My intention is to blog once a season about Life Practices in order to share what I am practicing in my life, and to suggest opportunities to join me, as well as ideas to use in your own practice.

buddha in snowSpring Equinox occurs midway between the longest night of the year, at Winter Solstice, and the longest day of the year, at Summer Solstice. It is called an Equinox from the Latin “equal” and “night,” but in reality, the equality of day and night is only approximate and depends on your geographic location! In 2014, the Spring Equinox occurs at 10:57 am on March 20th.

We’ve had a long, cold Winter this year—the ground covered in snow and the temperatures lower than usual, for longer than usual. It’s hard to believe that under the snow cover, under the frozen ground, new life is stirring and will surge forth into Spring, but this seasonal miracle is coming, even here to Minnesota!

The dark womb of Winter provides the fertile ground that invites us to dream ourselves into a new seasonal cycle, in which new life will spring forth. From the deep dive into the unknown darkness of the dreamtime, new visions for our life take form. The Cailleach, or Winter Queen, completes her rule anytime between Imbolc (Brigid’s Day: February 1st) and Beltaine (May 1st), depending on when the first signs of Spring are evident. This is also the Chinese New Year of the Yang Horse, which strongly calls in the energy and vitality of Spring. The Yang Horse embodies the element of fire, bringing warmth and energy to the land. Rooted in the inner vision and intuitive knowing the Wintertime brought us, the Yang Horse surges toward freedom, helping new growth to push up through the soil and reach into the light of day.

The light is lasting longer, the days are warming, people are coming out of doors, and nature is beginning to send forth new life. Following her rhythm, it’s time for us, too, to grow the new shoots of our lives, to allow the dreams to push up through the warming earth, to grow leaves, and move toward our own manifestation. Brighde, the Summer Queen, will soon return to tend our visions until they have fully ripened into maturity. What are you dreaming into new life? What shoots would you like to nurture, tend, and grow into manifestation this year? How would you like to answer Spring’s beckoning to move into fresh, new growth?

You may want to write in a journal, or try a short ritual alone or with friends that could include the following:

  • Light a candle, yellow or light green in color;
  • Place nearby a symbol of Winter’s dark dreamtime and a symbol of Spring’s fresh, new, forward-moving energy.
  • Get really comfortable and cozy, maybe even sipping a warm drink.
  • Sense / feel into your dreams, your visions for your life—the ones that arise deep inside the dark warmth of your own bodysoul. What in you wants to move from dream to manifestation, to grow and be expressed in the world this year? How can you commit to nurturing this growth?
  • Breathe each awareness in, receiving it, saying “yes” to each even if you don’t know how it will unfold.
  • When you are ready, say thank you and blow out the candle.

After the Spring Equinox, the days continue to grow longer, until at Summer Solstice, we’ll be back to the longest day. May you welcome and find grace in this changing of the seasons.

Advent Singing Meditation image largerLent & Easter Singing Meditation. As we transition from Fall to Winter and continue our inward turning, I invite you to gather four more Friday evenings with me to deepen your Lenten and Easter journey with sacred chant and silent prayer/meditation. Learn and sing music from Hildegard of Bingen and from the Gaelic tradition. No prior singing experience necessary. Suggested donation $5-$10 per session.

Fridays, March 21st & 28th, April 4th & 25th, from 5:15 to 6:15 pm, at Our Lady of the Presentation Chapel atrium, 1890 Randolph Avenue, St. Paul

More Information: Jennifer Tacheny, (651) 696-2872, Hosted by the CSJ Membership and Association Offices (Celeste’s Dream, Consociate Services, and Sister Membership).

We are exploring interest in a Sacred Chant Choir that would come together regularly to sing various sacred chants. Please let me know if you would be interested in participating.

with azaleaIntimacy Day Retreat with the Enneagram (and Yoga), Saturday, May 3rd. Dave and I aren’t teaching as much recently, so jump in to this Retreat if you’d like a taste of our Enneagram teaching. You can attend just the morning Intro or just the afternoon Couple’s Retreat, and add on a different date experience with your beloved by staying for Date Night Yoga!

