The Mysore Meltdown

The room was hot and even though I had been sweating through the last hour of my practice, my spine was stiff and I could feel my low back pinching and resisting. I struggled to stand up from my backbend and then stood there a while hesitating before I tried to drop back. When I did, I felt only fear on the way down, and let out something between a gasp and a grunt from the physical and emotional discomfort I was experiencing.

Normally I love this part of the practice; the heart opening, back bending, giving myself to the experience with full abandon to see how deep I can go.

Not so last Friday morning.

I stayed in that urdhva dhanurasana a while, trying to settle and ground myself. I knew why I was feeling scared and emotional; the list was long and I had already been mentally itemizing my entire life’s worth of shortcomings and personal failures throughout the entire practice. A whole bunch of stuff I needed to release was coming to the surface.

Right at that moment I felt Saraswathi come to the front of my mat.

“You no come up?” she asked.

I took a deep breath and dug my feet down to feel into my legs. With a struggle and hearing myself make another strange groan, I managed to stand and found myself looking straight into Saraswathi’s eyes.

There are moments in life when you have no choice but to face your truth, and I knew this was one of them.

“Pain,” I admitted to her as I gestured to my low back while my face grimaced with the uneasiness of knowing I was about to lose it in front of Guruji’s daughter.

“Okay, you just do half,” she advised and supported me by placing her hands on my waist. I attempted to bend back halfway, but even that triggered a shooting pain. I half-grunted again and stood back up, knowing she now saw the tears I could no longer hide.

“Still pain?” she asked me. I nodded, and she told me to sit down for a forward fold.

I started to sob a bit while Saraswathi pressed on me to counter the back bending, and she said, “Not crying, breathing,” as if to remind me I had a choice between the two.

After a few minutes, I went to the upstairs room where some yogis were finishing up their closing postures. I sat in a forward fold for longer, still trying to gain control over my breath when Saraswathi came to check on me.

She spoke to me with kindness and compassion, her concern genuine like a mother looking after a hurt child.

There was no shaming, no guilt tripping, no “you should know better”.  She told me it was okay to rest when I wasn’t feeling well, and that she would help me again when I felt better.

While I finished resting there, the flood of stories racing through my head all throughout practice that morning returned.

But of them all, it dawned on me that the story I’ve become most attached to throughout the years is the one where I tell myself that I’m alone. Alone in the world, alone in making decisions and solving problems, alone even in experiencing the most beautiful moments of my life. For as long as I can remember I have been my own best friend and my own worst enemy.

I could go into great depth about how losing my only sibling at a young age was the start of this story. I could elaborate for ages on how my history of trauma, depression and PTSD have exacerbated this narrative and been the cause of all my failed relationships. I could tell you how being alone has been my preferred option and always my choice, because if no one else was there with me, there would be no one else to hurt me or leave me.

But what I have found as an Ashtangi, is that we are never really alone. When you devote yourself to this practice, you become part of a community of yogis who will ask how you’re doing, check on you when they don’t see you in the shala, and offer their hugs and words of love on and off the mat when they sense you need it.

I’ve joked that Mysore is like the United Nations of Yoga. Yogis from all over the world make the pilgrimage to be here, to devote themselves to svadhyaya (self-study), the removal of avidya (ignorance), and to practice all eight limbs of Ashtanga yoga – not just asana.

But after being here a few weeks, I’m starting to think that practicing in Mysore is more like eating at the dinner table with your Ashtanga relatives. And because no family is perfect and we recognize that we’re all a little dysfunctional, there’s a reason why Ashtangis coined the term Mysore Meltdown.

This place – and this practice – will break you and then make you.

Ashtanga forces you to face your truth, identify the impurities that cause your suffering, and still hold space for you to develop into the best Yogi you can become. It’s certainly not for the weak of heart and mind, but if you do it with the right intention, it will definitely make you stronger, more humble, and help to heal whatever you need it to.

While no one else can do the work for you, it is incredibly comforting to know that there’s a whole wide world of yogis who have also gone through something similar and will be there for you when the practice gets rough.

Turns out there’s magic in the meltdown.

 

Mind the Signs

Hey there Superstar,
 
Have you ever been afraid to do something, but known in your heart that that something was exactly what you were meant to do?
 
I absolutely felt that way before I took my first solo international vacation to Costa Rica in 2008.
 
My first night in San Jose, a wooden sign hanging in the dining area of the hostel caught my eye. It read:

It was exactly the sign I needed to confirm that I was on the right path at the right moment, and it was a lesson I’ve always kept close.
 
That trip turned out to be life changing on so many levels. It gave me the courage and confidence to go anywhere my heart felt genuinely pulled. Pursuing yoga teacher training, joining the Peace Corps and moving to the Bay Area have all in some way been a byproduct of that initial Costa Rica wanderlust eight years ago.
 
Traveling alone taught me to trust my intuition above all else.  
 
So when I started to feel that pull again a few months ago, this time to practice Ashtanga yoga in Mysore, India, I paid attention and decided to put the idea out into the ether.
 
Before I knew it, I was submitting my application to practice with Saraswathi Jois at KPJAYI this summer.
 
When I received my acceptance and final confirmation just a few days later, I was surprised, a little shocked and totally unprepared.
 
“What does this mean?” I asked my teacher Lisa the next time I saw her.
 
She looked at me and said, “You’re going to Mysore.”
 
And so it is.

I’m so excited about my upcoming pilgrimage to the Source, and grateful for the support for it to happen.

I’ll be leaving California at the end of July and will return from India mid-September.

* * *

Don’t get me wrong, though. These leaps of faith involve a lot of risk and the only certain thing one can expect from such a display of trust in the Universe isuncertainty.
 
You don’t know what you’ll experience when you get there.
 
It’s hard to predict in what ways you’ll transform.
 
And the person you are when you come home will always be a little bit different than the person you were when you left.
 
Sometimes we need that change.
 
Plus, that’s what healing and life are all about; growing, learning and connecting in ways you never knew possible before.

* * *


**Just a few weeks after returning, I’ll take to the skies again to lead my next yoga retreat in Nicaragua from October 6-12 in San Juan Del Sur. **
 
I realize that not everyone can take half the summer to travel halfway across the world for yoga, but I also know the power of immersing oneself in a new experience and this practice.
 
If you are ready for a change in your life, and want to share some of the Mysore energy I’ll be bringing back with me, then I invite you to join me for six days of yoga, surf and healing transformation in Nicaragua this October. 
 
This is the type of investment in yourself that you won’t regret because the experiences, lessons learned and memories will last. Forever.
 
There’s not much time left to secure your spot, so you better hurry because space is limited!
 
Hit reply to this email if you have questions and to request a discount code. Click here to book your life-changing trip today. 
 
So... to close out this message from me to you, I thought I’d recap some of my favorite travel lessons of all time:

  1. Travel only with thy equals or thy betters; if there are none, travel alone.

  2. Always trust your intuition.

  3. Regret is more expensive.

Is this a sign?
 
With love and magic,
Camille

Staying Zen w/ Bated Breath

When things are going well in your life, have you ever found yourself creating irrational stories in your mind about all the things that could go wrong and take away your happiness?
 
It’s something we humans tend to do as a way of guarding ourselves from feeling too open or exposed. Contrary to what you might think, the feeling of joy actually makes many of us feel incredibly vulnerable.
 
But the downside of waiting with bated breath for the other shoe to drop is that you end up not fully enjoying the amazing moment you’re in. The journey starts to become about a destination or ideal and not about the journey itself.
 
Here are three powerful ways to keep your Zen when you’re waiting in that moment of happy uncertainty…

  1. Get grounded. Turn to a daily practice that serves you. Devote time each day to connecting to the present moment. Yoga, meditation and other contemplative practices can provide a strong foundation and over time will help you feel as stable as a mountain.
  2. Show appreciation. If you’re enjoying someone’s presence, share your sentiment with that person. If a situation unfolded in your favor, express gratitude to the Universe and pay it forward in some fashion.  If you’re winning at life, make sure you’re celebrating it.
  3. Create a memory. Take a mental snapshot of everything you can take in about the moment, and commit it to memory. No matter what happens next, you’ll always have a beautiful moment to reflect on.

