Finding Me.

For as long as I can remember, I have been a caretaker.  I learned empathy as a young child and became highly sensitive to the world around me.  I also learned how to read people and social cues very well and became adept at making situations really smooth and easy.  I never liked conflict and didn't really know how to process or address anger and undoubtedly, somewhere in the mix, I lost sight of myself and forgot who I was.

In college, I was in a particularly intense relationship---where I experienced large bouts of anxiety and periods of longing that were so intense that I could barely stand on my own two feet.  When I was around him, I was overjoyed and elated---and when I would leave him to go back to my college dorm, I felt scared and so alone that I thought the walls of my life would cave in on me.  I was in therapy and I felt the most disconnected from myself than I probably ever had.  During that time in my life, I was willing to focus all my energy on this other human and it just stopped working.  

I remember making lists of things that I liked down in my journal to help jog my memory about who this Brooke person was. Cinnamon, vanilla, nature, walks, friends, coffee, live music, art----and the list went on and on.  I had forgotten who I was to my core and myself just bottomed out.  I have made it my mission over the past 10 or so years to really get to know and understand who I am, since that doesn't come naturally to me, especially when I step into the caretaker, empath role.  It can be draining to not know exactly where my boundaries lie and so I have had to teach myself.

I really do think that I was brought to this earth in order to not only heal others, but also very much so to heal myself in the process.  The space holding and support that I so easily give is, consequently, something that is begging to be learned as a self-practice.  When I started Open Circle Healing, I knew deep in my gut that this was something that I really wanted to commit myself to....and when I make a commitment to something like this that really feels in alignment with what I want, I am all in.  The beauty of this work lies in the necessity implicit within it for me to get to know myself better; what my boundaries and limits are--what my preferences are---what resonates as true for me even if it doesn't resonate with others around me.  This, as much as it is a business of helping others---is a business of helping myself.

I write this currently from a bed and breakfast in Wimberly, Texas, which is one of several heart homes that I am lucky to feel completely at ease in.  I found this place on a random google search one afternoon a couple years ago during a time when a confusing relationship was nearly ending and I just needed to give myself some space.  This time, I'm not here because of a relationship, but rather because I really desired to take myself here again on a solo retreat of sorts to clear my space, to rejuvenate from working so much these past few months and simply because I wanted to (and that is enough of a reason for me nowadays).  If I cannot make time for myself, then I cannot make time for my clients, friends or family.

The owner of this place asked me what I was going to go do here and I told her simply, I'm here to write.  Austin is loud.  Wimberly is quiet.  I need this space...she then told me she always envied writers---and that she had an apple pie baking in the oven and to help myself to hot tea.  I feel really blessed in this lifetime.  I am in love with the journey of life with all its ups and down, twists and turns and I am, now, more than ever, committed to loving me because at the end of the day, I am the one looking out for myself.

The Quietest Path

This post is coming days after I usually blog, and it's been itching at me to be written.  Once I start writing consistently, the wheels are turning and it's difficult to pause or take a break from it.  I know this is a good thing...the compulsion to write, so I'm grateful for the chance to be creative with it, and allow myself time to post when I can and not force it when I am unable to. Though I am aware of the  reality that more will be revealed in time and there is much more to process.  

I just returned yesterday from two retreats, which were were both incredible in their own ways. The first retreat was with my meditation Sangha (community) in Chappel Hill, Texas and the second was with a new group from all over the country who were there to learn breath work, yin yoga and meditation.  I can't quite discuss all that happened because it will take me some time to process all of it, but I will at least point to some highlights. 

In Chappel Hill, I took a solo walk on the second day around the parameter of the property.  For the most part, we were in silence and so I decided to have a conversation with myself, out loud as I walked.  The walking felt so good and so did the solitude and I soaked it up fully.  The conversation turned into me just asking a bunch of questions out loud to the Universe, God, my Higher Power.  My intuition or the still small quiet voice within me would answer each question soon after I asked it, which was quite cool to experience.

