There's so much information on food and health out there that it can be completely overwhelming to sort out what's fact and fiction. Read More
I’ve loved singing since childhood, and had always had a secret desire to be a singer. But when I had my first opportunity to sing publicly at a university “open mic” with a friend, I was both thrilled and terrified. Because of fear and inexperience, my voice was shaky and went out of tune—a lot.
May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may my thoughts, words, and deeds contribute in some way to that happiness and freedom. Read More
I was trapped in paradise. Teaching in another country (with my kids in tow) has always had its challenges. I’m not complaining—I realize I’m fortunate. But on this trip the person supporting me started having a mental health crisis. I’d hired her to help, but she started demanding things we hadn’t agreed on, accusing me of things I didn’t do, and being forceful. Friends from home were sending me messages like ‘oh you’re so lucky to be in the tropics doing what you love,’ but they didn’t know all hell was breaking loose. Read More
Many yoga teachers tell me they’re afraid to touch their students and give them hands-on assists. Over the years, I’ve heard:
If I get off my mat while I’m teaching, I’ll forget where I am in my sequence.
It’s easier for me to give detailed verbal cues when I’m feeling them in my own body, practising with my students.
Men have shared ‘I’m hesitant to put my hands on women’, and vice versa—‘I’m afraid they’ll misunderstand my intention.’
I only know a few assists. Read More
Deepening our Relationship to the Earth
Welcome to the DevaTree Joycast
The DevaTree Joycast is designed to help you playfully nurture your intuition and connect your life to the wisdom of nature in a meaningful way. While we encourage you to approach the Joycast with an attitude of playful curiosity, our reasons for using Nature to convey life messages is rooted in our deep reverence, humility and trust in the Earth. Many people intuitively understand that connecting to nature is necessary for true healing, both as individuals and as a species. At a practical level, it can sooth us, calm our anxieties and invoke our breath to deepen. It can also inconvenience us, unnerve us or scare us with its awesome force and unpredictability. If we admire the beautiful side of nature but feel it is our right to eradicate, sterilize or conquer those parts we dislike or don’t understand, we will likely admire ourselves when life is shiny but reject ourselves when our shadowy side cycles back in. By polarizing in this way, we reject our fundamental nature because like the waves in the ocean we were meant to experience cycles of ebb and flow, light and dark, praise and blame, fame and disrepute. It is the natural way.
So what does it mean to connect meaningfully with nature and where do we begin? Although I faithfully recycle and compost, these are tasks. While helpful, these tasks cannot bring me into a meaningful relationship with the Earth any more than washing my spouse’s car can create the foundation of my marriage. In order to evolve in consciousness, our old attitudes must shift so that we begin to think of the “we” before the “me” not only with each other but also with this planet we inhabit. At its most fundamental level, our real connection with her majesty Mother Earth begins when we simply pay attention and listen. It is actually that simple.
There was a time on Earth when the Sun, Moon, Stars and Weather were held in great reverence and even the sweetness of the wind in the trees or the arrangement of rose petals in the soil meant something. In that simpler time it was not considered hippie, flaky or frivolous to notice the patterns in a piece of wood or the behaviors of the animals. This connection to nature brought these humans into a deeper state of grace and flow, trusting in the rhythms of life and thereby trusting in their own inner knowing.
Because as humans we have elevated ourselves above our flying, furry and sea-dwelling neighbors, the dignity of these creatures has been forgotten, their special place in the scheme of life taken for granted. Just like we were each born with a unique and sacred life purpose, every bug, plant, animal and tree is also here fulfilling its sacred contract. There is a vastness of knowledge, wisdom, love and grace in Nature that is patiently waiting to open up to us. We don’t have to give up our cars or feel guilty for killing a mosquito but we do need to start noticing.
Wherever you are now, inside or outside, take a deep breath and feel your connection to Nature. Next time you walk outside whether on a busy street or a secluded meadow, feel the air on your skin, look for the glistening dew on the grass or smile toward the sky for a moment. Your senses will begin to synchronize with a vibration that is more natural and the path ahead will become more colorful. We hope the Joycast will support you on your journey.
May nature’s blessings Rain down on you,