 
Taking these three steps is like making a deposit into your emotional bank account. It builds resilience and fosters gratitude, which is the gold seal signal to the Universe that you can handle more happiness.
 
And so we say…
 
Bring it.
 
Game on,
Camille

 

 

 

Yoga, Life & Basketball

Happy June! I hope you had an awesome Memorial Day weekend. I’m definitely still catching up and recovering from an amazing last few days.
 
The past week has been a game changer. Some wonderful things have been unfolding, and I’m catching myself smiling for no reason at moments.
 
It was a beautiful week, one that will likely go down in history as one of the best weeks ever. It was a week that reinforced any faith I may have ever lost in the Universe, and gave me every reason to trust again completely and wholeheartedly.
 
And it all started with yoga on a basketball court…

After five days of Yoga with Sharath, I’m inspired to keep developing along the Ashtanga path and to get as close as I can to the source. It became very clear to me by the end of the week. When something resonates this deeply and makes you feel this good, keep going into what works. 
 
As I get deeper into the practice, it’s becoming more and more meditation in motion. The practice is integrating into my whole being and becoming automatic in a way without being on autopilot. Like finding a sweet spot.
 
I believe that people can find this sweet spot in anything. Yoga, dance, art, relationships, sports… When devotion to a practice is achieved, skillful action in any situation is possible. If you don’t believe me, just watch Steph Curry shoot some hoops under pressure. His coach must be awesome, BTW. ;-)
 
And it never ceases to amaze me how my yoga practice and life tend to run parallel. I can’t deny the connection that exists between the heart opening I’m practicing both on and off my mat and be excited for what might be on the horizon.

It’s taught me to keep practicing, trusting, and to keep sharing what I love. I’ve learned that when you show up with an open heart, and offer your truth and support to others, you never know who you’ll cross paths with or where you’ll end up. 

It might even lead to one of the best weeks ever. :-)

Xo,
Camille

P.S. Go Warriors!

 


Does your yoga practice and active lifestyle leave you feeling that hurt-so-good sore?

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Join us this week for a free online class on Essential Oils for Yogis + Athletes!

REGISTER HERE

 

 

 

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Nurture and heal your soul with an amazing group of yogis in Nicaragua! 

There are only two spots left on my Yoga, Surf, and Healing retreat. Are you destined to be one of the lucky ones to join us on this adventure?

Book by June 5th and save 10% off your booking price. Email camille@healingwithcamille for the discount code!

BOOK YOUR RETREAT

 

 

Sharing my favorite music is one of the best parts of teaching yoga!

Enjoy my weekly Yoga for Energy playlists by following me on Spotify @camillearagon.

GET THIS WEEK'S PLAYLIST



 

YOGA W/ CAMILLE SCHEDULE
You and the Mat | Oakland
Wednesdays 6pm Yoga for Healing
Friday 6/3 9am*Subbing Yoga for Flexibility
Saturdays 4:30pm Yoga for Healing
Sundays 9am Yoga for Energy

Addison Yoga Loft | Berkeley
Sundays 12:15pm Mindful Flow

Flying Studios | Oakland
Thursday 6/2 9:30am*Subbing Deep Flow
Sunday 6/5*Subbing Ashtanga Flow+

Sundays 6:45pm Unwind {Restorative}

The Green Yogi | Berkeley
Classes coming soon!

Corporate/Workplace/Private Yoga Available. Email camille@healingwithcamille.com to schedule a session.

A Week w/ The Boss

In my 13-year yoga journey, there have been many of moments of insight and meaning that I never would have thought possible before devoting myself to this practice.

A few stand out as especially profound and life changing...
-My first savasana tears at Prana Power Yoga in Cambridge,
-Having an out of body experience in Costa Rica during teacher training,
-Seeing God while practicing the Rocket with David C. Kyle.

And after yesterday I can add...
Practicing Ashtanga Yoga with The Boss, Sharath Jois. 

I'm spending every day this week with a 4am wake-up call to get to the "office" -- a gym/temporary shala at Stanford to study with the master.

It might sound crazy to some people, and on some level it probably is. After all, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. And -- that's kiiiiind of what we're doing with the ashtanga practice everyday. 

But alongside hundreds of other Ashtangis who have traveled from near and far to be in Sharath's presence, it's easy to see the beauty. There is so much magic to moving and breathing in union with your sangha. And yesterday I realized that I've never felt more at home. 

I can't tell you how much this practice continues to change my life and open my eyes. So in the grand scheme of things, waking up at 4am to see Sharath at Stanford is a small price to pay, considering he came all the way from Mysore, India to share this practice with us. 

Plus, it's a just good rule of thumb... 
"When the boss is in town, you show up to work early." -@themindfulmethod

Cheers,
Camille

P.S. Read a great interview with Sharath about Ashtanga Yoga here
 

 

 

 

YOGA W/ CAMILLE SCHEDULE
 

You and the Mat | Oakland
Wednesdays 6pm Yoga for Healing
Saturdays 4:30pm Yoga for Healing
Sundays 9am Yoga for Energy

Addison Yoga Loft | Berkeley
Sundays 12:15pm Mindful Flow

Flying Studios | Oakland
Sundays 6:45pm Unwind {Restorative}

The Green Yogi | Berkeley
Classes coming soon!

Corporate/Workplace/Private Yoga Available. Email camille@healingwithcamille.com to schedule a session.

The truth about my love life...

I’ve been thinking a lot about relationships lately. How we go about them, get into and out of them, and how they can deeply affect the way we feel. We all need relationships; we simply wouldn’t be able to survive without them.
 
We’re all hard wired to love and be loved. 
 
But if that’s the case, then why are relationships so complicated?
 
Intimate and romantic relationships are a whole other level of complex -- and an area in many people’s lives where the struggle is real -- mine very much included.
 
Dating and romance have a special way of making us feel our most vulnerable in front of another person. And as someone whose default response to fear and losing control is to shut down and close off, dates can sometimes serve as a rude awakening to the reality that I may very well still have quite a way to go before I can live out the full experience of relationship intimacy.
 
The truth is, I have many more questions than answers in regard to this particular topic, but I’m sharing because I think that the practice of vulnerability is that important, and so incredibly delicate.

I wonder how many of us might be able to approach our relationships with more vulnerability, mindfulness, and compassion.
 
It is a difficult practice, revealing your true self. It might be the most difficult practice of all.
 
But when I think about people I know who have allowed themselves to surrender to vulnerability in healthy and supportive relationships, I start to notice that these folks might have a few things in common.
 
Communication, trust and love, to name a few…
 
So, if these are the benefits of what might come from opening one’s heart, I guess I’ll keep on practicing.
 
What about you?

Xo,

Camille

5 Steps To Develop Your Intuition

Have you ever had a feeling about something that you couldn’t shake? An inkling or a sixth sense that later materialized or was confirmed in some way?
 
That, my friend, is the gift of your intuition.
 
I’ve found that the more I’ve healed, the stronger my intuition has become, and vice versa. Through devoted engagement in my spiritual practices, and practicing gratitude, kindness and compassion, I’ve been able to honor the way divinity makes its way through me. And the more I honor and allow for this flow of divinity, the more able I am to share my healing with others.
 
But I’ve also found that often, people wonder, What if my intuition is wrong?
 
Your intuition is intrinsically connected to the source of the divine and it will never lead you down the wrong path. Divinity is always in support of your best interests.

Take some time to implement these five steps to strengthen your intuition, and let me know how it goes.

  1. Make space. Set aside some time that you can dedicate to developing your intuition. You can dedicate a seated meditation or yoga practice to opening space in your third eye, ajna chakra. Or simply set the intention to rely on your sixth sense rather than Google maps or your GPS to take you along a new route from work to home.
  2. Look, listen, feel. When you are in the space you’ve created – whether it’s sitting, practicing, driving -- try to quiet your mind so that you can become aware of the messages coming through to you. Everyone is different, and some individuals experience their intuitive abilities most strongly through physical sensation, while others may receive guidance through sounds, signs, or scenery.
  3. Trust yourself first. Your intuition can come in pretty handy when you’ve got a dilemma, situation, or decision that needs your highest Self at the helm. Remember that your intuitive gifts are a direct connection to the Divine, and the Universe will always have your back.
  4. Get creative. Document your intuitive development with a form of creative expression. Write, draw, sing, dance, or make chutney from the bottom of your heart! Whether you keep it to yourself or share with an audience is up to you, but the act of honoring your intuition with an offering of creativity is one surefire way to keep your intuitive skills sharp.
  5. Practice gratitude. Give thanks for every confirmation and manifestation that comes to light as a result of your honoring your intuition. This is the step that guarantees to perpetuate the cycle for continued development. Plus, gratitude is good for your brain and everyone around you.

