You are what you eat. Including Roundup :-(

Soap box rant or another one of my inspired moments. You choose but I feel a desire to express because so many of us are struggling.

Over the last 20 years I’ve progressively had more and more inflammatory symptoms leading to an array of diagnoses and medical advice that has had one thing in common: That what I’m eating is not the problem. Food doesn’t cause XX or XX (other than food allergies, then of course, the food was the problem, but even that was subjective to what tests, what was happening, etc.).

Now that I’m moving to root cause inquiry, I’m finding that my toxic system has more to do with this stuff than anything else. And probably living in the middle of farm country with well water in the 80’s set me up for a doomed system, meaning a very sensitive system that even apparently good food harms.

However, I’ve had proof that cleaning up what I take in actually does work. And it is hard. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I’m not good at it at all. But when I get rid of all the chemicals that I can, including eating only organic and eating only animals that only ate organic and never ate grains, I see a HUGE difference.

It’s actually remarkable. Aches and pains that I thought were injuries disappear. Although I’ve always been an optimistic and “up” type of personality, my mental clarity and presence increased dramatically. My ability to concentrate was astonishing (and I’m a regular meditator).

But this is hard. It is expensive and our entire culture doesn’t support it and there is also the deeply personal intricacies that make it extremely hard to stay on this path. That is why I started training in a root mother medicine healthcare system (Ayurveda), so I could personally work on these things and support myself to finding as good health as I can given the circumstances of the world I live in.

Doing Yoga isn’t enough. Meditating isn’t enough. Personal processing and processing of ancient traumas isn’t enough. The fake pyramid food systems we’ve been fed is never going to work. We need to learn to live like our ancestors. We need to take a look at the whole entire system. What does my body need? What does my subtle body and my vital energy system need? How about my mind, my conditioned response? And how I express myself? And my deeply spiritual nature? We cannot ignore any of these and try the old “mind-over-matter” this if we want the best health we can have. We have to be deeply curious and be willing to fail and be frustrated and never completely have it right. We have to take 100% responsibility of what we take in: Through our mouths, our eyes, our ears, our noses, our skin and other ways we take in. Protect your consciousness to the best of your ability.

Every little bit helps. It may not be perfect but it is worthwhile. And let doctors help also but they don’t have the answers, they are here to support us. You be the authority on you.

Enheartenment and Loving Dogs

What I’ve learned from loving dogs:  From Lulu I learned to see my inherent goodness. Through her eyes, I could see my essence of love, my birthright. She was the most beautiful mirror. And wow, it sure broke my heart to lose her by my side. Lu came to me when I was in a cave. Through the 10 years I had with her, she walked with me out of that cave. 

I didn’t know that heartbreak would allow my heart to open even more and be able to hold more love. And with that, along came Belle as swiftly and mysteriously as Lulu came into our life. Perfect divine timing. And a perfect mirror to show me this vast and endless love. 

Then she promptly had 6 babies. 

To be continued…

#enheartenment #meditation #feelgoodyoga #puppypostpartum 

Rice Pudding – Ayurveda inspired

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • ½ cup basmati rice
  • 4 cups whole organic A2 milk
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 25 drops (to taste) SweetLeaf Valencia Orange flavored sweetener
  • Toasted coconut

Directions

  1. Rinse the rice and soak in water for 2-3 hours.
  2. Drain the rice and on medium heat saute in the ghee for 3-4 minutes, until fragrant and slightly translucent.
  3. Add the cardamom.
  4. Slowly add the milk about 1/2 cup at a time, continuously stirring.
  5. Lower heat and boil slowly for 30 minutes or more until the mixture reaches a slightly thick consistency, but you can stir it easily.
  6. It will thicken a little more when you let it cool.
  7. Garnish with toasted coconut.

Peace Practice

When we practice yoga, we are shifting our nervous systems to a state of rest. From this place is where peace and joy and authenticity arise…our natural, loving presence. From an unnatural state stuck in the “on” position is where confusion happens. We cannot see our way out. It’s like a maze we keep winding through making wrong turns and hitting blocks. For a moment we think we have the answers only to find we made another wrong turn and find another block.

