what does it mean to be in the flow?

what does it mean to be in the flow?

Hello friends!

I am writing after many moons of intending to write since November but ya know, sometimes what you think you should do goes head to head with what life is actually putting in front of you. Some times things just aren’t in the flow. A couple months ago a dear old friend of mine from Seattle came to visit and we met up. He is a wise, good humored soul in his 70’s and something he said to me really stuck out. He said something to the effect of, “I am excited for you to get to a time in your life where you don’t feel like you have to push so hard at everything.” It caused me pause. He hit the nail on the head.

He has witnessed me while traversing through challenging times: my father dying, taking my 19 year old sister in, seeing my sister through an abusive relationship and having babies in her early 20’s, taking the leap to be self employed, and many more subtle things that I couldn’t have seen from the inside. Since a young age and a lot of traumatic losses and experiences, I have always had this sense of urgency about life and my heart’s calling. While this can be the gift of loss at an early age - the ability to understand the preciousness of life and to proceed accordingly - it is best tempered with a sense of calm, and doing things when the timing is right as opposed to pushing and struggling to make things manifest. I have done a lot of pushing. In truth, at times it has served me well. I have found myself to be very capable of bringing dreams to life. And I have pushed myself despite the yearnings of my soul, caused myself unnecessary burn out and ill health mentally and physically. This is the precise reason I had to close the Yoga Nature studio, I had pushed myself past my capacity for too long and there was no turning back. The gesture my soul needed was a large one, to show it I was indeed listening. I needed rest in a big way, in a way I wasn’t going to be able to get while still operating the yoga studio as I had for so many years. So I made the hard decision to close and move in a new direction.

As with almost all scenarios life presents us, there are also many positives that came from that time of challenge and imbalance. One being this beautiful community of people we are woven into here in Harrisburg. Sometimes in life we need to rev the engine hard for a while and see just what we are made of. In fact, the mistakes and challenges we make are often some of the most potent times of learning about ourselves and our capacities. I have no regrets. And I am at a point in my life where it sounds pretty nice to stop listening to the little dictator in my mind that is always railing against the flow of things trying to make things happen that aren’t in alignment.

What brought me to this thought process was a hard decision that Tara Chickey and I had to make in canceling our planned Sacred Womxn Spiral retreat in the Berkshires for August. We did not get enough people registered to meet our minimums for the space we had rented. It has always been our mantra in offerings together that, “if it is meant to be, all things will flow into place with ease and grace.” I have learned over the years to not take it personally when a workshop or class (or in this case a retreat) I offer isn’t picking up speed. (It took a while to get there though!) Who knows why these things do or do not happen. We can’t know why for sure but I DO have a sneaking suspicion that it not coming into being had a lot to do with me not being in alignment with it.

As many of you know I had a baby last July. (Somehow this little love will be 1years old in a couple weeks!) My biggest challenge has been to accept with grace the new flow of life with a small baby. I am a doer. I like to make things happen, offer classes/workshops/adventures, plan things. I like to dream big. I have been self employed since 2008 and have found that I have to put myself in alignment with what I want to show up in front of me for it to go.

The truth about this retreat is that I was having a hard time envisioning myself there. I didn’t know how we would make it all go with a small, still breastfeeding babe in tow. Reya Moon and I haven’t been away from each other for more than 4 hrs at any point this entire year. I know this sounds silly to mama’s who had to go back to work 6weeks after having their babes. Praise your strength mama’s, I don’t know how you do it and I feel incredibly honored that I have had the opportunity to be home with her so much. The gift of that is not lost on me. And as I have written before, it has been a challenge to integrate the old me with the new me; To accept the me who just simply doesn’t get a lot of time to herself to do things like social media posts, emails to clients, promotional newsletters, and long posts sharing my heart. (This is day 2 of writing this post during nap time! You do what you can with what you’ve got.) I only want to write from a place of inspiration. I only want to offer to others when it feels exciting, vibrant, enriching.

Right now in life going with the flow means being really aware of that pushing, panicky kind of energy and allowing myself to steer clear of any task that feels heavy with pressure to produce. Going with the flow is surrendering to the day and the energies it presents. This does not mean I am totally passive; I still set goals and make to do lists, but I work on letting go of attachment to things unfolding in any particular way so it’s easier to let go when things don’t go as planned. Going with the flow is a peace inside that whispers in my ear, “If it is meant to be, it will be.” It is a new practice and I am excited to explore it and hopefully someday embody it.