 
Granted, there have been times when my head’s in a fog and I’m not quite sure if what’s coming through as “downloads” are of a spiritual nature, or a negative byproduct of watching too much Netflix.
 
In these situations, I turn to my teachers, my teachers’ teachers, and my teachers’ teachers’ teachers. I look to the lineages that I’ve been called to study, and I refer to the spiritual texts that document those teachings. I ask myself questions like:

♥ What would Krishna guide Arjuna to do in the Bhagavad Gita?

♥ How can the eight limbs of Ashtanga yoga lead me to the best course of action?

♥ Which choice is rooted in love, and which choice is a response to fear?


Ultimately, the choices in life that I’ve made based on intuition and spiritual guidance have been the ones that have brought me the most healing and love in return.
 
My wish is that your intuition can bring you as much love and healing as mine has brought me.
 
How has your intuition helped you in life? Do you struggle with listening to your inner voice? I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment about your journey in developing your intuitive skills.
 
Kisses to your third eye,
Camille

 

 


ESSENTIAL OILS 101


Interested in essential oils but don't know where to start? 

Join me for a free 45-minute online class this week to learn about how essential oils can empower you to be an advocate for your own health and wellness.


Wednesday, May 11 at 4pm PDT
Thursday, May 12 at 5pm PDT


Register for your class here

Want to build an essential oil business? Fill out this application to Build w/ Camille. 


REIKI ENERGY HEALING

Work with me one-on-one, from a distance or in-person, to integrate Reiki into your healing process.

Reiki, roughly translated as "universal life force" or "spiritual energy," is an alternative healing technique that activates the body's natural relaxation response to promote physical, emotional, mental and spiritual balance.

Email camille@healingwithcamille.com to book your May appointment or series today.


YOGA, SURF & HEALING RETREAT

Heal your wanderlust with a-once-in-a-lifetime adventure in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua. Spend a week practicing yoga, surfing, and healing with Camille and the Trip Tribe.

Thu Oct 06 - Wed Oct 12, 2016
SEE DETAILS & BOOK

 


WEEKLY YOGA PLAYLIST

You can learn a lot about a person from her music collection ;) Enjoy this week'sYoga for Energy Playlist and get your yoga healing groove on. 

Tunes this week feature Petit Biscuit, Khun Narin, and brand new Radiohead.

Follow @camillearagon on Spotify to stalk my library. 


YOGA W/ CAMILLE SCHEDULE

You and the Mat | Oakland
Tuesday 5/10 10:30am Yoga for Strength*sub
Tuesday 5/10 6pm Happy Hour Yoga*sub
Wednesday 5/11 9am Discover Yoga*sub
Wednesday 5/11 6pm Yoga for Healing
Saturday 5/14 4:30pm Yoga for Healing
Sundays 5/15 9am Yoga for Energy

Addison Yoga Loft | Berkeley
Sundays 12:15pm Mindful Flow

Flying Studios | Oakland
Sundays 6:45pm Unwind {Restorative}

The Green Yogi | Berkeley
Classes coming soon!

Corporate/Workplace/Private Yoga Available. Emailcamille@healingwithcamille.com to schedule a session.

What You Need for Courage And Healing

Ever since I set out on this journey of healing, there’s one lesson that’s been reinforced time and time again. Dr. Brené Brown summed it up nicely in an interview with Oprah when she said, “You can’t get to courage without walking through vulnerability, period.”
 
Well that’s easy to say, but not always easy to do. In fact, it’s what stops most people from even trying.
 
The same goes for healing. We can’t truly heal ourselves unless we let ourselves be vulnerable enough to work through what caused the need for healing in the first place. And, again – this is what stops most people from even trying.
 
I’ll be the first to admit that it’s a frightening and unnerving process to do the inner work that ultimately reveals the truth we have within.
 
Most people, on their own, don’t have the skills or tools necessary to cope with all that accompanies the process of deep reflection and transformation in the healing process.
 
This is why we all need support.
 
I wouldn’t be where I am right now if it weren’t for the support of a whole tribe of family and friends who have also believed in me. And what’s pretty cool is that the crazier and bigger my vision for life has gotten, the more support and people like you I attract that help to make my dreams come alive. 
 
So, Test First Name, I want you to know that I am here for YOU!
 
I am hosting ongoing online classes on Essential Oils and Emotional Aromatherapy that you won't want to miss. Join me from the comfort of your home (or wherever you are!) as I share my personal journey with depression and PTSD and how I’ve found an incredible system of emotional support with the magic of essential oils.
 
Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to get updates on class dates and times.
 
I’ve also launched a Facebook (support) Group, where I offer daily ideas, deals, and great information about essential oils. Join the Healing w/ Camille + Essential Oils Facebook Group to get in on the party.

It takes a lot of courage to show up for yourself and be present for your own vulnerability. But the beautiful thing that happens is that when you do, what you find on the other side is a world of possibility, freedom, and the chance to grow and expand in all directions.
 
I hope you will join us for this opportunity to heal together.
 
With love and an open heart,
Camille

BUSINESS BUILDING W/ CAMILLE

Are you ready to take your life and healing to the next level? I am looking for leaders who love essential oils and want to invest 8-10 hours a week educating others about the healing benefits of living an essential oil lifestyle. 

Fill out this application to get started with a life-changing business in essential oils today.

 

REIKI ENERGY HEALING

Work with me one-on-one, from a distance or in-person, to integrate Reiki into your healing process.

Reiki, roughly translated as "universal life force" or "spiritual energy," is an alternative healing technique that activates the body's natural relaxation response to promote physical, emotional, mental and spiritual balance.

Email camille@healingwithcamille.com to book your May appointment or series today.

 

YOGA, SURF & HEALING RETREAT

Heal your wanderlust with a-once-in-a-lifetime adventure in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua. Spend a week practicing yoga, surfing, and healing with Camille and the Trip Tribe.

Thu Oct 06 - Wed Oct 12, 2016
SEE DETAILS & BOOK

 

 

WEEKLY YOGA PLAYLIST

I’m baring my soul here! You can learn a lot about a person from her music collection ;) Relive the jams from last Sunday's Yoga for Energy playlist as you practice in your home or office shala.

On the musical queue this week: Vacationer, Miike Snow, and Drake to name a few.

Follow @camillearagon on Spotify to stalk my library. 

 

YOGA W/ CAMILLE IN THE BAY AREA

You and the Mat | Oakland
Wednesdays 6pm Yoga for Healing
Saturdays 4:30pm Yoga for Healing
Sundays 9am Yoga for Energy

Addison Yoga Loft | Berkeley
Sundays 12:15pm Mindful Flow

Flying Studios | Oakland
Sundays 6:45pm Unwind {Restorative}

The Green Yogi | Berkeley
Classes coming soon!

Corporate/Workplace/Private Yoga Available. Email camille@healingwithcamille.com to schedule a session.

Prince's Lesson In Gratitude

Le sigh, Prince.

Like a lot of the world, I’ve been in mourning since I heard the news. For a good part of these last few days, there have been moments where all I can do is watch Prince videos on YouTube and weep.

On the bright side, learning about Prince’s altruistic pursuits – and that he kept them under wraps out of humility and respect for his faith – has been very cool and moving. Comforting, even. He was a philanthropist, activist, patron of the arts, humanitarian, and as close to God as perhaps anyone working with inspiration could be.

I loved his connection to spirit and faith. At the end of his first television interview on MTV, he shared with the world: “I pray every night. I don’t ask for much. I just say, Thank You.”

Prince’s daily practice was gratitude.