For those of us who have reflective practices such as meditation, prayer, yoga etc, when we practice we are shifting away from this activated state and resting more and more. Each time we practice, that is our gift to the world. We land more in peace and joy and loving states which are natural and not manufactured. Take a moment today and to be still and breath. And pray. And shift. We can raise the vibration. We all can contribute to love.

Fierce Love

Sisters. Brothers. Read on, please.

Half of you will love this; half of you will hate this. Either way, we all seem to be affected deeply by another’s opinion, another’s point of view. But we don’t step away and ask why…we just project our personal and ‘right’ point of view in a way that shames and belittles others. Or we glorify and hold up the other.

I’ve been watching and listening and feeling with this in my nervous system for a week, a year, longer, this movement of women and myself and in many cases our brothers rise up and speak their truth, walk into a hostile fire knowing they will be burned, and do it anyway.

We justify points of view with #metoo, with scripture, with ‘Innocent until Proven Guilty’, with our maturity, with anything we can to use as a weapon to defend ourselves. Is this necessary?

Claim your experience. Own your perspective. And as half of your sisters and brothers come to glorify you or the other half to villainize you, realize that is their own perspective they cannot currently claim or own. Let’s pave the way for each person to be able to stand high, express their own truth without projecting onto another.

In my inner world I ask myself…constantly…questions like this when I’m really struggling with finding my truth: What is this I’m feeling? Is it new or old? Can I stay with this uncomfortableness and still state what I desire to express? Do I need anyone to agree with me? And this is a big one…do I feel superior or inferior to those who try to project upon me or who are stating different opinions?

Donald Trump is a gift to help me see what I couldn’t see before…the shadows lurking keeping me limited in my ability to express authentically. These strong reactions either side of the spectrum are opportunities for each of us to open up to this inner world in a deeper, more profound way, and find inner wisdom and creativity yearning to move through into this world.  Challenge yourself. Feel your feels. Speak truth even when it comes out messy and shaky and unwelcomed. Embrace your sisters and brothers as they brave this journey.

I prefer one on one discussions and open my time up freely. If you want to practice speaking your truth, claiming your experience, regardless if you ‘think’ I agree with you or not, please, come see me. Schedule here: https://jennbrooksyoga.as.me/tea

#notarepublicananymore #notademocrat #loveyourneighbor #notamused #claimyourtruth #compassion

Transformation

It was hard to get on my mat today…
And I’m the one in front of the room.

For many years, I’ve turned away from the external influencers, the media, minding my own business, fanning the flames of my own heart and tending to my transformation. Now the world begs me to bear witness, to let my heart break and to grieve. Without drama, without blame or judgment. Then the clouds clear and the subtle, radiant glow emanates and all is well – in this moment.

Is your heart hurting? Mine, too. Re-turn inward. Stay with the uncomfortableness, the pain. Allow the fiery transformation. Watch for projections that come from the ordinary mind doing what it does…then move that attention deeper…to your heart. Let it break just a little and see what happens. Feel. Share.

It was hard to get on my mat today…
And I’m glad I got here.

Nervous System Reset

Something I offer that you may be unaware of is a personalized restorative yoga experience that is designed to allow you to unwind accumulated physical, mental and emotional tension.  It’s a very personal experience and clients report to me they find it profoundly therapeutic.

For the next few weeks, earn a chance to experience your own personalized nervous system reset. For every Level I & II class you attend each week, I’ll enter your name in a drawing. At the end of Friday’s 10am class, I’ll draw a name and the recipient will have an opportunity to experience this unique session.

Promotion details: The session is non-transferrable and must be used within two weeks. One recipient each week. You may win more than once!

::OR::  schedule a session with me today instead of waiting for a drawing. <3

Nervous System Reset:  
Restorative Yoga is the radical pleasure of going slow. You will be supported by a variety of cushions and blankets while in relaxing yoga poses that aim to restore the body and mind to natural balance. Hands on yoga assists, hot or cold stones, energy sessions, and essential oil applications may be offered while the body is at rest.  Guided meditations and Yoga Nidra are also available. Through restorative practice, we begin to soothe our overstimulated sympathetic nervous systems and find relief from the stress of our busy lives. Come experience the magic of this deeply transformational practice. Paradoxically, by giving ourselves the gift of rest, we will discover more energy for family, work and creativity.

