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Sunrise, Sunrise

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Donna Brickwood

I find myself recollecting about my days living outdoors in nature. My body became very in tune with the natural cycles of the day. I especially found this to be true in the winter months when the night appeared earlier. With the restriction of light and cold temperatures, it made you retreat to your bed just so you could snuggle up in those toasty blankets. I would heat up a hot water bottle for additional warmth. Let’s face it, that’s what got me through long winter months living out of a tent.

Nature in a way forced me to temper my Night Owl sleeping behavior, and I began to succinct myself with the natural rhythm and flow of the rising and falling of the Sun. The darkness would throw its blanket over me, and then I would arise with the natural movement of nature before sunrise. And what a beautiful landscape to see and witness the coming of the dawn. The transition from night to day as the morning twilight brightens the sky.

I was reintroduced to this pattern from an Ayurvedic perspective. As the theory is, the most productive time to awaken in the morning is about 1hr and a half before sunrise. In Sanskrit, the daily routine is called as Dinacharya. ‘Din’ means ‘day’ and ‘acharya’ means ‘to follow’ or ‘close to’. This practice sets the tone for the day, aligning you to more mindfulness and productivity.

Ayurveda recommends this auspicious time called- Brahma-muhurata which means ‘the time of Brahma…the pure consciousness – for rising up in morning. This time is also noted to be in the Vata time frame, from 2-6 a.m. This is a time indicative of natural movement in the atmosphere, aligning oneself to the time animals are most active. Like catching a wave of energy to ride through the day. Perfect time for meditation, observing nature with a sit spot practice, or maybe using the time to tap into your creative energies. In these recent days, I witness this time to move inward. A time to be of witness to my body. As the twilight shifts, I experience a subtle inner awakening down to my core. It is an opening or expansion of the light within me awakening. I realize I am filling my cup with the energy of the Sun.

In comparison, the period between 6-10a.m is Kapha time. This energy can be dense and slow. So, arising before this period will help to avoid the feeling of heaviness even after getting restful sleep. Give it a try! ;)

xo,
Donna

“Wey Gat” Wind Gate, Hudson River Valley

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A river born from the Tears of the Clouds. Its as if she holds an essence of the Divine, something unworldly that fell from the sky, the heavens. The natives called her “Muhheakunnuk” meaning “The River that Runs Both Ways”. In all of my travels, I still revel in the beauty of this majestic river, the valley I have called home for most of my life.
I can’t help but feel the power of these mountains and spirit of place, saturated in history, lore, exploration, and song.
I look to the north, as I paddle on the water. A passage through what was once called the “Wey-Gat” the Wind Gate, with the mighty Storm King to the West, Breakneck Ridge to the East. These mountains hold a presence that is felt for all those to bear witness and traverse its range. If you feel with your heart and listen intently, the winds will whisper an epic tale.
These mountain peaks hold a powerful place in my heart. As a child, I would beg my parents to bring me to the mountain. I would bathe in the springs and taste the young furled shoots of ferns growing along the mountainside.
As a young teen, I would spend countless nights gazing to the east, romancing the stars. I would soak in the sweeping winds upon High Point on Rte 218, a road filled with windy turns hugging each bend and curve of the mountains edge, dramatic cliff sides, and rocky ledges that tested your courage.
I knew this drive well. Yet, it always felt as if I was experiencing its inspiration for the first time. What will be around the next turn? These mountains reflected my life and calling of adventure.
I have been molded and shaped by this landscape, something primal, something wild as I captured pieces of its dynamic nature and embodied its omnipotence to my core.

I learned and embraced beauty, wisdom, and strength from high peaks, and vast views of the river that connected me to something in the distance, the unknown. I recollect the bones of my life over weathered time. These mountains hold my story, my footsteps eternally sunken into the earth.

 

 

Yoga Classes

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Thursdays

 

No Yin Yoga- Dec 7th

Gentle Yoga

with Jen Rutner

(On Hold until Further Notice)
Wednesdays 9:30-10:45am
Gentle Level

Gentle Yoga offers a slower-paced, supportive, and relaxing yoga practice that will challenge you in safe ways. This class will include breathing techniques, gentle stretching, conscious movement, and relaxation. Gentle Yoga classes are appropriate for those with movement limitations, body and joint stiffness, physical disabilities, and chronic illness, pain and fatigue. Please check in with the teacher before class to discuss your particular needs.

