Blog: Loving Your Day

Yoga Retreats THE Next Step to Growing Your Yoga Business

If you’d like to hire me to present this workshop at your studio or conference please email me at silvia@alchemytours.com or call 1-206-886-5743

THE Next Step to Growing Your Yoga Business

The Business of Yoga Retreats

Do you want to be paid to travel the world while changing people’s lives?

Does this sound like you? Travelpreneur, Yogapreneur, Wanderluster, Adventurer? Do you have a desire to change people’s lives (making a quantum leap in health and happiness) and have a burning message to share? Yes you can do what you love and get paid for it and get out of the studio taking your yoga on the road. Let me help you create your own business, control your income and have more freedom. I want to see you travel the world, change lives, and make a fabulous income.

The truth is not all Yoga Retreats are created equal. When I started leading retreats almost ten years ago, there were few others doing so. In the years since, the yoga marketplace is now chock full of yoga retreat options. Yoga retreats have become an increasingly competitive business. Before you lead a Yoga Retreat, here is the training you need to make it an easeful success for both you and your clients. Expect practical tools and a step by step approach to designing and promoting sold-out retreats. I’ll give you the inside track to creating a sustainable yoga business for yourself for years to come. Join me and learn how to take the next step to growing your Yoga Business.

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About how I came to inspire others to embrace Travel & Movement.

Which came first? Travel or movement?

For me it would be travel although from an early age my parents tell me I could ski before I could walk, I danced formally and for the pleasure of it, and I was always doing something active Tennis, Swim team, Biking, Hiking, Running. But even so travel was my greater influence and first love. My Father, Enrico, was at heart a pure adventurer and my Mother’s parents were serious spiritual seekers.

I grew up traveling all over the world with my brother and parents from the time I was an infant. I guess the fact that I love to show other people the beauty of the world through Yoga Retreats and Active Vacations shouldn’t surprise anyone since I was born in Ecuador, South America and my Father is from Northern Italy near Modena, and English was my third language.

One could say being a citizen of the world is in my blood. And I learned from my Father, this spirit of Don Quixote, Man of La Mancha, to dream the impossible. I saw with my own eyes, touched and tasted new flavors, experienced new landscapes and as a result I learned about myself. Every time I traveled somewhere I came back different, I was changed and knew that anything was possible.

SOME ARTICLES I’VE WRITTEN ABOUT THIS AS A SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT

What I do to Prepare to Teach my 27th Yoga Teacher Training

2 words: Fast-twitch Muscles.

I offered my first Yoga Teacher Training in 2005. This is my fourteenth year living out my dharma in this beautiful way. And tonight I am editing the 27th version of our alchemy of yoga teacher training manual. I’ve not spent this much time enhancing, evolving, growing, improving anything else as much as I have this program. It is the culmination of my life’s work.
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Behind the scenes in preparation for our April 1-22, 2018 Bali Teacher Training is a team of amazing Soul Sisters on line every day creating, answering emails, clarifying, discussing, deciding every single part of what is an incredibly curated experience of Sacred Learning. Without @emilyperryyoga and @ferrahchinoyoga along with what feels like life long support from Christina Russo, and contributions for years from Laura Hand and Sarah Erter none of this is possible. As well as the technical upgrade on our NEW www.alchemyofyoga.com website developed by #alchemyofyoga alumni Greg Love owner, founder of www.anydev.com
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What you may not know is before every teacher training I take a look at how old everybody is that’s attending, which this time ranges from 23 years old to 58 years old, pretty typical for our program. And every year as the 23 year old or even twenty year old engages their personal hero’s journey in this program I get a year older. Therefore I have to personally work harder to go through what I call “Yoga Teacher Conditioning”. Each year for the last 13 years I have to do more to prepare physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I am right now in training to give my all as a Teacher Trainer.
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I love it because I want to give my best to everyone that has put their trust in me to fly across the world for this is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in places like Bali and #CostaRica. I take this responsibility very seriously. And it is the greatest honor of my life. Each student I have the joy of spending 200 hours with I hold in my heart forever.
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In these days of corporate #yoga and Yoga Influencers with 1 million instagram followers and big budget sponsorships I don’t have any of that.
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What I have is experience, 26 graduated classes of Love Alchemists endeavoring to live out our Mission to #teachpeace to a world that needs it more than ever. This teacher training/mystery school is an offering of love from my heart to your heart to the heart of the universe.
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And yes this is my #Yogi #Spin bike with two #malas and some OM energy as I get stronger and stronger to be the crucible and hold space for 24 beloved members of our kula in 10 days.
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I love my #dharma and I love this life!