'Am I on the right path?' I asked to which the universe replied, 'yes, of course you are.'

'Why this path?' I asked.  'because this path is the quietest one.'

The path of the Buddha or the seeker, the yoga practitioner, the teacher, the meditator---these things all beg for quiet, stillness and space. The quietest path, yes.  It makes a lot of sense for me.  In order to quell my anxiety, I really do require a life of simplicity.  A minimalist existence. 

For a long time, I denied this...thinking I could just coax the extrovert out of attend multiple social functions in a day, be surrounded by loud, jarring music---and while sometimes I do love that stuff, I'm really beginning to realize just how crucial silence, solitude and stillness are for my well being, especially when things outside of my control are in upheaval.  I don't need to create or proliferate a dramatic existence for myself if I don't choose to....and I'm learning.

The second retreat in dripping springs gave me even more insight into this reality.  Focused mostly on breath work and meditation, the requirement to be still was inherent in the program.  And while I was working the retreat as well as participating, often separating myself from the group to do body work, I experienced quite a bit of the breath work and was truly amazed.

I was so resistant to it on the first day that I curled up into the fetal position and wriggled about---feeling defeated and exhausted afterward, likening my experience to getting hit in the chest with a brick.  At the urging of the facilitators, I tried again the following days trying really hard to stay on my back and not roll over and woah...emotions flowed strongly---there was stuff in my body that I had been resisting dealing with probably for a long time.

Silence, stillness, solitude---these things are so important to my well being as a highly sensitive person.   I will practice them more for me and for those I interact with.  It makes me a much more available human because I will have been more available to myself.  


Darling, You've Come a Long Way

This post is brought to you by something tender within me.  I woke up this morning (on my day off) with swirling thoughts in my head---the usual anxious ones.  The themes are usually financial, existential, social and occasionally, if I'm not careful---the thoughts can begin to snow ball into negative self-talk---but with the Artist's Way as a tool, especially the Morning Pages (3 stream of consciousness pages in your journal first thing in the morning)---I'm learning to just let it all out in my writing...the anxiety does pass and I can carry on with my day.  Darling, you've come a long way.

I know you're not 'supposed to' re-read morning pages once you've written them---they're intended to be just a tool but not necessarily a place to go back to....being a rebel, I decided to unearth one of my older journals from the first round of Artist's Way experimentation back in 2013.  I knew that past self would have something to offer my current self, and she did....certainly.  The anxious undertones were still present, as anxiety has been a backseat driver through most of my life---but the themes and language were different, helping me to see that progress has certainly been made.

She (my 2013 self) was so afraid and was ashamed of her body---often chiding herself for having eaten too much or for using food to check out.  She was afraid to leave a relationship that wasn't serving her and was so anxious in so many circumstances and self-critical to a debilitating degree that keeping herself small and safe seemed like the only feasible options at the moment.  

My 2017 self can recognize a shift.   Though, certainly she is still perfectionistic in certain capacities and feels the need to get back to people right away for fear of losing them---she is learning to soften more and more and is less afraid of taking risks.  I feel the need this morning upon writing this, to say thank you to my younger self--even though she may not have known what to do, she was doing the best she could to protect herself.  She was afraid of being alone--of social situations--of appearing weak or awkward or incapable.  She felt very, very young.

Brooke of today is learning discernment and setting healthy boundaries.  She is working for herself and is learning more everyday about self-compassion.  She is brave for taking risks and even though fear creeps in, as it does and will---she is learning to trust that she is capable of handling unexpected things.  She has the tools to wrangle the often blurry and grey-area reality of our world. I am proud of who she is.  I am proud of who I am.

All of that being said, I've been guided in the direction again and again that I am truly meant to go.  This year is all about practicing presence.  I'm halfway through my meditation teacher training with Kelly Lindsey and am recommitting myself to a formal practice.  I will also begin teaching public meditation classes at Sukha Yoga in Austin and have been blessed with an opportunity to watch and learn from Erinn Lewis, a badass yogi mama who is a queen when it comes to speaking truth and setting loving boundaries for the space.  I feel like a sponge, wanting to soak up every instance of learning.  Who we learn from---and who we admire--are direct reflections of our own light and gifts and if that is true based on the teachers I have gravitated toward, I must be one shiny being.

