We all have subconscious thought patterns that limit us from our greatest potential. Thoughts like “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t” are ingrained in us at a young age. Even though we don’t consciously think these thoughts, they impact every aspect of our lives.
You may wonder why you aren’t achieving your goals or why you’re experiencing plateaus in your health, career or relationships. Even though you have the best of intentions, something doesn’t work out or you end up self-sabotaging. Somewhere along the way, you picked up a belief that is preventing you from getting where you want to go.
The fastest and easiest way to clean your subconscious mind is through Kundalini Yoga and meditation. Your mind is like a dirty windshield full of 1,000s of thoughts that prevent you from seeing clearly. Through the science and technology of kundalini yoga, you’re able to get past what you are not to experience who and what you really are.
Kundalini Yoga is the yoga of awareness that began somewhere between 1,000 and 500 BC. It was originally a secret system known only amongst a few yogis. Yogi Bhajan who was a Master of Kundalini Yoga by the age of 16, brought the teachings to the West in 1969. Now, you can find classes all over the United States.
Kundalini Yoga is unique in that it focuses more on mental flexibility than physical flexibility. Rather than doing a flow, you do kriyas. Kriyas are a specific and complete set of actions that produce a certain result. They were passed down to us through Yogi Bhajan from the great yoga masters and are not to be changed. However, you can do exercises for less but never more than the time listed.
In a Kundalini Yoga Class, you can expect to do breathwork, meditation and kriyas (yoga sets) while listening to and sometimes chanting mantras. The mantras carry an ancient and healing sound current designed to target your subconscious mind. This sacred combination works to replace unhealthy thought patterns with better, healthier thoughts. In class, old thoughts and feelings may come up. That’s because you are processing and clearing away the blocked energy. Most students report feeling more energized, relaxed and clear-headed after class.
Scientifically, Kundalini Yoga works with your endocrine glands which produce hormones to help your body function. The glands work with the nervous system, the endocrine system, the chakra system, other glands and the organs. The Pituitary Gland is known as the ‘Master Gland’ because it controls the entire glandular system which includes the thyroid, parathyroid, adrenals, pancreas and reproductive glands. The Pituitary Gland secretes hormones that affect growth, blood pressure, protein synthesis, digestion, etc. Through the practice of Kundalini Yoga, you train your glands to secrete properly for optimal health and energy.
Kundalini yoga is a spiritual but not a religious practice. A lot of Kundalini practitioners choose to wear white clothing. This is because white contains all colors and is known to expand your aura about 1.5 feet. Some teachers and students cover their heads. The reason is when the kundalini energy rises to the crown chakra, you can sometimes get headaches or spaced out. A head covering helps you to focus. Kundalini yoga is a healing technology that is available to anyone interested in experiences that establish an aligned relationship between the body, mind and soul.
You could read for hours about what Kundalini Yoga is and how it works, but this is a practice that must be experienced. It’s unlike any other yoga or fitness program I’ve found. Once you start to tune into the kundalini energy that has been dormant inside of you for your whole life, you won’t want to turn back. For me, it was like waking up from a dark dream and realizing a new reality filled with so much love and light. It's not that all my problems have disappeared, I simply don't consider them problems any longer because I see them from a different perspective.
I’ve never been more passionate about something in my entire life. The science and technology of Kundalini Yoga has healed me. My vision is to guide as many people as possible in healing themselves. That's why I'll continue to share these teachings with you. Stay tuned for quick yoga and meditations coming to your inbox soon.
“We are at a crucial change of the time—a change of an Age. The basic sensitivity of people to their own psyche and to each other is shifting. Now we must all experience and know our mind so we can choose to act in an elevated and effective way. Nothing less will be acceptable in this Age of Awareness.”
Since the World Wide Web first became public in 1991, humans have had access to more information than ever before. Speed up to today when almost everyone is attached to a tiny computer at all times. Needless to say, the past 30 years have been dramatically different compared to the 30 years before that. Time continues to speed up as do our electronic devices. It’s hard to keep up with the latest technology that we now rely on for alarm clocks, navigation and constant communication.
How do we explain these drastic and fast-paced changes? Moreover, how do we thrive in an ever changing world that demands our constant attention? With so much information available, we need to learn how to use the data instead of letting the data use us. Humans need to get back to trusting their intuition more than artificial intelligence. We need to develop new ways of coping and connecting in the New Age.
