Hello AWAKE commUNITY!
We have been posting and sending a lot of information about our brand-new, three-day wellness gathering AWAKE Evergreen, Oct 1-3 in beautiful Evergreen, CO. If you are interested in attending here’s one simple button to sign up!
We know Covid has affected many of us financially and that stress-reduction and your wellness is more important than ever so we want to make accessing AWAKE Evergreen a great value. We have three tiers of tickets. The first tier is available now! “Super Early Bird Tickets,” are live until June 14th. These tickets are only $108 and include a 5-item gift bag from Taspen’s Organics!
The next tier is “Early Bird'.” These tickets will be available June 15th to August 14th. This tier is $174.
The last tier is our final round of tickets leading up to the festival. These tickets are $214, still a great deal for those who need to wait until the last minute to commit for a whole weekend with more than 20 talks/workshops with your favorite guides.
In other #AWAKEEvergreen news... AWAKE Kids Camp has been officially announced! 30 lucky kids ages 5-12 years old can now be registered. Camp allows caretakers to take a break and do their own practice while enJOYing AWAKE Evergreen. We're pretty sure from talking with AWAKE Kids Camp co-directors' Laura Karuna and Katie Lamonte that your children are going to have as meaningful and fun time as you are or even better in Camp!
Kids programming will be offered right next to the main adult practice area so caregivers can feel secure knowing their loved ones are right nearby. Both Laura Karuna and Katie are life-long educators, well-trained and qualified to provide a rich and delightfully creative and fun experience for your little ones.
Kids Camp programming will be offered anytime there is an adult class offered and even during evening musical experiences so you can exhale while the kids experience, a yoga obstacle course, parachute yoga, games, musical yoga, the making of prayer flags and even a tie-dye shirt they can bring home!
Be sure to sign your kids up soon as we are sure Camp will fill up fast. It's only $154 per child and this includes all their learning and fun, art supplies, snacks/drinks from our partners and more!
AWAKE Evergreen is all about commUNITY! This means we need YOUR help to plan this festival. We need all types of people to contribute to this weekend-long wellness event.
Do you know some engaging vendors? Do you know future readers, crystal sellers, arts and crafts makers, clothing sellers, or snacks/beverage vendors? If you would like to see a specific vendor at AWAKE share their contact information with us and we will reach out!
Who are your favorite musicians? They can be local or national, we are open to any and all suggestions. Send their name along and we will do our best to get them on board.
What about topic ideas? Is there a certain topic you would be interested in for a workshop? Sexuality, psychedelics, gut health, stress reduction, embodiment, anything goes! Share your interests and introduce us to your favorite experts in these fields.
My long ago thought was “I could be so healthy both physically and mentally if I could just access all these amazing health guides but I can’t afford it and I don’t know who to go to.” My vision is to bring them all together affordably at #AWAKEEvergreen. I believe we need to re-learn how to care for ourselves and shine affordably and wisely. Less dependence on the MAN! It is very common for people to struggle with giving away our power to the health care providers in the “white coats.” We do not need to give our power away anymore - we have the commUNITY available to us so we can learn to take excellent care of our body, mind and soul intelligently and affordably.
This is why these vendors, speakers, partners, musicians, and presenters will be community sourced, so everyone has access to the wellness they deserve and want.
So far we have covered the WHAT and the WHY of #AWAKEEvergreen! Let’s talk about WHEN!
When is AWAKE Evergreen?
#AWAKEEvergreen launches October 1-3, 2021!
This three day festival is taking place during one of the best times of year in Colorado! The average temperature the first week of October is 61 degrees. It is crisp, comfortable, and beautiful! I am so excited to flow, breathe, and connect with this beautiful commUNITY during the amazing Colorado Fall. The venue is outdoors and surrounded by wildlife. It is so powerful to have a large group of people gather and move and breathe as one.
Also, COMING SOON - COUPLES RETREAT!
June 19th is quickly approaching, and this year has been an interesting one for couples. Early bird pricing has passed, but tickets are still very affordable. For $159 per couple, you will get to be a part of this inspiring one day retreat.
This retreat uses information from “Getting the Love You Want” by Harville Henrix and “Wired for Love,” by Stan Tatkin.
In AWAKE’S one-day, deep-dive workshop you’ll learn:
I use these tools in my own marriage and I’m happy to get personal about how hard it is to shift old cycles and stop the cyclical fights. But we can do it! We just need the tools and the patience to learn, implement and then shift. It feels so good to be in true intimacy with our partner that it gets easier to follow the new playbook after a while :)
Hello again to this beautiful commUNITY!
I hope you are all feeling peaceful and at ease. I am back with some more exciting updates. It is an honor to be able to share every step of the planning process with you all because this is an event for YOU.