 

YIN YOGA!!

with Nancy Maldonado

Thursdays at 5:30pm-6:45pm

Yin yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga with postures, or asanas, that are held for longer periods of time—for beginners, it may range from 45 seconds to two minutes; more advanced practitioners may stay in one asana for five minutes or more.

Stay tuned, more classes may be added.

$18 Drop in

Discount Packages Available.

A Goddess Tribute

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There is a deep seeded passion. One that moves back into time and space. Where a young girl believes she can save the world. To be a protector of what she holds dear in her heart. Loved ones, her family, an idea, a belief, the natural world. Her heart lifts out of her chest like the Thunderbird, and propels itself forward as she knows from the depths of her core this is something sacred.

She carries a message within her, that she may not even be aware of at the time. But, like a blossoming of a flower ripens with age and experience. She knows she is nurturing something. She feels the strength building inside of her like the swelling of the tides. It rises within her like the flame of pure passion as she feels it in her throat like a ball rising to be released. It is in this process and moment of clarity that she links this to all that she has been leading up to at this point.
It is the message her soul has been waiting for, and the timeliness that the Earth and her People need in this moment.

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She embraces herself now as a Woman. A Goddess. A Fighter of the Good Fight.

Yes, there may be struggle, but she rises up like the Phoenix burning away her own fears, worries, and inner demons. She carries a fierceness within her. Not from anger, or self righteousness, but from the devotion of herself and connection to spirit, that she has a purpose, a mission. That only she can bring forth in her authenticity and unique nature.

She sees her truth and revels in the humility of her own reflection. She bows her heart to Source as she is also a witness of the Creator within.

She is the Mystery. She carries the void of pure potential within her womb, and cradles it with the grace of her own emotional maturity and conscious nature.
She is you. She is me. We recognize this in all the women and men of the ages, as we heal the collective karma of abuse and discontention.

She slays the negative aspects of the lower ego, and vibration that has her captured, and through her connection to the Divine, she knows what to do. She balances the world, and the illusion, as she balances the duality within herself.

She knows she embodies the feminine, acknowledges the masculine and child in her oneness. And exemplifies this in how she reacts to this world. She has an awareness of herself, she looks deep into the mirror of her soul, and not the superficial veneer. If she goes deep, she will find magic. She will touch the universe and open the veils of a world of possibilities. She closes the door to the world that tells her, no.
She is a force. And she owns the Goddess within.

She has enchantment in her eyes. A pillar of power in her stance. Her attention and focus is like the straightest of arrows. She focuses on her target with absolute conviction. She pulls back her bow in a silent crescendo, as she knows it is in the moment of release, and letting go, she must fill herself with a stillness. And only the purity of her breathe, and life force moves straight into the belly of her desires.

She is a catalyst for growth, a way finder, a seeker and quester of life’s great mysteries. She sees the teacher in everyone she meets, as it is an opportunity to witness the uniqueness of the Universe. She knows that all of you carry the stars, and the planets from within.

xo,
Donna

 

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Goddess Warrior Training
with Donna Brickwood & Dave Beck
$110
Oct 14th
10am-5pm
Bowdoin Park, Wappingers Falls NY

Archery, Awareness, Swords, Oh my!!
The Goddess Warrior is an archetype used in myth to emanate qualities and characteristics of the psyche. During this all day workshop, we will explore the many facets of feminine strength, wisdom, and prowess.

We will be integrating the wise woman that is deeply connected to the Earth, through nature connection and wisdom teachings. The fire that fuels your spirit.

*We will be powerfully focusing on intention, and hitting your mark with Archery, and the Symbolism of the Bow and Arrow.

*We will flow with martial arts movement, in hand to hand play, utilizing the power and energy of soft flowing water, as a metaphor of how to Live in Life, regardless of what is happening around you. This is a surrender and dance of how to deal with adversity in your life.

*You will walk away with tools of empowerment, as you allow the Warrior Goddess to emerge from your core. Fierce, Loving Protector that stands in her deepest truths of what she holds dear to her heart.

This class will create a deeper connection to your spiritual nature, as well as empower you to break through your barriers and limitations.

No experience necessary.
Some portions of this class is outdoors, dress weather appropriate. Bring water, a seat cushion, bug spray, journal/pen, lunch.
Please only RSVP with a definite as we need to know how many people are attending for material and equipment purposes.

All Equipment rentals included in cost.