We are officially on the cusp of the Aquarian Age. The Piscean Age was governed by the patriarchy, machines and organized religion. The new Aquarian Age is dominated by energy, awareness and information. Everyone can sense this shift in society, consciousness and how we perceive the world and each other. In the last Age we faced challenges like tuberculosis and smallpox. As we progress into the New Age, we’ll continue to confront spiritual ailments, depression and stress-related psychological illnesses that are now rising at a rapid rate.
It is up to us to build the foundation of the New Age. I feel called to participate in leading us from darkness to light. The best way I know how to do that is through a science and technology called Kundalini Yoga. Yogi Bhajan delivered the ancient and timeless teachings of Kundalini Yoga to the West in 1969. It is the fastest working yoga because it gives you the power to transform through a legacy of love and a lineage of enlightened souls called the Golden Chain. Though I could go on for pages explaining what Kundalini Yoga is, it’s something that must be experienced. And in a world teeming with information, what we need most are experiences that establish an aligned relationship between the body, mind and soul.
All this brings me to my new and improved newsletter: Wednesday Awakening with Greta. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know between 2015 and 2017 I sent an email every single Wednesday called “Wake up Wednesday with Greta”. Sadly, I stopped after a job change that left me with very little free time. I’m thrilled to announce I’m back and better than ever. As we enter into a fresh decade, I’m ready to show up and share my passion for natural health, self-healing and inner happiness. It’s clear that my role on this planet is to guide people in awakening to their truest and highest potential.
I’m grateful you’re here and along for the ride. You can expect 2 emails from me each month. In them, you’ll continue to learn about Kundalini Yoga and the Aquarian Age. You’ll get simple meditation techniques, yoga sets, breathwork exercises and natural health tips. I’ll share what’s inspiring me and helping me live my best life. Consider this a resource for becoming more aware, awake and alive during this expansive shift. Please feel free to reach out to me with any thoughts or requests. We’re in this together.
Have a beautiful and blessed day,
Today I want to talk about selfishness. Have you ever been called selfish? I definitely have.
As a young child, my nuclear family referred to me as, "Greta Gets Her Way". It came from relentlessly pushing for what I wanted until I got it. Of course, this attitude got worse in my teenage years. You could for sure say I acted like a selfish brat.
Thankfully, I had a huge wake up call. Between my 16th & 17th birthday, I started a yoga practice. It made me increasingly aware of my thoughts, word and actions. I grew more compassionate and considerate of others. Something shifted in a big way.
Entering adulthood, things got a little more complicated. I learned how important it is to know and ask for what you want. People pleasing isn't sustainable. There's a balancing act to giving and taking. To be healthy and happy, you must take care of yourself.
We know from airplane safety demonstrations that if you don't put your oxygen mask on first, you can't save anyone else...
There's an increasing number of social media influencers, bloggers and celebrities who strongly encourage a self-care practice. I personally know a lot of people (mostly women) who confuse this with selfishness. They've expressed feeling wrong for spending time and money on things like working out, pedicures, creative pursuits, starting a business, girls trips, even taking a bubble bath or afternoon nap. Because I am a HUGE advocate of self-care in all its glorious forms, I want to explain 2 different kinds of selfishness.
I see it like this: There's selfish (little "s") and Selfish (capital "S").
Little "s" selfish is not a good look on anyone. It comes in the form of greed, narrow-mindedness and narcissism. Think back to that snotty, pouting teenager who can't see beyond herself. Yucky things like belittling others to make yourself feel better, rudeness and incessant complaining fall into this form of (little "s") selfishness.
Selfish with a capital "S" is extremely important and necessary. This kind of Selfishness means you keep your side of the street clean through self-examination and personal development. It's prioritizing your health and fitness so you can provide for others. You give from a space of joy, not obligation or guilt. When it's time to rest, you rest. No means no. Yes means yes. Though you may disappoint others in the short term, you'll be a better version of yourself in the end. Selfishness (capital "S") could be classified as self-care and is never something to feel bad about.
Give yourself permission to be big "S" Selfish from here on out. Release all guilt and shame associated with self-care. Intuitively, you know how to put yourself first without hurting anyone in the process. There's a voice deep inside of you that's begging for your attention. Start listening to YOUR wants and needs so you don't fall into the trap of resentment and exhaustion. You owe yourself the same amount of love and care you offer others.
