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Yoga and Healing Arts

Beyond Getting to the Gym: Mastering the Art of Self Care-an Invitation to Your Soul’s Journey

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Tea Room Conversation, Roots and Wings Yoga and Healing Arts

Penny is a transformational coach, spiritual counselor and practitioner of Energy Medicine. Her work expresses itself through a unique combination of intuitive listening and dialogue, loving presence, guided meditation and energy healing. Penny helps her clients to identify and free themselves from self-sabotaging patterns, beliefs and behaviors from their personal, ancestral and karmic history that keep them stuck. Her clients cultivate practices of deep self-care, grow to feel more self-acceptance and love and learn how to align with their soul. From this place they are freed to re-create more fulfilling lives and relationships.

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Tea Room Conversation with Penny Rosenzweig

During my days as an over-busy, over-tired mother of three young children, when my body and soul were really desperate for self-nurturing, I would often wonder with exasperation why it felt so hard to do things for myself that were meant to make me healthier and feel good! Eventually, out of desperation to bring more balance to my own well-being I went in search of the more important question-which is not how do we find the “willpower” to take better care of ourselves, but how do we make it easy so that caring for ourselves becomes joyful and effortless. The answer was not what my list making, goal-oriented, perfectionist, personality was expecting. In fact, the answer had nothing to do with finding a sneaky way to assuage my personality’s need to “achieve a goal” by rewarding myself with a manicure or a night out with friends for making myself go to the gym every day for a month. The answer had everything to do with realizing that in order for me to want to nurture my body-my Soul needed to be nurtured first. Learning how to do that, led me on a most unexpected and amazing journey-which changed my life and my relationship to my body forever. So, if you recognize yourself somewhere in my story and are curious-read on as I invite you to have the courage to embark on your own Soul’s Journey.

The journey we are embarking on is one where we are seeking to bring the physical body in alignment with the Soul. The merging of these parts of ourselves creates a feeling of oneness, peace and contentment-a feeling of coming home to our true nature. This coming together, this re-membering-fills a longing we have never been able to name-that some of us have perhaps spent our entire lives trying to fill, searching for a feeling that we are certain we are meant to have-that we know somewhere deep inside us we once did have but we cannot seem to recall when or how. And so we live with this desperate longing to find it, to grasp it and perhaps up to this point, the only way we have known how to grasp at it -is try and “fill ourselves” up with food, material things, or with achievements by working crazy hours to climb the career ladder, or by pleasing others by abandoning our own needs to be the perfect parent, friend or partner. But none of this is ever really satisfying, because it is not possible for food, or other people, more things, or our achievements to fill our Soul. This is a myth that we are told in our culture, that we have told to ourselves, that we have believed, and perhaps even built our entire lives around because it has worked-at least well enough. Even if it is temporary, we can always eat more, go shopping, work longer hours or work harder to “fix” our relationships. But as we have probably experienced, the relief is short-lived and is never truly satisfying-and at some point in our lives we wake up to this truth.

At some point, we recognize that we are no longer willing to settle for ways of being that have been known and safe and yet are still so full of suffering. Even if it has taken us 20 years of being on the bingeing/dieting hamster wheel and to the point where we feel like prisoners in our own bodies. Even if we have to reach a place in our lives where, for whatever reason, through whatever pain or loss, or realization, we feel like we are at rock bottom and out of options. When who we thought we were or the life we thought we were supposed to have isn’t panning out. Eventually, we each reach a point in our suffering where we are willing to believe that there must be a better way, that we deserve a better way, and most importantly that we have the courage and faith to go searching for it.

Always, the timing is perfect. For, it is only after an initiation of pain, or loss, or suffering that we are truly ready to embark on our Soul’s journey. We must realize that we have always been on this journey and have gratitude, that despite whatever hardships have befallen us, whatever fears and doubts and self-sabotaging habits we’ve fallen into-our Soul has somehow still managed to lead us here to this crack of light, to this place of potential. Only now are we ready to continue our journey with our conscious cooperation. Only now are we willing to create a partnership between our Ego and our Soul as we journey on. For now we have been tempered with our pain, with our losses and with our suffering and in the crucible of transformation, these experiences will become the very seeds that grow into fruits of faith, clarity, wisdom, empowerment, and love to feed us along the way.

We are embarking on a journey in search of the Truth of Who We really Are, wiser with the knowing that nothing outside of us will ever fill us up-that only we can do this for ourselves. Awakened to the realization that pain and pleasure are a natural part of life, but suffering is optional. And so, beckoned by the knowing that we are free in each moment to choose to expand in love or to contract in fear-we set out with the intention to remember our wholeness.

We take a deep breath and dive deeply beneath the surface of our daily lives, our busyness, our roles, our identities, and our responsibilities. We practice quieting life on the outside so that we can become explorers of our inner landscape. Through the practice of inner listening, we become a witness to the stories and limiting beliefs that run our lives and keep us small, and to the patterns of body, mind and emotion that no longer serve us. We learn to discern between the false voice of the mind and the true voice of the Soul. It is with this awareness that the magic begins. For this awareness naturally leads to self-inquiry and eventually to self-mastery where we consciously transform our limiting patterns of thinking and doing and our emotions begin to smooth out like soft ripples on a clear lake. Our consciousness expands and we cultivate a stillness in the center of our being that anchors us in whatever storms life brings. We learn to live as a Soul, as we discover and honor the longings, desires, creativity and wisdom that is born from love and that wants to be expressed.

The ground for this kind of transformation is laid in our willingness to be vulnerable enough to see ourselves clearly and without judgment. To fully embrace what is there and to break open our own hearts to the love that is in us, that is always available to us and that is us. It is then that we awaken to realize our body is a temple-a temple that houses our Soul. It is then that we cannot help but love and care for the body with reverence and with gratitude, with ease and with joy. And it is then that the love for self becomes inextricably linked to love for “other” in recognition of our Oneness. It is then that this sense of Oneness naturally extends outward to our relationships and into the world as we become able to give freely and generously of ourselves-without giving ourselves away. It is then that we become a blessing of Grace. Each of us that has taken birth in a human body has the capacity to live in such peace, such contentment and love. We simply must choose to be that in each moment, and with each breath.

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