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Loving Myself Loudly

Empowered Living, Loving Myself Loudly, Motherhood

The Freebirth of Fallon Grace

The birth of my first daughter Alexis left me a changed woman. She opened my eyes to a new realm of possibilities while clearly showing me what I did and didn’t want for not only my life, but the life of my children. With her birth I was called to something higher, an intuitive calling to stay home, to birth in my power. But given the unknown newness of labour in my body, and my heart condition I opted to choose the medical system. My choice, although I don’t regret it, confirmed everything my intuition had been telling me. My body was not designed to surrender and open within the walls of confinement. The entire process of navigating the medical system with my first pregnancy and birth taught me how to discern what I need, and advocate for my rights. To trust myself completely, and lean into my bodies wisdom.

My body is strong and capable.
My baby and body work together in harmony for the sweetest outcome.
Fear and control have no place in birth.
I have everything I need within me.
I was designed to birth beautifully.
No one knows what I need to facilitate a perfect birth more than ME.

So the moment my first daughter was born a spark was ignited. From that moment I knew I would choose differently for my second, and so I did.

The preparation for Fallon’s birth was rooted in self-love, it came in the decade of deep dive work of intimately knowing who I am body, mind, and soul. It came in the birth stories shared by my powerful soul sisters, the birth gatherings where women shared stories about birthing in power (Shoutout to Halifax Birth Talk), and in every woman who opened her heart to speak her truth. My confidence came from within, and was reinforced by the powerful women who came and birthed before me. In knowing myself deeply it was easy to meet my needs, to trust my intuition and manifest this birth.


In the long and mostly beautiful months of pregnancy I was quiet about what we were planning. I had a tight knit community of support women (also birthing freely and autonomously) who knew my hearts desires and plan, but outside of that small circle we told no one. Which if you know me or have followed me for awhile, you’d know almost killed me. I’m an open book and live for vulnerability and authentic living, but this was different. The decision to keep things quiet came from the desire to shield ourselves from fears that had no place in the story we were writing, the birth we were manifesting. I spent many days dreaming about this birth, and talking about it with my support team (My husband, best friend, and amazing friend/doula/RMT extraordinaire). Each time I dreamt about it, spoke about it and had the space to share freely I would feel my confidence rise. I knew this was coming to fruition and every cell in my body confirmed it with a vibration of delight. I was so certain, so confident that impatience and prodromal labour began to get the best of me.

With my first I gave birth exactly at 40 weeks, despite my persistent need to blab about due dates being bullshit. Given my timely delivery with my first, and the waves of sensations that began around 34 weeks, I was confident this girl was coming early. Little did I know she would come exactly one week “late”. Again I firmly believe this was her way of showing her personality much like my first.

In the weeks leading up to Fallon’s Birth I found myself hitting my breaking point. My hips were tight and didn’t seem to want to release no matter how much massage or stretching they received. I would find brief moments of relief after a loving visit and rub down from my Doula/RMT, or after 20 minutes of my Hubby lovingly putting his elbows to work. But the relief was fleeting and I was exhausted. As I approached closer and closer to 40 weeks, I found myself questioning if she would ever decide to come. In those moments I would sit at my birth altar and remind myself that she was coming, and its my job as her Mother to support her in her timing, not choosing it for my convenience or comfort. So the waiting, discomfort, and waves of sensation continued.

About three days before her birth we entered a heatwave, and things got a little spicier. My consistent prodromal labour had hit a new peak, but I refused to get myself excited. I surrendered to the bed and stayed close to the fan. Day one of this early labour I cruised through, the weeks leading up to this point had gotten me incredibly use to discomfort, allowing me to function when my 3 year old demanded my attention. Day two I hit a level of hopelessness and frustration. Up until this point I hadn’t allowed myself to fully feel it all. I had moments and blips of frustration, but I never fully gave into them. Typically I would find the silver lining before I got to deep and move back into a space of hopelessness, but this time was different. I was in the kitchen with my husband and a massive wave hit me and  grabbed the counter and lost it. I screamed “I don’t want to do this anymore, this isn’t fucking fair, and I’m so fucking done”! I bawled and I gave myself permission to let it all out. I was angry, I was exhausted, I was so done with feeling like I would be in limbo forever. I leaned into the discomfort and I felt the darkness that I had been trying so damn hard to avoid. It was immense, but it was brief, and soon enough I was back in my bedroom laughing at the state that I was somehow still in, knowing that tomorrow would mark 41 weeks.

I woke up That Sunday Morning with the same contractions and intensity, but I was done waiting for this girl. I was done putting our entire lives on hold and simply hoping she might decide to show up. So I turned to my husband and said “Fuck this, she’s not holding us back from enjoying another gorgeous day. We’re going to the beach”. So we packed up the car, gathered Alexis and headed off to the beach. When we arrived I felt a bit odd and so I decided to send Alexis and Geoff (my husband) down to the beach to set up while I visited the washroom. I sat down and to my surprise when I wiped it looked like I had gotten my freak on with a slug. Knowing full well that I was holding a good chunk of my mucous plug I brushed it off, cleaned myself up and headed down to join my family. My thought was “well you’ve been shedding bits of plug for weeks, this means nothing”.

We had been at the beach for maybe 40 minutes and Alexis was just starting to get into playing in the water when all of a sudden something shifted. I hadn’t gone in the ocean, yet my bathing suit started to feel wet. I looked at my husband with slight concern on my face and informed him that something was leaking from my vagina. Intuitively I knew what had happened, my waters were leaking, but I didn’t want to give anyone cause for panic, and I was convinced even if they had it meant nothing. So I casually mentioned that I wanted to go confirm my suspicions and that he and Alexis should stay and play. Trying my best not to alert one of the hundreds of people around us, which would ensue panic and commotion.