Stillness in a non-distracted setting---which includes no phone or computer-has the capacity to bring up a lot.  I went to Erinn's class the other day and she drew a picture of an iceberg with some of our coping/checking out strategies at the top (eating, tv, facebook, drinking, etc) and underneath all of those, a list of feelings we are likely masking (fear, anxiety, worry, sadness, etc).  I'm curious about this as a human.  What are we trying to not feel by constantly being in a state of movement or distraction?  We are missing out on the precious present moment and I have a strong desire, now more than ever to stay stay HERE.

So, my lofty goal for this year is to be present and to travel with my mom, myself, my higher self and my inner child.  Be present with  myself---be present with family--be present across the board.  To not check out.  I don't think my 2013 self was ready for this. Meditation was a scary, scary thing...but now, now she is ready...and excited to take this year on with her hands in the dirt of it...trusting herself FULLY and I invite you to do the same.

Until next week,


And Another Shift

Hello world.

I am coming to you a day late because, well, yesterday I ended up in INTENSE and fully welcomed conversation with a new friend and totally lost track of the time.  And for me, as a sometimes too-time-aware-human, this sort of experience is fully welcome--because it reminds me of what it's like to live fully in the present moment and that is a beautiful thing.

To be honest (and why not, because that is what I aim to maintain in this forum) December was a tough month.  In response to a some things that happened earlier on in the month, I spent the majority of my time keeping myself as busy as possible and lucky for me the Universe conspired to hand me tons and tons of new and return clients and for that I cannot possibly express the deep well of gratitude that has formed all around me.  But, the busy-ness came with the price of not grocery shopping enough and letting my laundry pile up so high that I'm certain the folks at the laundromat were laughing at me with my loads and loads of clothes and sheets piled up in my arms as I clumsily carried them in.

Keeping busy is my coping strategy for difficult emotions.  Keeping myself in a space of constant distraction feels comfortable enough for me to come back to it over and over again like an old friend.  This can be excellent for the purpose of maintaining a steady private practice and honing in on business stuff/being productive but it can also lead to the all-to-familiar burn out that can happen if you're not careful.  The exhaustion, the poor sleep, the foggy brain leading to strange decision making--the overall sensation of not being quite here.  That happens and I am learning.  And in my learning process, I have come to realize that as much as I know my patterns of coping, sometimes the habit of slipping back into them happens in such a flash that I barely realize it until I'm in the middle of it.  

Toward the end of the month, I went with my friend Liz to Seguin...a small Texas town that is known for its pecans and according to the movie theater owner, Dan---you can count on the people of Seguin to not show up to things.  This trip was meant to be a little get away--from the fast paced and packed life of two women working for themselves--but for the majority of it, I was wildly distracted still and could not wind down.  I took my phone with me and was constantly checking it and not fully able to surrender to the present moment.  I was refreshing my email too often and looking at Facebook---for no other reason than I maybe didn't want to feel.  Being away from the busy and sometimes distracted life of work and clients and social engagements, I had more space to be with myself and that felt SCARY as hell.  I would have to deal with the stuff that happened in December?  No way!  I wasn't ready.  And it is unfortunate because that also took away from my time with Liz--and time to really just didn't happen.  But I learned some things from this experience for sure.

I feel like I'm on the other side of that now.  I feel more calm and grounded and maybe now, I can give myself the space to feel and deal...instead of run and distract.  I'm allowing myself time to take naps and go to bed early and have begun The Artist's Way again, which gives me an opportunity to build a container around my creative life.  Writing everyday first thing in the morning is actually such a useful skill---to get out what feels like a lot of junk in my brain.  I end up feeling more clear headed after accomplishing such a task---so simple---so useful.  I recommend it to anyone.  It feels like I'm befriending myself again after a lot of time of really spacing out.

