what a talented storyteller she is! I became so enchanted and lost in story, that when I awoke from her trance I realized I hadn’t experienced such a feeling in a long time.¬†I remembered how powerful it is to hear story rather than to simply read it or write it. I also recognized how lessons and learnings seem to gel so much better in my brain and in my heart when I hear information tied to a story.

Which got me thinking, why as adults don’t we read fables to one another? Or maybe we exchange stories in a different way, for example, through a TV series or a Youtube video or a 140 character tweet.¬†Regardless of delivery or content, what are the stories we tell ourselves and our children nowadays? What are the modern day fairy tales circulating out there? How has storytelling been cheapened or beautified by the process of globalization? And what is the value of storytelling? Does it still have value? What is it’s purpose? Can stories still offer us life lessons? Can we use stories to motivate others?

Well I am not coming on here to dole out answers nor do I have them all, but I can say with certainty that I need stories to understand, experience and connect to my surroundings, community and myself. Stories are invaluable to me, and yet I do not always praise and honor them. With the fast pace of life I do not often allow myself to tell my story, the kind that comes from deep within my heart. And then it occurs to me, so many of us have buried our stories so deep within us. And, then, because on a daily basis we operate from our minds alone, we lose touch with the heart of our story lines – cutting ourselves off from so many things like our cultural past/present, our highest self and our very life purpose.

Even though some days it may seem like the story is dead within us and the people around us, if we shift our perspective we can see that stories are still alive and thriving and impacting the very way we experience the world. They are not dead but simply need to be rediscovered, nurtured and ultimately transformed in a way that can be shared with others. For those of you who have taken the time to discover and heal and are now ready for the sharing part, you may feel like you have a story stirring in you, ready to come out to the world. So, how are you going to tell it? Is there a right or wrong way? It depends on your goals.

If you want to tell a story to motivate or influence someone, there are some methods to consider.  Infuse your story with a little bit of strategy and you can turn your tale into something bigger that may move others into action or that may move someone to share their own story. When we are all sharing our stories, we begin to be with ourselves and with one another in a way that offers true healing, learning and connection.

To help tell your story, click below for the Communicate to Motivate video from Prevention Speaks:

Prevention Speaks is a storytelling resource for healthy change in communities that is local (from Wisconsin). This website has a lot of great links and there you can pick up your very own storytelling tool kit.