I got to the bathroom again, and sure enough my suit bottoms were covered in a warm clear fluid. Just as I was about to head back down to the beach to be with my family (while texting my best friend, and my doula/photographer to keep them in the loop) I immediately started voiding my bowels. Super glad I was conveniently on the toilet already! As this was happening I sent Geoff a quick text letting him know my waters were leaking, and my body was getting hella empty and he should probably get the car. I sat there on the toilet texting as he desperately tried to wrangle a 3 year old who really wanted to stay, and trying not the panic. Even with everything that had been happening, and all the signs I was still fully in denial. With each new development I simply thought to myself “well that’s interesting” and didn’t allow myself to engage more than that. I was too tired of weeks of disappointment. I casually waited by the parking lot peeling the sunburn on my belly from our last beach trip, while Geoff finally got Alexis back to the car. I was calm, cool, and interested in all the sensations I was experiencing. This happened around Noon.

We made our way home and sure enough the sensations halted the moment I walked in the door. We ate some lunch, and I laid frustrated on the couch until about 3pm. With each time I visualized my birth there had always been wildflowers present. In the final months of my pregnancy I had become fascinated and incredibly drawn to them, and I knew I wanted them at my birth. We had hoped to get some in the earlier days, and we did… but with things not progressing as swiftly as I thought they would, they kept dying. So with a burst of determination I left off the couch and proclaimed “we’re getting some damn wildflowers”. The moment we started to shift and get ourselves into the car, I was hit with the most intense wave yet. Continuing my phase of denial, and commitment to carrying on given the trend of everything halting anytime I stopped to wait, we went anyway. Instead of the vision of me heavily pregnant and elegantly picking wildflowers, it was more of a dictatorship from the passenger seat of the car as I sang my way through the waves. Pointing at which ditch I wanted my husband to forage from as we drove through his old neighbourhood. Ensuring he shook off the bugs before passing me the flowers, and texting my team while laughing at our current predicament. By 4pm we were back home with the most beautiful bouquet. The scene was fully set, my vision was coming to life, now she could come.

Once we were home and the flowers were placed Geoff popped a show on for Alexis so he could shift into supporting me. Things were starting to escalate, and I was almost ready to admit that this was it, that she was coming. Since the beach I hadn’t released anymore waters, but that was all about to change. I wandered into the bathroom trying to figure out what I needed, and grabbed the sink with the next wave of sensation. I felt like something had released, so I reached my hand down and in total awe was met with the same warm wetness I had experienced at the beach. “How cool is this” I proclaimed, to which Geoff replied “Have you looked at the floor”. Sure enough beneath me was a small puddle starting to form, and I entered into full birth geek mode. I couldn’t get over, or shut up about how cool my body was. My waters releasing was a completely new sensation for me, and they didn’t release on their own with my first. I was in complete awe of what my body was doing, and witnessing the beautiful fluid that held my girl safe and sound pooling onto the floor.

I got myself in the shower because it had been days since my last, and I wasn’t sure when I’d have the chance to shower again. I washed myself with my husbands help through sensations. It was sweet, it was special, but it was also starting to get a little frantic. As I felt the adrenaline rise I knew I needed my team, I needed touch, and I needed help grounding the space and myself. I finally sent the “please come” messages, and we quickly realized it was past 5 and Alexis would need food. Knowing my photographer and doula lived a ways out of town, I asked Geoff to call my best friend, Andrea. I knew he had to make food, but I was not in a space where I wanted to be alone. I needed someones presence with me as I rode the waves which were coming quicker and harder now. Ironically immediately after I had sent the initial message asking my team to come, I said to my husband “what if this isn’t it, what if I called too soon” and immediately things intensified breaking my last straw of denial, allowing me to surrender into the unfolding birth.

Little did I know, but Alison (my Doula/RMT/Reiki Master) was a lot closer than I anticipated and arrived first. The moment she walked into the space everything shifted and I felt myself land. The vision was coming together, and Geoff was able to sort out Alexis letting me breathe a sign of relief. Simultaneously I felt a grounding and lightening of the space. We headed into my birth den, our bedroom and I found myself on the ball leaning over my bed while Alison lovingly tended to my hips and shoulders. I thought to myself “yes, this is exactly what I need in this moment”. Soon after Andrea arrived, and I was so glad I had called her as she had always been a part of my vision, and I couldn’t imagine not having her loving presence there. She also witnessed my first birth of Alexis, and I wanted someone there to witness the shift in myself and these births. To reaffirm everything I had been feeling and already knew. Someone who could help me unpack it all after the fact. She was simply meant to be, and ended up playing a crucial support role for Geoff as things progressed.

Shortly Adelaide (Photographer) arrived, and something magical happened between the three women present. It almost felt as if the three of them created a container in my space. Like shields were lifted and we were hidden from the rest of the world. I felt completely, fully, and energetically held between them which allowed me to go deeper, remain present and lean into everything I was experiencing. I had nothing to fear, my wards were up, my space was safe.

In between waves we found ourselves gabbing and laughing, and it eventually dawned on me that I hadn’t eaten dinner. Not knowing how long this process would be, I figured I should eat something. Andrea lovingly prepared me some steamed broccoli at my request, which I devoured with absolute delight.

As time passed, I realized I had been incredibly comfortable even in my discomfort for a long while. I intuitively felt called to move and found my way to the hallway after a need to pee. Almost instantly I felt things shift again, and my body began releasing more of my waters. It was intense, it was incredible, and I allowed myself to stay curious, stay present, and continue surrendering to the process.

As I continued to labour I found myself getting lost in the sensations as they rose, and fully immersed in the comfort of everyday life that was unfolding around me in the moments in between. Alexis was thrilled at all the new friends for her to entertain, sure that they were only there for her enjoyment and not for mommy. Each of the women seamlessly weaved in and out of meeting her tiny demands and supporting me through the waves. It was one of the most beautiful things to be a part of, simply seeing a community of women in action, supporting a woman and her family through the expansion of birth. This is where magic unfolds, this is how it’s meant to feel. I kept finding my thoughts wondering what an impact this experience would have on my daughter. If this is her normal, how will this affect her births should she choose to have children of her own. What a thought, what a feeling!