All of this was heavy on my mind as we went into the weekend. It was a weekend I was simultaneously dreading and looking forward to.  

On Saturday, it was my brother’s 34th birthday. A cause for celebration under normal circumstances, but ever since Matthew passed away at age 15, April 23rd has been difficult to deal with.

The worst was four years ago.

On his 30th birthday in 2012, I was in the most pain I’d ever experienced in my life. Laying in a pitiful heap on the living room floor of my Peace Corps house in St. Vincent, I was suffering from an aggressive staph infection in my right leg, and I didn't exactly have my wits about me either. There was a boil the size of a small volcano on my shin, and a frightening amount of bodily fluid oozing out of it.

I. DID. NOT. LOOK OR FEEL GREAT.  

Not long after that, I was medically evacuated from St. Vincent to DC, where I started to do my deepest inner work and healing.  I was willing to do anything in order to heal so over time I tried many different approaches. Yoga, psychotherapy, antidepressants, essential oils, meditation, shamanism, crystals, herbal medicine, bodywork, energy healing, acupuncture, acupressure, cranio-sacral… I could go on and on.

Fast forward four years later.

I’m standing on a beautiful roof deck overlooking Lake Merritt with the yoga community I’ve become a part of. Our first gathering as a sangha, and it was serendipitously planned for the evening of my brother's 34th birthday. Looking around I know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. I connect with each person and it dawns on me that each of us has our own story and reasons for practicing. Yet, we were all drawn to the same daily practice. In getting on our mats alongside each other nearly every day, we show up for our individual healing, and we also contribute to the collective healing of the group. As my fellow yogini Luna wrote to me in a birthday card, “We are in this together.”

I think back to four years ago and I see how much has changed. From injury and illness to healing and health. From loneliness and isolation to friendship and community. From grief and mourning to appreciation and gratitude. I realize how much I’ve healed, and I can’t help but be grateful.

Thank you for this practice.

Thank you for this body.

Thank you for this life.

Thank you, Prince.

Thank you, Matthew.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Camille

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

Curious about essential oils? Not sure how to use them? Want to know how they can help you?

Hang out with me at one or both of my FREE Essential Oil 101 classes this week:

Tuesday 4/26 at 4pm Pacific

Thursday 4/28 5:30pm Pacific

I'll be sharing great info on essential oils, why I love doTERRA, and my personal essential oil routine.

Email me ASAP at camille@healingwithcamille.com so I can send you access to the classes!

 

Change your life in Nicaragua!  Take a break from the daily grind, make space for your healing, and be nourished by nature. You'll come back a new person. (Or at least more tan.)

6 nights in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua
Thu Oct 06 - Wed Oct 12, 2016

SEE DETAILS & BOOK

 

Practice and all is coming...


Have you ever felt anxious/crazy/scared when you're not really sure what you're supposed to be doing with your life?

The great yoga guru Shri K. Pattabhi Jois was known to often tell his students who sought his guidance, “Practice and all is coming.”

I'd heard this referred to in yoga classes for years, but I’m finally starting to believe it.

Since January, I’ve been going deeper and deeper into the asana practice that Guruji made famous -- Ashtanga Yoga -- and one of the biggest lessons I'm learning is about practice and consistency. There’s really only one way to get better at anything over time: practice with consistency.

Practice, practice, practice and all is coming.

Committing to an Ashtanga practice is not for the faint of heart. It’s meant to be practiced nearly every day, preferably in the early mornings. Ideally six days a week. Three hundred sixty-five days a year. Long-time practitioners say that the real and subtle benefits don't even start to become clear until seven or eight plus years of daily practice, and that at that point, putting your feet behind your head is as normal as any other daily care routine, like flossing. "Mental floss," as my teacher would say. 

Ashtanga asks a lot of the yogi. But it also gives so much.

The practitioner essentially experiences a whole life cycle with each practice and gets to touch the edges of who s/he is in all regards -- physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And the more you show up to do the work, the more your body, mind, and spirit will continue to open and awaken.

That's the magic of yoga.

There are rest days built into the system too, which I think is super sweet. One weekend day off each week, moon days (full and new moons), and ladies are encouraged to listen to their bodies during that time of the month, which means we get really in tune with the lunar cycle. Yay, rest and nature! But most mornings, I’m on my mat at the shala to climb the mountain of my practice.

There’s no hiding in this traditional way of learning Ashtanga, via parampara, the direct transmission of knowledge from teacher to student. In the Mysore room, the ashtanga teacher works with each student individually to create a customized practice based on a classical series of postures. In this method, the student must develop proficiency in the series in order to progress to more advanced postures.

After my first couple months of consistent practice with the Primary Series, my teacher Lisa started adding poses to my practice from the Intermediate Series. The yoga nerd that I am, it was a turning point! Here I was, going deeper into my daily practice, with more consistency than ever before, and sure enough all was coming.

All is coming. How cool is that?

In recognition of Guruji's profound and simple teachings, I realize that one's yoga practice is only as good as how it is maintained in situations off the mat. So, I’m working on integrating the lessons I'm learning into other areas of my life, which can feel intensely scary, challenging, and life-affirming all at once. With Ashtanga as my anchor, I am discovering each day that anything is possible, as long as I show up to experience it. I'm excited to share more of the merits of my practice and healing journey with you along the way. 

Stay tuned...

Camille

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Upcoming Events:

FREE Live Online Essential Oil 101 Classes

Tuesday, April 26 4-4:45pm PDT

Thursday, April 28 5:30-6:15 PDT 

Use this form to register, and you will receive confirmation with the call-in information before the class. 

Yoga, Surf & Healing w/ Camille Retreat

October 6-12, 2016 in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

Go here to book your next adventure today

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On 2015, Gemstones, Salt Scrubs, and Sex

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Can I be honest with you?

2015 was rough. Like, super rough. And it was all because of last year's resolution...

It started off well enough. I was celebrating in DC last new year's eve, wondering where my life would take me in the next 365 days.

In January 2015 I had a "good job" with a steady salary, two and a half years' worth of awesome friends nearby, and was teaching at my favorite yoga studio in the nation's capital.

On the surface, things probably looked great, but deep in my heart I was miserable with my life. I wanted out of my job. I wanted to be a creative entrepreneur. I wanted to find love. And, I was still harboring this decade old pipe dream of moving to a city by the Bay. 

So on January 1st, I resolved that 2015 would be the year I would finally start to do all of the above.

One month later, I gave my boss notice and dove headfirst into entrepreneurship. Then in August, I leapt with faith across country to my beloved Northern California.

And that's when the shit-storm started! 

In case you don't know what it's like to move across country, let me tell you. It's like stirring a big pot of boiling stew that is your life, until anything and everything deep within you bubbles up to the surface and spills over the brim. That's how it goes with pretty much any major life transition.

The last four months have presented challenges, breakdowns, breakthroughs, new relationships, and exciting opportunities. I've been brought to my knees in tears and prayer as I searched for housing and worked my way into this very competitive yoga industry. (Watch my favorite new web series Namaste, Bitches for a hilarious account of the yoga world - belated Merry Christmas BTW, it's that funny.) I lost my mind temporarily -- multiple times -- with the stress of running my essential oil business, and had a major reality check when I realized I was potentially jeopardizing my own success and others'. I've also learned what it means to be closer to family, and that the world doesn't revolve around me. 

But here's the real moral of the story: 2015 was rough, but it was also awesome. I believe that some of the best things in life are rough around the edges... take for instance gemstones, salt scrubs, and sex ;-) 

Because, when something is a challenge, it means that thing probably has the capacity to drastically change your life for the better.  

Thanks to 2015, I'm living in the place I've been dreaming about since I was a sophomore in high school. I've landed teaching gigs in the East Bay and SF, and led my first yoga retreat in Mexico. I've lit a fire under my ass to be successful in 2016 and am rebuilding those business relationships on a foundation of communication, healing, and trust. And then, there's this feeling that my heart is ready for more...

I'm grateful for this last year and all that it's offered, but boy am I ready for it to be over! As an Aries, there are few things that get me more excited and inspired than a clean slate and a new beginning. New Year's Eve happens to be my favorite celebration of the whole year. 