I decided that this year I really want to be out in the world traveling.  I bought a ticket to South Africa and I'm now planning a trip with my mom.  I've got a lot of opportunities to work at yoga/meditation retreats in Texas and Colorado and will be exploring more.  This excites me as I love to travel and part of my reasoning behind wanting to work for myself was to give myself the freedom to be able to create my own schedule and take off when I want to/work in a variety of different settings...expand myself--live more fully and have a BIG, beautiful life.  I'm pleased that these things are coming together more and the Universe seems to be conspiring to allow this to be possible for me and once again, I am humbled and grateful by the choices and opportunities I am being presented with in this lifetime-it feels like beautiful Karmic seeds are ripening now.  

So, my journey these next few months will involve less screen time.  Less phone time---leaving my phone at home while I go for walks--communicating with loved ones that I have cultivated relationships with and really honoring my own boundary system.  That's what my 30th year on this planet hopes to be.  I cannot wait to see how my business unfolds in the coming year.  What my travels will lead me to and what amazing possibilities will unravel as a result of less distraction and more presence.  

I love this life with all its ups and downs and emotional landscapes.  This is what it's like to learn to love yourself---I am convinced!

Until next week,




I'm a Libra.  Admittedly, balance is somewhat of an obsession for me.  And, it also happens to be one of my greatest challenges.  This month, I provided myself with every work opportunity possible.  I accepted every client request in an effort to grow and nurture my practice, I put myself on the schedule at Myo and Travaasa and I took on probably too much.  There is certainly an art in striking balance taking into consideration work, relationships, spirituality, nutrition and everything else that produce a well rounded human being.

I notice that in response to emotional challenges, it is common for me to go right into action mode because the intensity of the feelings might be too much to indulge all at once.  Work, for me, is a convenient space to enter because first of all, my job is very physical and often keeps me in a feeling busy space...a not dealing space.  This past month was that for me 100%.  I'm exceedingly grateful for my ability to pick up work opportunities and my abundance mindset around money matters is becoming one of greater trust and I'm learning to see that I have the ability to provide for myself in my own practice...but I think now comes the challenge of going about this life with a bit more consideration for time off/travel/pausing...building these elements into my schedule because if not, I risk burn out and also have less energy to nurture other aspects of my life including relationships, grocery shopping, laundry---you know, those simple self care tasks.

I'm hoping that in writing this post today, I'll begin to feel into what would be an ideal balance point for me and then in the coming weeks, strategize to create better/healthier boundaries with work that feel manageable and leave room for all the other things that feed my soul!  It feels useful to begin with the soul feeding things because that's where my excitement lies currently and the things that light me up, are in effect the things that will motivate me to do the other work.  

What lights me UP:

Ecstatic dance and dance in general, yoga classes, making time to create art work, writing, chatting with friends, going out to dance with friends, poetry readings, writing poetry, small day trips, longer travel, spending time in other cultures, interacting with strangers and finding out eccentricities and oddities about people, book stores, seeing live music, listening to music while walking, walking with friends, having a clean living space and laundry that is done and put away, good books to read, time with family, travel to Houston, weight lifting, Whole Foods and food in general, eating at new cool restaurants.

What happens when I over schedule myself in the work realm is that these light-me-up elements take a back seat.  My car becomes messier and my laundry pile stacks up higher and higher and before I know it, I'm feeling overwhelmed, uninspired and even depressed. I also get lost in the day to day and lose sight of the bigger picture.  Why all of this matters.  I forget to feed my soul that so achingly wants to be fed. 