PUT IT INTO ACTION: Meditate on selfishness, Selfishness and self-care in your life. Schedule a minimum of 1 hour this week dedicated to YOU. Value that time like an important doctor's appointment. Sign up for a yoga class, get out your craft kit, enjoy a chick flick...whatever feels the most pleasurable. Notice any guilt that comes up during that time and let it go. Affirm that you're caring for yourself so you can better care for others. Increase this practice to 20 minutes to 1 hour each day.
I'm here to support you on your Selfish/Self-Care Journey. Let me know if you'd like to chat about this in more detail. All replies go straight to my private inbox, and I always reply.
Make today about being good to YOU!
This morning I had plans to meet a dear friend for coffee. We’re usually quite casual and flexible with each other, especially when it comes to timing. We almost expect our meetings to start and end a little later than the original arrangement.
Today was no different; I was running behind schedule. I found myself anxious and scrambling to get to the cafe on time. Around 10 minutes before I left my apartment, I texted to let her know I’d be leaving soon. And she quickly replied, “No rush!”
But I still felt rushed. I noticed my anxiety getting worse as the minutes passed by. My breath shortened and my pulse quickened. I wasn’t fully present to what I was doing because I was worrying about the future. It was an uncomfortable feeling that was completely self-induced.
Then I did do something different. I paused and realized I was creating unnecessary pain through my fabricated sense of urgency. My friend wasn’t in a hurry. Her text granted me permission to take the time I needed to get to her safely. So why was I stressing myself out over nothing? Simply noticing my reaction helped to significantly reduce my nervousness, if not eliminate it.
It’s so easy to project toxic thoughts and emotions into the stories of your day, often without it. Here are some examples that come to mind:
If the guy you’re dating doesn’t reply to your text message after 15 minutes, you start telling yourself he lost interest and probably started seeing someone else. You feel sad until 15 minutes after that he gets back to you like nothing changed.
You freak out on Wednesday night because no one signed up for your Thursday morning Pilates class. Your evening is spent feeling like a failure, and you believe they must not like your teaching style. But you show up to the studio the next day to find 3 people registered and 3 more dropped in at the last minute.
A colleague seems quieter than usual. She cancels your happy hour plans at the last minute. In your mind, she must be mad at you for something. You spend the day bummed out, trying to figure out why. Later that night, she informs you that her cat is sick and she needed to be home with her.
Think about all the time and energy you’ve wasted worrying about things that don’t exist. How much of your day are you spending in the past or future, participating in a narrative that only hurts you?
So much pain can be avoided by being accepting and present. Sure, you’re human and it’s natural for your mind to wander into fantasy land. But I encourage you to pause and notice your anxieties. Can you pinpoint where they’re coming from? Is it something real that you should take action on, or is your imagination running wild?
Even if the worst case scenario is true, your anguish isn’t serving you. You’re better off letting it go and letting it be. It’s probably not personal. Trust that what is happening is right...because it IS.
If you’re anything like me, you run a little bit anxious. Anxiety can be debilitating at times because it feels like there’s nothing you can do to stop it. But perhaps you do have the power to put it to a halt. Wouldn’t you say it’s worth a try?
I hope you’ll join me in this approach to living a joyful and anxiety-free life. Together, let’s encourage each other to step back and get curious about our feelings and the stories behind them. By letting go of judgement and observing from a space of inquiry, it’s easier to connect the dots around your anxieties. Sometimes one connection is all it takes to shift the storyline and start a new chapter; one where you’re empowered and life is working in your favor.
Take action today! Slow down. Listen to what you’re saying to yourself and others. Connect with your breath. Release what doesn’t serve you. Choose to see the positive. And welcome yourself back to the present moment where life is really happening.
I always used to tell people I have 2 Grandmas. My grandma Ertl was the warm, fluffy grandma who baked amazingly delicious chocolate chip cookies and told bedtime stories. Gosh, I loved that woman so much!
Then there was Grams. Grandma Foster (Mom or Marilyn, as many of you know her) was the spicy, sassy (and classy) grandma who taught me the importance of wearing fashionable jewelry and having your nails done. She always had the cutest (age appropriate) outfits. And she made sure she had a new one for every special occasion. Grams loved to drink vodka gimlets and smoke cigarettes...until she couldn't. Then she made do with red wine and one liners. She was the life of the party because she loved life so much.