I Never Wanted to be a Yoga Teacher

As Teachers we never know how we live in the mind of our students. So it’s up to us to share our real stories so the imaginary one’s don’t gain traction.

Myth debunked: I never wanted to be a Yoga Teacher.

I had serious career goals like being promoted to be the youngest Supervisor, as well as promoted to youngest Manager, and youngest Associate Director, and Director. I was on a fast track in the corporate world and I loved it! I earned more money in year 3 of my work life than what it cost my parents to build their first new home in the Midwest.

If my Father was alive as I successfully climbed the corporate ladder, he never would have believed that being paid that much money was possible, let alone the lifestyle that came with being a corporate Road Warrior. Even to me it was mind blowing at times.

I craved the promotions and the increased earnings. I was energized by saving money and watching my bank accounts grow. I felt proud to own my first home at twenty-three years old. I got addicted to the next big job and bump in salary. I worked round the clock to be a step ahead of colleagues.

I was in constant competition and didn’t even consider there was another way to exist.

I was going to win.

And I did.

I did everything “right.” I proved in the way that most of society deems appropriate that I am successful in the ways it really counts like money and job titles. What happened next was not just one thing but a series of moments of enlightenment that made me realize I had everything I was supposed to want but I wasn’t any happier.

One of those moments that woke me up was being in a hit and run at the age of twenty-five. I had to stop working because I was in total recovery. I had a lot of time to lay there and ponder the “why” of things. I went through existential angst. I questioned everything, such as Who Am I? Why am I here? What’s it all for? Who’s it for?

Why am I doing the things I do?

As an adult part of my recovery was to do yoga at a community college after hours, the only place nearby that had classes. I was the youngest in the class by thirty years. I fell in love with savasana.

I was only doing this so I could go back to making money, getting promoted and doing my life right. It worked. I got better, I healed and still I had zero interest in teaching yoga.

Somewhere within 24 months of using yoga for my healing and strength conditioning I met a friend who was teaching yoga at a local fitness center. She loved yoga and encouraged me to learn more. If she hadn’t implied I was “good” at yoga I don’t know that I would have signed up for the only yoga teacher training coming to the area. It was a weekend long event.

I completed the course and still I had no burning desire to teach yoga.

I practiced yoga. I loved the way it made me feel. The stronger I felt within myself something started to change and it wasn’t an “aha” lightning bolt moment but instead more like a dimmer switch that got brighter gradually. I decided to apply at two local fitness centers and miraculously got hired. But remember those were the days yoga was just starting on to appear on fitness schedules like once or twice per week.

Myth debunked: I never wanted to teach Yoga full-time as a profession.

If you told me then that I would quit my high paying, glamorous job to teach yoga full-time for $20 for that one hour with 4 hours of preparation I would have laughed. That notion seems ridiculous then and even now on some level.

Honestly I don’t know what happened along the way exactly. I taught, people came to my classes and returned again and again. I was only teaching for fun because I had a serious respectable job and that made it ok. I loved doing yoga. I practiced every day at home and took as many classes as I could. If was going to teach yoga I was going to become the BEST teacher possible.

I craved more knowledge and took trainings, workshops, classes non-stop. I traveled the United States following my teachers to learn more from them. I just couldn’t get enough yoga. I became just as addicted to yoga as I had been to promotions and making more money.

I spent more time asking better and better questions and figuring out the answers to “who am I?” and “why am I doing the things I do?”

I still look around when people refer to me as a Yoga Teacher. It feels a little bit odd like I can’t believe it. I don’t know what they mean by saying this.

What I know is that yoga saved my life more than once. It changed me. It made me a nicer kinder person. It healed my physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual pain. It put me in charge of my own happiness. It connected me to a deep inner strength and courage I didn’t know I had in that way.

Yoga heals.

Yoga inspires your BEST life.

And at some point all I wanted to do was share what I know. But it’s not so much about Yoga as it is about LOVE. So if you call me a Teacher, the subject I’m teaching is the essence of who we are as Love Alchemists, it is the nature of our very nature, which is love. It starts with love and ends with love.

So yes, I never wanted to be a Yoga Teacher but as a Love Alchemist I teach the Dharma of Love using Yoga, amongst many modalities, to inspire you to live from love as well.

You can call me a Love Teacher.

Not a Yoga Teacher.

