Essential Practices for Mental Peace and Self-Understanding

So much of my spiritual journey began when I was a young college student on a tight work/school schedule. Back then, I used to manage my workload by sticking to a daily routine that even included  times to use the bathroom. I remember the day I realized how crazy that was.

I had begun practicing yoga regularly and ending my practice feeling very emotional–sometimes crying. My understanding of the mind/body connection was just developing–at that time, I saw my body as something separate from my mind and spirit–something I would stretch and strengthen, but not a source of wisdom or healing. I worried that the tears after class meant I would have to give up yoga. As my emotional body continued to unravel with ongoing practice, I reached out to the mental-health center at school and made an appointment.

I remember sitting in the clinic waiting room before my first session, anxious and uncertain. When the therapist called me in, I entered and sat down and began to sweat under my arms. Soon after, I began to cry. I didn’t know why I was crying, and I felt embarrassed not to have any words for my feelings. I think I mumbled a little between the tears and afterwards I signed up for another session. Each time I was in the waiting room shortly before my session, my underarms would begin to drip. Upon entering my therapist’s office, I would take my seat and begin to cry. This went on for many of my 10 student sessions, and I realized that I had a lot of unexplored, trauma that needed my attention. I decided to follow my new therapist to her office off campus and continue unraveling what was going on with me.

That was more than 30 years ago. Looking back now, I understand how the hatha yoga brought to the surface painful experiences I had endured growing up. Deep feelings I had buried were rising to the surface for healing. The tight schedule I kept reflected my best strategy as a child–one I had adopted to cope with childhood trauma. Growing up with parents saddled by mental illness, alcohol addiction, divorce, and buried trauma of their own left my sibling and I essentially parenting ourselves. We had all the basics, but lacked emotional attunement from our parents; consistent care and reliable loving attention and guidance. Additionally, there was ongoing  emotional abuse and neglect. I’m sure many of you have experiences like these from your own childhoods.  They are certainly not uncommon.

That early emotional breakdown in my 20’s led to an early  breakthrough of healing and understanding that has guided my adult life. It is what led me to study psychology, philosophy, addiction, meditation, yoga and holistic healing. As I understand myself more deeply and engage my own healing, I understand  the everyday, ordinary suffering we all share–and I feel a deep call to support others in their relationship to themselves, to empower them in their own self-healing and to teach the practical daily actions that support true health, mental peace and upward growth and evolution. This is what our planet needs: awake humans growing, healing and evolving.

As a child I watched as the adults around me make themselves sick from stress, alcohol and other substances, wrong lifestyle, buried trauma and more. I suffered seeing all of this as a young person. Though there was happiness, friendship and love in my childhood, wise teachers who saw me and supported me, at home, I suffered from constipation, loneliness, depression, low self-esteem and deep feelings of the meaninglessness of life. As a young adult, I might have headed down a path of addiction or mental breakdown myself, but the love and guidance of many fine teachers, and the wisdom I was able to access from my own body through the practices of yoga, and meditation led me in an entirely different direction. I can never express how grateful I am for that good fortune.

Through my studies with some of the brightest and bravest over the past thirty years, in traditions like western and eastern philosophy,  great literature, yoga, meditation, psychology and ayurveda, I have learned so much. For example…

  1. Getting our diet together doesn’t work if we are eating too fast, too often, or under stress, for then we reduce the capacity of our digestive system to function properly.

  2. When we don’t digest the food we eat, we create a toxic residue, AMA, which underlies many disease states.

  3. When we don’t digest our life experience, we create mental AMA, which clogs our subtle pathways and leaves us tired, depressed and lacking in real joy.

  4. Exercising regularly is great—but if we are always using our body to get something (look good, sleep better, control ourselves to fit some ego-ideal) we will miss the deeper invitation and awakening that is possible through a practice that actually yields to the body’s depth of wisdom and knowing.

  5. Relaxing with a glass of wine occasionally is lovely, but if the only strategy we have to calming our minds is artificial – though alcohol, marijuana or pharmaceutical drugs, we never access the simplicity, peace and stillness that underlies the endless activity of our everyday minds and points us in the direction of our True Self.