Tickets are selling! Time is limited to snatch up the early bird pricing. This first round of tickets are meant for people who want to be involved in the co-creation of AWAKE Evergreen. There are many positives to purchasing tickets early. The VISIONARIES will receive a sweet gift and discounted ticket prices. There are only 108 early bird tickets available, so do not wait.
We officially have our first partner, Taspen’s Organics!
“Taspen's Organics is not just another skin care and wellness company. They are on a mission to make our customers healthier. They are committed to healthy skin, body and healthy people.” Taspen’s offers a huge array of products that are good for you inside and out.
If you purchase one of our super early bird tickets for only $108 through June 15, you will receive the 5-piece gift set from Taspen’s when you check in to AWAKE weekend-of event. This gift set includes: an eye cream, wrinkle serum, face cream, No More Aches Plus Cooling Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Topical Cream, and Full Spectrum Daily CBD Hemp Oil. Taspen’s is so generous and we appreciate their believing in peaceful, awakening commUNITY with us!
Last week I shared WHAT AWAKE Evergreen is, now I would like to share the WHY.
Why are we doing AWAKE Evergreen?
The past year has been a lot of things, but one of the main things is isolating and disconnecting. AWAKE Evergreen is all about reconnecting with self, others, and nature. This commUNITY needs to come together and realign at AWAKE Evergreen. (We will observe any COVID related safety precautions and limit attendance if necessary.)
There is something so special about breathing and moving with a large group of people. The past year has taken this practice away from a lot of us. AWAKE Evergreen is the time to come take a deep breath as a commUNITY.
This festival is meant to be CO-CREATED. AWAKE Evergreen will feature presenters YOU nominate, vendors YOU suggest, and workshops YOU would enjoy. A commUNITY, Co-Created Wellness Festival built by LOVE for YOU! Please send us your ideas for favorite vendors, musicians, presenters and the themes you’d like to see offered. We love you and can’t wait to see YOU!
That discomfort you are feeling is equivalent to your current level of disconnection from presence/source. I know it may be hard to believe but these unpleasant physical and mental feelings are a gift.
The discomfort (AKA Dhukkha/dissatisfaction in Buddhist terminology) is just like an upset toddler inside of you needing your attention. I know it’s tempting - especially in our culture that values better, more and faster doing - to stop and attend to your uncomfortable physical and mental feelings.
Of course we want to numb or distract ourselves! Unfortunately, mainstream culture is right there to encourage our numbing and distraction. No matter how foreign it feels I encourage you to be brave and to do the opposite of what our stressed out mainstream culture has taught you. Slow down, feel and be with. After all, you are a human BEING not a Human DOING!
Through that discomfort - an excellent exercise to be "with it" is by using Tara Brach's acronym RAIN (recognize, accept, investigate and nurture) - is the freedom you so deeply deserve. It’s actually your birthright to be free, peaceful and at ease. Our culture just taught you to look the wrong way for your peace of mind. Hint, it's not "out there," but instead "in there!" You just have to go through the muck to get there. I know it’s not easy to be with your self sometimes but you are worth it!
If you would like some support in being with and working through the discomfort to return to your birthright of peace, ease and JOY, please join us at one of our day long retreats or Oct 1-3 at AWAKE Evergreen :)
If you know me, you know that creating gatherings that nourish and UNITE commUNITY is one of the main passions in my life. Some of you may even remember our first ever yoga and music event (co-created with the loving guidance of the legendary RR Shakti) Yoga Rocks Mountain Fest at Planet Bluegrass in 2009. After that it was Yoga Rocks the Park, Friday Night Yoga Club and the Denver Chant Fest (co-created with Dakini Ma).
Things keep evolving and deepening and twelve years later I’m thrilled to announce our latest commUNITY wellness gathering, AWAKE Evergreen. This is a concept that has been percolating in my heart and soul for years, and it is finally manifesting. I’ve always been hungry to combine awakening with whole body and mind wellness. A few years back the question, “as we awaken to taking care of our Selves wholly why can’t all the ancient healing modalities and practices be available to us, affordably in one easy container we can all practice in together?” This is the driver behind all the AWAKE gathering over the years.
Let’s co-create a container of love, acceptance and JOY where we can connect with each other, having fun while accessing the wellness and awakening that helps us thrive individually and as a global commUNITY! Tickets are already selling, so if you are interested, head over to the AWAKE site to secure the early bird pricing.
So what is AWAKE Evergreen?
AWAKE Evergreen is a three day wellness festival in beautiful Evergreen, Colorado. This festival will not only be one of the first times we will all be gathering as a community since Covid impacted our lives last year, but it is a way to spend three days exploring all things wellness.