Time was both non existent, and simultaneously flying at light speed. As Alison changed Alexis and got her ready for bed, I felt myself called back to the bathroom. I needed to make some room. The moment my bottom met the seat I found myself slip into full transition. Things escalated and for the first time it felt impossible to keep quiet. Alison made her way back to meet me in the washroom where I felt myself getting incredibly hot. I no longer had a break, and the waves were crashing one on top of another. I looked at her and said “this is too soon, there’s no way this can be transition” while intuitively fully knowing it absolutely was. Even in this intensity though I felt calm, I leaned into their intensity with a steady reminder in my ear from Alison “Yes Lin, you’re doing beautifully”. When the intensity built and it felt like I was briefly drowning I would feel a steady reassuring hand, or hear her whisper exactly what I needed to hear. It was amazing to feel and see her intuition at work, knowing exactly what I needed without me having to say anything. So tapped in, so in tune, so present in her power of support.

After what seemed like and endless amount of time on the toilet with no poop success, I heard a tiny voice shout “I NEED TO POOP”. Immediately I knew I would have to move, which felt almost impossible given the unrelenting sensations. I asked her to wait until I passed the peak of the sensation I was in the midst of, and moved the moment I felt I could. The second I got to the hallway I knew it was coming… Of course the moment I leave the bathroom my body would decide it’s time to shit. So I shouted for someone to get me a chux pad because If not I was going to coat the wall! Within seconds I was in a semi squat and experiencing a contraction that effectively emptied me. As the waves fell and rose I found myself making a joke about shitting on the floor in front of my best friends, because what else was there to do? A moment I’m sure none of us will forget. As this was all unfolding Alexis was finishing her own bowel movement and managed to hurt herself as she was leaving the bathroom. My Mother instincts had me wanting to run to her, but the reality of the situation had me surrender exactly where I was and trust that Daddy had her. Such a strange place to be, and what now feels like a taste of the pull between Mothering multiples, learning where Im most needed.

After the poop fiasco I had a brief moment of pause and I knew I needed to make my way to the bedroom, I knew we didn’t have long. Alison lovingly took time to cool my working body with cold cloths which felt divine in the moment. I could feel myself nearing a tipping point as no matter what position, or space I tried to get into I could no longer find even a moment of reprieve. I shifted back and fourth between moaning through the waves on the floor and trying to find rest leaning on the bed. I kept repeating to myself “yes, yes” as I called in the sensations and reminded myself that it meant my body was working at bringing my baby into my arms. Continuously reminding myself that the intensity I was feeling was bringing me closer and closer to joy.

Transition ended with a bang! A howl and cry of pain escaped me as I felt an immense amount of pressure. Something was happening, and I had no idea what. As I called out “what is happening, what is this” Alison reached out and an explosion erupted. A release of more fluid along with a bloody show, this was it, it wouldn’t be long now. Foolishly I thought I would have time. I heard so many stories of women having the opportunity to catch their breath and rest before baby descended. Thinking I would have time, and feeling the exhaustion of my body I tried to lay down… What a mistake! Apparently once Fallon decided she was ready to come, she was waiting for no one. In the midst of trying to lay down she slid into my birth canal in all the wrong places. Panic ensued as I frantically tried to simultaneously figure out what I needed, along with how I could communicate how those in the room could help me. She was full pressing on my perineum and I had visions of me ripping from V to A knowing if we stayed where we were it was unavoidable. My leg had been up in the air, but I didn’t have the strength to suspend it there. I screamed for someone to hold my leg to which Geoff misunderstood and tried to lower. OUCH! As I figured out that I needed to get on my hands and knees and was brainstorming ways to get there with minimal pain and movement suddenly she moved. She slipped completely back and out of the way and I leapt onto my hands and knees and breathed the biggest sigh of relief, along with a thank you. Now I was ready, now she could come. This was it. As the intensity passed I asked if Alexis was still awake, and if someone could go and get her. I knew she wouldn’t want to miss this.

Soon I felt her move back into position and could feel my body begin to work with her to bring her home. It was the wildest and most incredible feeling I’ve ever experienced. As she was crowning she took her time and on multiple occasions would start to make her way out, and then completely escape and disappear completely from view. I stayed with my breath and in complete awe of the experience. I could feel my body contracting, but it somehow felt softer and so much sweeter. At this point there was no longer pain, but instead an intense pleasure. Feeling her make her way in and out, allowing myself to relax and remain open so that everything could unfold as it needed. With no direction, no assistance, yet completely held in that safety net of support and love. Encapsulated by the excitement and energy in the room of each person present.

There was no fear, but only ecstatic joy and celebration. I was present and alive in my body, and this birth was unfolding exactly how I imagined it. As Alexis made her way into the room the excitement grew even greater. I remember weaving in and out of being present with my body and Fallon, while being fully aware and in awe of the dialogue of her big sisters excitement. As she began to finally crown and come Alexis squealed in delight. A few occasions I reached my hand down to feel her coming, something I had never done with my first. As she continued to make her way I could feel the burning of my skin, the familiar intensity of stretching to make room. As intense and fiery as it was, I found it easy to breathe into, to remain soft. I think the mere difference of being fully present and alive with my body through the experience, instead of being muted and lost by drugs with my first made all the difference. We took our time and I allowed FER to do most of the work. On two occasions I gave a nudge to move things along, out of my own selfish impatience of wanting to hold this new human. Once as she passed from brow to her neck, and once more for her shoulders.

The moment her lips escaped she began to make herself known. Immediately she started crying, already tugging on my heart strings. I began talking to her immediately, responding to her cries. Originally I had planned to catch her myself, but as I reached back and tried I immediately felt myself get pulled out of the zone and space I was in. Knowing I wanted to stay there in that fully present space as both witness and facilitator, I asked my husband to step up. Nervously he jumped in with heaps of support from Alison which was beautiful to hear in the background.

As her shoulders came and I felt her turn I knew i was going to need another breath. I shouted “DON’T PULL” but it was too late, and Geoff in an adrenaline fuelled moment had instinctually pulled her towards him. I gave him a quick snarl and then immediately returned to my state of birth bliss as Alison took her and handed her to me. After a mere 10 minutes of “pushing” she was here, in my arms, healthy, happy, and so alive!