  6. Meditation, contemplation, prayer, gratitude and self-reflection (some form of some or all of these) are essential practices for mental peace and Self-understanding.

  7. Meaningful time with others on the path (sangha) is essential for us to stay in the conversations that are most important to us and to keeping us inspired and moving forward.

  8. Our collective evolution is always decades behind individual evolution. Self-change is an uphill walk, and that is another reason that companions on the path are essential.

Over the past several years, I have created and run a course that is grounded in the wisdom traditions of  yoga and Ayurveda. I call it, Sacred Daily Essentials. This course teaches daily holistic self-care in a step-by-step approach that will expand your awareness while grounding you in the daily habits that yield more energy, better sleep, stronger digestion, more ease of being and real happiness. I am really proud of this course and the support it has offered many to take simple yet powerful new steps in self-care while expanding their awareness of Self. The lessons in Sacred Daily Essentials offer a strong foundation in walking this kind of path for the rest of your life.

This course is not for everyone. Statistics say that only about 20% of people are interested in lifestyle change. But for those of us who are hungry for an empowered and embodied way of life, who want…

  1. to take our health care into our own hands

  2. to partner with our health-care providers

  3. to learn to attune to and listen to our own bodies rather than feeling out of touch or afraid of what we feel sometimes

this information is invaluable! It will ground you in:

  1. your constitutional type, which brings much understanding of the ways you tend to go out of balance, and how you can restore balance each day

  2. how to eat, when to eat and what to eat

  3. meditation and yoga practices to support a daily practice at home

  4. your relationship with SELF as primary to everything else you do (dharma)and everyone else with whom you relate

  5. understanding the interrelationship of mind-body-spirit. This is key.

These are wonderful gifts to give yourself, and by association your family and those other beings with whom you connect every day.

Here’s what one past participant shared about her experience taking the course:

“I learned so much! I have a new framework for viewing myself, my health and my life. The recorded lessons were terrific. I go back to the recorded yoga practices and meditations again and again. Thank you for encouraging us to be loving and gentle with ourselves and introducing the idea of small changes to be successful.”

Beginning today, I’m offering the home-study version of Sacred Daily Essentials for just $498 – that’s a savings of $582, or 55% off the interactive course (same course but facilitated by me).  Then, when I return from my studies, and run the group course  in early 2017, you will be able to jump in, deducting the entire cost you pay now from the full cost of the interactive course. Ayurveda, like yoga is a life-long path. 10-weeks of study is a dive into the fundamentals. Re-listening to the lessons with facilitation in the new year, will take you deeper into integrating these practices into your life long term. Take the course with a friend now, and go through the material together. A great way to give and receive support and make the changes you’ve been wanting to make!

I am feeling so interested in sharing this information and lifestyle with you now while I am myself immersed in these teachings, that I am making you an offer now to deduct another $100 from the price to bring the cost down to just $398 for the entire course through Thanksgiving, 2016. That’s about the price of a weekend workshop. Sign up today to receive immediate lifetime access to the entire course on a private membership site. The lessons will be yours and you’ll be able to keep integrating the wisdom of Ayurveda for years to come.

You can learn more and get the course HERE.

The Audio Course includes:

  1. 8 audio lessons

  2. Written growth work

  3. A morning and evening yoga asana practice

  4. 2 audio meditations

  5. 3 audio breathing practices

  6. Interviews with experts to support your learning

Once you register, you will have immediate lifetime access to the entire course on a private membership site. The lessons will be yours and you’ll be able to keep integrating the wisdom of Ayurveda for years to come.

Here’s what a recent participant said:

“Shannon is a master at communicating the lessons in an understandable and clear way that is easy to digest. I soon began integrating small changes to my daily routine– paying attention to how I am feeling, adding in healthier choices and experimenting with letting go of less healthier choices. The course has given me much more awareness of my health on a day-to-day basis, and has given me the priceless gift of learning how to better take care of myself.” -L.M., Berkeley, CA

You can learn more and get the course HERE.

The special $398 price is good for you and your friends through Thanksgiving, 2016. After that time, the course will still be available, but the price will go up.

With love and a wish for your deepest wellbeing, Shannon