Dear Soul on the Other Side of the Screen,
When we are in pain ourselves or are empathically attuned to another's pain, it's normal to experience suffering. Often, healing occurs when we remember our alchemical potential to transform our pain into purpose, our suffering into service, our confusion into trust, our fear into love. The words seem trite if all you do is read them, but if you reflect on a moment when you truly transitioned from the ego's perception of lack into the soul's love of growth, you might be able to relate. Transformation is non-linear. Healing takes as long as it takes, and some paths are more efficient than others (and more enjoyable). My prayer has always been that Qoya supports individuals and the collective to remember our essence, our essence that has the presence to heal.
Qoya began when a woman raised her hand and asked, "How do I get out of my head and into my body?" Most sedentary moderners primarily identify with their thoughts and frequently disconnect from the wisdom, wildness and freedom available in the body. How does one transition? I was part of something called the Embodiment Conference this week, where hundreds of speakers gathered together to talk about what Embodiment is. It's free and you can listen to past talks here. I was honored to be a part of it since I truly believe that embodiment is the best way to embrace the reality of our challenges, invoke the courage of our capacity to feel them, and transform them into a source of nourishment and inspiration for the soul's journey. Embodiment begins with noticing how you feel in your body and then honoring how you feel. It's simple, but not always easy.
Fortunately or unfortunately, there's no way to bypass the value of lived experience on the path of embodiment. At some point, its infinite animating spark demands to be felt as a sensation of energy surging through breath and bones.
Perhaps you'd like to explore how this could work in your body. Take something personal that's unreconciled in your life — something that has a charge to it — and set your desired resolution as your intention. Think of what the wish, hope, or prayer is, then either say aloud or write down on a piece of paper, "My intention is...." Next, lay your hands on your body, and notice how it feels to physically align with this intention. For example, if my intention is kindness, the feeling for me is a soft melting sensation in the body. From here, you can experiment on how it feels to say, think, or write something versus to notice and honor it by feeling it in your whole body.
You can do this intention setting video sitting down in a chair or standing up. Practice reclaiming the language of your body to speak the sentence of your intention not only in your mind but with the language of embodiment by the way you breathe, lift your arms, and feel the physical sensation of the air on your skin.
Next, imagine exploring the opposite of your intention. Place your hands on your body and notice: what would it feel like in your body if you don't live into this intention? What is the consequence of not prioritizing or staying present with this for yourself? You can turn on a song or dance along with this video, asking your body this question and simply noticing how it feels.
After dancing with the shadow or contrast of your intention, the next part of a Qoya class is the invitation to keep the discernment and wisdom gained from that dance, but release any discomfort held in the body by shaking each part of the body for 10 seconds. Again, you can put on a song you love or dance along with me in this video.
Finally, after shaking, notice if movement was medicine for you. Were you able to move through something because of your willingness to feel it? Could you cultivate the courage to experience discomfort as well as claim freedom from it?
I ask this because we are coming upon a Full Moon in Gemini, and as a triple Gemini myself (Sun, Moon and Venus), I find that the most powerful aspect of this energy is our ability to feel how multiple things can be true at the same time. This can be difficult for the mind that compartmentalizes, but easier for the body that feels and in feeling, seeds of compassion for multiplicity are sown.
Our Qoya resident astrologer Virginia Rosenberg shares:
The Full Moon in Gemini on November 23, 2018 (12:39am EST) marks a new chapter of growth. Move beyond opinion. Break your common picture and widen your lens to see a bigger one. What does it take to gain understanding? Experience and exploration. Is learning a process of personal growth or the ongoing discovery that we Do Not Know? The true knowing we need is already in our bones, set free as we traverse our path. Everything is in motion, seeming to hang in a precarious balance. The last year has brought many darknesses to light, shaking us awake through rapid transformations. Decomposition, dismantling, and uncertainty has permeated our global climate. The Earth and all her children are shapeshifting, becoming alien to what once was through adaptation. We are journeying through foreign worlds, connecting to far-away lands. To go the distance, we expand our capacities. Things are at once impossible to predict — and somehow symbolically patterned. Opposites and contradictions are weaving together in quilts of complexity. The process of evolving towards new heights is befuddling and astounding. Culture shock and the vividness of discovery can be overwhelming. Question everything, including your own perceptions. Open them to a process of re-view, re-visioning, and re-wiring. If being right was of no consequence, what would you trust? Where do you place your faith? What hope does your spirit hold? Celebrate that, and set it free.