My private yoga sessions with Jenn are the most anticipated night of my week: One hour of restorative yoga with aromatherapy and hot stones in a calm quiet and soothing atmosphere can make even the most draining and hectic day seem “not too bad.” If you haven’t tried restorative yoga, you don’t know what you’re missing.  -Beth F.

The restorative yoga poses in Jenn’s session will calm and reset your entire body and mind to prepare you for total relaxtion. We do gentle stretches and work on regulated breathing and guided meditations while surrounded with blankets, bolsters, and essential oils. I started taking classes with Jenn at age 50 and I believe her yoga classes are a crucial part of maintaining my physical and mental health.       -Tina J., Chesapeake, Ohio.

Bhante Yogavacara Rahula

The Meditation Circle of Charleston (WV) is pleased to host a visit to Charleston and Huntington, W.Va., by the globe-trotting American-born Buddhist monk Bhante Yogavacara Rahula. (‘Bhante’ — BON-tay — is an honorific akin to ‘Reverand.’) Below is our tentative schedule for his visit, subject to modifications as we get closer. But we wanted to put the dates out there for people to reserve the time, if interested in attending. All events are free but we encourage people to show up before the starting time.

Bhante Rahula has a fascinating personal history, told in his autobiography, “One Night’s Shelter.” As described on one site: “This candid and highly readable autobiography of the well-known American Buddhist monk describes his transformation from a GI and drug-dealing hippie to becoming an ascetic contemplative in the Theravada tradition of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The unvarnished accounts caused some stir, as Bhante Rahula describes dealing drugs and getting arrested for smuggling a kilo of hashish from Afghanistan prior to his becoming a monk. He is now most well-known for integrating Hatha Yoga with Vipassana meditation.” He is also author of “The Way to Peace and Happiness,” “Meditation: The Mind and Body Connection” and “Breaking Through the Self-Delusion.”

DOWNLOAD: Read or download  pdf’s of Bhante Rahula’s books here.
BLOG: Visit Bhante Rahula’s blog here.
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THURSDAY, Oct. 136 to 8 p.m.
WHERE: PeaceTree Center, 5930 Mahood Dr., Barboursville, W.Va., (located about ten minutes from the Huntington Mall).
WHAT: Bhante Rahula will speak on “An Introduction to Meditation,” followed by meditation and Q-and-A.
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FRIDAY, Oct. 147 to 8 p.m.
WHERE: Unitarian Universalist Congregation520 Kanawha Blvd W, Charleston, W.Va.
WHAT: Meditation, Talk and Q-and-A.
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SATURDAY, Oct. 15
11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
WHERE: PeaceTree Center, 5930 Mahood Dr, Barboursville, W.Va., (located about ten minutes from the Huntington Mall).
WHAT: Yoga session followed by meditation and then Q-and-A.

5 to 7 p.m.:
WHERE: Unity of Kanawha Valley804 Myrtle Rd., Charleston, W.Va.
WHAT: Yoga session followed by talk on “Mindfulness in Daily Life”,  short meditation and Q-and-A.

Tues 7-8pm Free Family Yoga at the Museum!

While organizing the upcoming Family Yoga Event at the Huntington Museum of Art on June 21st, the idea of family yoga was immediately obvious to me.  My family is non-traditional and I think of not only my husband, step-daughters and their husbands, and of course, Ellie as my family…but also my husband’s extended family, my original family, my best friend who is my sister at heart, my yoga family… it quickly becomes clear… Family is All.  One tribe:  Family.

With that in mind, this Family Yoga event isn’t just about little kids coming with parents. It is also about parents bringing their parents, grandparents bringing grandchildren, the local baseball team, BFFs and red hat ladies (is that still a thing?), and knitting clubs coming to stretch out their tight shoulders, breath and be with their community. One Tribe.

And some of our family has abilities different than others.  With this peaceful time together, we hope to provide yoga that is accessible for all. Some may have physical mobility issues or differently-abled in their unique way…we hope to provide a practice that brings enjoyment to all who attend.  If you feel unsure, please feel free to contact me with any questions.  Email: huntingtonyoga@gmail.com.

How do you define family?

Here are links to my schedule and courses:
Drop in classes – Mon & Wed evenings
65 & Better – starts June 20th
Yoga Poses Clinics – Starts June 30th
Beyond the Poses: Yoga for the New Student – this fall