WE DID IT! With all the buzz, love, and celebration in the room we realized we never looked at the clock. So we guessed she was born around 8:15pm and that’s the story we’re sticking to as it was close to 8:20 when we realized we hadn’t checked. I was in total bliss and complete awe of my body, and this new baby cradled in my arms. As I went to see if she would latch, I soon realized I was covered in all of the things and laughed at the total disconnection due to the oxytocin high. Andrea brought me coconut water, Alexis and Geoff marvelled at this new addition to our family, and Alison celebrated with me. We had lived the birth that we had both been actively manifesting for months, we made it.

Once I had her latched I felt my placenta coming. The smooth, soft, warm and familiar feeling. The finishing and closing of a chapter, the beginning of something new. “I think my placenta is coming, I feel like i’m birthing something” I said as Alison reached down to confirm my suspicions. With Geoff’s help they placed it in a bowl, and I finally decided I should make my way to the bed. I handed Fallon to Geoff, who at lightening speed ripped off his shirt and placed her on is chest.

We climbed into the bed baby, placenta and all as cleanup started to happen at the foot of the bed, and Andrea headed to the kitchen to prepare some nourishment after a powerfully exhausting birth. Just broccoli didn’t quite cut it, mama was hungry!

After awhile we decided it was time to burn the cord, something I had been looking forward to. So often the cord is severed and cut quickly, but i’ve always been drawn to the slow process of separating the cord as a family. Originally I had envisioned Alexis and Geoff helping with the burning process, but a 3 year old only has so much attention span, and distracted 3 year old is not a good mix with fire. So Alison stepped in and held a flame, and Geoff (for all but the last 3 minutes) held the other. It was a bit awkward, hilarious, and I had the placenta bowl dropped on me twice. But it was special and felt true to the hilarity that is our life and family. A little messy, awkward, yet equally amazing. If you plan on cord burning I HIGHLY suggest getting a box, we did not.

Once the cord was burned, I tied it off and ate the delicious stir fry that Andrea had prepared. Alison promptly headed to the kitchen and prepared me the most delicious placenta smoothie to help me replenish and Adelaide headed home. In a haze of exhaustion, bliss, and still riding the high of everything we had witnessed. That night I got no sleep, I couldn’t come down and kept reliving our birth over and over again. Drinking in this beautiful new human that laid beside me, and thanking God for providing the path that led me to choose this Birth, to fully trust myself, my body, and the miracle of physiological birth. To allow what was designed to unfold undisturbed, unhindered, and steeped in nothing but love. I will forever be changed by this birth. Forever bonded to the women who held the space I needed to allow it’s beautiful unfolding. Forever sharing our story to champion a desperate change that the birth world needs, more women fully aware of their power, strength, and the truth that birth can be beautiful.

Autonomous birth starts with the courage to know yourself intimately, a foundation of self-love, and the desire to lean into what your body already knows. I am so grateful for the stories, the women, the networks which allowed me the access to wisdom, truth, power and facts that reinforced what I was being called to. My body was designed to birth freely, fiercely, and surrounded by nothing but love.


To view the full gallery of images captures by Adelaide Rodgers Photography click here

Empowered Living, Loving Myself Loudly, Motherhood

Who is it All For?

I remember at a very young age asking my mother when I could start shaving my legs. Everyone in my class was doing it, talking about it, and in my mind it was this rite of passage, this transition into womanhood. I remember the whispers in the hallway, the chatter in the change rooms and feeling so incredibly isolated from the crowd. I had this desperate need and longing to fit in, and I was willing to do whatever it took to make that happen, including asking my mother weekly when I could start shaving my legs.

I remember feeling ecstatic when she finally said yes, and then only hours later, overwhelmed as I hopelessly stared at an entire aisle of products designed to meet my need of crowd appeasing hair removal. I finally gathered my purchases and with that rush of excitement, paired with serious nerves I went to work in the bathroom. It wasn’t long before the magic and muster wore off…

When I was in the throws of daily grooming I remember feeling nothing but utter frustration, torture and pain. From ingrown hairs, to itchy bumps & 5 o’clock shadow I was miserable. It went from being this exciting rite of passage to this daunting horrible task that was thrust upon me. Shaving almost daily for mere hours of soft smooth skin. I remember the backaches from being hunched over in my bathroom performing yoga moves to get every last hair. The endless bandaids and bits of blood all over my bathroom from desperately trying to navigate around knees and ankles. Every day I would ask myself “why the fuck am I even doing this?!” But inevitably I would continue… until one day, I finally didn’t.

It wasn’t this grand feminist movement, or calculated choice. It was simply a woman seriously fed up with the years of discomfort for societies approval. I never shaved my hair for me, it was always to be in that space of “fitting in”, and so finally I allowed myself the space to release the old story and habit, to figure out if I really even needed to get rid of my hair as a preference to me. At the end of the day, my body should be ABOUT ME! How would I know if I even cared about my hair if I never gave myself a chance to experience it?

So I let it grow wild, I let it come in… and to be honest initially I was SOOOOOO UNCOMFORTABLE! But much like my journey with my body image I wanted to see if I could normalize it for myself, and eventually I did. It went from being the thing I couldn’t help but see, to something that I didn’t even think about. It went from being a big deal, to something that hardly ever crossed my mind. I started to seriously appreciate the extra time, the saved money, and the detachment to this idea that I needed to remove it. I got really comfortable with the idea of simply doing whatever I felt like, and so some days I would remove it on a whim, a desire to try something new, much like I would with a new haircut or colour. Other times I would let it grow in areas for months or even years. I had successfully removed my attachment to the notion of not being able to be beautiful or desirable without removing my body hair. I was free to choose what my heart wanted, and it was wildly empowering.