What came out of all of this is an offering to womxn that feels powerfully IN alignment. Tara & I will be doing a local weekend healing immersion for womxn out of my bodywork office & studio at The Movement Center in Harrisburg. We will offer much of what we would have at our retreat, but in a format that is accessible to anyone who can’t commit to traveling a distance at that time. And this will give us more time and energy to manifest a distance retreat next year. Italy, we’re looking at you!

Tara & I will also be offering a once a month facilitated womxn’s moon lodge with the first being offered THIS FRIDAY, 5p-7p at my healing office at The Movement Center. Please register by emailing me if you plan to come so we can set up your space in circle and explain how to get in the building.

Take it easy and be with the flow, dear friends.

With love,

Sara Rose

spring surrender

spring surrender

Awwww, the deep breath of relief that is SPRINGTIME! What a joy to walk outside in warm moist air to hear the glorious song of the birds! What magic to play in the garden again and greet all the little plant friends as they come out of hibernation. The Magnolia trees in my neighborhood just flew in and out of full bloom, sharing their intoxicating sweetness and magnificent unfurling; They take my breath away every year. Someday I will have a magnolia in my yard. The white flowering Dogwood in front of my house just started to blossom. 3 days ago we saw the first signs of it beginning to wake up with little leaves popping out and the tiny buds of soon-to-be flowers. Then just yesterday the flowers began to open. They first share themselves as a gorgeous lime green flower and in a few days they will transform into large white blooms that last for weeks.

This time of year in Central Pennsylvania is my absolute favorite. In a matter of a week or two the landscape goes from dreary and barren to explosive with color, texture and fragrance. After the flowering trees come the spring green leaves bursting with that bright color everywhere your eyes land. After the tulips, hyacinth, and daffodils come the rhododendrons, irises, and peonies and the shade loving hosta and ferns. Soon the azaleas and lilacs. The medicinal “weeds” have returned in full force with the golden rays of sunshine that are the dandelions, the deep purple magic carpet in nearly every lawn bursting with violets. Then there are the blessedly nourishing nettles, and the shade loving chickweed and sticky creeping cleavers.

Have you let yourself be dazzled by the grand unfurling of Spring? Have you walked out into the silky warm air and breathed a soul sigh of relief for this new season of rebirth and transformation? Do you listen - really listen - to the birds… and the rain… and the wind and let yourself be carried away in their songs? I recommend that you do. What if simplicity and peace is where we will find the answers to all that we seek.

If we tap into the journey of the natural world around us we might find that it guides us toward parts of ourselves longing for a similar kind of transformation and expression of self. We might find ourselves being called into a space of clarity, finding a desire to clear out the weights we’ve carried physically/emotionally/spiritually and to start the process to relinquish the heavy in favor of lightness. We are naturally inspired to match the energies of the season. If we can give ourselves space to let those deeper yearnings be awakened and go with the flow, we start to experience the tremendous relief and inspiration that is Spring.

We are a childen of this Earth, just like the Dogwood and the Nettles. We too have crossed the threshold of winters hibernation and are being coaxed forward into sharing our unique blossoming, no holds barred. The flower doesn’t apologize for it’s magnificence, it simply does what it’s meant to do. May we get still enough, attentive enough, to open our eyes and hearts to the magic that lives in the ordinary. May we find the courage to share ourselves as unapologetically as the plants and trees do.

I am wishing you are brilliant and beautiful Spring, friends.

on postpartum healing & returning to work

on postpartum healing & returning to work

As I write this post, my daughter Reya Moon is taking her afternoon snooze in the next room. This means I have no idea if I will actually be able to finish this post or if it will continue to sit in my pile of wishful to-do’s awaiting those tiny moments when my full presence is not needed by my baby. This post and the accompanying newsletter I hope to write while she is asleep has been on my “list” since 2 weeks ago when I finalized childcare and the studio rental for my up and coming 4wk Yoga Series starting this Friday.

You see I had hoped to actually promote the class to our mailing list with more than 2 days notice. It is a comical feat this whole “getting things done” with a baby in tow. Don’t get me wrong, it is a joyful time of having life purpose clarified. Being there for my baby, to notice her new expressions, to feed her with my body, to witness her first time rolling over, her first laughs, to behold the magic of her brings tremendous joy and love to my heart that compares to little else. I am certain is the most important place for my attention to rest. And yet anyone who knows me knows that I typically don’t sit idle for very long so sitting down and breastfeeding for many hours of the day has been an adjustment. I was mentally preparing myself for this transition into motherhood while I was pregnant with Reya having witnessed and supported many loves traversing this time of life, but nothing truly prepares you for what the real experience of it will be like once they are earthside with you. I am currently reconciling the old me with the new me. The old me never stops, executes ideas quickly after being inspired, has no problem getting things completed. The new me is drawn in two distinctly opposite directions: To work and offer myself out into the world, to follow my ambition. The other: to tuck into to this precious short time of witnessing my small baby grow and acclimate to this brand new world she has entered and let the rest GO. sighs and then l a u g h t e r, because what else can you do!?