Getting to know oneself is the first step toward living a full, connected, and satisfying life. And yet, oftentimes, this is the last place we want to pay attention. We will use the psychological and spiritual map of the Enneagram to guide us home to our deepest essential selves, to further our own self-understanding, and to work out our relationships with other people. Understanding our own and our loved one’s Enneagram types opens our eyes and heart to truly seeing ourselves and others with less judgment and allows for greater empathy, love, and authentic connection.

9:00-12:00: Personal Intimacy Workshop, $40/ individual, $70/couple. Deep relational intimacy is grounded in our ability to be truly intimate with ourselves and with our own experience. Spend the morning growing intimacy with yourself by exploring the Enneagram through guided experience, presentation, poetry, and music.

2:00-5:00: Personal Intimacy Workshop, $70/couple, $85/couple with Date Night Yoga. Join other couples to explore: 1) How the different Enneagram types experience their needs and desires within relationship; 2) How they typically communicate their needs and desires; 3) How to work together more lovingly and effectively around these sensitive issues. You will gain appreciation for the differences between you and your partner and begin to see them more clearly for who they really are.

5:00: Community Potluck or Dinner Out

7:00-8:30: Date Night Yoga, $15/couple with afternoon workshop

Held at The Yoga Sanctuary in Minneapolis (in the Solomon’s Porch Building). To register, contact Shelley.

What helps you develop intimacy with yourself and with others? How do you practice?

Katy's Marilyn Monroe pic-crpd lngr2Nourishing Wholeness: I’m Studying to Practice as a Holistic Health & Wellness Coach and Way of the Happy Woman Teacher! This is why we’re not teaching much—it is a really big year of transition for me. I’m so excited to be studying with both The Institute for Integrative Nutrition and Sara Avant Stover’s Way of the Happy Woman Certification Program. Both of these programs are a result of finally finding a way to live into and offer my passion in the world!

All my life I have been playing with food and health and nourishment..I LOVE to cook and create fun, healthy, YUMMY food to nourish myself and others. I LOVE to mentor people and support them with practices to live more fulfilling and meaningful lives. I LOVE the process of becoming ever more deeply embodied in my own Feminine wisdom and not only living that in my own life, but supporting that journey for other women. And, of course, I LOVE the Enneagram as a beautiful map of the human soul and a perfect accompaniment for this process.

So, I’m spending a lot of time studying this year… If you’re interested in checking out my new Holistic Health & Wellness Coaching for women, I am practicing free 30-45 minute Health History sessions now. These can be done in person, via skype, or on the phone. A Health History session gives you a chance to take stock of and talk about your own health and well-being and to discover what your priorities and desires are. In April, I’ll be able to start working with clients at a discounted rate, and in September, I’ll graduate! My new website should be up in a month or two, too!

I started out as a participant in Sara’s online women’s circle, the Red Tent, in May of 2012, did personal mentoring with Sara, and then in May of 2013, I renewed my membership in exchange for being an Assistant Mentor in the group of Red Tent women. I also deepened my experience of this Sacred Feminine embodiment work by attending a weeklong SHE Retreat in Thailand in December of 2013, and now I am entering into the WOHW Certification Program from May through October. Once I’m certified, I’ll be offering workshops that feature Sara Avant Stover’s grounded, practical, and introspective Feminine embodiment work. Practices include living in alignment with the seasons and lunar cycles, yin yoga, meditation, nourishing foods, and more, and will be based on her beautiful book, The Way of the Happy WomanLet me know if you’d like to hear more about this work in the future.

How are you nourishing your passion this year? What brings you more wholeness, more meaning, more fulfillment?

Fresh Spring Blessings, Katy

Nourishing Wholeness