Is this to say that you should or shouldn’t have hair? LORD NO! It’s merely a conversation spark. Something to get you asking the questions like “am I doing this for me?” Because at the end of the day, that’s what matters most. Whatever you do, you’ve got to do for you, Boo. Do what makes you comfortable, what makes you happy & what makes you feel like an absolute QUEEN!

xx Lindsay

Brilliant Business, Empowered Living, Loving Myself Loudly, Motherhood, Yogi Lifestyle

Learning The Lesson of Self Care – Big Business Bust & Breakthrough

Hustle.
Heart.
Push.
Shove.
Break.
Surrender…

This week has come in waves, allowing lessons to come full circle and permeate my soul. I’ve been a hustler & lady boss for the past 4.5 years, going against the grain and choosing how I want to organize my life, and ultimately earn an income through sharing my passions and gifts. It sounds glamorous, I know, but truthfully it’s not always sunshine and roses, and it takes a metric shit ton of energy, focus and determination. Throw in an unpredictable 2 year old, Retreat launch, and a whole lot of social media wrangling and to say I was overwhelmed would be an understatement.

I preach self love & care on the regular, and it’s absolutely a foundation of the life that I’ve built for myself. That being said, being the strong willed, passionately stubborn Aries that I am, occasionally I get caught up in the hustle and forget about the importance of harmony.

How sexy does that words sound to you? Harmony! YES! Who doesn’t want more of that in their life, am I right?

This week I got full on tunnel vision into the massive output required with the projects and circus that is my life in this moment, and I forgot the all important lessons of matching my energy input. I forgot to ensure my cup was full. Want to know the result? CHAOS & STRESS! Pretty much the furthest thing form harmony…

Thankfully I have an incredible support system around me, and I had the smarts to lean on them. It took a quick message from a close friend who knows me & all that I stand for.

“First off take a deep breath, you are a yoga teacher after all. Before you drive yourself nuts, remember to check in with your energy levels. If it doesn’t feel good, don’t force it. It’s all energy, and the last thing you want to do is give away all your energy leaving your bank empty before you even get started.”

I got the message loud and clear. Get grounded, fill your cup, and trust the flow. Running on empty will never serve anyone, or allow me to serve the community of women that I’m here to support. So I unplugged. I thanked my friend for not being afraid to call me on my BS, and pushing me into some additional self care. I indulged in a delicious lunch with my cell phone out of arms reach, and headed to a yoga class. I pull my head out of my ass, and tapped back into that beautiful flow of my heart. And you know what? It not only worked, but it resulted in more success, growth & action thank I had experienced all week. In the time that I took for myself to practice what I preach, to refill my cup, 3 women decided to commit to themselves and I came out of class to new energy & funds in my account.

We have to prioritize our energy! We have to make a point of serving ourselves first and getting really good at giving back to us, especially for those of us in a position of serving others. Be it coaching, yoga teaching, a practitioner, or a mother, we need to make a point of filling our cups, and knowing that if things get crazier, we need to do even more for us, not less.

So how are you feeling in your life?
Are you feeling in flow?
Are you experiencing that ever elusive Harmony?
or…
Are you feeling much like I was this week?
Overwhelmed.. Burnt out.. Chaotic… in desperate need for a time out from life?

Take a moment here and get really honest with yourself. Whether you’re in the middle of a massive project or simply stuck in the throws of a traditional J.O.B. or Motherhood, how is your energy feeling? How is your body feeling? Is your mind stuck in a negative feedback loop that just seems like it won’t let up?

I feel you, and I want to help you.
Are you ready to help yourself too?

If your soul is screaming a big fat “LORD YES!” then this is for YOU.
A beautifully & thoughtfully crafted weekend of immense self love, and healing self care. The exact chance you’ve been longing for to completely unplug from life, and tap fully into your heart & soul. A dreamy weekend spent with likeminded women who fucking get it. A community to lean on, an experience designed to ignite and shape you, and the difference between feeling drained and completely overflowing.

Join me this October 27th-29th  for 3 days of Bliss. The Loving Myself Loudly Retreat Experience is exactly what you’ve been waiting for, so leap in and together lets step back into a place of Harmony & Flow. To find out more about this exclusive retreat opportunity along with how you can treat yoself visit our Facebook page and click on events. It’s time to invest in your absolute best, and I couldn’t be more excited to help you get back to you.

xx Lindsay Umlah

Empowered Living, Loving Myself Loudly, Yogi Lifestyle

Making Sacred Space & Fostering Meaningful Connection – Womyn’s Summit 2017

For most of my life I craved connection, but I had this beautiful knack of going about it in all the wrong ways. I spent heaps of time, energy and effort trying to fit into some mould that I thought would be more accepted, rather than connecting from an authentic space by finding my people. It didn’t matter how many “friends” were in my life, nothing felt satisfying because it was all built on this mountain of inauthentic fluff, and it left me with an even deeper longing for something more meaningful, it had me craving realness.

When I finally woke up, dusted myself off, and got to the meat of who I was, Hello self love journey, I cleared my life of those inauthentic connections, and was ready to find a space with more real, raw, unapologetic women, women I could dive deep, run long, and go hard in conversation with. I started making point of getting myself places that I was drawn to, places where I could make and foster these kinds of relationships. I started attending women centred organizations, events and retreats, and then I found Womyn’s Summit and suddenly the world got a lot bigger, brighter and a heck of a lot bolder.

My eyes were opened to a new community of beautiful soul centred individuals looking to live their most honest, wild and wonderful lives. Bringing up radical topics allowing empowering, challenging and deep conversations to unfold, offering knowledge by sharing the wisdom of our experiences, life and elders. I was completely blown away by the beauty of community living and support that’s so effortless shared at the summit.

I had found my people.

This was my third year hitting up The Summit, and as heart opening, soul connecting and incredible as each one has been, they’ve also all been completely different. This year I found there was more breathing room between sessions, and everything seems to flow with ease. The teahouse addition, and slower track made for ample connection opportunities, and I thrived in the space of welcomed conversation and intimate connection.

The biggest highlights for me are always the riveting conversations and unapologetic truth bombs that are dropped on the daily, both in sessions, and the spaces in between. This year there were a few other highlights that left me feeling renewed.

