Letting go

By Noel Nguyen, Warrior Goddess Facilitator

There are a few people who misunderstand the meaning of “Letting Go” or “Let Go.” I want to be clear that Letting Go is different for everyone. It depends on where you are on your path, journey, and self-discovery. It does not mean let go of your family, friends, commitments, and be selfish or self-centered. It is quite the opposite of that. Please continue to read so that I may help you understand what I mean.

Sometimes there are certain words or actions that may cause a deep trigger deep within you that causes a mental or physical response. Maybe, just maybe you have an unconscious agreement that you may or may not be aware of causing you pain. For example, If I say to you “you are not good enough” does that resonate deep inside you. Just like if I were to tell you “Just Let it Go” does that make you feel like you are not taking ownership of the issue or that it is not important to you?

In HeatherAsh Amara’s books Warrior Goddess TrainingThe Toltec Path of Transformation, and Warrior Goddess Way they will help teach you about conscious and unconscious agreements, repetitive patterns, stories you have been telling yourself. She will help teach you the tools and techniques to let go of the old stories, agreements, judgements, and triggers that are causing you to be stuck in a certain way of thinking. 

When we say “Let Go” it is letting go of the false beliefs that you are not enough, that you are not loved, that the old stories and agreements you used to tell yourself are true maybe are not. Let me give you an example to make sure I am telling the story properly. 

I was abandoned at birth during the end of the Vietnam war. I could choose to tell myself one story that would say “I am not good enough, I am not worthy of love, and I am like trash.” Then if I were to live my life with this story I was telling myself I may not have healthy relationships, maybe addictions, or maybe worse and cause mental and/or physical pain to myself.

Alternatively, I could choose a different way. I could learn to “Let Go.” I could learn to let go of the beliefs and I could start to change my story. I was given up for adoption so that I could have a better life. My mother chose to sacrifice her own daughter hoping that I could have a better life without Communism, War, and Poverty. I must have been very important to make a sacrifice like this to give me my best chance. I am so worthy of the best life I could possibly have. I am so worthy of loving myself and others because I am someone special. I am a gift to myself, life, and others. 

What I do choose to do is “Let Go” of the belief and old story that I have been telling myself for years. What this does not mean is that now that I know what I need to release and let go that I am releasing my family, husband, or any other obligations.

What it does mean is that I am releasing that old energy that has been stuck. I am releasing those false stories and negative energy inside. I am open to receive new stories, beliefs, and opportunities. I will be able to be more than I can imagine when I free myself from these old stories, patterns, and beliefs. I am more open to love myself and others and be the best wife, mother, and friend.

Please don’t make assumptions on others and where they are at in their journey. This journey is about where we are inside us and only us. It is not a competition and it is not a cult or religion. It is about being the best you possible with some tools and techniques that will help you discover the best you there can be for you. And in the end it will be better for you and your family and friends.

who is your master?

By Leahanne Woods Smith

When I was in Teotihuacan this past summer for the Women’s Journey with HeatherAsh Amara, we were put through different exercises. These were exercises in remembering our spirit on a deeper level. To do this we went to a part of Teotihuacan each day. We learned of the history of the Toltecs, the ancient ones whose tactics, strategies, and lessons of gaining more freedom we strive to emulate today.

On the last day of the journey we went to The Temple Of The Butterflies. Here was a place that looked like ancient apartments. It’s a plaza of sectioned off living spaces. These were living spaces of the more or less kind of royal families of the who lived back then, as well as Pumas, and Masters.

The Masters are said to have been able to defy all obstacles and do unbelievable things like leave their body behind at the door and go as their pure spirit into the room. We were told to go around the place and visit all the rooms and feel which room resonates with us the most. Then, we were to see what master showed up for us there.

I walked into one of the rooms with no roof, and simply a hard stone “bench” made of the same stone as the floor in it. I knew this was the one for me. There were thirty of us, and for a long time period I was the only one in this room. It was as if all time and current situations were paused. I began to feel sort of a supernatural essence fill me. I turned into my power consciously. I knew I was being filled with a Kung fu Master. I have trained in Kung Fu in the small town where I live. I was connected to this by working with the Sifu at a nursing home. He was trained by a master in Philadelphia as a young boy and continued all his life. He started the Hung Gar Kung Fu Academy in my home town. What we learn at Hung Gar Kung Fu Academy are not only lessons in physical fighting strategies, but lessons of the heart in life with all of life, similar to the Toltecs. It is an ancient family lineage called the Hung Gar in southern China. This was brought to me. I was just barely open-eyed enough to see it and go for it. What a miraculous gift!

