I’ll begin my story with how Shá and I met, since she is the reason I was given this opportunity to collaborate on the Chakra Journals and spread my fragile wings and take flight.
I met Shá about 12 years ago when she started attending my yoga classes. As a student, she was, and continues to be, focused and impeccably precise, dedicated and loyal to this amazing philosophy of life we call yoga. Shá soon attended teacher training, and like I, fell even deeper for the mystery of the yoga practice. We have been connected in friendship ever since. Bonded by this powerful pull of our energies, channeled ever more deeply into the soul and essence of yoga.
Yes, yoga was the initial bond, a shared passion. But along the way, I discovered my need as a teacher of 14-years to seek more community, more connection, and give back to my students what they, in fact, have taught me.
Over the years, I’ve explored a variety of yoga styles, consumed countless books on the subject, attended numerous workshops, teacher trainings, and learned that yoga is infinite. But the desire to collaborate with other teachers who shared the passion for this yogic life gnawed at me. Trying as I might to partner with teachers along the way, only to sadly have my efforts dashed by yet another life event. In truth, I love working on my own, having the freedom to express my personal understanding of yoga and then sharing it with others, like my students and my peer group of yoga-teacher friends. These are the people I have grown to know and love, not only for their commitment to the practice, but for their sincerity, honesty, and true friendship.
So, when Shá came to me for some help with her Chakra Journal, I was honored knowing the breadth of her talents and elated at the chance to explore the mysteries of the chakras in a kinder, gentler way with journaling. Hmmm…journaling? Dangerous turf, at least for me, the introverted soul that I am. Revealing, exposing the soft underbelly of my being? Uh…well…I have to think about this a while. And so I did.
I thought about how I love to write, but to journal and try to make it seem like I’m not writing the novella of my life? And be honest? Yikes! Even worse, what if someone finds my writings and discovers how I truly feel? I have, in fact, started numerous journals at different crossroads of my life. Always with an intention of working things out, trying to get things off my chest or blowing off steam, but only to stop, lose interest, and bore myself with myself. When I went back and read what I had divulged, I didn’t recognize myself. What was that about? Who was I back then? And does it even matter now?
At first I was not exactly sure what Shá sought to accomplish with the Chakra Journals.
“I don’t want the journals to feel like a textbook with a how-to approach or be too structured,” she said. “I want there to be lots of space for someone to write or draw as they explore the chakras on a more personal level.”
“Yes…I understand,” I said. “I think I know what will work.”
I had done several of my own workshops with the base chakras. In retrospect, I focused primarily on asana to stimulate and quiet the subtle energies. However, here was my chance to jump in and immerse myself into the deep essence that makes us who we are in this universe.
So off I went on my own journey, starting with the Muladara (root chakra), my personal nemesis, my Achilles heel. Fear? Yes. Survival? Yes. Trust? NO! Trust no one was my motto, looking over my shoulder all the time. This was, indeed, a daunting task, but it drew me in as I began to write.
Pondering questions started flowing…What do we remember about the past? Who raised us? What was our upbringing like in those early, tender years? Should we include an asana and pranayama practice? Yes! Add some mudras, crystals, and all the beauty that clearing the root chakra entails? Yes! Colors, scents, mantras…let’s include all of it, as holistic as yoga itself can be. And I was off, thoroughly enjoying this exploration, feeling it within myself, this craving to go back and flush out my truths. Working on the Chakra Journals was a conduit for my own journey to the truth, and finally I was collaborating with someone who also wanted to share it with others.
When I showed Shá my work, she was at first (I thought), hmmm…surprised at the extent to which I delved into the root.
Uh…oh, I thought, This isn’t what she had in mind. What do I do now?
Her response was…“This is so rich, I wasn’t expecting this.”
I was, at first, dashed. I misunderstood her intent, I thought. Now what?
“You cannot leave any of this out,” I protested. Yes…I was protesting without having fully read her reaction.
“No,” she said. “I LOVE it!”
I was so very happy with the validation that I leaped forward, immersing myself in the other six Chakra Journals. What a project! What freedom to explore and discover. I lived through the personal clearing of each chakra as I wrote down my own musings, often sitting amongst nature in the nearby forests, or on a chilly beach in October. My life experiences have brought me here, a collaborative journey that has released me from many of my restraints. I have Shá to thank for trusting me and showing up at just the right time. Funny how our individual needs brought us together at precisely the right moment.
“We must do some workshops,” I said. I was already off and running with the desire to share what we had created. The results…a unique display of art, created by Shá’s artistic sensitivity and understanding of these subtle energies. She brought to life each chakra in its own individual journal. Softly, slowly, giving each lots of space, so that we can find the space within ourselves to express, without fear, that which releases us and sets us free. Each journal is rich and full of color, yet draws one in so that the journal becomes a keepsake of your true essence. She has given us room to draw, doodle, scribble, or write the novella of our lives, if we wish. Bringing about our own journey of self-exploration, understanding, and overall peace any way we want to. There are no rules, just gentle guidelines, encouragement, and wonderful affirmations to our own greatness.
I know Shá put so very much of herself into this project with a passion that she always wraps each of her projects in. Her efforts were manifested in the end, resulting in 7 beautiful Chakra Journals. What gems they are! I am humbled, yet thrilled to have my name on these journals. Thank you, Shá, for your trust, encouragement, and love of life.
Now it’s time for us to share the Chakra Journal with the world!