Bless the Waters

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Bless the Waters

Sitting side by side, with 12 other women, of all ages. Grandmother Barbara Threecrow leads us in ceremony and prayer to honor the waters. We come together with purposeful hearts of appreciation and gratitude to bless the waters of the earth and in our bodies. The water signifies life, the blood of the earth. Without it, existence would cease to exist as we know it.
There are so many factors that threaten the purity of this source on a day to day basis when one truly looks at the issues we face in this regard, it could be quite overwhelming.

When we choose to See, we can create Shifts. Even if its in the very molecular body that holds the resonance of this element that literally courses through our veins, and flesh. Simply Being in this consciousness within our own selves, is an inner awareness that transcends us to holding a vessel of the Life Force that moves through you. Where you are a part of something grander, whole. A link to what connects us all. This water moves through the oceans, the rivers, all genders, all races, all animals, all plants. We then become a witness of the importance of why we nurture and protect this valuable resource.

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This is me, in the wilds of the Pine Barrens doing swamp gymnastics a.k.a. the Swamp Crawl. A training exercise of absolute Surrender, Hip deep in floating weeds and the unknown, grounding myself in the murky muds and roots of the lotus flowers. In the Surrender is Trust, a great metaphor for life.

Now, Im Not telling you, you have to go swamp swimming to get enlightened. However, One of my greatest moments of earth kinship just happened to be caught on film. There are other ways..
How do we engage in a bigger picture?

  • Give Thanks.

To your own bodies, the water you drink. The water that cleanses you, the rain that falls.

On an ongoing basis, It’s so profound when you decide to honor the smallest gesture of gratitude to the water. This internal reflection can create a new wave of understanding yourself in subtle and profound ways.

Dr. Emoto, a Japanese author, and researcher experimented with the power of intention and water. His claims are that positive and negative thoughts have a direct correlation to the molecular shape of water under microscope. These molecules were photographed upon freezing, and what was found were true gems, and artistry. His work has been on the cutting edge of linking the power of intent to our bodies and the natural world. Providing glimpses of what native people’s and ancient studies knew all along about their relationship to this element.
His work has been recognized throughout the years, you may have heard. But worth looking into time and time again, as a reminder of who we are.

  • Participate in a community that educates about our water and take action.

If you want to be aware of what’s happening locally, watchdog organizations such as river keeper go to far lengths to educate and protect the waters from encroaching potential threats. They need people to participate, to have voices, and share the message. We can choose to practice Stewardship and Caretake our land and resources for many generations ahead. The Waters, the Earth’s resources are all a Legacy we leave behind.

xo,

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Dusklit

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Just wanted to share a few pics! I had the honor to collaborate in this art piece, in which was saturated with Native Philosophies, Healing, and Deep Reverence for recognizing how our ancestors lived closely to the Earth. It is nurturing and heart opening to build something structurally and symbolically infused with wisdom, story telling, and appreciation for all things.

The Carved Ridge Pole extending from the smoke hole located at the top of the lodge expresses a point in connection between sky and earth where the four compass directions meet.

This pole follows the sun as an access and anchor to be the illumination from within. At night, the pole directs towards the East, New Beginnings. In anticipation of the rising sun, and is a reminder to be the Light even through the Darkness.

Ceremonial Wickiup (2017)
A collaboration between Donna Brickwood and Greg Slick

Ceremonial Wickiup is a site-specific structure largely based on Native American design. Made of saplings and other natural materials that are responsibly and respectfully harvested.

Mike Gulbrandsen from Reflections of Nature Landscaping also assisted in this build.

All Good Medicine.
Shuna.

The Power of The Sit Spot

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One of the most powerful connections I have made when doing profound soul searching, asking for guidance, or connecting to my vision, mission and purpose, was utilizing the Nature Sit Spot.
The Sit Spot became one of my greatest mentors and purest doorway to integrating my truth, my inner most nature, and self discovery.

On a daily basis, I would find an area that I felt drawn to in a natural setting. I would go out with an intention, or a question. And sit in deep, keen observation of my surroundings. It was a continuous surrender of my thoughts and expansion of my awareness.

Here, I would find beauty and insight in the smallest of details. The trees would speak to me through the patterns of bark, leaving written messages for me that only I could understand in that moment of presence. The ants would show me great strength and endurance, to be resilient and unwaivering. They showed me you can get a lot more done with community.
The winds told me to never give up on my dreams, and to keep moving through my inspiration courageously with trust.