Myth debunked: I never wanted to own a yoga studio (read the next article)


Put Your Lips to the World

“So come to the pond, or the river of your imagination, or the harbor of your longing, and put your lips to the world. And live your life.”
~ Mary Oliver
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It is indeed the biggest honor to welcome our beautiful #Love #Alchemists to the @alchemyofyoga tribe April 1-22, 2018! We are coming together from all over the world (Canada, France, Japan, South Africa, Stockholm, Sweden, Qatar, USA) to #Bali, the island of love, to put our lips to the world and live fully into our BIGGEST dreams and intentions. Together we will manifest magical happenings and hold nothing back. We will make lifelong soul family friendships and have sacred fun. Our time will be a pivotal moment in all of our life stories. I am certain of that.
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It is with a JOYFUL heart I introduce you to our 26th Class of Alchemists!I am giddy with excitement to hold space for you and do so along side my #soulsister @emilyperryyoga is a dream come true!
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Gigi Ogario
Kelsey Waag
Carina Ventrone
Dalia Chidoub
Susan Gore
Trinette Borgen
Beth Jakubec
Stephanie Potter
Naujauh Bowers
Sebastian Lindberg
Cristina Staicu
Yasemin Altan
Monica Laurence
Priya Mistry
Kristin Berry
Erika Cartegena
Lizelle Wessels
Paige McColl
Ingrid Brill
Kayla Roark
Megan McAllister
Carrie McInerney
Becky Quinn
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We are so happy to be one love in a time when the world needs to feel our positive vibration now more than ever. Thank you for Feeling Our Vibe and Joining Our Tribe!
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#yogateachertraining #mysteryschool #yoga #travel #spiritual #adventure #loveyourself #loveyourday #loveyourlife #alchemyofyoga #ubud #teachertraining #bhakti #intention #manifest
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RYT 200 Hour and RYT 300 Hour Teacher Trainings
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We have 1 spot left in a double room. Is that you? Message me 1 206 886 5743

Recovering Perfectionist Embracing Messy Life

Real life. A little messy.
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I wouldn’t want it any other way. I am in love with imperfect people. I find beauty in imperfection. My favorite personal moments are right after yoga when I’m unshowered, or when I first wake up in the morning, taking off my helmet after a long scooter ride or after 24 hour travel days.
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I relate easiest to rumpled people who aren’t afraid to show me what they look like when they cry ugly. My fellow travelers who wear the same three outfits for three months. The natural fashionistas who make magic with two scarves and a hat. You are beautiful to me after you’ve danced wildly for an hour and aren’t just “glowing” but are so sweaty your clothes are sticky. I am happiest together when we eat with pure joy and I see little bits fall on your lap and you’re not embarrassed. I appreciate people who gobble up cookies or gelato and aren’t afraid to wear some around the corners of their mouth. I love meeting you on the beach when the wind has whipped your hair around in an odd way. I really like it when you make that weird face. I especially love when you turn the wrong way in yoga or lift your other right leg up.
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Honestly, your messiest side is what I like most about you. 😊
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I’ve learned more about compassion and forgiveness from my most imperfect relationships. To me perfection is a delusion based on pretending to be what others want us to be. It is the contrary to authenticity. I’d rather we just be ourselves.
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I’m enamored with places in the world like Bali where the chaos is in plain view instead of hidden away under ground. I’ve come to appreciate exposed wires and chickens wondering around and no traffic lights. I don’t see flaws I see diversity. I travel to places where I can’t control the outcomes and where life is messy on the surface but underneath things are calm. Instead of what it’s like in the USA where our imperfections are hidden from sight but inside we are falling apart.
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Even right now I have what you might think are too many windows open on my laptop. My fridge isn’t as orderly as it could be and my underwear drawer is pure chaos. My socks keep losing their mates and there’s constantly sand in my Birkenstock clogs. I have a ton of little tubes of almost finished creams and 5 tooth brushes that finally feel soft enough.
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The best experiences of life are messy.
Sex, eating, sleeping.
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What I know is that if we wait until we think we’re good enough, perfect enough, to really live fully and do what we want, well the truth is the waiting will be forever.
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So we might as well get on with it. And along the way give grace to everyone we meet who are just doing the best they can too, imperfectly.
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Today do me a favor, give someone a second chance. Maybe that means you.
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And let go of the self Shaming when you don’t get things “right” the first, second or third time. That’s the name of one of my books, “A Third Chance.”
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Oh, by the way, I am a recovering perfectionist. I healed myself by #meditating more, traveling the world, and allowing love but also pain to be my teachers.
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Lens #mexico #writerslife #travel #baja #writer #latina #imperfect#wanderlust #wonderlust #yogaeverywhere #yogaeveryday #weirdfaces
#nofilter #athirdchance