AWAKE Evergreen will include a full schedule of fulfilling options. It is my mission to make this a space that brings health to mind, body, and soul. There will be physical offerings such as yoga, conscious dance, meditation, nature walks, and Qi Gong. There will be mental-health offerings such as talks on mindfulness, nutrition, and relationships. There will also be nourishment with food trucks and restaurant partners. Lastly, there will be fun shopping options with vendors offering a variety of goodies to check out.
This festival is in its first year. AWAKE is grassroots and authentic. The best part, to me, is that this festival is all about community. I want to hear from YOU about what you’d like to see at this festival. Is there a certain musician, wellness-facilitator, topic, or practice you are particularly interested in? Reply with a suggestion and we will do our best to bring it life for you. AWAKE Evergreen is my dream, but it is for our commUNITY.
Having a tough time getting a good night sleep? Anxiety, stress and worry - all commonplace in our modern day world - can make it tough to sleep or stay asleep. When you don't get a good night's sleep symptoms like agitation, depression and frustration can haunt your days. Those looking to get some rest may turn to sleep medication or an anti-anxiety pill to get some rest. Although this may be temporarily effective this western "solution" can lead to dependency and lots of negative side-effects.
Luckily by re-aligning your life schedule with nature and making a few other simple "Sleep-Hygiene" lifestyle updates you can be getting great sleep again. Join us in an interview with Dr. Heidi Albete N.D., a naturopathic doctor based at Taspen's Healing Center in Conifer, CO. Looking for more free sleep help from Dr. Heidi? Check out her 5 all-natural Sleep Tips here!
Trying to out think your anxiety simply doesn't work. Feeling like you've done something wrong for not knowing how to feel better only makes anxiety worse. Anxiety also won't go away by trying to fix external situations. True relief from anxiety lies in connection with the body.
Join Travis Rumsey, Neurosculpting and TRE (Tremor Release Exercises) Practitioner, in this conversation about regulating the nervous system (ie going from stress to ease) with simple tools to feel relief from anxiety. Imagine the individual mental health and the impact you can have on your relationships and ultimately the world by acting from a peaceful, empowered and connected place!
CONNECT WITH AWAKE Mindful Therapy: https://www.awakeexperience.com/therapy.html
Many of us are currently feeling anger and disgust with our political and social systems. We are also having tons of anxiety and grief around all that has changed during the COVID era. Piper Makepeace of Heart of the Matter Retreat and I discuss ways in this video to reduce shame and feel internally all the intense feelings coming up around what is going on so we can survive and even thrive in this challenging time.
Trauma has become part of our everyday reality. There's no need to list the specific atrocities of this world. We live them daily.
You may be left wondering lately, how are we to live in a world like this?
Although it may seem counter-intuitive, it may not be the best strategy to immediately try and fix what is broken out there in the world. We must first do our internal work before engaging externally.
When tragedy, unjustness and strife strike, we first need to STOP and attend to the completely normal feelings that come up when exposed to the results of an often sick and confused culture. We can't keep our heads down and keep going on consuming, working and spinning in confusion like we always have. It’s OK and healthy to feel our raw, unfiltered and yes, often excruciating, emotions.
The meditation practice of RAIN with Tara Brach - Recognize, Allow, Investigate, Nurture
- is a great starting point to be with your feelings before making those external changes. After all, we don't want our pain to overflow to others.
Before reacting externally from a place of unchecked emotionality, anger and pain we must take some time to process and understand the grief we are feeling. Do whatever it takes to pause and feel. Try the STOP, DROP and ROLL Mindfulness practice. This is not the famous fire prevention ad from 80s TV! In this context it means, when you are feeling off inside you STOP what you are doing. DROP the storyline and sit with your feelings. Finally, ROLL - meaning feel and process - the underlying feelings.
Next, get into your body and out of the monkey mind. Move your body. Shake (as taught here by the Neurosculpting Institute). Dance. Stomp your feet. Hum. Shout. Do a body scan. Splash cold water on your face. Breathe deep into your belly. These things will calm your nervous system.
In this crazy world, we need as many of us as possible to have regulated nervous systems. We can’t shift things if we come at the world from an angry, upset, dysregulated place. Without rushing your process – it may take minutes or days – do whatever regulating practice you have until your mind and body feel calm, centered and clear. Then - and only then - make a plan for compassionate action to do something within your control to help raise consciousness in our culture.
We often feel out of control when traumatic experiences happen because we don’t know what to do about them. Hopefully this post gives you an action plan of what to do anytime something traumatic occurs. I’m convinced that the more each individual does this practice the less often, less severe and more intelligently resolved these external situations will be. The only way to peace, "out there," is to realize it already exists within you and then project that commonsense wisdom out into the world.