At times in the night, I would light a small tipi fire for comfort in my night sits. Fire taught me to till the deep soils of what was in my heart, to move into the core, ash and embers to discover my deepest passions and how I am to direct that into action in my life. To be extremely clear about what I’m cultivating in the Now, and to surrender it into the next breath and the next…

So this is an invitation to find your seat. Feel free to share your discoveries, and insights on the Sacred Space Facebook page!

https://www.facebook.com/sacredspacebeacon/

I would love to hear about your experiences. Try the Sit Spot Challenge. 30 consecutive days in a row. Sunrise or Sunset are optimal times to get out there.. Don’t forget your Journal!
xo Donna Brickwood

Forest Therapy

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Follow your dreams-4
The Japanese, and most cultures that have an affinity for connecting to nature and making it a part of their lifestyle inherently know the profound benefits of time well spent in the forest. Forest Bathing has become a health trend in the asian culture as studies have shown the amazing benefits of doing a little “dirt time”.
(In my world, dirt time adapted by the community of Author, Master tracker, and Teacher Tom Brown, Jr is considered time spent connecting to the earth, and perfecting your skills related to nature and earth living. Such as, primitive skills, tracking, nature awareness and observation.)
“Studies in Japan have measured changes in immune markers and stress hormones in people who regularly walked in specific forests in Japan. In addition, people with diabetes but not taking insulin found substantial benefits by lowering blood glucose levels.” There are also studies indicating increases in human natural killer activity and expression of anti-cancer proteins.” Wikipedia
As some of you may know my slight obsession with aromatherapy, these various studies conclude the benefits of time in nature are discerned through the olfactory senses. The sense of smell, where your body integrates the constituents of plant, earth material and tree oils. The body can fully engage itself in its senses. Visually, we take in the beauty and perfection of the natural design and intimate connection we may have as we engage in this full body experience. Instead of the inundation of technology, modern gizmos and gadgets, we are fully immersed in our fundamental rooted nature, literally. We are nature. Not something outside of it. Our modern society just trains us this way. We live in a box, and we move from box to box. No wonder why we feel stifled, complacent, and disconnected.
The more in touch we are with this innate relationship with ourself and nature, as a living breathing organism, the more we can explore a unique opportunity to fully engage the potential of the human experience. One that is “In tune” with their surroundings and intuitive essence. If one treats it as such, nature is a connection to Source. A temple of Creation, a doorway to self discovery, and connection to the spirit that moves through all things.
To start your Forest Bathing experience..
  1. Simply Walk in Nature
Make it a meditative experience where you are engaging your senses. Breathe in life force energy fully and deeply. Feel the air on your skin, embrace the wind. Allow the radiance of the sun wash away your troubles and allow it to fuel your body with a light from within. Allow it to kickstart your internal fire, your passions, creativity, and drive.
  1. Find a Sweet Spot, aka Sit Spot                                                                                           Take 15 min to an hour to sit in a location you feel drawn to. Observe nature. Allow it to become a mirror to your own internal landscape. Note the behaviors of what crosses your path. Animals, insects.. Why did you feel drawn to the site? A specific tree, view..
     3.Stop to smell the Roses
        Sometimes when we think of an outdoor experience, we think maybe a hike would be          nice. And, that is a great opportunity to connect. However, sometimes we get caught up in moving from location A to B. Unfortunately, sometimes we miss everything around us when our view is just one foot in front of the other. As a bodyworker, its my job to watch body mechanics and movement. In my observations, we more often than not are staring at the floor. Allow your vision to wander. Stop to look at the patterns of bark, engage in the opportunity to indulge and bask in the pure essence and fragrance of a honeysuckle bush.
Allow nature to guide you, fuel you, expand you. We have all heard the expression “Commune with Nature” It is a relationship. A dynamic. A conversation. A listening, and a chance to be heard.
                           The Gods listen through the perception of Nature.
                                                  xo Donna Brickwood

Flirt with Struggle

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I awoke with the remembrance of wrestling a T-Rex dinosaur in my dreamworld. Hearing very clearly the words, Flirt with Struggle.

I decided to follow an instinct to find more spiritual clues around this, as spirit has a way of revealing wonders and profound insights. Sometimes, you just have to track, and pick up the trail when you find that you may be at a starting point of an intuitive pathway, teaching, or an unraveling message from the Divine.