It’s funny how we are called to things and we feel it. We just know that this is what we are supposed to be doing to go further into our next greatest things.

I would have never guessed that a Kung fu Master would show up for me in Teotihuacan ten years ago. But, it happened. And, I began to feel myself as a direct descendant of the Warrior, the kind that can defy all gravity, move any obstacle, and live fully from the heart of truth and wisdom.

Right then and there, I saluted in the traditional way of the Hung Gar lineage. I knew I was saluting my master, and to the master I was becoming in myself.

Later that day, we traveled to The Pyramid Of The Sun. We were told to stay connected to the womb, and stay quiet to deeply feel for our experiences. We were also told to be careful of the edges as we winded around the pyramid in ascending toward the top.

HeatherAsh walked the edge. She looked supernaturally light as if she was confident that she could just fly whenever she needed or wanted to. I recognized that she has become her own master, and in that she can master the elements. She was like a butterfly. When following her around the Pyramid Of The Sun, I realized that I was following my master. She, like the Kung Fu Master, were both beings who showed up for me. When I just couldn’t pass over buying the Warrior Goddess Training book one day when I saw it on Facebook, it was a gift from the Gods/Goddesses who have been watching me. It was spirit’s answer to my internal longings for more, and it was, too, just simply my intention once I got whiff of its grand power. It catapulted me into a place where I could begin to know myself as a master. As I walked with the group, following HeatherAsh, I felt my Warrior power fully, and I realized that I was a butterfly too.

Little by little we clean away those things that clog up our temple from the truth. In the end, we are our own Warrior, our own Goddess, our own Master of Love encompassing all the elements. We can move mountains or fly off them at any time. We only need to remember and strive to live more fully everyday as our authentic selves.

Getting to know ourselves as our own master is just one of the aspects of Warrior Goddess Training.  May we continue our journey, and bring others around us into fuller belief!

magic midway mirrors

I applied for the Karma program at the Bikram studio that I like to go to, and got it!  The Karma program consists of cleaning the studio once a week for yoga anytime.  I’ve bought the five time passes that most yoga facilities offer in the area, and I liked the Lake Norman Bikram studio best.  Mostly I do yoga alone at home outside.  Yoga is one of my loves that I’ve found that I never want to be without.  I plan to keep going and go through a teacher training program next year.  I loved the energy and the instructors at Bikram.  I told told of all of this in the email when I applied.  And, there was something about those mirrors.  Well, I was chosen!

As the instructor/owner of Lake Norman Bikram Yoga says, “Concentrate, meditate, look at your own eyes in the mirror.  Every class I’ve taken at Bikram, this is what I’ve done.  I’ve found that we humans often think we look one way when we really look another way, ways that we are not seeing.  We see from our current perception.  We see though old stories still lingering around in our psyche about ourselves, who we think we are, how well we think we’re doing based on some current influenced mindset.  And, fortunately we see ourselves as doing well, going for things, in control of our lives.  This is the mindset which I have been seeing myself more often in the past few years.

I have always been one who reaches farther, outside of my normal patterns, for greatness.  That fantasy that many people have of being a lead singer on stage, well I did that!  I made it happen!  Now, I have not reached what most would call fame, but hey! I felt what it’s like to sing on stage, connect to an audience, and grow my art of it from there.  This is one of the things that I’ve gone for, that if I hadn’t gone for, I would not have the level of belief in myself that I do, most of the time, now.

It’s about the feeling.  To gain belief in oneself, I believe that you have to actually do the act that you want to do.  Understanding how it feels to try and miss the mark, try and get better, try again and soar, try again and fall again, is essential to truly gaining experience.  All of us have to do it.  If a baby bird never tries to fly, it will not.  And, it will miss out on it’s full flight of life.  May we all feel our full flight of life!  May we not allow the films of our perceptions in our mind to keep us from trying that which is our instinct and our deepest heart’s desires.  It is our birth rite to go through every experience we feel we need for ourselves!

In the spring of 2014, I found Warrior Goddess Training while flipping through Facebook.  I am not an easy sell, but there was something about that book I saw advertised.  My soul quickly captured and said to me, “Do not let this get away.  There are big things here for you!”.  I listened and bought the book.

Through Warrior Goddess Training I’ve uncovered much more of myself, and found more things in life that light me up.  I’ve gone for many of those things.  And, things that I had on the back burner that I knew I wanted, but was probably never going to go for, I am going for now!