To review, when the next unthinkable act happens... stop and feel, take time to process, do your internal work; see through your anger, fear and dismay to discover your birth right of presence and wisdom and then respond/contribute/vote/protest/make change from this place of inherent your inherent peace, wisdom and presence.
Great news everyone, we can relax! All the fear around the latest superbug is true. You can get sick and even die. It’s also a fact that we are interdependent and of course we can catch each other’s sickness no matter how much we buy into the delusion of separateness. We are connected, not separate.
Of course, we’ll do our best to not spread the germs but is the panic and shock around this virus helpful? Is a dysregulated nervous system due to constant stress, warnings, upsetting news cycles and anxiety supporting a healthy immune system to help us stay well?
The reason we can exhale is the fact that you can get sick and die has been true every moment of your life. If we are surprised by the news of illness and demise perhaps, we’ve lost site with reality. Since the first breath we took we’ve been dying. We’ve all been dying and being reborn our whole lives. This latest virus scare is one of the greatest teachers our culture has received in a while. Although we never wish for a disease to happen it is what is happening. How painful is it to resist reality? The recent panic shows how disconnected we are in the west from the reality of life. The Buddhists have known about impermanence and interdependence and have been teaching how it can heal us for more than 2,600 years.
The story of the Buddha is that he was protected from the realities of real life locked away in a refined palace. In this place he had all the finest material things, best foods, highest intellectual teachings, opportunities to have sex etc., and it wasn’t satisfying to him in a lasting way. Somehow, something wasn’t quite right, he was still craving more or tired of what he had. Sound familiar?
All the worldly things only gave him temporary pleasure but never lasting peace. He finally left the village (symbolic of choosing the spiritual path that leads away from confused, mainstream material culture) and snuck into town. Even though his parents were trying to keep the eventual Buddha (awakened one) from seeing reality he looked down an alley and saw an old person; he looked down another and saw a sick person; next he saw bodies at the charnel ground dead and decomposing. He realized in that moment that this was reality. We are all going to get sick and die. Some of us will get old. This is the truth. Is it really a surprise that we can get sick and die even today?
Those that are tuned into reality can breathe and relax. It doesn’t mean we sit back and do nothing to reduce the spread of this virus. In fact, we should consider meditating daily to regulate our nervous system, increase our resilience and tune into our inner healing system by shutting off the news after we learn the basic info needed. We can also stay healthy through self-care, a vibrant diet and the use of our basic intelligence to care for ourselves and others . To reduce our suffering around fear is also the best thing we can do. It is wise to align with reality and stop fighting the truth of our interconnectedness and mortality. When we feel out of control it’s helpful to tune into what we can control. And, what we can control is our relationship to what is happening. The teachings say that pain is unavoidable, yet suffering is 100% optional. The only time we suffer is when we fight our reality just like we’re doing now with this latest virus.
There’s really no need to panic. We can see this as an important wake up call. Every day that you leave your family and friends to drive to work you could easily die on your car ride. Sickness and death have no predictable timing. It’s truly magic and a gift that we are even here today to read these words. You may have noticed that you have friends and family who died at all ages of life. You’ve probably heard of famous people that have died. No one at any time is immune to sickness and death. We’ve never had a guarantee that we’re going to live a long life.
I wonder if we can use this latest scare as an impermanence practice. It’s something the Buddhists do every day. They reflect on the four thoughts that turn mind to the dharma (practice). They meditate on four things - precious human birth, impermanence, karma and defects of samsara. This helps the practitioner come to terms with the reality that this life is precious (when lived in practice); this life is short; that what we do in our unenlightened state of confusion will create a painful future result (so we better wake up and practice truth) and that we all lose the people, places and things we love and have things happen to us that we don’t want to happen. In other words, in our ignorance we suffer unnecessarily. Simply by tuning into reality we can be free.
Every day, Buddhists around the world meditate on the fact that the next breath could be their last. This isn’t morbid, this helps you feel alive and to see the preciousness of each moment. They start their day with gratitude for the opportunity to be alive and to practice and to be with those they love. This remembrance of reality keeps them from over investing their time in worldly concerns that can only bring temporary happiness and instead live 24/7 in limitless peace, ease, joy, compassion and equanimity.
Perhaps every time we get one of these scary emails about the virus shutting down yet another event or the big news that we should wash our hands and not cough on each other, it could be a reminder to appreciate every moment we have with our friends and family. Most importantly it could be a push to let go of our confusion and delusion about this external world being able to provide stability so we can look inside and more deeply tune into the reality of limitless peace.