What’s a Soul Tribe

It’s true for all of us as The Beatles sang: “I get by with a little help from my friends.” Today there is both more need and more opportunity to help one another as well as to receive support than ever before.
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 We have a responsibility.  To each other. 
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Yet finding a sense of belonging isn’t easy, especially the more we want to live authentically. There were times in my life, like living in Seattle, where I had to constantly edit my true nature. Because I was new in town without any tribe, I wanted to get along and make friends. My old conditioning as a people pleaser took over for a while. Eventually I found a handful of beautiful people who appreciated my uniqueness. But it always felt like I was a salmon swimming up stream.
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We all need a #soultribe.
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“What’s a soul tribe? It’s a group of people who support your dreams and your highest potential. This may or may not be your current tribe. If you don’t have a tribe of people rooting for you, it’s very hard and almost impossible to live your dream life. You’ve got to surround yourself with people want to lift you up, celebrate your success and help you rise.” – Mastin Kip
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That’s a lot of what I was missing.
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It was the loneliest time of my life.
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If I could give advice about seeking belonging I would say don’t hesitate to move. Start by traveling, go on a retreat, put yourself in places to meet more of “your people.” And find out for yourself it can be way easier than just finding that one friend where you live now and making do.
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Life can be way better than that.
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Don’t wait.
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In this photo are some of my Soul Family of Peaceful Warriors connected thru #costarica #canada #bali #usa #eastcoast #westcoast. Together we create our own eco system where everyone is accepted unconditionally. I love them!
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My Suitcase for Italy

Yesterday I had to pack my suitcase for #Italy.

This now sits in my 5×5 storage unit in #california until I travel early June to Naples, then Amalfi and Tuscany to lead my final 2 #yogaretreats for Alchemy Tours.
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My cherry blossom suitcase is full of dreams.
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I’ve mindfully chosen clothing for the beautiful stories and moments I’ll gather living in #italia June and July, including my birthday 15 July.
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You’ll find me in #Florence living from the hopes I chanted and heartfully sung into this one #bluejean bag, post retreats 30 June.
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I can’t help but wonder about what and who will come into my life from today to then. 🌻 Certainly I’ll make new discoveries about myself by the time I’m reunited with my suitcase because…
I am Still Growing. 💕
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Truth is, this isn’t “exactly” the life I wanted but it is a life I LOVE.
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My chosen life would be as a Loving wife and mother to a house full of children. I’d be traveling with my family and there would be way more suitcases along with mine. 😊
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Ever so grateful for the mystery of life. 🙏
Aho. Blessed be.

My Car has a Story

Today was my first day driving my car in a couple of years. The 2016 plates would confirm this.
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⭐️ My car has a story. ⭐️
By the time I got the raw courage to file for divorce I had already been courageous more than once, including recovery from a hit and run at age 25 years old, losing my beloved Father on February 9, 1995 and one other time I don’t yet speak of.
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What I remember was after working for years to get my ex-husband the professional help he needed to deal with his anger issues I finally gave up on my marriage. I had to save myself because I couldn’t take any more abuse. At that point he suddenly woke up a bit and realized I was really leaving. So one night he convinced me he had a surprise for me he wanted to show me. We ended up at a car dealer where he “gave me” this car you see here, my Volkswagen Tourag. He said he thought I deserved it for how hard I worked. For a moment I believed him, “again.”
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It later came out in the MSA (Marital Settlement Agreement) that he bought my car for me with MY MONEY from my Yoga studio Total Body Yoga checkbook. I want you to know he never at any point had anything to do with my studio. He was so disinterested he never even took a single calss. He then asked for the “value” of the new car to be in my column showing up as one of my assets. He received the value of it as part of the non settlement.
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After I left for Seattle the car stayed at my Mom’s home for a year until I could afford the $989 to ship it to Seattle from Chicago. You see after 2 1/2 years of divorce proceedings and tens of thousands of dollars in my attorney’s fees I fired my attorney and hired a female attorney instead and said, “get me out, do whatever it takes.” My therapist had suggested this “scorched earth method.” It is a viable option to LET IT ALL GO.
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And so I did.
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Well, that’s how I have this car.
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You tell me, what does it represent? I could have left it in Seattle, sold it for cash money. But somehow I felt like it had a bigger meaning. If I had to describe that in one word I would say “FREEDOM.”
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It demonstrates what I was willing to do to save myself, to be my own prince charming and say yes to the Hero’s Journey ala Joseph Campbell.
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After I had to get out of Seattle to heal my heart, I left the country for most of the last 3 years living as an official Expat. I didn’t need my car and quite frankly since I didn’t feel called to move anywhere in particular so I didn’t know where to ship it to either. So it stayed in Seattle, first on the street in front of my home that sold January 6, 2017 and then at my friend Kim’s home (with forever gratitude).
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Driving around today we were awkward together. I touched the brakes too hard, I didn’t know how to turn on the wipers front or back. It was so odd to be in this living time machine with fewer than 30,000 lifetime miles.
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It’s parked for the night resting now, likely confused as to how it got from Chicago to Seattle to California but that’s ok. I’m not sure of all the details of how I got here either, but certainly I’m going to make the most of it!