So, as we wrap up the last few hours of 2015, I hope we all take the time to find an intention of forgiveness in our hearts for all the things that we or others did wrong, didn't do, or didn't do well. 

My wish for all of us is to spend 2016 living, breathing, and sharing our truth while creating a life of abundance, happiness, and love. 

May you be safe. 

May you be happy.

May you be healthy.

May you live with peace and freedom.

To 2016 ~ Happy New Year!

Love,

Camille

 

Special announcement for reading all the way to the bottom! 

Tomorrow, January 1st, I will be opening bookings for my next retreat:

Yoga, Surf, and Healing w/ Camille in beautiful San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua // October 6-12, 2016

Keep an eye out on Instagram and Facebook for special offers to grab your spot. This will sell out, so props to you for getting in on the scoop!

Top 10 Reasons To Take Yourself On Retreat

Think back. How long has it been since you carved out a significant chunk of time dedicated to YOU? When's the last time you made a priority of your own self-care, personal development, mental/physical/emotional well-being, and sense of adventure?

It's easy to get caught up in the rat race of life, even when we don't think we're in it. It happens to all of us. We get stuck in a rut, we get comfortable with routine, and we turn into creatures of habit. Eventually life gets predictable and boring, and we need to shake things up a bit.

Enter the Retreat. This thing will change your life.

The first time I took myself on retreat I was 24 years old and spent a week in Montezuma, Costa Rica taking yoga classes, barely improving my Spanish, and learning to ward off creepy drug dealers on the beach in broad daylight. My yoga teacher training was my next big retreat experience and I returned to Costa Rica six months later (this time to Nosara) for a month of yoga, surfing, meditating, and spiritual healing. By stark contrast, my most recent retreat experience was last April on a rural retreat center in Maryland when I took a weeklong vow of silence to participate in vipassana meditation and spent the hours each day simply sitting, walking, eating, and repeating.

Despite the different types of experiences within each of the retreats I've been on, I've noticed some things that they all have had in common that helped me feel empowered to live more fully in my Highest Self.

Here are the top ten reasons to take yourself on a retreat:

  1. Heal. Going on retreat can be an incredibly healing experience. When you're away from the everyday distractions of life, you can focus on the parts of you that have something to process, forgive, and release; and you'll have the space to let it all flow in and out.
  2. Rest. Sleep in. Get a massage. Lay on the beach and read a salaciously naughty adult novel. Getting your body and your brain periods of rest is important in keeping you operating at optimal capacity in your daily grind. Is the a better place to rest than a hammock on the beach while catching a breeze? I think not. 
  3. Reflect. Use your time away to take a look back at what you've accomplished, learned, and how you've grown in the last year or two. Notice how it feels to pause and acknowledge how amazing you are and how much you do for the people you care for around you.
  4. Detox. Get that beautiful detox glow by being intentional about cleansing your system from the inside out while you're on retreat. Eat healthy food, drink lots of water, exercise, sweat, and focus in on a happier and healthier you.
  5. Recharge. Fill up on the sweet smell of salt water in the morning, take in the panoramic views of a tree-lined horizons, and heighten your energetic vibration by being in community with other like-minded spirits. You'll be overflowing with goodness by the time you get back. 
  6. Meditate. Your retreat experience is an ideal time to strengthen your meditation practice. Find time each morning to sit. Be mindful of how you eat, drink, and socialize. Notice that when you slow down to half your speed, you notice twice as much.
  7. Learn. Take surfing lessons, deepen your yoga practice, get SCUBA certified, take ballroom dance classes. Find an activity during your retreat that will help you strengthen a skill or learn a new one. 
  8. Create. Going on retreat for some is like getting a shot of creativity juice. Inspiration is everywhere when you're in a new, beautiful environment with an intention to appreciate what is around you. Bringing a journal is always recommended not just for dear diary entries, but also for spontaneous song-writing and scenic sketching.
  9. Connect. Get a chance to hang out with a group of really cool people who just want to relax and have fun, too. You'll probably end up meeting a new friend on your next retreat!
  10. Love. The ultimate reason! Give yourself this act of self-love to nourish the you that you are, to love all that's around you, and to offer love to each and every person in your life. And after your retreat, you might notice that your heart has grown.

If you found yourself nodding along while reading, please consider joining me for my Love & Liberation retreat in Tulum, Mexico October 27-November 1. Details and information can be found at the registration link: triptribe.com/camille

The beach is that way,

Camille




You Are Enough

Hey you lovely light being,

Do you ever find yourself scrolling through Facebook and Instagram, comparing your life to the seemingly perfect lives of... well, everyone else in the world?

We all do it, perusing our news feed during mundane moments of our lives; in line for the ATM, on public transportation, while waiting for yoga class to start. We check in on our social networks to stay up to date for #FOMO, but subconsciously, we do it to feel a little less alone. Inevitably however, we end up in a vicious cycle of information consumption and a legit psychological phenomenon called social comparison. In a recent study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, psychologists found a link between time spent on Facebook and depressive symptoms of study participants. Basically, the study provides evidence that comparing ourselves to others (in any direction; better, same, or worse) makes us feel like crap. Makes sense, given that all social comparison essentially reflects within each of us is a general fear of not being good enough.

Personal tidbit: just recently (ahem, the other night), I got caught up in my own downward spiral on the social media front. I found myself scrolling on and on well past midnight, until I was in a sea of endless updates, comparing myself to the younger yoga teacher with thousands of followers on Instagram, to my friends and cousins who have gotten engaged or married and are popping out babies at alarming rates (seriously though, it's out of control after you turn 30), and people I barely know who seemed to have figured out the whole entrepreneur thing writing about how they got their businesses to grow to six figures in six days or something ridiculous like that. Whatever. Needless to say, I was stuck in a rut and I needed a way out. Luckily, I was able to recognize my deteriorating state of mind and presence and gave myself a little dose of mind medicine that helped me ease up on the social comparison crapfest.

Here's the remedy I used, with a bit of an ironic twist at the end that brought me to tears. 

First, unplug. Get off your devices and get back to the present moment by realizing that this moment is all you have, and is the only thing that's real and matters. Take a few deep breaths and notice what you notice around you. 

Second, forgive yourself. Pause to put your hands over your heart and feel yourself filling up with a loving, compassionate energy of forgiveness for comparing yourself to others. We all do it, so you might choose to send a forgiving energy out to the world and those in your networks as well. In my old job, I found myself frequently comparing myself to my boss and coworkers, which made me miserable on so many levels until I realized that I just needed to let go of trying to be something and someone I wasn't. When I was able to forgive myself for not being the "type of person" that thrived in that work environment, I was able to liberate myself from that world and pursue my own path that focused on the things I was most passionate about, where my natural gifts and talents flowed freely.

Third, transform jealousy and comparison into inspiration. It always makes me cringe whenever I hear someone say, "That's awesome. I'm so jealous." Why project such a negative connotation onto someone sharing something great? I've found that jealousy is often a reaction people have when they feel unequipped to create a positive change or outcome in their own lives. On the flipside, I totally dig when a super human says something like, "Hey, you have a beautiful practice. I'm so inspired!" like the lovely yogini I practiced next to yesterday at Flow. Jealousy condones a sense of self-limitation, whereas inspiration implies that this person, too, can achieve whatever they put their sweet heart and mind to. Plus, inspiration keeps everybody's good juju on the up and up.

Fourth, know that you are enough. After I snapped out of my Trance of Unworthiness (as Tara Brach calls it), practiced some healing self-care, and set the intention to be inspired by my virtual and cosmic connections, I let the Universe take over to teach me how to use social media in a positive way. I sat in front of my altar with my iPad, turned it on, and found an interview on Facebook that Marie Forleo had posted last week with Colleen Saidman Yee promoting her new book, Yoga for Life. I was brought to tears as Colleen shared stories from her life about struggling with feelings of guilt, worry, and unworthiness. By the end I was in tears, and completely inspired by lessons she learned through yoga that gave her the strength to share the yogic teachings and be of service to others. It was a gem of an interview that made me feel like she was speaking directly to me. If you're interested in watching it, click here

At the end of the interview, Colleen shared a meditation on the Buddhist meditation for working with fear that really got me sobbing. I'm talking super soaker water works, people. Check out the text of the meditation below.

