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

spring feelings

spring feelings

Happy spring sweet friends! 

The 1st of April is a special one for me, 6yrs ago I arrived here in Harrisburg after a long cross country train ride from Seattle to Chicago and then a long car ride to Harrisburg a few days later with a boat load of my stuff.  I moved for love, to be here with Misha in his home town. What many of you already know about me is: I am a deeply sentimental romantic. I chose to leave the city I was born and raised in exactly 2years to the day that I had met Misha for the first time on Spring Equinox. I chose that time because it felt sweet to honor that magical time of the year when we had first laid eyes on each other, that time of year that marked the beginning of us spiraling our lives into one another. 

Instead of flying - which truth be told is not my favorite mode of transport - I thought well, wouldn't it be a beautiful journey to get to witness the country between my old home and my soon-to-be home on the east coast! Also you can take a lot of stuff on a train... up to 10 or more pieces of luggage and that seemed like the best way to get the remainder of my things over here for the best price. So I packed up/sold/gave away most of my stuff and booked a 3 day train ride across country from Seattle to Chicago where Misha and I have friends, where he would meet me, and we would drive off together into the sunset and behold our new life together in Pennsylvania. 

Well, as fate would have it, that romantic train ride ended up being a pretty big shit show. I imagined myself eating cheese plates and drinking wine, I imagined long comfortable naps in my train car, I imagined meeting glamorous people and making life-long friends, I imagined writing lilting poetry and finding deep inspiration. While I did make one friend who I felt deeply connected to and still keep in touch with today, everything else was pretty much a pipe dream. First of all, Amtrak is not a European dream liner train car. Amtrak is poorly funded, has pretty terrible food, often smells of poisonous chemicals, and informed me at the moment I checked in that I would have to get off the train in the middle of the night with my insane amount of stuff to get on a bus for a couple of hours due to a derailment on the line. I quickly learned that I would likely not be having a restful, romantic journey I had imagined to my new home. 

There is more to the story (isn't there always!?) but my point in sharing this is that the cosmic trickster just loves to poke fun at our overly romantisized notions of grandeur and enjoyment. Not that it is bad to be hopeful or to dream about things working out, in fact I think we could all use a little bit more of that. But it was almost as if because I put up such heavy expectations around the "magic" of the journey, that the let down of it not being what I expected made it hard for me to enjoy what was happening, made it hard for me to see the magic in the messiness and in the things-not-at-all-working-out-as-planned. 

Now when I reflect on that time I love that it was a mess, and it makes me laugh that it was such a shit show compared to my grandiose dreams. I love that pretty much everything went not at all according to plan, because in retrospect I can see that it was a preparation for the mystery I was entering in coming to this new place. It was a reminder to let go of expectations and to ride the wave that life was presenting me. I could have never imagined what was in store for me here. I probably would have ran like hell if I had. Ha! And though there have been many challenges, I wouldn't take a single one of them back because I can see that challenge by challenge I was shaping who I am today. I feel proud of myself for what I have been through, for all that I have been willing to learn and grow with, and all that I have been willing to let die. 

So I remind you as I remind myself today friends - take some small comfort in the mystery of life. Try to stop fighting against what is and let any old outworn parts of you shed and dissolve like dust in the wind. Know that if you care for yourself well, if you spend time working on your own strength and happiness, if you learn to truly trust what life is presenting and yourself in dealing with whatever is, it will ALL BE OKAY, especially the messiness and pain and confusion. If we welcome whatever life offers into our loving arms we have a better chance at proceeding with grace, and we have a better chance at manifesting solutions. Through the experience of life moment-to-moment we can explore what we are made of,  and take the full ride to grow wise enough inside of ourselves to learn and grow from whatever is showing up. It is up to us. 

For those of you that live in Harrisburg, I am offering a spring healing special! 

$10 off any session with me OR a complimentary 30min intuitive reading with any session! 

go to the offerings page to book yourself an appointment now! if you are booking a wholistic healing combo session, look the the APRIL SPECIAL option. For a 60min massage & 30min reading choose 90min; for 90min massage & 30min reading, choose 2hrs! If you would like a reading with a private yoga session, please make a note so I can book extra time onto your session. 

With Love & Gratitude ~ 

Sara Rose

on courage, self-love, and changes in Jan 2017

hello dear ones, 

at many thresholds in each of our lives, there are times when we hear the call and must courageously follow our hearts into unknown territories, regardless of what people think. at these times we are asked to be our own best friends. we are nudged to ask for what we feel we are worth, in our work and in our relationships. a large theme in the work I do with my clients (and myself) is helping to find the roots of the pain, resentments, and suffering, and to ignite the flame of inner courage to look deeply within ourselves for ways in which we might be standing in the way of the healing we seek. we must all learn to take ownership of the state of our life: our thoughts and actions, the energies that surround us, the people we let in, the work that we do. we must be brave in seeing how we are contributing to our own imbalance and ask for help from trusted friends on the path when our clarity is muddled or our heart is unsure.

as I remain consistent in practicing this work inside myself, i now notice more quickly when I am not in alignment with the guidance I give out. that was a large part of the reason I chose to close the yoga studio. i began to feel like i was living a double life. all day long i was coaching and guiding people in the ways of self care, nurturing, acknowledgement, and inner honoring and yet, not listening to my own inner voice who was yearning for space and time to enjoy life. that discrepancy - between what I knew to be true and what I was doing in my own life -became a heavy burden that began to effect my health, my relationships, and my ability to see the good in life. I had to start taking responsibility for the part I was playing in the imbalance in my life, even though I knew I would disappoint others, even though I was scared to make such a big change. 

i notice this theme coming up in many of us at this time. as the circumstances and energy of the world get more wild and unpredictable, (although, maybe it's always been this way!) we are being strongly guided to ask ourselves some honest questions, such as, "do I honor what I know to be true?" - "do I follow the advise and encouragement I so easily give out to others?" - "am I following my heart in this action, this relationship, this work, this thought?" I am, and continue to, work hard to make time to reflect and take ownership for ways in which I am not honoring my own medicine, because the truth is - our happiness and alignment can come from no external source. it is up to us. 

for only the 3rd time in my 14 year journey as a massage therapist, I am raising my prices to better reflect my time and energetic offering. those of you who see me know that for every 1hr session, you tend to be here for an average of 75-90minutes and for every 90minute offering, you tend to be here for closer to 2hrs. I am doing what no one else can do for me - taking care of my own well-being. I encourage you to do the same, friends. 

as of January 2017 my prices will raise to the following :: 

All bodywork offerings :: $95/hour & $125/90minutes

Intuitive Coaching :: $40/30min & $70/hour

Private Yoga Sessions :: $65/75min 

Combo Sessions (combination of any 2 types of services I offer) :: $125/90min & $160/2hrs

**please know that while i am very grateful to receive gratuities in addition to my rate, it is never expected or required. for those in need of healing that cannot afford it, I am always willing to consider working on a sliding scale. please make time to chat with me and we can figure out an appropriate arrangement.** 

my deepest gratitude for your continued support and belief in the work that I offer. I would not be who I am without you each of you to grow alongside. 

with so much love, 

sara rose