The way Warrior Goddess Training works is by showing us the ancient and forgotten way that women loved, honored and believed in themselves.  There are a lot of lessons in accepting ourselves as we are on a deeper level in Warrior Goddess Training.  So much of what society shows is that we are not good enough the way we are.  Warrior Goddess Training unleashes the truth which is that we are not only good enough, but we are the best miracle that’s ever happened!  We are powerful!  We are not broken.  We do not need to be fixed.  We are a solid life form who has carried herself through the ages, and have been great warriors for eons.  Through Warrior Goddess Training, we remember ourselves!

Everything is connected.  And, once we start to trust ourselves and go for the desires we have, more opportunities show up in the direction that we most want to go.  Over time we get better at reading the signs.  We get better at believing. We follow our intuition more.  We widen our sight and our doorways for synchronicity.  One of the things that I’ve gone for more since going for Warrior Goddess Training is more yoga.

When I showed up for a list of duties and instruction to clean the Bikram studio, I was shown these mirrors in closer detail.  I was told that my major duty would be to clean them.  Cleaning a huge room full floor to ceiling mirrors would not be an easy task.  I was shown how to look at them from the floor up using the glare from the light to ensure that there were no smudges.  If there were smudges, streaks, or spots after using the squeegee, I was to polish them with water and special towels.  Which, I have found myself doing on a regular basis.  And, I have gotten more particular and quicker to see the spots, as we do with anything over time and practice.

The first night cleaning the mirrors I had a hard time getting the squeegee to get the water off clean without leaving streaks.  I realized that I would have to start at the very top and shoot it down, then shoot the squeegee from one side of the mirror once it was midway to leave no evidence from where it started.  Then the rest could be polished with the special cloths.  I got my time down from two hours to one hour.  And, I got my confidence down from unsure to pretty darn certain.  This is just the way with anything in life.  It just takes walking our way up to it, making our willful steps to the challenging things, and beginning.  The more we do this, the more of the warrior we find in ourselves.  And, the rest is tell tale techniques that become evident to us as we go.  This is the journey of the warrior.  We are ever getting clearer as long as we continue.  This is how it is in yoga.  If we cannot get into the full expression of the pose, we go toward it with our intent and do our best.  And, we accept and learn who we are in a deeper way there, in the active alchemical midst, the midway, the best part of the journey.

Midway through cleaning the mirrors one night after getting my technique down, I noticed my strokes, and the way I moved my body quickly and precisely from one side to the other, reminded me of Kung Fu.  I took Kung Fu training for a while, and plan to go back to it.  This was another thing I went for in life that was often hard, but raised my confidence level.  I was reminded of this, and began to pride myself with these expert-ish moving the squeegee on the mirror Kung Fu style.  Then, using the polishing cloths it was like Daniel in “The Karate Kid”, wax on wax off.☺.  I realized I was becoming my own warrior on a deeper level with these new cleaning and polishing skills I was learning.  And, at that moment my warrior self took presidency, a powerful, and fun state came over my being.  I enjoyed this feeling as I watched my eyes in the mirror.  Every stroke, becoming clearer was my focus.  Along with the mirrors, I too was getting clearer.  Into clearer focus I am becoming each step, each strife, each effort, each time I have fun with it.  Every time I listened to my own voice inside that told me to go for something I wanted, a streak was cleared.  Every time I’ve gone for my goals despite their inconvenience to my life, another spot was cleaned.  Every time I’ve stood in the mirror facing the truths of my midway state, I’ve cleared the way wider than ever.  Every time I’ve finished cleaning the mirrors for the night knowing I’ve done the best I could possibly do, a new doorway appears that I’ve never seen.  And, more trust and respect for myself emerges.  The doorway was always there, but was out of focus because the mirrors had to be cleaned first.  All things have order.  To further find our greatness we must start step by brave step, never giving up, never putting down our sword or our squeegee until we are clear.  And, to keep the clarity, we must do constant cleaning.  Through all of life there is no ceasing.  We must practice.  We will find new ways to clean along the way.  We will create new pathways to greatness.  We will always uncover new parts of our warrior, for she is never ending.  She is life!

I’ve done lots of mirror work in Warrior Goddess Training in other self-help spiritual trainings, and by instinct on my own.  But the fullest level of mirror training I ever got was cleaning the full length mirrors at Bikram yoga.  I took a great video I with my phone camera one night while taking a break, dancing with those mirrors, with newly found parts myself.  I had just come off of a twelve hour day of healthcare work, as I always do before cleaning the studio on Tuesday nights. I love watching that video of me, dancing with my Warrior.  It’s so fun and beautiful to watch.  I can see myself expanding and flying.  We must both try and go for things, and play to clear the way for our spirit’s furthering.  May we clean our mirrors, clear our doorways and soar!?