Just sit. Notice where you feel hard, and sit with that.

Go to the center of the anger and you'll probably come to sadness.

Stay with the sadness until it turns to vulnerability. 

Keep sitting with what comes up; the deeper you dig, the more tender you become.

Raw fear can open into the wide expanse of genuineness, compassion, gratitude, and acceptance in the present moment.

A tender heart appears naturally when you are able to stay present.

From your heart, you can see the true pigment of the sky.

You can see the vibrant yellow of the sunflower and the deep blue of your daughter's eyes.

A tender heart doesn't block out rainclouds, or tears, or dying sunflowers. 

Allow both beauty and sadness to touch you.

This is love, not fear.

The funny and ironic thing was, despite the potentially negative impact social media bingeing can elicit, I never would have found that interview had it not been for the magic of the interwebs. If it weren't for social media, it would be a lot harder to keep in touch with my homestay family and friends from my volunteer service, I wouldn't get to revel in the beauty of my friends' new babies via their photos, and I probably would have had to pay full price for my new yoga bling if I hadn't reached out via comment to the owner of Rock and Raw Jewellry on Instagram! ;-)

There are so many great things we can do online when we stop comparing and start inspiring. It's all about perspective. And knowing that you, just as you are, are enough.

With a liberating kinda love,

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3 Simple Ways to Reset Your Health

Hello, lovers!

I've been laying low and living under the radar the last few weeks because of a stubborn and slow moving chest infection. While it wasn't serious or life-threatening, it was pretty freaking uncomfortable, and the worst my physical has health fallen in what's been a pretty healthy last three years. It was a combination of feeling like shit, plus watching a crapload of health documentaries on Netflix, that made me decide I really needed to take my self-healthcare more seriously. Thirty-one years old does not a kid make, and I'm learning that this body needs 100% love all the damn time. And I'm not just talking about the naughty stuff...

I decided to go au naturale and avoid western medicine and over the counter/synthetic meds unless absolutely necessary. So, a few days ago when I returned to my acupuncturist for the third time in a week and a half, describing to him in detail the appearance of my mucus and the intensity of pressure in my right inner ear, and he said, "You could be releasing a lot of old stuff," I was like, "Well that makes sense."

I reflected back on the last time I was really sick, and surprise - it was almost three years ago to the day that I was medically evacuated from my Peace Corps country of St. Vincent to Washington, DC for a leg infection and depression. Apparently I had about three years' worth of stuck energy and toxins my body needed to release. 

The Universe was giving me an opportunity to feel more, pay attention more, and to look back at what I've learned and how I've grown in the last three years. 

I've learned that everybody has something that they're dealing with; physically, emotionally, spiritually, relationally, financially, etc., etc., etc., I've learned that everybody ultimately wants to love and be loved. I've learned that taking a leap of faith and following your heart can take you on some pretty epic adventures in life. I've learned that people are generally good, but have a tendency to get lost without an anchor. And I've learned that different people have different anchors. 

There's a lot more that I've learned, but I think having tangible action items to implement are way more powerful, so I've put my three biggest lessons from my recent health challenges together for you, in case you're ever in a place where you need to hit reset.

  • Turn to natural medicine. There are so many beautiful alternatives to what is mass marketed in commercial retail locations that can help you heal from illness that are affordable and free from side effects! Of course I'm not telling you not to go to the doctor or not to take your medication, but know that there is a treasure trove of natural solutions that come from the earth and are nature's gifts to us for healing. When I took the step to empower myself in my health, I decided I was only going to consume plants in medicine form. This meant only green juice and raw food until my body felt rebalanced. Green juice is an easy and affordable way to get a ton of the micronutrients you need without eating large kale salads 8x a day. If you need some hardcore inspiration, I highly recommend the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. For help with my symptoms, I was so grateful to have all of my essential oils on hand and the knowledge of how to use them. To move the mucus, I steamed with Breathe blend, Eucalyptus and Oregano. For the allergies I was experiencing in addition to my cough, I used my trusty magic trio of Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint on the soles of my feet and on my chest. For my earache, I rubbed Melaleuca and Lavender around my ear and on the mastoid bone behind the earlobe to relieve the pain. And when it felt like it was turning into a full blown ear infection and I could barely hear out of my right ear, I took two drops of Purify blend on a cotton swab and rubbed it around my ear canal. It was amazing - the next morning almost all of the pressure in my right ear was gone. What else might be considered natural medicine, you ask? Singing, laughing, dancing, being out in nature, meditation, homeopathy, Ayurveda, hypnosis, shamanic healing, Reiki, bodywork, and the list goes on...
  • Go back to basics. When the body needs a reset, that means it needs a reset. I've found over the years that my yoga practice ebbs and flows, through the seasons, the months, the weeks, even over the course of a day or in any one session. It serves me in the way I need it for support, and I've come to let go of the "shoulds" that some lineages encourage. When I'm feeling ill, I'm not still trying to work on my alignment in handstand, or reach my heels in kapotasana. I'm laying on soft things, in easy positions, and sometimes I ditch the yoga mat all together. I was on swim team as a kid and in high school, so when I started to feel better I headed to the pool for laps. Turns out I was revisiting my first experience with meditation in motion, before I even knew what that meant. 
  • Trust that your illness is a spiritual teacher. Ok, so I'm not saying that every person who gets sick deserves it, but I do think that illness is one of those mysterious ways the Universe sends us spiritual lessons. I'm not surprised I got sick when I did. I had been generating a lot of forward movement in my projects, was really excited about getting on in my new life and was overall happy and upbeat, but I was eating a lot of junk, wasn't really taking care of my body, and was ignoring my spirit guides speaking to me loud and clear about my relationships and needing to reflect on my life. At one point when I felt the lowest, my ear was throbbing and I could barely hear. I was in the shower trying to relax, and I heard Spirit say to me, "You can't hear because you're not listening." That moment completely reset my mind and got me back on my meditation cushion pretty fast. I sat with my experience of the last three years, listened for guidance about how to take these lessons and move forward, and held myself in each moment, just the way I am. And that's when the healing really began...

So there you go. Three simple ways to reset your health. 

What helps you reset your health? Comment below and share with the Love Club!

In health & happiness,

Camille

 

 

 

 

7 Magnificent Steps to Liberate Yourself from Overwhelm

Hey there, you awesome manifestation of star stuff!

Do you ever get caught up in a never-ending list of to do's and feel like you're getting swallowed whole by life itself? I sure do, and I bet you can relate. We all get overwhelmed at times, and I've certainly been feeling this way in the last couple of weeks. Like any other human on this planet, I've got a stress threshold, and sometimes something's gotta give. It's a very familiar topic for me, this feeling of having bitten off more than I can chew. In fact, I've got a super special story for you from my childhood to illustrate my personal nature about getting caught up in a sense of overwhelm...

Personal Story: Sink or Swim or Get Saved by Mom

For the first four and a half years of my life, I lived with my family in a cute little pink house in Lakewood, CA. There was a park down the street, ice cream trucks I remember running to with spare change from my grandma, and a swimming pool in the backyard. It was a beautiful Southern California upbringing for a pint-sized girl with an imaginative and highly impulsive nature.

One day, my older brother and I were out by the pool, but because I was so small and had just started taking swimming lessons, I was only allowed to sit on the first step with the water about waist-level. We only had one lifejacket, which my brother was wearing, and our mother was supervising us while doing some work in the garden. So I was stuck on that boring little step watching my big bro have all the fun. It didn’t help that he was incessantly taunting me, telling me I couldn’t swim while he jumped into the pool, swam back to the wall, climbed out, and repeated that over and over just to be annoying. After a few minutes, I got as pissed off as a four-year-old can possibly get, stood up, and said, “I CAN SWIM!” … and I jumped in headfirst.

The only problem was, I couldn’t swim. I opened my eyes underwater, felt my body submerged in the cool chlorinated H20, and thought Uh-oh, what did I do? Luckily, since Mom was nearby and I was in the shallow end, she jumped in and saved me before I sank to the bottom.