I am not going to lie. There are days when it is frustrating. It’s like the more I hope to accomplish the less she will let me put her down and the more frequently she wants to nurse. Luckily the wise woman in me is getting better and better at surrendering to the present and just simply letting go. Letting go of the piles of laundry, the dirty dishes in the sink, that granola I hoped to bake, the newsletter I wanted to write, the mail I wanted to sort and put away, the closet I wanted to organize. I believe our children come to teach us in whatever ways our spirit most needs sculpting and through that belief I am doing my best to let her have her way with me and to give up the resistance, trusting that this time shall pass and knowing that I would never want to regret missing out on a single moment of this time of connection between us. She is my little teacher on slowing down and being absorbed in the precious simple moment.

This postpartum body is also my teacher of patience and surrender as I learn to navigate its new unfamiliar landscape. Again my mind and heart are drawn in two distinctly opposite directions: One which wants to cry for the stretch marks, the still pudgy soft belly, the unplanned scar tissue from the belly birth I never wanted, the hip that won’t open, the hair that is currently thinning. The other which is so incredibly grateful and in awe of the infinite wisdom and strength of this body that made A HUMAN BEING, birthed her and now is her sole nourishment in the world. Such is life: always the paradox, the pleasure mixed with the pain, the love alongside the confusion, the dark carving out the depths for the light. I am thankful for the many teachers life has sent my way which prepared me to move through this time with grace and humor, but who also taught me to feel it all and to not shy away from the hard stuff, to not push it aside or bury it. I am thankful for the community of magical, beautiful friends and family Misha and I have around us. I am thankful to you for reading this momentary outpour of my heart.

Let love be the anchor for your mind and heart during turbulent times, dear ones. Know you are loved and never alone.

With deep appreciation and BIG Love,

Sara Rose

blessings for a new year of loving!

blessings for a new year of loving!

Hello sweet friends,

It has been many moons since I have felt an urge to write from a true place, not a place of pushyness or expectation. As many of you who practice with me know, much of my personal work and work that I lead in classes and workshops is about honoring the medicine and advice we give out to others. Oh how easy it is to see what other people need to do, heal, change, etc., and how hard it is to put your own knowing into a consistent practice in your own life. The forever challenge of the healer and teacher! We are the worst. Ha! 

I deal with a lot of internal pressure to constantly produce, to reach out, to offer. I have so many ideas, so much I want to offer to the world, so much I want to accomplish and steward. For the majority of my last 6 years here I have been pushing myself hard to offer just about every little thing that comes to mind, every whim, every yearning nearly immediately put out into the world to be picked up or not. It was a necessary time, a time of learning my capacities, of seeing the deeper reasons behind the near constant obsession to produce.

You see, I grew up in a wild and unruly way. I grew up with a lot of trauma, with parents who were equally traumatized and did not have the inner resources to ask for help in anything other than drugs and the bottle. It was a childhood of intense love confusingly smashed up alongside immense loss and pain. My parents were loving and passionate people, but also addicts who were never really shown how to properly deal with pressure and pain. From an early age I was breaking up fights, having the cops come to the house, worried to death that they would kill each other if I didn't interject. I am the oldest of 3. I was not the child who could sit by and wait out the fights, I had a deep drive in me to MAKE IT STOP NOW and really anything that didn't feel right and so that is what I did for better or for worse for most of my life: fight. I wasn't shown any tools around acceptance. I wasn't prepared for the darkness. I hated it and I had to make it stop. What a tiring little life it was to fight so hard against what is. 

When I was 10 years old my brother Sam was diagnosed with a deadly brain cancer at the age 8.  We found out he had a brain tumor after being in a major car accident that left my brother with a concussion. When they scanned his head they found the tumor. Needless to say it was a devastation to our family. Naturally we were caught in absolute dread coupled with trying to have hope that this sweet little boy would find a miracle to get through this. 