-Leahanne Woods Smith

The Unplanned Life 

By Dina Tibbs 

I sit here, as I do every year in December staring at a dream/goal/life/planner/calendar; I have quite a collection of these planners. Every year I try a different one designed by people I hold in deep respect and made with the intent of helping people realize their dreams, set their soulful goals, balance their work, family, personal and spiritual lives, create the tasks and accountability necessary to make the dreams come true, making sure they pencil in their self-care lest they forget, or as is normally the case, put themselves last.

This year, I am looking at this planner, and feeling a deep resistance, even though I have a blank book and lots of markers in every color of the rainbow. I am looking at a pretty mind map that is supposed to hold my deepest desires for the next 1, 3, 10 years, and my lifetime…all ready to be written down, colored in, and achieved. In this moment I am looking at a planner that asks me to project three years into the future and ask things like:

  • What needs of yours are met by your friendships? How do you engage with your community? How am I nourished? What fascinates you? What conversations do you have?
  • Three years from now? All I can do is sit here and say, I have no fucking idea. While I completely understand the value in doing this for some people, for me going through this exercise is one of three things:

1.     A waste of time…where is my three-year plan from three years ago, that I spent so many hours on? I have no idea; life happened and I am in a completely different place and space.

2.     For the last two years I began my year with the best intentions; shit hit the fan, I was not able to achieve the goals because I needed to be fully present for the situations that were right in front of me. There was no plan, it all went out the window when I had to care for and spend time helping the people I love the most heal. But rather than embrace that and be in service to my beloveds, I stressed, I resented, I resisted. I refused to surrender to it, until the deep and paralyzing anxiety forced me to surrender. It was also the greatest gift in opening my eyes to how I wanted to live life, be present, and be of service.

So this year I am doing something new; I am UNPLANNING, I am embracing the mystery, creating my story as each day presents itself anew. And most importantly, listening deeply and witnessing what my soul wants to bring forth on any given day.

This is not to say I am operating in oblivion, have no dreams, goals, desires, or even dates and deadlines, however, I am being a lot more gentle with myself about how much I choose to take on. As I get older I find my plans becoming much more fluid and flowing. I may write down what I want to do this year and when I want to do it, I set my INTENT with the Creator, and ask every day how I can best be of service to myself and others, and then let the day unfold, with the next day being somewhat of a mystery. It is not lost on me that I am BLESSED to be able to do this, and not everyone can. I can also say that this experiment of letting it go, will be really, really challenging for me…but life is an experiment and I love my life.

Here is the truth as it is for me: the more I PLAN, IE: FORCE the less time I actually have, the less of what and who I want to experience comes into my life, the less of the mystery and the story unfolds. However, if I relax, if I surrender, if I let it flow the more I invite into my sphere of being, the more I am able to manipulate time. 

What can you shift in your perception about life planning, what is really necessary for our souls to be fulfilled, and what isn’t?

I encourage you to get quiet, and ask your true self what will happen if you don’t get it all done? And then witness the answer, it just might surprise you.

Getting In The Gap

By Leahanne Woods Smith

May we trust and fall into the darkness, in the tunnels. We can trust that this river path will lead us to our gift, deeper than we have traveled before, more within.

During meditation we practice finding the stillness. We look for the gap where there is simply existence.  It is the place where there is no thing, but yet it is everything. It is the entrance to the furthering of life. It is life.

I remember last year when I was at a Warrior Goddess weekend. Our group was led by HeatherAsh, the mama of all things Warrior Goddess, to go deeply into meditation. She told us to find the stillness, and follow the stillness.

I had the best feeling discoveries within other worlds within me. I have access to these worlds. I found that I can discover an infinite number of worlds that are there just existing. And, it changes all the time, just as all things. They are always ready to have me. I am a part of all of this existence, all worlds, and so are you. They exist inside us and throughout all existence. We are it, and it is us☀️.

To find that gap in all things is a huge gift to gift ourselves. This is how we align with life. Ever wondered how people survived prison, chronic pain or illness, or acts of extreme violence? Many times it has been reported that these survivors found a place within themselves where life as it is said to be here ran out, and truth began. They sent themselves into the gap, and let themselves fall into true existence inside. I’m sure you’ve heard of people finding Jesus in prison. From then on they are a new brightly centered person giving and receiving love after this happens.