I feel like this story illustrates a lot about my personal nature with getting overwhelmed. I’ve always been someone who dives into things headfirst, without really thinking things through. As long as it feels right, and it’s something I know I want to do, I just go ahead and do it, always figuring that things will work out in the end, and they usually do. But inevitably, there are always those moments where I feel totally submerged in the consequences of my big leaps of faith, and think, Well crap, what have I gotten myself into this time? And this is where I’ve been the last two weeks in building my business! All of a sudden, I’m my own boss, teaching yoga, networking with other small business owners, running my website, writing content, sharing essential oils, enrolled in B-School, studying online marketing, exploring new revenue streams, taking care of my dog, staying in touch with family and friends, organizing a yoga retreat, and I have to keep myself clean, fed, and find time for sleep?! Sometimes, all of these responsibilities just make me feel like pulling the covers over my head and hiding from the world instead of dealing with the realities of life. 

I’m sure that in this day in age, you can also relate to this feeling of overwhelm. What with work, family, personal development, relationships, hobbies, interests, kids, pets, making meals, doing laundry, handling finances, using technology, and every other thing in this modern life that demands our attention, we’re all susceptible to those moments of feeling like we’re in over our heads.

Do yourself a favor, watch this funny 5 second film, and be honest with yourself about the last time you had a day like this.

Pretty recent? Totally normal.

So what can we do when this feeling of utter chaos starts to set in? We can make choices that will help us to shift our perspective. Here are my 7 magnificent steps for liberating yourself from overwhelm in the modern world:

1.     Pause… Just. Stop. Take a few deep breaths, and gather yourself back in the present moment and take a non-judgmental self-assessment.

      Where are you right now? Literally telling yourself where you are (even if it’s, I’m in line at Starbucks about to blow my friggin’ top off because the douchemonkey in front of me can’t figure out the difference between a latte and a frappucino) is an excellent first step in getting grounded.

      How do you feel in your physical body? Notice where you’re holding your tension. Maybe it’s in your stomach, shoulders, or your head. Observe where it is now so you can work on releasing it later.

      What emotions are you experiencing? Bring awareness to what you’re feeling in that moment of overwhelm. Anxiety, fear, nervousness, excitement, anger and depression are common feelings during these times.

      How are you speaking to yourself? The quality of your internal dialogue can give you a lot of insight into how you’re feeling about the rest of the world. Notice if your self-talk is defeated, critical, or judgmental, and take note of how much pressure you’re actually putting on yourself.

      What’s the vibe you’re giving off? Get a sense of the energy you’re putting out into the world. If you’re in an overwhelmed state of being and that’s the oomph you’re putting out there, it’s what you’re going to keep getting back in return, times ten. 

Use this moment with the pause button pressed to take your own holistic temperature. The key at this step is to just notice.

2.     Just say no. So many of us big-hearted do-gooders are invited into the worlds of other big-hearted do-gooders to take part in all of those great things that big-hearted do-gooders love to do. Whether it’s a project, social gathering, favor, or task, it’s easy to get caught up in the momentum of others’ endeavors. Learn how to minimize external distractions so that you can focus your precious time and energy on the things that matter most to you. My favorite mantra for practicing the art of a gracious refusal is #ThankYouNoThankYou. Saying no is one of the greatest skills you can utilize to minimize unnecessary stress in today’s modern madness. And, don’t feel guilty about using this magic n-word. NO!

3.     Prioritize Urgent vs. Important. President Eisenhower has been credited with this simple productivity principle that helps a doer determine what work needs to be done to help the doer achieve his/her individual goals (Important), as opposed to activities that require immediate attention, but usually are in service of someone else’s goals (Urgent). But beware, just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s easy. The rule of thumb I use in employing this principle is, if it makes any of my devices beep, ping or vibrate, it falls into the Urgent category and I use my all of my willpower not to check it, and take care of it later. If it’s something that requires me to sit and concentrate in a quiet space, it’s Important, and I do that first.

4.     Create space. This is one I generally resist because I’m a natural clutter-bug. But every time I do this practice of creating space, I feel so much lighter! You can clear off your desk, piles of old newspapers sitting in corners, or even just wash the dishes that have piled up in your kitchen sink throughout the day. Figuratively clearing physical space helps you to free up valuable neurological real estate in that mind-brain noggin’ of yours. Full disclosure: in writing this blog post, I was inspired to clear out my inbox, which had accumulated a ridiculous 4,600+ unread emails, and found this incredible shortcut for deleting unread messages in Gmail in 10 seconds. I did it and Holy liberation, mama! This simple act literally made me feel LIGHT AND FREE.

5.     Use rituals. Starting and ending your days with a ritual can do wonders for helping you maintain a sense of sanity. Maybe you sit in meditation, recite prayer/mantra/affirmations, do some yoga, listen to music, journal, or light a candle. Morning rituals help set the tone for how you want to respond to the world throughout the day, and evening rituals help to release any negative energy and wind down from the stressors of waking life. It’s a beautiful way to bookend your daily experience with heightened awareness and intention.

6.     Ask for help. Thank heavens my mom was there that day to save me from drowning in our swimming pool when I was a toddler, and maybe it was my big bro that yelled to her to help me out. But whenever you feel like you’re the one drowning in a sea of endless things to do, reach out to someone – family, friends, guardian angels, and/or Spirit to lend you a helping hand. One of my favorite spiritual tools to ask for divine assistance during difficult periods is the well-known Serenity Prayer. It’s also particularly helpful in creating the necessary shift to release control, which ultimately is what asking for help is all about.

7.     Take a chill pill. Have a cup of tea. Put your legs up the wall. Get a massage. Take a bath. Breathe in some stress relieving essential oils. Give yourself permission to just chill out, relax, and trust that everything’s gonna be alright. Because as long as you’re following your heart, trust me, it will be.

Now it’s your turn! What are your favorite ways for freeing yourself from overwhelm? Please share in the comments below to let the rest of the Love Club in on your tools for coping with stressful times.

If you haven’t yet, please like and share my Facebook page. I love you and want to love your friends too!

Till next time, may you be happy and free from all things overwhelming.

love & liberation xo

Camille

Essential Oils 101

Namaste Love Club,

For anyone reading who doesn’t already know how much I love my essential oils… I LOVE my essential oils! I carry them around with me, offer them to my yoga students, waft them under drunken friends’ noses to prevent hangovers, and am always looking up natural remedies for everybody’s ailments. I fell in love with essential oils a few years ago and quickly discovered their incredible healing benefits. In a matter of weeks, my allergies went away, I had more mental clarity, and I was sleeping more soundly. Plus, I smelled better than ever.

If you’re completely brand new to essential oils, here’s some basic info about this amazing source of natural medicine.

What are essential oils?

Imagine for a moment the scent of an orange peel, fresh basil, or a rose in full bloom. These natural fragrances make up the plant’s natural aromatic compound, and are found in the seeds, bark, stems, leaves, roots, flower petals, and other parts of fragrant plants. doTERRA oils are extracted by a low-heat steam distillation process to result in highly potent and certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils. To give you an idea of how potent these oils are, it takes 12,000 rose blossoms to result in 5mL of therapeutic rose oil. For more info about definition, history of essential oils, grades, and safety, click here.

How do I use essential oils?

Essential oils can be used in a wide variety of ways to support emotional and physical wellness. Depending on the desired effect, oils can be used one at a time, or they can be mixed together to create blends to enhance the desired benefits.

  • Aromatically. Take a couple of drops of oil in your hands, rub them together and breathe in deeply with your hands in front of your face. My favorite way to have my oils going all day every day is to put 5-6 drops into water in my diffuser, and it makes my whole apartment smell amazing, and keeps me feeling relaxed and happy.
  • Topically. Essential oils can be applied directly to the skin, and because of their purity, are absorbed almost immediately. Using carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil is a great way to dilute the potency. The soles of the feet have the biggest pores and the most nerve endings in the body, so applying your oils here will help them go directly to your bloodstream for fast benefits. You could also apply essential oils directly to a cut or scrape, using Melaleuca, for instance, to disinfect a wound.
  • Internally. doTERRA’s certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils are so high quality, many are safe for internal consumption and we offer products like Lifelong Vitality and On Guard beadlets that have oil blends built in for optimal wellness. While this is awesome, don’t forget that essential oils are a super potent form of the original plant and can be up to 25-70 times as concentrated. Please be smart about using essential oils internally and be aware of any interactions or contraindications they may have with current medications or health conditions.