Speaking of free, what would it feel like in your body to live into your intention fully ~ wisely, wildly and freely? Would you be willing to turn on a song you love or dance with me in this video to explore that feeling for you?
For those of us who live in the United States, we are also coming into the holiday of Thanksgiving. While gratitude is something that Qoya is rooted in, it's rooted in gratitude because of the wisdom traditions I received from studying from the indigenous Q'ero people in Peru. Jen Deerinwater, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma who writes for the Indigenous storytelling platform Crushing Colonialism says, “There’s just no way to celebrate Thanksgiving without celebrating Native genocide.” I invite you to explore how you can honor the power of gratitude in your life AND in the same heart, honor the pain and suffering that colonization has had on the indigenous people who lived on the land of the United States long before the Mayflower arrived.
Here are two articles that offer ways to expand your capacity for multiple truths to exist within yourself:
In the spirit of a Gemini full moon, I pray that we cultivate the ability to see our intentions, our shadows, and our freedoms within ourselves while we also hold the vision for our collective intentions, see our collective shadow, and invest in the possibility of our collective freedom.
P.S. For those of you who live in or have access to NYC, I invite you to join me for a donation-based class in New York Cityon Monday, December 3rd at 7:00pm with the theme of Gratitude as a Superpower.
To continue diving into the energy of this Gemini moon, you may also be inspired to check out the Embodied Astrology Gemini course (only $16.50 in this week's Cyber Week Sale!) which includes an introductory video to give you an overview of Gemini's aspects, a Qoya Movement Ritual so you can embody your own personal relationship to Gemini, an integration video with an exercise to apply in your life, worksheets with journal prompts, and a blessing for deep reflection.
Click here to learn more.
You might also be interested in the Embodied Astrology Sagittarius course as we move into the visionary season of Sag.
Qoya Cyber Week Sale Begins!
From November 22 - 30, we're extending even more invitations to dance with us in our Cyber Week Sale!
50-70% off clothing & accessories in the shop
$300 off the Collective Retreat (use the discount code CYBERWEEK at checkout)
Prices on online courses and items in our online shop are as marked.
Questions? Say hi to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ONLINE INTENSIVE 2019
For the first time ever, Qoya founder Rochelle Schieck is offering her level 3 Intensive teacher training online with the intention to make Qoya teacher training accessible to women who are unable to travel in order to complete their Qoya teacher training.
Click here to learn more and apply.
Love this blog?
Enjoy more Qoya movements, rituals, and philosophies in our online course, A Call to Create, which helps you embody the wisdom of our book, Qoya: A Compass for Navigating an Embodied Life that is Wise, Wild and Free.
RETREATS TO REMEMBER YOUR ESSENCE
Hawaii Retreat with Rochelle: January 16 - 22, 2019 - LAST CALL - 2 spots left!
10 Year Anniversary of Qoya! Collective Retreat at Blue Spirit: March 23 - 30, 2019
New Zealand Retreat with Samar: April 17 - 22, 2019
Kripalu Retreat with Rochelle: June 30 - July 5, 2019 (enrollment opens soon!)
Multiversity Retreat with Rochelle: July 21-26, 2019 (enrollment opens soon!)
India Retreat with Rochelle: October 13 - 22, 2019
INITIATION TEACHER TRAININGS
Online Initiation with Sara: December 8 - 16, 2018
Sacramento, California with Kaci: January 25 - 27, 2019
Sydney, Australia with Jill: February 8 - 10, 2019
Paris, France with Claire: February 9 - 10, 2019 (taught in French)
Online Initiation with Rochelle: February 9 - 11
Studland, England with Sonja: March 23 - 24, 2019
Collective Retreat in Costa Rica with Qoya Collective Teachers: March 23 - 30, 2019
Worthing, England with Kate: May 11 - 12, 2019
INTENSIVE TEACHER TRAININGS
New Zealand with Samar: December 10 - 17, 2018
Nosara, Costa Rica with Samar and Claire: March 30 - April 6, 2019
Theologos, Greece with Sara and Claire: May 7 - 14, 2019
NEW: Online Intensive with Rochelle: May 4 - 11, 2019