I started where most of modern day explorers of information begin.. Google. Typing in the words “woman wrestling dinosaur”. What image comes up, but WONDER WOMAN riding T-REX almost as if she is taming the Beast!

With the recent movie coming to the Big Screen, a lot of women especially have connected with this Goddess Warrior Icon throughout the years. Wonder Woman symbolizes a strength that every woman could embody in their process of moving through challenge, obstacles, self perceived villains, and defending what is important to them.

It felt very clear that this representation of Wonder Woman embodied the words spoken of in my dream. The clues unravel further as I head into work that morning. I received a message from a client saying she is running a little late. Just enough time to go for a little walk as I felt compelled to go outside on a beautiful blustery day. There are always oppurtunites around us to connect with ourselves, and our environments. When we can move in states of surrendering and allow a higher state of awareness to guide us. You never know what mysteries and communications may surround you. Something catches my eye in a storefront window. It’s a human sized T-Rex stuffed animal! Not your typical Trex, but a colorful vibrant blue, spotted T-Rex!

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Now, isn’t that flirty and creative, I thought! How interesting are these subtle cues from the Universe. One must ask, how is this applicable to me as I use this as mirror to my own reflection, my own psyche, and internal process? The more I surrender to signs such as this, the more it reveals the awareness within oneself. Potentially answers we are searching for on this river of life.

As I reflect on its teaching I integrate how one must allow struggle to be a doorway of growth, where you can rise to the occasion with strength, and confidence. It’s in the resistance that we seek the greatest growth and evolution of how we move through the challenge.

Either we can allow our struggle, fear, or inner demons control us or we can lessen the degree of its impact on us, by knocking it off of the pedestal. Taming the beast, the metaphorical T-Rex. When we place emphasis on what bogs us down is when we give our power away. Of course there are things we have no control over. But, how we allow it to effect us on an emotional and physical level drives it deeper into the core, creating a foundation of weakness, of seperation, and sometimes even shame. Break the cycle. Most profoundly when this story is repeating and looping itself time and time again. How do I step off this hamster wheel of confusion? The beautiful thing is with repetition comes predictability. What pieces of this puzzle can you rearrange, the pieces you do have control over. The pieces you can be responsible for, emotional mastery. May we position ourselves to be in our alignment. And when we find those moments to step off and recourse the trajectory that allows us to create something different.
Dress up your demons, make them colorful, less intimidating. Transform your normal reactions to the obstacle, and flirt with struggle. Lessen it’s power by releasing the hold it has on you. Recognize opportunities to learn about yourself as you evolve and transform these monsters into allies.

xo

Donna

Wonder woman

Wonder woman

Trusting The Process

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Anxieties and fear may arise when we are not in our clarity. Sometimes it feels as if we are floating in space, suspended by time in the unknown and darkness of what may come next. What sometimes we fail to see, is that within the darkness lies the fullness  of potential. The unknown will always exist. So, how do we move in a place of a higher awareness of our selves and circumstance?
Practice embracing the mystery. And in the sea of darkness, embrace your pure potential, as a creator of your life. When we move into the dark we may enter into this dream like state. What are your dreams? What does it look like, feel like?  Move into the place of the unknown and color this canvas with what you wish to create. As potential is the stardust that awakens an idea, a thought, a vision.
When we find ourselves in the frey, the worries, shift your momentum of thought, again and again into the potential. Anchoring more and more with a positive shift of thought, and insight. Be led by your intuition, and be guided by your heart.
Heart centered guidance paves the path of trust, as you choose to align yourself more and more into the programming of your alignment.
Your body is hardwired to learn, to download programs into its system. The mind and consciousness creates patterns in your psyche in how it relates to an environment that is ever changing. It is open to suggestion. What are you communicating to your body/mind/spirit day in, and day out?
We can hardwire into our consciousness that we are aligned with “perfect and divine timing”. “That all my decisions are right decisions, I have the most success as I follow my heart. I know I am always at the right place at the right time. Everything is always working out for me”. Insert your own positive programs and affirmations here..”….”.
When we adapt this software into our minds and hearts, we can lean into trusting the process more and more. And when we do, we begin to see evidence of it in the world around us. Embracing the mystery becomes liberating as we can move more effortlessly and consciously into grace.
With every moment, with every breathe, we are in the mystery, in the unknown of what happens in the next.. in the next..
Breathe into this expansion, into your conscious participation, into the Awakened Self.
xo Donna Brickwood