This year there was an ample opportunity for chanting, singing, and lifting our voices as individuals and a collective tribe of sisters. As someone that’s been leaning into the power of self expression, I soaked it all in, I thrived in it. Our first night together we had a powerful session of Goddess Kirtan led by Maryz and Michelle, of SuryaChandra. The energy in the yurt was palpable, and the vibrations carried us long after the chanting was over. We sang, we moved and celebrated together for what seemed like mere moments, and also an eternity in time. We set intentions for the upcoming days, and rooted ourselves in this higher vibration allowing us to better receive, speak and love throughout the coming days. The only word that can accurately describe what I felt is Magic, pure universal magic and intense love.

In the morning when I woke I still felt as if I was floating. I gradually pieced my belongings together, grabbed my mat and headed towards to big yurt in preparation for my first Kundalini Yoga experience in many many years. Leading the mornings class was the wild, wonderful, no BS queen herself, Anastasia Akasha Kaur. She led us through a series of mantras & kriyas that left me feeling invigorated, empowered and alive. Everything was presented in a way that allowed and encouraged honouring where you were. She enthusiastically encouraged us past our comfort zones, while allowing space for retreat and rest when needed. I felt held in her presence and it allowed me to go deeper with my practice, getting more in tune with myself. Previously when I’ve tried kundalini I’ve not felt connection to the practice, and often experienced frustration, agitation and fear. This was my first chance to fully slip into the practice, and it felt incredible!

There were so many beautiful workshops led by empowered wise women, like the closing of the bones ceremony led by Alison Capstick, a photography workshop and early morning walk with Chantal Richard-Mercier, Ecstatic Dance, a Twerkshop and so much more. The entire experience was empowering, enriching, soul nourishing and left me feeling reconnected and fulfilled. A highlight of my summer every single year.

One thing in my years of personal development, self love, and journeying that I’ve come to deeply understand, is that in order to accelerate our growth, we need a tribe. We need a community of like minded souls that we can connect with, that we can be real with, that we can grow with. In the same respect we need experiences. We need to be allowed the space to shut out the world around us for a few days, to dive deep into space of self care, soul nourishing, passion igniting experiences.

Much like our beloved technology that occasionally goes on the fritz, sometimes we just need to shut down. To unplug from it all, and reset. Recalibrate, reground, reconnect and get back to what we love, to fill our cup, and set us back on our path to growth. You owe it to yourself to gift yourself at least one big experience a year, to enrich, deepen and expand your growth.

If you’re ready to dive deep, connect to tribe & reignite a love connection with self then join me, Lindsay Umlah for our upcoming signature Loving Myself Loudly Yoga Retreat. This magical weekend experience is happening on the beautiful sacred grounds of Windhorse Farm, October 27th-29th. Enjoy self love coaching, yoga magic, meaningful connection and a weekend thats guaranteed to fill your cup, and leave you overflowing with new energy and appreciation for yourself.

Early bird prices are still available until September 18th, with prices starting at just $370 + HST. So go ahead and treat yourself, give back to you and set the tone as we prepare to wrap up the year.

xx Lindsay Umlah

All photos are by the beautiful Melissa Boucher-Guilbert

Empowered Living, Loving Myself Loudly

Daily Rituals for Self-Love and Care

Life can sometimes feel like such an intense juggle of rushing from one thing to another, upholding our commitments to work life, friends and family, that trying to squeeze in a li’l somethin’ somthin’ for ourself can end up falling to the bottom of the list.

One of the best ways I’ve found to incorporate acts of intentional self-nourishment, which ultimately communicates a message “You are worthy of your own energy, love and care!” is to build it in to your daily rhythm. Make a habit out of it!

If you try to squeeze it in “somewhere” or think “I’d do it whenever I get a free moment”, you’ll likely wait far too long before you finally tend to yourself and your needs. I see this happen again and again, and before you know it, you’re completely run down, overstretched and frankly, in a self-care emergency.

Practicing intentional self-care, little and often is incredibly powerful! By creating simple rituals at the beginning and end of your day, you begin to create carve out a new habit. Like all habits, your creation of a daily ritual for self-love and care, will take clear focus and intention to begin with, but once you are in the flow, you’ll be doing it automatically!

Before we go any further, let’s talk about ritual. What is it exactly? A ritual is an intentional act that creates meaning in our life. The intentions embedded within the actions of self-care are as important, if not more important than the activity itself.

What’s the point of taking a bubble bath at the end of the day, if you’re laying there worrying about an argument you had with your husband, or listening to some audio related to your work in the process? Umm, no. Ritualizing the acts of self-love and care will ensure that you are crystal clear on your intentions for the activity, to give it more deep meaning (and boundary it from the rest of your life!)

One of my favourite practices to initiate ritual is to light a candle. This simple act creates sacred space. In the example of taking a bath, I fill my bathroom with candles, soothing music and nice smells. This creates a “bhav”, which is Sanskrit for mood; all the elements in the environment are creating meaning and aligning with the intention of: relaxation.

I use the bath example only because I know so many people enjoy baths for relaxation and self-care (myself included) but today I am sharing 3 even simpler rituals you can explore at the beginning, or end of your day for cultivating self-love and care.

3 Simple Daily Rituals for Self-Love and Care.

Wake Up and Align with your Heart’s Desire.

In the same way you choose clothing to for the day, choose to begin the day aligned with your most heart felt desire, in Yoga practice the Sanskrit word for heart’s desire is “Sankulpa” (also sometimes translated to mean, Intention).

When you wake, light a candle, signaling your presence here and now; awake and ready for the day. Take 10 full deep breaths, coming more deeply in to presence, feeling your chest and heart space expand with the natural fullness of the breath. Ask yourself: “How Do I Want to Feel?” (Full credit to the Goddess who is Danielle La Porte (link to http://daniellelaporte.com) for this verbage) Allow the answer to come to you, rather than thinking/ going hunting for it. Stay open, present, clear and listen for your heart’s desire to emerge. If you enjoy meditation, you may wish to then sit for your meditation practice, as I do.