My family was not religious but I had been to church with close family friends and explored religion when things got rough. My childish mind thought, "If Amy's family is normal and goes to church maybe that is what normal, healthy people do." So I walked myself down to the christian science church down the street from my house, not understanding that there were different sects of religion, not knowing really what I was doing. I was searching vast and deep for some meaning behind all this pain and suffering. After we were in the accident -- though it was terrifying -- I also remember having a sense that something - something BIG - had been looking out for us that day. Something had guided us as gently as it could toward the knowledge that my brother had cancer so we can could start to deal with it. A deep chasm ripped itself into view that day as if everything was now in slow motion: so very terrible but also so very alive. I learned to experience the moment that day, in all it's vastness; adrenaline is a wild thing. I also learned the preciousness of life and the depths of my love that day. In some distant awareness inside I felt held, even as absolute darkness was closing in. As life would teach me again and again, it was ALL OF IT, so I also felt cheated, angry and confused. I felt hatred for this path that had been laid out for my family. I wondered if we were cursed, if I was being punished. I felt it all. It would take me many years to realize consciously that I could choose to make anything good out of that time in my life. 

I share this story because I think it is important to our healing to understand the roots of our darkness so we can practice compassion with ourselves and make different choices moving forward that aren't based in old pain, resentments and patterns that don't serve. I share this story to show you a tiny window into the work that I have done in my own life to find wholeness and to understand why I am driven to make the choices I have.  

The story of my brother ended with him dying at 13 years old... in my arms, in my family home on November 11th, 1997 after many years of courageous fighting and supreme grace. It was the most transformative and beautiful moment of my life. It also broke me. He is to this day one of the most important teachers I have had and will ever have. Not surprisingly the toll that time took on my parents was a heavy cloak of darkness they did not know how to remove. Though my parents loved me greatly they did not have the energy or tools to know how to care for themselves in a healthy way through all that was happening. As the saying goes, the empty well cannot give water. They were depleted, angry, and unable to be there for me and my sister. I felt that I was left behind. I think my parents saw that I was strong. Born strong and meant for this unfolding. But I was still a kid. A kid who needed to be reminded she was loved, who needed to be reminded that she was good, that she was not crazy, that what was happening to us was insane and it was natural and normal to feel what I was feeling.

When I decided the close the studio it was because I had an intense realization that all that pressure I felt to keep pushing myself to offer more more more, to create healing space for people, to create community and belonging - although partly altruistic - had a whole lot more to do with a deep yearning inside me to have those spaces for myself. That space that I was not given, that space that I had not been taught to create for myself. I would create class after class, workshop after workshop, offering after offering and though I was satisfied for a moment in fulfilling a need for others that I understood so deeply, there was no energy or room left for me to get that space for myself. I didn't know how to give it to myself. I know now that I do this because it was what I learned. I know now that I did this because I wanted that feedback from the world that I was a good and worthy person, I wanted what my parents weren't able to give me back then. I was trying to heal old wounds through these offerings of myself.. I know now that though I am deeply called to healing and helping in this life that I cannot continue to do so until I have practiced what I teach and given myself the same amount of care and attention that I so easily give to others. 

This practicing what I teach is a daily work. Some days are better than others. Some weeks are stronger than others. Some years more fluid than others. I know that this is a natural part of the unfolding, of the healing. It takes time to create new pathways, new ways of seeing the world and of being. Though I want a magic wand that will take my pain and the pain of this world away, a wiser part of me knows that pain is essential to our wholeness as human beings. It motivates change. It helps us see ourselves and what we are contributing to it. We cannot fully understand the pain of another without having dove deep into those same spaces within ourselves. This new year I am working on honoring my rhythms, of only offering from a place of true inspiration. The uncomfortable space for me is the waiting, the being with the liminal space, and practicing grace in the times of not knowing. 

This new year my prayer for the world is that we find the permission and courage to start uncovering our old stories so they can be dusted off, sifted through and then transformed into something we can use, something that can motivate our purpose in life. I pray that we especially look into the hard stories, the traumas and darkness, the mistakes and ugliness. How can we heal the ugliness in the world if we have not found compassion with our own?  How will we ever find wholeness and peace when we are making others wrong or less than ourselves? We heal from holding space for all that is and trying our best to let go of fighting things we can't control. Believe me I know it is hard during times like these. I also pray that through looking into and understanding ourselves through these old stories that we can start to let go of them and allow ourselves space to become new. Set intentions of health and happiness, not resolutions that fill you with shame if they are left unfulfilled. Be soft and forgiving as you would want others to be to you. Treat yourself as you would want to be treated. 

