Compassion Practice: Give Yourself Permission to Feel How You Feel

In times like these, it takes A LOT of strength to give oneself permission to feel safe and okay, especially when almost all of the information that you are taking in about the world around you can strongly contradict that very real need.

It takes A LOT of resilience to watch yourself and your loved ones, your community, have its routines and norms stripped away, without being given a lot of guidance to know what exactly to do to respond, or in which direction to turn that will support your health and well-being.

Sometimes having the resources to meet with the current moment might seem like an impossible task, especially when so many have lost so much in such a short period of time. Let me just say that I am RIGHT THERE WITH YOU.

I wrote this short letter because I know from my mindfulness practice how much the judgmental mind can arise, especially when it seems like nothing is going “right”. Stop for a moment. Are you experiencing judgmental thoughts about how you are handling this COVID experience, right now?

For mindful tips on how to give yourself permission to skillfully navigate whatever feelings might be arising in your body right now – which might open up the possibility of moving towards feeling safe and okay, even if just for a moment – please keep reading on!

Sometimes, it is helpful to have permission to do whatever it is that helps you feel like you are expressing yourself authentically and making your needs known. You might feel strong one minute and weak the next. You might be full of ideas and then be at a loss for words two seconds later. However your process is manifesting right now, there is no wrong or right to this – only doing your very best to accept and acknowledge whatever your process looks like with as much compassion as humanly possible.

Here are a few mindful tips on practicing compassionate acceptance:

1.) Try to notice when you are judging your own process and comparing it to the ways in which other people are handling this experience. Noticing how judgmental thoughts arise in relation to other peoples processes can be called “comparing mind” in the mindfulness tradition. Comparing mind looks like those thoughts that might arise around how much more or less another person has, in terms of resources or capacity to get through this current challenge. When comparing mind arises, you can simply take a deep breath and say to yourself “comparing…comparing…” so gradually you build awareness of when this is arising for you. That is a first very simple step towards acceptance.

Remember, it is okay that your mind is judging and comparing – that is a part of what is has been built to do to keep you safe! Just noticing when it is happening is a positive start.

2.) So you have begun to gently notice your own comparing mind in action. Now what? One great antidote to comparing mind is a self-compassion practice. Where ever you are, try closing the eyes or lowering the eyelids so you are taking in your surroundings with what is called a “soft gaze”. Try to take 3 deep, slow breaths, and bring your attention to your breath in whatever way feels comfortable.

For some people that will mean focusing on the nostrils. For others, the chest or belly rising and falling. Now bring into your imagination a person, place, animal, or object that you associate with love and calm. Imagine they are right next to you. This is a your safe space!! Notice how the way you are carrying your body might become different when you are in your safe place.

If it feels compassionate, you can try saying to yourself “This is my safe space…This is my safe place…” as many times as you need until you move from saying it – to feeling it! You will know you are feeling it because you will notice slight changes in how relaxed you can hold your body in the moment.

3.) Now that you are either in, or somewhere near your safe space internally…bring person, place, animal, or object you associate with love and calm even closer to you. Try to notice whether the “comparing mind” is still active. Taking three more deep, slow breaths, and try to notice in your imagination a little more about the colors, sounds, textures, or even smells that you associate with your safe space. Now try bringing in the compassion phrases we just learned, and bring a little more attention to your body if that feels okay. If it feel overwhelming to bring more attention to the body, then just rest in the mental part of the practices.

Where ever you are sitting or standing, do you notice any differences in your the way you are carrying your body – in your bones or muscles – while you are exploring the ‘contours’ of your safe space? Perhaps you might notice that your shoulders start to shift, or the muscles of your face soften. Any amount of relaxation or felt spaciousness you can bring to the body right now is good for your health and well-being.

Once you have finished with this compassion practice, it might be helpful to turn to your journal (or to start one if you haven’t already!) and write down what you noticed. See if you can make the time to practice this for even 1-2 minuets a day, whenever you start to feel overwhelmed by judgmental thoughts.

By writing about your experience with how your thoughts shift when you do this practice, you might be able to start to tell the story of your journey back towards feelings of safety and peace…which will be helpful for you to be able to return to as something of a roadmap of your experience during these challenging times that you can use to remind yourself of how important it is to remain connected to your internal safe place/place, no matter what is happening around you.