Yes, I'm building my business and my practice and meeting with new clients all the time, but I am also building trust and a greater relationship to myself.  When I feel depleted, I can't be fully available to those I work with.  This becomes super important.  I spoke with my mom on the phone the other day about work/life balance.  I had a particularly challenging day with clients and then a meeting followed by two more clients.  It felt like a lot was stacked up.  I called her toward the end of this day while scarfing down a sandwich and told her I was feeling like I had said yes to too many work opportunities for the month and she said that yeah, I was starting a practice and laying ground work and that it wouldn't always feel like a hustle---that I need to also be aware of demonstrating to my clients and students that it's ok to take time off too.  That I am a role model in some ways.  That I can show people how important it is to take care of ourselves.  

I admire the great teachers in my life who take time off for themselves consciously throughout the year.  It is something that I also want to incorporate in my own life.  Tomorrow, I am heading to Sequin with a very dear friend and my intention is to unplug for a couple of create my 2017 goals in list form or vision board form and decide for myself a more workable schedule where I put important activities in consciously so that they don't go by the wayside. 

This year, I want to build a closer and more trusting relationship with myself.  That means, saying no when it's appropriate and forming/maintaining loving boundaries around my work and keeping in mind the things that light me up.  

I have travel ideas for the coming year including South Africa, Colorado, Burning Man, Santa Fe?  I want to give myself the gift of being in the world because that, more than anything else is what makes me a well rounded life loving human.  I want to write my book. I want to step into even bigger shoes.  I never want to stop growing.  I always want to maintain a high level of curiosity.  I am the curator of my own life and I choose how I want to live it.  

Cheers to life! Cheers to living!  I'm feeling excited and inspired.



I've written a lot about opposing energies.  The expansion of summer and blooming of flowers and excitement/creativity and the feeling that everything is possible.  It's also easier for me to write when I'm in that space...this more contracted existence is a little colder, less open and yet human existence still persists and I have a necessity to keep nurturing my business and so I will keep writing just as always and keep offering my gifts because it is truly what I was put on this planet to do.

This month has been challenging on many levels.  First, a dear one moved to Seattle and I began to mourn the loss of an intense and beautiful connection.  I knew it was coming, but we can never fully prepare ourselves for how it will feel when something actually does happen.  I'm proud to report that after just a little bit of time, things feel a little better and I'm actually able to speak to this person without feeling floods of anger and the intensity of not really knowing what to do.  The grey area of our existence trips me up at times.  Time heals...which is one thing I know to be true with great certainty. 

Also, winter---it's not my truest friend.  Winter and I are like two estranged relatives with an unpleasant past.  I become the most closed off and contracted during this time.  I also experience bouts of sadness bordering depression and spend a tremendous amount of time in my beloved bathtub.  My body craves the heat so much...and even living in Texas where it doesn't get that terribly cold can leave me depleted.  

Just last night, I got home from a very long day of body work and dancing to find that my water supply was cut off.  I was craving the bathtub so much that the instant the water didn't flow, I got emotional.  Floods of tears streamed my face and I could feel myself getting into fight/flight mode.  To make matters more interesting, my landlord is currently out of the country and out of reach so I commiserated with the woman renting the front house (I rent the garage apartment in the back) and she and I decided together that it would be best to call a plumber to come that night and so I did, swallowing (for now) the cost of the late night visit on a Sunday night, which is somehow more expensive.  I didn't know if this was the right thing, but I went for it.

There actually turned out to be a corroded pipe in the back of the house that had rusted through, which may or may not have actually been weather related.  The plumber replaced the rusty fixture, letting me keep it--and also taught me how to turn off the water supply without needing any tools to do so.  He was so very kind.  He asked if I was an artist, which I took as a high compliment.  Before he arrived, I felt small and kind of scared...wishing that there was a handy man around more frequently to at least tell me everything would be ok.  Oh the qualms of being a (for now) single woman.  

Anyway, all was repaired.  No big deal really and I got to spend time in the bathtub after the long day.  I'm realizing how much being an adult, operating a business, taking care of bills, responsibilities and just existing takes effort.  It's not always this challenging, but cold weather makes my bones ache and it's more difficult for me personally.  So, I'll be purchasing an electric blanket this year for sure.

