Happy Spring!! I am enjoying the longer days and the beautiful blooms. I also am enjoying the warmer weather which makes being outdoors easier. I’ve already been to my local garden center and bought seeds to use in Shakti’s new greenhouse. I love the sense of anticipation which comes from planting a seed and wondering what will grow. Spring is dear to me because it feels like a fresh start, a clean slate, a new beginning. In a word, spring feels like hope.

Hope, as you may know, is not the absence of fear or worry, but it does give me the strength to face my fears and to allay my worries. Hope, I find, is like a best friend: it does not ignore your reality (I wouldn’t want a friend who does). Instead hope simply says: “You got this. You can do the thing.”

Thankful for Flowers

L: Thank you Teri and Flowers of Hope for beautifying the space!
R: Beautiful Primroses from Monica’s garden.

With the advent of spring – when I feel hope so strongly, I give myself permission to conduct a reality check, not only for myself, but also for the state of the world. (I find reality checks are much easier to do when everything is in bloom than in the dead of winter.) While reality checks sometimes inform you of something that is hard to confront, they also alleviate the stress which arises from ignoring an underlying issue or problem.

Below is a practice to support a self-conducted reality check. Before engaging in the practice, please make sure that you are feeling well-resourced – in a good place and/or able to access help. If you feel some trepidation about this practice, then know that is normal. It takes courage to acknowledge and to speak truth. Notice that I suggest you connect with the feeling of hope BEFORE you enter the practice. Having a good friend, like hope, beside you makes doing a hard thing a little easier and less lonely.

Shakti Spring Schedule

Spring Schedule!
Click to download.

For your convenience, we have created a one-page, printable flier.

Feel free to share this schedule with friends and post in public spaces (with permission).

Join us for one or all!

In addition to the embedded practice, this newsletter also offers a printable download of the new Shakti Spring Schedule. I am thrilled with our lineup. Please note that Dr. Christina Jensen is kicking off the new season this Saturday with her workshop, The Spring in our Steps: A Somatic Experience. Christina is an excellent Physical Therapist who beautifully weaves physiology and energetics into a knowledgeable and supportive practice. I personally have received a lot of help from her and wish the same for you.

Wishing each one of you a beautiful new start!

Love,

Kim Bushore-Maki

A Reality Check with Hope

  • Find a peaceful, quiet spot where you can sit comfortably and not be interrupted. Bonus if you can find a spot outside. Bring a notebook or journal, something to write with and a clock/timer. 
  • Take a minute (or five) to check in with your physical body. What sensations are present? How is your breath moving through your body? If you are feeling anxious, stressed, or restless, get up and move for three minutes. After three minutes, slow your movement until you are standing still. Intentionally breathe in for a count of three, pause, and then breathe out for a count of four, pause. Do five to ten rounds of this type of breathing until you feel calm enough to sit still. 
  • Open your notebook and write the following sentence at the top of the page:

    Here is what I know to be true about myself and the world in which I live… 

    Set your timer/watch for 5 minutes and write. Keep writing the WHOLE time, even if you are not sure what you want to say. Don’t lift your pen from the paper until your time is done. 

  • Before you read what you wrote, take some deep breaths – at least three – and then read what you just wrote. Underline or highlight what is standing out for you. Notice how you are responding to your own words. If judgment, cynicism, or disbelief shows up, then acknowledge your response without dismissing your words. Having a strong or dismissive reaction is common when you hear something that is hard.  
  • If you need a break at this point in the practice, then take one. Get a glass of water, walk around, go to the bathroom. Give yourself time to ingest and digest what you just uncovered. 
  • When you are ready, open a new page in your notebook. Write on the top of the page:

    Based on what I know to be true, I will dedicate myself to the following changes… 

    Set your timer for 5 minutes and write just like you did before – without stopping until your time is complete. 

  • Take at least three deep breaths and then read what you wrote. Once again underline or highlight what stands out for you. This is not the time to edit or to criticize what you wrote.  
  • Notice how you feel about the words that stood out for you. Do you feel hope? If not, what thoughts are showing up? Write those thoughts onto a separate sheet of paper and then ask yourself:

    Is that true? Is this thought really true or is it based on an old story that I have been telling myself?

    This part of the practice can be tricky, especially if you struggle with self-acceptance and/or self-worth. You may need a trusted friend or trained professional to serve as a sounding board: someone who is willing and able to hold space for the hope that supports change.  

  • Before wrapping up this practice, pick one intention that you are willing to commit over the course of the next three months. You may find it helpful to create an altar – a physical representation of your commitment. At the very least, write your intention on a piece of paper and hang it up in a place that you will see every day. Periodically (once a week?) check in with yourself and notice how you are living into this commitment. If you find that you are struggling with making the changes needed to reach your goal, then you may need to work with someone who is familiar with the stages of change and can support your growth. 

Kim Bushore-Maki is a soul-driven entrepreneur who understands the undeniable urge to create a business and a life filled with meaning and purpose. Her vision of opening a center where people could heal and grow led her to open Shakti in the Mountains in Johnson City, Tennessee: a place where the creative, feminine energy is nurtured and valued.

Kim is a licensed professional counselor and a yoga teacher. She completed the Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy program as well as the Shake Your Soul Yoga Dance program. Kim is very interested in somatic expressive therapy, archetypal psychology, gardening, herbalism, astrology, wisdom traditions, and regenerative economics.

Kim continues to build and to support inclusive, vibrant communities. She spends most of her time mentoring leaders, guiding healing programs, and providing mental health counseling.

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