Washing Away the Pain

I ask myself, how did I get here? 

I’m still trying to wash away the pain.
I have been dedicated to healing my heart for 3 years, traveling around the world to cleanse my spirit. I call in my guides and guardians to help me. I sit still and meditate into the pain to transmute it.

Some days it works better than others. I’m still on the path doing the best I can breath by breath. I know things are changing because I’m coming back out into the world and allowing myself to be seen. I am born again happy.

Here are photos of the most recent water purification ceremony I did in Bali trying to flush it out once and for all. Bali Ma, Mother Bali has saved my life and I am so grateful.

I go back to Bali March 27 to feel how far I’ve come.

3 Year Anniversary of Realizing my Life was a Lie

Today is a 3 year anniversary for me. It is the day that my life completely changed and I realized that everything I thought was true was a lie.

I have never spoken and written about this day publicly before, but in an effort to stop over concealing this “box of darkness” I unwantedly received I decided to share something now.

It was March 14th, the day before his birthday, and I received his email. “This isn’t the end, but rather a different chapter.”

I want this to be clear. It’s not about relationships ending, of course they do. That’s the cycle of life. Everything has an expiration date, even Us. Our lives are impermanent.

I have no resistance to this.

It is not the problem.

The challenge has been how the expiration was revealed. To receive an email from my beloved partner after so many years together, while he was in Paris ready to celebrate his birthday with the other woman, was impersonal and insensitive to say the least.

Shock and sadness ensued.
I had NO idea.
I woke up happy and laughed and made him laugh within the first 60 seconds of each day. I went to sleep well kissed and smiling.

We had a beautiful life.

The unraveling of what was concealed took a few months. The “Other Woman” who he cheated on me with for over a year is lovely from what I know. I even tried to friend her on Facebook “Before” I knew she was replacing me.

There I said it, I was cheated on (twice by him). I have carried that shame for 3 years. I couldn’t believe that what I thought was true was untrue. I felt not just betrayed but like an idiot for believing lies for so long.

I had given up everything to live together in Seattle. I sold my yoga studio, and left my friends and Family. I risked it all for love.

Maybe unconsciously I saw the signs, his changing his passwords on his computer, never leaving his phone lying around, even taking it into the bathroom with him at home. Unreturned calls at odd hours, strange credit card charges.

I had PURE TRUST and unconditional love.

The sadness was so much about the way this was handled without grace after so many years together. The urgency to send me an email so he could be with her more openly in Paris March 15, 2015 celebrating his birthday. And there was the betrayal I felt from trusting those of his friends and co-workers that knew about her and lied for him, while still coming to our home to eat, drink and be merry.

On this day I lost trust in humans.

I lost trust in myself for having let this happen.

And every single day since then, for 3 years, I have been working to rebuild trust. I’ve done the self-work, I’ve met with healers, shamans, cut the chords, healed the energy vibration, talked to therapist, journaled, meditated, cried, chanted, sold my house and went to live on the other side of the world to heal.

One of the hardest parts has been that I felt like I would be judged if you knew someone as smart and spiritual as I am could be so fooled. I thought you would lose respect for me. I was afraid. I didn’t know who or how to trust so I struggled with this by myself. It was the loneliest time of my life.

His betrayal broke me.

I had anxiety attacks. I couldn’t breathe. I got very sick.

My body started shutting down. I got so ill I ended up in the hospital. I felt grey.

I had to stop teaching.

And for months His long time concealing kept being revealed. I didn’t want to know more.

But life goes on, I don’t know how I got up but I did.
I give all credit to our Creator. My faith in Spirit saved me.
I was born again happy.

Within 11 months they gave birth to their first baby and were married. And in the end, love is love.

It chooses us.

All I hope for her is that she can trust him.

I continue my own journey of learning how to trust again. I am to this day still Healing.

I stay soft and keep expanding.

And I never ever stop believing in true love.