Thank You For Being Here!! Thoughts on Gratitude During COVID-19


These are the words that I keep hearing spoken around me, again and again, when ever I leave my house to grab some groceries or other necessary items. I keep on catching people looking at grocers, Lyft drivers, delivery people, Fedex and USPS drivers, pharmacists, you name it – in the eye – and saying with so much genuine gratitude: “Thank you for being here!!”

Can you imagine what kind of society we would live in if we treated the many hundreds, or even thousands of people who help our lives to function smoothly with this amount of kindness and compassion?

Now…I have some thoughts on why I am seeing this phenomenon at work. I think that there is this growing recognition in our society that every single person you see who has shown up to work to help us get the essentials we all need to survive – did so at their own peril. They showed up to work as a powerful act of love – love for the families and communities they support, all the while risking their health and well-being.

So when I hear random folks expressing extra gratitude, it causes my heart to swell immensely with joy at this powerful recognition of our interconnectedness. Interconnectedness is another word for interdependence – a word that is often brought up in mindfulness circles because it defines the manner in which every single sentient being is so deeply and inextricably connected to each other on this precious planet of ours.

We can see now more than ever how what happens seemingly across the planet, thousands of miles away, has an immediate impact on our community life, and our ability to experience well-being. This moment in time is such a powerful teachable moment, if we can lean into our capacity to learn from everything that is arising in the chaos.

I will admit, it took me a few weeks to even begin to wrap my mind around the massive collective chaos we have been experiencing as a global community. I went through so many different emotions all at once…fear, rage, sorrow, anger, depression, confusion, numbness, and intense grief!!!

I truly did not know what to post there for a minute. So yesterday, I took a shot at showing up on IG – rather imperfectly – and posted a video I took of the beautiful trees blossoming here in Portland, and a silly conversation had between me and my daughter…because these are the little things that are keeping my head held high right now.

I am noticing more than ever the power of the beauty of nature to capture my imagination. I am feeling deeply into the ways in which we can support one another and our capacity to live long and healthy lives, by practicing each and every day behaviors that support the collective community – especially those of us who are the most vulnerable because of the inequalities that have been baked so deeply into our society for hundreds of years.

Really and truly, I wonder what my life would be like, and how I would treat my fellow Earth-beings if every time I saw someone, or an animal, or plant, I thought to myself “Thank you for being here!!” and meant it with my whole heart. This is my North Star right now. Because I am utterly thankful to exist right now. I am overwhelmed with how amazing it is to have a body that functions, that can take to the places I need to get to with limbs that can walk and run and dance freely. With each breath I take, I am asking myself what I might have been taking for granted before this COVID-19 experience took hold of the planet. There is a lot!

I have taken for granted, on many different levels, the many many individuals upon whom I am totally dependent for my survival, for one thing. And that really is the underlying message of the “Science of Social Justice” that I hope to continue to explore as it keeps taking shape alongside of the intense changes this world is going through…that social justice and well-being are one and the same thing!! They are truly two sides of the same coin. We cannot have well-being for some, and not for others. That the health of our bodies and communities and nations are one and the same thing. I get the feeling that perhaps now more than ever, this message is truly pertinent to the times we are living in.

Phenomenal art my “Mystic Mama” (my favorite astrolger ever!!!):

Community Partner: Aura of Healing Vybes

Dear ones,
As you may know, part of the mission of MindHeart Collective is to share the stories of empowered WOC who are advancing the field of wellness + social justice in their own gifted and magical ways. When WOC healers and practitioners offer their skills and services to communities of color, that IS the essence of what I mean when I say that well-being and social justice are one and the same!

Today, I am so grateful to be sharing a quote as well as a personal story about my experience with the ‘Yoni Egg Journey” led by my sistar-in-healing Aura of Healing Vybes (seen in the photo above) from right here in sunny southern California! Please follow her at @infinite_aura_ on IG to watch and be inspired by this amazing woman’s journey as a healer and change-maker in her community!!

“Peace and abundance!  I’m Aura, a holistic wellness empowerment coach based in Los Angeles, California.

