What Really Happened...
You may be curious about all the shifts and changes you have witnessed in the past 4 months. So let me share with you what really happened…
Seven months ago I lost the use of my right hand. And then the symptoms began to build until by the summertime, there were days I couldn’t walk without support. No doubt, it was scary.
I had a battery of tests, bloodwork, went into the MRI machine (twice), and had a CT. I was loaded up with big meds (made me feel terrible but necessary) while they worked to determine what was happening in my body.
Oddly, at this point I was calm. I was appreciative of the excellent care I was receiving, friends and family were amazing in their support, I was leaning into my meditation practices, I was riding the neutral channel.
A diagnosis was made, medications changed and adjusted, and I was told to be prepared that my body may, or may not, be able to continue with my “big schedule” of training, teaching, and doing 108 frogs (that is supposed to make you giggle and relax...😉 this story is a happy one.)
I let my “head brain” take over my “heart brain’s” desire to ensure service to our community, active practices, and the heart of Inner Guidance… in essence the mission of Manipura Yoga.
I gathered up the Advanced Teachers (who were supposed to have 3-4 years to complete their training) and said “guess what folks! We are FINISHING in 8 months.” Blessings to the flexible yogis, they got really flexible and made the change. It has always been important to me that there are MORE TEACHERS to enter the field and share their unique gifts. This group, who will complete their RYT 500 in May, are simply AMAZING. I learn something from them every single day.
I looked for someone to take the Manipura reigns. I put the word out, waited for the universe to respond, and it did.
I spent the fall working hard, harder than my diagnosis preferred, to create a new space for Manipura Yoga College. Not knowing what work I would be able to share, but not wanting to assume the worst, I created jaysuttonbrown.com. Using my name would mean that the good work of Manipura could continue, and I would be able to create offerings as I was able.
Then moments before all was to shift, the universe closed the door.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t thrown off, all that effort, all those commitments! But the core of my work is the ability to take the hard stuff, use my practice, lean into the icky feelings and grow. In a sweet and supportive conversation, a dear friend said, “My dear, you are in the ‘Ph.D lab’ of your work. Take this as deep study.”
So I went quiet for weeks and did my inner work.
I thanked my “head brain” for its efforts and kindly asked that it take a back seat for a moment as I let my “gut brain” and “heart brain” take the lead. (If this sounds funny or strange, come see me, this is evolution in practice).
And things became clear. I saw my specialist. I am responding well to treatment and I am “cleared” to proceed with 108 frogs (when my body lets me know it’s a good idea that is!).
My mentor said, “The Universe knew it was not time for Manipura Yoga to leave you. The door closed. What does your inner knowing reveal?”
My deep Inner Guidance whispered, “You are part of the spiritual evolution, trust it, uplevel and evolve.”
And that is EXACTLY what I am doing.
I have not “left” yoga, (how does one “leave” unity? …that is another blog entirely).
I am a Teacher of Transformation.
Kundalini, Yogic Technology and Meditation are the core of my essence, practice, work and dharma.
However, I am EVOLVING and UPLEVELING.
My work is steeped in HOW to cultivate deep inner listening, HOW to calm the storm, HOW to work in the stickier emotions (the SENSES OF YOUR SOUL) and HOW to embrace joy, peace, possibility and empowered living.
So you will see Jay Suttonbrown AND Manipura Yoga College.
I am building connections rather than polarities (think “and” rather than “or”).
And as ALWAYS, it is FILLED with BIG BIG LOVE.
Are you Ready? Let’s GO.
Big love and Sat Nam Peeps,
Gravity and Grace
Touchstones on the path of Fulfilled Contentment
Gravity: keeps us grounded; literally to the planet. Psychologically, feeling “grounded” is important to our health as it reconnects us with our feelings of “home.” This grounded “homey” feeling, wait for it, it stimulates a lightness of heart. (See Newton’s 3rd law of motion about every action has an opposite and equal reaction).
Grace: the attraction of two bodies that occurs at a level below the physical, a subtle and sublime attraction, also known as surrender.*
I am rereading Peter’s book as I gather a group of amazing Yoga Teachers to complete their Advanced Training this weekend. I chose Gravity and Grace because Peter captures his personal transformation in his yogic experienced with such clarity. He shifted from a rigourous, highly controlled perspective of his practice, to one that embraced meeting his needs, inner listening, and inner guidance to promote his health, his growth.
He describes in great detail the importance of listening to ourselves, retraining our reactions, and experiencing gravity and grace in approaching asana (yoga poses) as the laboratory of practice we can then apply to our lives.
Gravity and grace are interesting touchstones inherent to all experience. Where do I feel connected and rooted? Where can I soften my control? What is actually an old trauma-response versus up-to-date information of what is happening now?
I received some correspondence recently where folks thought I had “left” the yogic field. Nothing could be further from the truth! I am expanding the field.
We are embracing our multi-sensory experiences; staying deeply rooted in our bodies, as WE LEARN to embrace our FEELINGS with conscious awareness and open to the gravity and grace within each moment of our lives. Yoga, Emotional Liberation, and Meeting your Needs, all ask us to embrace gravity and grace.
Are you ready?
*Adapted from Peter Sterios, Gravity and Grace.
e to edit.
Yoga and Self Care
What is the difference between “yoga” and “self-care?”
In my work, nothing.
“Yoga” means “union.” It is the exploration of techniques to unify our experience of our breath, body, and awareness (a combination of thoughts, emotions and biology) so that we live in consciousness, connection, clarity and peace. YES PLEASE!
I have taught yoga, and trained yoga Teachers over the last two decades. So why the shift in language? Am I “leaving” yoga? Good gravy NO.
I am opening the language of self-experience, of deep listening, of the cultivation of inner trust, of connecting to the essential life-force of existence, of being fully human, because that IS SELF CARE.
The movements in practice (whether you call them asana, kriya or sally…ok that last one is a joke) bring the sensitivity, strength, balance and clarity to embrace our experiences.
Meta-cognition (being aware that you are aware) is a “muscle” you can “strengthen” (whether you call that meditation or mindfulness) to discern inner truth from noise.
When we work with our breath, our bodies and metacognition, we can consdiously work with our emotional sensory system, a loyal ally who brings accurate information about our needs, boundaries, and trauma responses.
YEP, those “pesky” emotions are your greatest resource in understanding YOU, and the practices of yoga (self care) are the exact tools we need to access our inner emotional resources.
So welcome to SELF CARE (or Yoga, or Sally, or whatever name you choose). Using our breath, body and awareness we can work with our needs; persistent fears and anxieties; irritations, resentments and anger; grief and loss; shame and self-worth; to REMEMBER AND EXPERIENCE our deep self-trust, safety, empowerment, wholeness and self-acceptance.
I would love for you to join us.