Marilyn valued her family and friends, above all else. She always made time for the people she loved. When you talked to her, you knew she was listening because she remembered what you told her and always followed up to make sure whatever you were up to was going well. Grandma was loyal, honest and authentic which made her personality charming and magnetic to anyone who had the privilege of knowing her.
Grandma was always there for us. She showed up to every birthday, reunion, graduation, game and performance she could. Grams wanted to be part of the action and included in all the excitement. And when she couldn’t be there physically, grandma showed her support and told us how proud she was with phone calls and cards. She loved all of us the same amount, but she knew how to tailor her love and express it differently to each of us.
Grams always said what was on her mind. She didn’t hold back. You never had to guess what she was thinking. I loved her independence and wit. Marilyn was unapologetically herself. She approached life playfully with an admirable sense of humor and compassion.
Grandma stayed strong for all of us until the day she died. I think the hardest part for her was leaving all the people that loved her. But the funny thing is, she didn’t actually leave anyone. Marilyn, Mom, Mother in-law, Grandma, Great Grandma lives on in her family legacy...
In my mom, Monica, I see her leadership and love for tradition.
In Susan, I see her incredible strength and empathy.
In Mary, I see her warmth, fun and acceptance.
In Julie, I see her ‘take charge attitude’ and sense of direction.
In Rick, I see her protector and favorite son.
Her grandchildren and great grandchildren carry her spark, determination and zest for life.
During her last hours, we expressed, over and over how thankful we were for everything she did and everything she was. We said our “I love yous” 100 times over. And grandma kept saying, “I know, I know.” She didn’t have a doubt in her mind how deeply cared for and loved she was. Now THAT is a beautiful thing.
I hope we can all feel just as confident that Grandma is in a much better place. I hope you find peace in your heart knowing she’s here in spirit and will continue to make herself known in each of us.
Even when she was sick, Grams loved life. She loved it so much, she didn’t want to let it go. And you know what? You can’t teach people how to love life. You have to dig deep and feel it. You have to open your eyes and see it. You have to open your ears and hear it. So, I challenge all of you to find that same love for life. That’s what grandma would want for all of us.
When I get quiet, and ask myself, “What was grandma’s message?” This is what I hear…
Look for the good in every situation. Express yourself freely. Ask for what you want. Stay strong in adversity. Be there for your family, no matter what. And don’t forget to make regular hair appointments.
I attend a lot of group fitness and yoga classes. Actually, I’m obsessed with working out alongside a bunch of other sweaty people. It’s extremely motivating and a lot more fun than spending an hour on the treadmill. Plus, I greatly enjoy the connection and community.
When I visited my parents over Christmas break, I had no choice but to exercise solo. Don’t get me wrong. Home practices are excellent for many reasons. You go at your own pace and listen to what your body needs rather than submissively following the cues of the instructor. You know… Headstand followed by 30 jumping jacks? Sure! Why not? ;)
The only problem? No one is watching you. You hold the timer. You’re the counter and the coach. Sometimes it’s no biggie. But often times you slack off...at least a little bit. Instead of doing 20 push ups, you do 12. Maybe you skip all the chaturangas and go straight to down dog. You workout for 45 minutes, not 60.
It’s completely normal to act and work differently when you’re with people versus being alone. Duh. But the other day I noticed how particularly hard I was pushing myself in a YOD class. It made me think...I would never work this hard if I was in my own living room.
So I asked the question, “Why do I perform better when I’m in public?” And, “What if I worked like someone was watching...all the time?”
(Well, that would be super creepy, Greta…)
The point is, when you’re ‘on stage’ or ‘showing off,’ you tend to put in more effort.You feel held accountable. Your performance seems more important when observers are present.
And the truth is, people are watching. Whether you like it or not. Someone, and probably more people than you realize, are paying attention to you. And if you’re working towards a bigger audience or more followers, expect that number to grow and grow.
Everything you do (or don’t do) matters. The work, or lack thereof, makes a difference. If you want to be impactful and influential, it’s important you pay extra close attention to your thoughts, words and actions...every moment of every day.
TAKE (POSITIVE, INSPIRED) ACTION!
Just for today, pretend you have a devoted admirer shadowing your every move.How would you show up? What kind of awareness would you bring to the table? Try it out! ...Just for one day.