And because I so love making info-pretties, here’s one you can print out and hang up on your fridge. Because I know you want to.

Where can I buy essential oils?

You can purchase essential oils today at most health food stores, some pharmacies, and of course, online.

Why doTERRA?

There are a lot of options for essential oils out there, but after testing out a lot of different varieties, I chose to endorse and resell doTERRA for a few reasons. First, the company sustainably sources their oils from plant producers all over the world, resulting in the highest quality certified pure therapeutic grade oils. Second, doTERRA is the leading essential oil company advancing the education and research of aromatic science. Third, doTERRA provides its loyal members with an opportunity to build the business and earn income by sharing the products.

How do I buy doTERRA essential oils?

If you’re looking to buy just one or two oils, you can purchase directly from my retail site. Need some personalized essential oil advice? Contact me.

For those interested in integrating essential oils into your daily life for optimal health and wellness, you’ll want to create a wholesale account and get started with an enrollment kit. By enrolling with a kit, your $35 enrollment fee is waived, and you gain access to all kinds of crazy deals and discounts for future orders. It truly is all kinds of awesome. Not sure which kit is right for you? Just holler and I’ll be happy to talk you through it.

Your turn! Share some ideas for how you already use - or want to start using -essential oils to detoxify and heal your home in the comments below.

Loved today’s love tap? Like it on Facebook and invite five friends to like my page. I am so grateful for all of your referrals!

Until next time…

love & liberation to your nostrils,

Camille

The Greatest Gift You Can Give Yourself

A question for you: Have you ever gone on a business trip, or out to a big social event, and had that moment when you get home where you’re just like, YES. Home.

Know what I mean?

No matter how stressful the day’s been, or how many people you’ve had to rub elbows with, coming home can often create a huge sense of relief. In all the chaos that is the modern life, we could all benefit to offer up some major gratitude for having a home to go to where we can unplug, reboot, and reconnect.

Home is our comfort, our place to feel a sense of belonging, and where we go to rest and recuperate. It’s our space to get centered in between our interactions with the outside world and where we can truly just be ourselves.

In so many ways, home is how I’ve come think about my meditation practice. No matter how crazy my thoughts are, or how many items I have to check off my to do list, when I sit down on my meditation pillow, I come home to who I am.

As Buddhist meditation teacher, Sogyal Rinpoche said, “The gift of learning to meditate is the greatest gift you can give yourself in this lifetime.”

Meditation has been a tool that has transformed my life for the better, and I try daily to practice for at least fifteen minutes each morning. But this isn’t how I began! It was definitely a challenge at first to sit for even a few moments without wiggling around, telling myself I was doing it wrong, and thinking I had more important things to do instead.

With a little bit of determination and persistence, though, I started to see just how much my meditation practice was serving me in my life. I had improved focus and concentration, more control over how I reacted to my emotions, and I felt less depressed and anxious in difficult moments throughout my day.

So for this first installment of Mindful Monday, I would love to share some tips to help you create, set up, or add to, your home practice space for yoga and meditation.

Here’s a sneak peek into my personal practice area. As you can see, I have a pretty compact apartment. When I moved in, I wanted to make sure that my contemplation area was central in the setup of my living room. I figured, the more I saw my practice space, the more I was likely to practice and turns out, I was right.

Let me give you a rundown on some great tools to incorporate into your home practice space:

  • Altar – The sacred space. An altar is any surface you place offerings or symbols of your Highest Self. I was psyched when I found this repurposed wood altar blessed with Om, but I’ve used chairs, a nightstand, and even a cardboard box before. You could also use a well-placed windowsill or low bench if you’re looking to be resourceful.
  • Symbols – Connective tissue for your heart. On and around my altar I place different symbols that remind me of love. Some ideas for symbols could be photos, artwork, images of deities or holy figures, prayer beads, a vision board, meaningful jewelry or candles. Anything that helps you tap into that feeling of unconditional love when you look at it.
  • Nature – A mirror for the mind. I enjoy having a plant in my meditation space because I think of it as a reflection of how well I’m nurturing my inner needs. Do we need watering, attention, sunlight? Other forms of nature to incorporate might include a small bowl of water to promote flow in your life, candles to ignite the fire element, or gemstones and other earthy elements to help you feel grounded.
  • Yoga mat – Stretch it out, yo. Yoga practices like physical postures and vinyasa flow help to prepare the body for meditation by facilitating a process of purification. Our experiences, pent-up energy, and emotions get trapped in our physical form and spun around in our minds. Yoga is a great way to release and move through energetic blockages in order to maximize the benefits of meditation.
  • Meditation cushion – Pad that fanny. When you’re ready to find some stillness, there’s nothing better than some good old-fashioned padding to help you ease into your seat. I like using a meditation cushion, called a zafu, because it helps me to sit with my pelvis tilted slightly forward with a nice, tall spine. Blankets, pillows, and seat donuts can work well too.
  •  Intention – The Big Why. Learning to meditate can truly be the greatest gift you can give yourself, and knowing why you are practicing is your key to receiving the benefits of this gift. Each time you sit, take a moment to set an intention for your highest self and in service of the greatest good for all beings. When you do this, you open yourself up to be truly expansive, receptive, and deeply connected to the Divine.

When you get home tonight, relax, unwind and take look around your house for items you can add to your home practice space, and keep me updated. Snap a photo of your sacred contemplation area and post it to my Facebook page!

Until next time, xo

In love & liberation,

Camille

 

 

My Number One Lesson In Life

As I wrapped up my job this last week, and shared my news about going into entrepreneurship, I kept hearing the same message over and over from people: “It takes a lot of courage to do what you’re doing.”

When I first started hearing that, I thought, Yeah man, I’m so eff-ing brave! And then, I started to think about how this all came to be. 

You see, earlier this year I started reading the metaphysical text, A Course in Miracles, and have committed to studying and practicing its teachings daily. What I learned early on from the Course is that a miracle is nothing more than a change in perception.

We can choose to see situations with fear or love, with empowerment or defeat, defensiveness or acceptance. It’s ultimately up to each of us to choose how we make sense of our world, and this happens moment by moment. Of course, we’ve all had those difficult experiences in our lives that have changed us, confused us, taught us to be wary and untrusting of what is uncomfortable and unfamiliar, and caused us to find refuge in the things that make us feel small. Throughout our lives we’ve learned to be afraid and to hide behind our patterns, habits, jobs, relationships, addictions, accomplishments, etc., and to listen to logic more than our heart.

So when I made the decision to move away from the career path I was on and go into business for myself, I wasn’t actually leaning into my fear, I was walking away from it.  By stepping into my power, I released a layer of my addiction to fear, I let go of part of my ego’s desire for external validation and recognition, and I surrendered the voice inside that told me I wasn’t good enough to make it on my own.

Here’s another cool thing that A Course in Miracles teaches: only love is real. When love is present, fear dissolves. Love, in its unconditional form, has the power to heal our deepest wounds, create peace from the inside out, and allow for miracles to take place. 

I’ve been given the gift in this lifetime to serve the world as a teacher and healer, and I take this on with great responsibility. In my life’s work, love is my number one lesson and liberation is the inevitable outcome.

And so today I offer you this lesson from the Course that is the basis of my own work: Teach only love, for that is what you are.

Each of us can be a teacher of love in the choices we make day-to-day, moment-by-moment, by practicing compassion, forgiveness, and gratitude today.

Here are some ideas for putting this into practice:

  • Call someone you care about and tell them you love them
  • Write a list of people’s names you want to forgive. Go down the list, and say, “I forgive and release you.”
  • When something makes you happy, take a pause and repeat, “Thank you for this _______, and the joy it brings to my life.”

Let me know how it goes! I would love to hear your thoughts, insights, and other ideas you have for putting my number one lesson into use in your daily life. Comment below and share what you've learned by teaching love and releasing fear. 

Thank you for reading and for all of your support. 

In love & liberation,

Camille