Self-Massage

Loving touch is an incredibly powerful way to stimulate the brain with the love hormone; oxytocin. It feels so good, we can give it to ourselves right now, and it’s free!. When you offer your self the care and nourishment of a self- massage you are giving yourself a pre-verbal message that you are taken care of, and loved. Choose a completely pure, organic if possible, oil that suits your skin type. As someone who runs warm, I like to use coconut oil as it has cool properties; if you tend to feel the cold, you could choose sesame oil, which is warming for the body.

I absolutely love self-massage with oil (in Ayurveda we call it Abhyanga) it feels so good, and as a self-care ritual, you can make it flexible. You can  do a full body oil massage just before you get in the shower in the morning (the body absorbs most of the oil, then the warm shower rinses off the residue, so your skin gets hydrated but you aren’t left feeling oily.) Or if you are shorter on time, once you are dressed and ready for the day, give yourself a hand massage.  Don’t underestimate the power of giving yourself your full presence while you massage, it can will turn the application of some hand-cream in to a divine moment of connection to self and the ocean love that exists within us all. Breathe, feel and be present to your touch. You could even add in a self-love affirmation, or chanting while you do it! Remember, it’s a ritual, and ritual is all about intention.

Gratitude Practice

I prefer to do this one in the evening, as it feels like such a positive way to end the day before tucking in to bed. But you may prefer to do it in the morning, if that fits better with your routine. Light a candle to create your sacred space and take 10 full deep breaths, coming more deeply in to presence, feeling your chest and heart space expand with the natural fullness of the breath. You may even like to lie down in bed to do this.

Place your hands on your body, you may like to cup your face as you would a small child or a lover; you may like to place your hands over your heart, over your belly or anywhere in your body where you have felt pain or tension recently.

Once you have that connection with yourself, hands on your body in an act of tender loving touch, speak some words of gratitude for your body or your life in general (silently or our loud) if nothing comes to mind you may like to try “Thank you, thank you, thank you for this life. Body-Mind-Spirit I am. So worthy of love and care” Lay with yourself breathing and allow the gratitude to flow.

You may like to try all 3 practices out at least initially, but a common mistake people make when forming new habits is that they try to do too much! So once you have decided which practice you want to incorporate as a Daily Ritual (and hey it might not be one of these three, maybe, you’ve been reminded of something else that works even better for you- do that!) make a little chart with dates for a 30 day period and boxes to check off. Place it where you will see it, and each day you do your ritual place a STAR in the box! Keep that chain of stars going and after 30 days you are well on your way to creating a habit.

I hope you enjoy having a play with these practices and let me know how you go in the comments below!

By Kate “Self-Care Evangelist” Clugston

Kate is the Founder of Radical Self Care Project (Link to http://radicalselfcareproject.com )  runs a small yoga studio (link to http://katealexandra.com.au )based in Sydney Australia. Kate’s gift as a teacher is in creating for space for wholehearted learning through embodiment; encouraging students to explore and apply yoga teachings to the wisdom of their own body.  She is the mother of two young children and a passionate advocate for women’s health and empowerment through the practices of self-care, self study and conscious activism.

Connect with Kate through her online offerings, including the free Radical Self Journal (link to : http://radicalselfcare.katealexandra.com.au/radical-self-journal  Radical Self Care Stories Podcast (link to: http://radicalselfcare.katealexandra.com.au/radical-self-care-stories and Guided Meditations

Brilliant Business, Empowered Living, Loving Myself Loudly, Yogi Lifestyle

Designing a Life you Love! – Desire Map Planner Review

I tend to be a fly by the seat of my pants kind of woman, taking inspired action and cues from the universe on what I should do and when I should act. As lovely as it is to be divinely driven, inspiration doesn’t always strike in a timely fashion, and this often doesn’t allow for enough clarity and focus.

Without clarity and focus inspiration runs dry, energy slows and movement comes to a halt. I’ve come to realize over the years that I can allow space in my days for freedom of expression, spontaneity and inspired action, but the greatest way to be in motion, is to know exactly where you’re going, and a rough roadmap of how you’re going to get there.

This is where planners come in hand, and when you can get your hands on a planner that not only keeps you focused and accountable, but allows space four deep soul exploration, personal growth and expansion, you know you’re in for a massive year. Enter The Desire Map Planner, a place for goals with soul, deep dive connection, and so much magic.

I was so excited to get my hands on the brand new 2018 planner not only for myself, but to review it for this beautiful following. I’ve been on the hunt for the past few years to find a planner that pulls together everything I need to find the flow in my business and life, and I feel like this planner is going to do just that. I’d love to spill into all of the details, beauty and carefully thought out features that this planner includes, but instead I attached my latest YouTube video which includes my first thoughts, looks and experience with the planner, along with why I cannot wait for the New Year so I can tuck in and start using it to it’s fullest.

What I can tell you is that adding a planner into your life, and getting in the practice of putting your goals, dreams and to do’s on paper is a game changer. Not only will it keep you focused and in a forward trajectory, but it allows you the opportunity for serious life reflection. It shines a light on when and where we’re showing up, when and where we’re holding back, and helps us figure out when we’re in alignment with our dream lives. Bringing a planner into my life and working with it diligently has taken me from a woman with goals and desires, to a  woman who’s living out her best life, something I want for each and every single one of you.

So what are you longing to create?
What goals and dreams to you have for you life?
What do you want your 2018 to FEEL like?

Whatever it is, you have the power to bring it to fruition, and with a little help and magic from this beautiful planner, and the wisdom sprinkled within it’s pages you will make heaps of magic unfold in the coming year.

Looking to gift yourself this gorgeous planner, or maybe treat a soulpreneurial friend? Grab it below!