Self care is of the utmost importance. If you'd like, join me in choosing one thing per day to commit to that which brings you joy and a sense of nourishment be it a home cooked meal, or a hot bath, or 15 minutes to sit with your heart and hear what it has to say. Start with small, simple and attainable things. Schedule them in like you would work or a dinner with friends. Be an advocate for your own healing and I promise the positivity trickles out into more and more of your life. I will be working breath by breath by your side. 

With Love & Deep Appreciation ~ 

Sara Rose


heal your heart to save the world.

heal your heart to save the world.

I have been thinking a lot about why I am called to offer this work, why women's healing and healing in general means so much to me. I want to be clear that I care deeply about men's healing too. Of course. I want healing for all of us. A big motivation for me is that I truly believe that when one person in the community or family heals, everyone around them benefits from the resonance of that new understanding and space. When I meet you in a moment of vulnerability and I watch you rise to the occasion by being honest about your humanness, when you show me the confusion and pain sitting alongside the joyous and fluid an expansion takes place and there is a deep recognition of the truth. There is a deep sigh of relief in remembering that life is all of it: mess and magic both...light and dark as two sides of the same coin. When I get to experience the wholeness of who you are it gives me courage to start to peel back the layers and move towards those darker unclaimed spaces inside. When we witness each other healing and wholing we are nudged to explore the untapped possibilities lying in the shadows we may have previously been encouraged to shun and ignore. 

Why women's healing?  

In my experience, women are often at center stage in their family unit. It is the nature of the feminine to care for, to anticipate needs, to provide love and nourishment. Women have been trained to be the caretakers, have been trained to put others needs before their own, and this is partially biological because we have to for the health of our brood from day one when nurturing a child in our bodies and then on our breasts. We are the weavers, the gatherers, the growers, the medicine makers. We carry the sacred waters that allow us to create life and that give us milk to feed the children. For many of us, somewhere along the way we begin to forget that it was essential to use those very gifts for our own healing. Being told we are selfish we were scolded for using our gifts on ourselves for our own joy and unfolding. We were told how to look and act, told what to say, told that our bodies were not sacred unless... and otherwise cajoled into forgetting. Our wildness was dampened and though we continued to give it got harder and harder to hear the voice of our own needs, our own heart, our own wildness.  

The empty well cannot give water. I know far too many women (men, too) who have lived much of their life operating from this place: of giving and giving and giving from an empty well and thus becoming tired, depressed, sick, and resentful. Each of us must find the balance between giving and receiving so the well always has enough water for our own nourishment. I believe we are living in a time where a great shift is being presented, where the masculine and feminine are finding balance inside each human being. We are discovering that we have a powerful choice to make about the way in which we curate our lives. We are realizing that those preconceived notions of "who we should be" or "how we should act" or "how we should feel" are an old paradigm that is outmoded and crumbling. We are realizing that to heal the world we must first heal ourselves. We are realizing that in order to truly heal we have to let go of the ways we think we should so that what is natural to our spirit can finally have the space to blossom.

It's a lot of work to unravel all the "should's" but dammit, it's worth it!

Over the last 3-years Tara & I have been offering women's healing groups. We were inspired to start offering these groups because we have and continue to experience the holy space that is created when women support other women. We were empowered and excited to be choosing the brave journey towards authenticity and honoring ones truth. We saw the healing waves being created in our own lives and wanted to share that possibility with others. 

Women have a tremendous power for empathy and compassion. By supporting each other in inward reflection, honesty, and openness in a space we feel safe, we begin to open the doors for truth to flow and healing to occur. By sharing your story you share a piece of your heart and that honesty and openness inspires others in negotiating the wild terrain of their own unique life circumstances.

We have had the honor of witnessing many courageous, open-hearted women over the years, and in supporting them we were also healed and nourished. Blessings abound! Together we are free to let our truths have wings and to use that which challenges us as the very stepping stones we were seeking to evolve. That healing space resonates out into all the other parts of our life, into our relationships, our work, and most importantly our ability to find solutions and be a part of the healing needed on this planet. 

I think that when women heal the world heals too, bit by bit, breath by breath, tear by tear, we create a healing resonance in all that we touch. That is why I offer this work. 

Tara & I are honored and excited to be offering our first Women's Healing Retreat this September. Receive the early-bird discount if you register by midnight this coming sunday, august 13th. We would be so honored to heal by your side. 

With Love & Gratitude ~ 

Sara Rose