It matters not what path we take to get there. Any gap of silence will lead us to the place of our light and understanding. We can feel it in our heart when we arrive there. From that point we can open ourselves to the world around us and spread this light, turning on other lights, other hearts everywhere. This is pure life extending pure life, bringing to life more parts of ourselves and each other continuously. This is the definition of heaven to me. I extend my hand out everyday to see if I can reach more of it since I have first seen this truth. I reach out to you here by my words on a post. Take this love, feel into it, and spread!

May we align with all things in our life, continuously finding the new love in through the gaps that are produced there, here, and everywhere everyday!

Find the gap! Follow the silence!

Birthing Pains, and Honoring the Beginnings and the Endings

By Leahanne Woods Smith

I work in healthcare. I am a home health CNA, a caregiver. My job is to stay all day with one patient taking care of them and concerns. I stay with them until death. I know some death and the birthing pains that often come before death. It starts out with a little confusion and discontentment. Then, there is re-realization and acceptance. The other stages come, the ones where we have to accept different levels of death’s coming. This can take days, months, or years of going through these layers of discovery, resistance, and acceptance.

It is often very hard for people to let go and surrender to natural process when it comes to their one and only life. Even when people know that their soul will live forever, it is still often meets resistance. It is the last and biggest challenge they have to face as they go through the often long birthing pains, allowing their physical body to die.

Death is such a necessary and blessed occurrence. It is to be honored the same as beginnings of life. One cannot happen without the other. And, to try and stop the process is to go out of alignment with nature, against our truth. This is the only real way that death hurts.

When I journeyed in Teotihuacan this past summer, I went through the dying of my old self to be born as my new self. It is a lot like getting rid of all the things in our closet that does not fit anymore. It is about pure love; pure acceptance of who we really are in basis. It is truly becoming who we are by way of uncovering it.

Who we are is always changing just as the tides of the oceans, the moon phases and all cycles through all of life. This is eternal. This is something we can trust that will never go away. Our one and only Self is constantly dying and renewing.

Death is life. Just as giving is receiving. When we hold ourselves back from receiving, we are stopping the gifts of another from flowing, in turn, stopping our flow. Our act of closing and non-acceptance is resistance and is what causes suffering; suffocation. We can always choose to open. With awareness and work of the Warrior inside, we can do it. It is within our will.

Nearing the end of the act of giving birth, and death there is quickening of labor pains. We can see this in the earth when she is about to expel or ignite. We can see this with earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis. The contractions come quickly, as a rhythm in ceremony, until nature takes course and there is a breakthrough.

The fear of the unknown as we are close to passing through the veil between this dream and the next causes our contractions. It is our natural sensing of the coming, and body’s reaction. In this way fear, along with self awareness, is necessary. A woman’s body produces big amounts of adrenaline during fear. As she is aware of herself; both of her fear and the inevitability of the passing that is about to happen, her self awareness increases, causing her body to produce oxytocin, a chemical produced by love and nurturing. She is, at this point, loving her life for all it is worth, seeing that her death is nearing. Flesh splits as earth does during an earthquake, blood gushes, and the death of the body is accepted as new life is birthing.

This surrender, and acceptance happens for the birthing is of anything in life. When a person works really hard at bringing a project they’ve been working on, such as a book to a completion, death of the old self has been accepted in order to reign in the new creation.

I see the birthing pains happening more these days. It is quickening where I am. As I write this at the home of my elderly client whose health has taken a turn closer toward death, I witness the contractions felt of life beginning to bow down to the great master, life itself in purest form after all else has been taken away, one by one.

There is the birthing pains of the disappointment we faced with the recent US presidential election. This is good. This is training to come in closer to what we’re made of, and gives us time to train a little longer. This tells us that our blessing is still ahead of us.

These are the labor pain days for me as I am trying to juggle a busy life with kids, twelve hour work days, and working on my creations everyday. I’ve come tighter in on my pains of schedules and decision making to make each of my days productive toward my goals. I’ve had to accept a lot of defeats, and have seen the glory found in deeper levels of surrendering. I’ve felt the call to leave a legacy upon the earth, so I am writing, singing, connecting, and whatever else I find to do that will leave a mark, the way early humans must have felt when they engraved signs and symbols on cave walls, and on the pyramids.

It is an amazing honor to witness the process of this crazy, busy, messy, life! One thing my soul knows for sure is that it will keep continuing.  And, I am glad in it!

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