Snag yours here:
http://www.daniellelaporte.com/store/…
The Desire Map Planner from Danielle LaPorte 2018 Daily (Teals & Gold): http://www.daniellelaporte.com/store/…
The Desire Map Planner from Danielle LaPorte 2018 Daily (Charcoal & Gold): http://www.daniellelaporte.com/store/…
The Desire Map Planner from Danielle LaPorte 2018 Weekly (Pinks & Gold): http://www.daniellelaporte.com/store/…
The Desire Map Planner from Danielle LaPorte 2018 Weekly (Charcoal & Gold): http://www.daniellelaporte.com/store/…

xx Lindsay

Brilliant Business, Empowered Living, Loving Myself Loudly

The Sting of Rejection – Building Resilience

Today I was rejected…

For a moment I let it sink in, i let it weight me down. I felt the bitter sting that for so many years I desperately tried to avoid.

For a moment i found myself back in my teenage years, clawing at anything and everything that I thought would bring me approval, attention, and love.

For a moment I slipped down the deep dark space of judgement. I allowed myself to listen to that voice that screamed so loud it echoed in my head “SEE, YOU AREN’T GOOD ENOUGH”…

For a moment I allowed my heart to cave in, and my feet to slip out from under me, and all of my insecurities to come crashing over me like a wave.

For a moment I placed my value in someone else’s hands, and for a moment i lost sight of who I am.

It doesn’t matter how long or deep into your self love journey you go, these moments will always arise, and when they do they will hurt just as deeply as they did in the beginning.

But guess what? When we make the time to do the work, when we become intentional with how we’re living our lives, and deepening our relationship to self, we have the ability to tap back into our truth. When we’ve allowed ourselves to feel and see our brilliance, it becomes harder to stay in a space of disbelief.

So for a moment I gave a fuck what you thought about me, and for a moment I gave myself over to the fear & doubt. But as quickly as it came, I allowed it to pass me by. I reminded myself of my strength, my beauty, and that there is no one else in this world that can dictate my worth.

I reminded myself of ME.

So don’t get discouraged if the moment comes, instead embrace it as the test that it is, and know that you’re building your resilience. With each moment that comes, your rebound will get shorter, and your light will only get brighter. You my friend are here for amazing things, so don’t stay down for too long.

xx Lindsay

Empowered Living, Loving Myself Loudly, Nutrition Wisdom, Yogi Lifestyle

Get The Body You’ve Always Wanted: 3 Tips for Total Self Love

With new year’s, come new goals, and often those goals or resolutions are centred around getting the perfect body, uncovering your six pack, or loosing the baby weight and finally sticking to a diet. We get blindly caught up in the rat race of quick fixes and programs in a constant quest to feel good in the skin that we’re in. I’ve got a little secret for you though, it’s never going to work. You cannot hate yourself into loving yourself, no matter which program, diet, or latest trend you try. Through my years of personal discovery, yo yo diets, and radical shifts I’ve come to uncover that the only true way to get the body you’ve always wanted, is to start loving the beautiful body that you already have. Ultimately our end goal is to love the skin that we’re in, so if we start there it’s incredible the lifelong changes that can and will happen as a result.

Spend Time Checking Out your Bad Self

That’s right, give yourself the once over at least once a day. Spend some time staring at your body as a whole, and sending some kind, loving, or kick ass words at yourself, but more importantly about yourself. We get so use to picking ourselves apart, that we forget to look at ourselves as a whole, and honour the magnificent being that we are. So start checking yourself out, make it a habit, give yourself a little wink or nod as you pass by a public mirror, or catch your reflection in a nearby window or storefront. Get comfortable looking at yourself, and spend time showering your body with love. it may feel totally cheesy and awkward at the beginning, but the more we do it, the more we start to believe it as our truth, because guess what babes, it is your truth! We are each uniquely and divinely created, and there is no one else on this earth exactly like us, and that in itself is MAGNIFICENT!

Dress to Impress, Yourself

How often have you purchased clothing because it was suitable, or would fit the occasion? Or purchased items just because they fit? I use to be completely and totally guilty of this, and when I dove deep into my personal self love journey, I decided to only purchase things that brought me immense joy. To only bring home items that I felt flattered my figure, showed off the areas that I loved, and that I felt like a total rockstar in. This simple shift has been an absolute game changer for how I feel about my body, and has allowed me to show up in life with a new confidence and boldness. When you feel confident in the clothes you’re in, it allows you to feel empowered and radically confident in your skin as well. When you look and feel like a badass, you become totally unstoppable. So go ahed, invest in fewer quality pieces that bring you joy, that allow you to feel like the queen that you are, and highlight all of your favourite parts. Make it about you, and how you want to feel in your life, bring that magic into your wardrobe and own it.

Educate Yourself + Be Empowered

Knowledge will take you far, especially when it comes to basic knowledge and understanding of how to treat your body right. When you start to develop a loving relationship with yourself, you step into a place of wanting to do right by your body, and treat it with love and mad respect. When you back this desire with some key foundational knowledge about basic nutrition, and the power of exercise and movement, you’ll be floored at how much your lifestyle will begin to shift. It wasn’t until I started to radically love myself, that my diet, lifestyle and waist size shifted, for good. I was able to take the pressure off of where I was going, and enjoy where I was by simply doing right by my body day in and day out, and living in the moment by making my choices from a place of love. Honouring my body with my actions, and getting deeply connected to how those choices and actions made me feel both physically and emotionally. So focus on the love, and arm yourself with some basic knowledge by following some influential health and wellness leaders in your area, you’d be surprised by the free content that’s easily accessible through the internet these days. Find your people, and get your nerd on!

Essentially the secret to getting the body you’ve always wanted, is to take a bold step towards loving yourself where you are. Choosing to step up and own your brilliance, and work with your body towards your healthiest, happiest and most vibrant life. Self love is the key to radical lifelong changes, and I’m absolutely proof of just that. If you’re in need of a little nudge in the right direction, or some guidance on where to begin your journey to self love, be sure you’re following me on Instagram and Facebook where I’m often dishing out heaps of knowledge and experience on self love, as well as keeping you i the loop for my signature program, Loving Myself Loudly, which is designed to help you dive deeper into a relationship with your amazing self.

Whatever you choose to do, and however you move forward, I only ask that you explore the idea of what might happen if you felt confidence and beautiful in the skin that you’re already in.

xx Lindsay