Creatress of The Yoni Egg Journey, an experience for women to engage with self love, sensuality, spirituality and sexuality in sisterhood.  I am a certified yoga instructor, crystal healer, She Stands Tall circle facilitator, and women’s empowerment guide. I love all things women based, especially when it includes healing, crystals and connections.

I have 5 years experience working with and healing parts of my being with yoni eggs. This practice has helped me heal sexual, emotional and energetic trauma that I was carrying within my body. It allowed me to understand and access my body in new ways, find my voice + speak my truth, and hold space for my energetic alignment while being in an intimate partnership.

Yoni eggs also guided me in harnessing my sexual and creative power. I believe as we heal, our planet heals, along with the future generations we will birth from our wombs

I enjoy studying a wide range of topics including astrology, subtle body energies, women’s spirituality, womb healing, crystals, tantra and yin-yang balance. In my free time, you can find me naked in the sun, traveling to exotic lands, or hiding out in my goddess cave. I am a lifetime student, meditator, yogini, teacher, and overall, infinite being!”


Isn’t she a sparkling rainbow of love and light, ya’ll? I absolutely love the open-hearted energy and vibrance that she brings with her into everything that she does!!

I must say, my experience getting to know Aura in her capacity as a healer was truly transformative. I joined in the most “Yoni Egg Journey” during the months of February and March, that Aura skillfully led for a variety of deeply personal and spiritual reasons – but I would say that first and foremost, I had come to a realization that this point in my life, I have never experienced a community space that is dedicated to women coming together to explore the health of their womb and all of the many ways in which it is connected to our relationships and how we navigate in the world as healthy, whole, empowered beings living out our truth.

The curriculum that she established was an educative blend of readings about womb health, sacred sexuality, and embodied healing modalities from a variety of different WOC/indigenous traditions (along with a healthy dose of readings from what is one of my favorite books of ALL time “Women Who Run With Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estés.)

Alongside the readings, Aura combined stunning artwork, inspirational quotes, and videos of herself guiding us through a variety of breathwork and mudra practices, along with her advice on how to amplifying our self-knowledge through self-study of how our emotional, psychological, and physical states tend to arise in a cyclical nature alongside the situations and relationships that we are navigating both personally and professionally in life.

However, the part of the Yoni Egg Journey that I found to be the most supportive (alongside the instructions about, of course, how to establish a spiritual connection and relationship to our yoni-eggs as supports for our healing journey), was the community of WOC that embraced one another along the journey. Though I had not met any of these lovely women in person, one a week we would get together and share with great honesty and vulnerability the parts of our lives that we were currently growing and navigating through – sometimes with great emotional challenge, and at other times rising triumphantly to new points of achievement and satisfaction.

We began to uncover how the present day stories of our lives were deeply connected to intergenerational and ancestral traumas that we held deep within our tissues and our unconscious ways of being. We were able to take in one another’s stories mindfully and with curiosity. We were able to talk with candor about the places we felt stuck and alone or out to drift without a clear plan in heart or mind. We were able to help one another decipher were old places of pain had fooled us into believing we were without the power to make change, and to encourage each other to open up to the discomfort of life as the necessary fire that forges us into empowered beings.

Let me be frank…In today’s modern society, there is so much temptation to be a casual bystander as women are encouraged to tear each other down for economic gain. Misogyny and thousands of years of patriarchy have taught some of us to behave like competitors with one another – exercising an ideology of power-over, rather than power-with, thus betraying our natural instinct to lean into our phenomenal collective healing power. There are countless messages being propogated by the media and our governing institutions that prize violence, terror, and endless divisiveness along the lines of class, race, religion and sexual orientation – especially amongst and between women, driving home the lie that resources like love and community wealth are scarce and thus can only be reserved for a special few.

So it was incredibly refreshing and rejuvenating to me to be a part of the Yoni Egg Journey – a community of women seeking to uplift one another in raw, honest, messy, unpredictable, but altogether joyous and profound healing. These are the kinds of circles and gathering that we need as a society to mend the egoic rifts that are tearing us all apart!! Thank you, Aura, for demonstrating what it means to be a loving-leader and showing the way for what is sure to be countless other young African-American women who will be inspired to walk the path of the healer like yourself!!