I know that there is also good in the contraction because it is a time to reflect, to write, to be creative, and be with myself--and that is beautiful too...but getting used to this shift has not been easy.  I practice gratitude, I practice hot yoga, I give myself what I need like a mother to myself.  I treat myself more sweetly and with respect and honor my process.

And this too, like all things, shall pass.

Happy holidays!


What Goes Up Must Come Down

As a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), I feel things deeply.  I'm affected by the feelings of others as well as a empath and on top of all of it, I'm on the border of the introvert/extrovert spectrum, making my path quite an interesting one to walk.  I want to be the type of writer/blogger who lets her audience into even the more tender moments of existence because, I think it is what unites us. Happiness is contingent upon so many factor and is also a fleeting thing sometimes, and that's ok because you and I are human.

This week has been tough.  With the quickly changing weather and transitioning into a new season, plus other external factors that I won't dive into here because I'm still sorting through and processing on my own--I've been existing in kind of a down space.  When I'm down, it's harder to do simple tasks like go grocery shopping or even sit down to write or accomplish things.  This is especially tough when I am my business and have this necessity to forge ahead and push through.  I can recognize my own resilience in the process, but sometimes I wish I could just be excited and happy and energetic all the time because it would be more convenient. 

But yes, I was down.  I still feel the effects of it and know like all things, my state of being will change and on the other side of these heavy feelings are lighter ones.  I always keep positive and maintain a level of knowing that no feeling, no matter how intense-- good or bad--lasts forever.  

Today, I sat in meditation teacher training surrounded by people who I both love and admire and yet I did not want to be seen.  I wanted to hide behind the bookshelf and cover my face with my hair and so I did.  It felt similar to being a child and closing my eyes because I wanted to not be found and thinking that if I closed my eyelids, I would be imperceptible to the human eye.  If only we could, at our convenience, put on an invisibility cloak when we want to go unseen momentarily.  If we would rather experience our sadness or disappointment quietly.

I have very supportive friends and family whose advice has always been, feel how you feel---if you're sad, be's best to experience it than to push it away.  I wonder why it is that I experience shame with sadness.  I would never expect a client or friend to be happy all the time and it feels effortless to hold space for them through tough I become curious why it is challenging to hold space for myself in a non-judgmental way when I just don't feel like engaging with the world in the same way for a brief time.  It's ok!  I think it's important to remind myself of this. 

I'm grateful for this forum because it's a way to document my experience with all the ups and downs.  Sometimes it doesn't exactly matter how plentiful and beautiful your external world is....there is still room for sadness and frustration and needing to take space and be alone.  It does not make you or me any less human or seen or understood in the world.  It is my intention to give myself the healing space necessary to gently ease through this lull.  Creating warmth for myself when I feel cold...opportunities to express myself creatively through writing and art.

I give you full permission to cry if you need to.  Ask for help.  Be alone if it feels right. Say no even if you said yes first.  Say yes even if you said no first.  This is not a perfect life.  We are not perfect beings.  And in giving YOU permission to experience these things, I am also giving myself permission.  Please, please know that you are not alone.

Thank you for reading,



I've heard before that change is the only constant in this life...and yeah, it's true.  Trying to keep things the same is a losing battle and also, just not possible because this is a progressive journey. We take one step forward.  We go to sleep at night and wake up to discover a new day before us. Some change is foreseeable like a friend moving away.  Other change, like someone you love getting really sick---is something we just can't prepare ourselves for.  Oh you unpredictable keep us on our toes.

When I was younger I told my mom that I didn't want to go to college without her.  This was probably when I was in middle school.  Forward thinking Brooke was already preparing to go off to college somewhere far away.  I remember saying to her that I wanted her to move there with me and even be my roommate.  I may have been even younger now that I think about it.  I had a lot of resistance to change in any capacity.  I was jostled by it.  I grasped to things staying as they were because it felt comfortable to me.  I've gotten better at accepting change nowadays and have been through quite a bit of it this past year, but it is still something that stirs up emotion for me.

I marvel at my close friend Lauren.  She just moved from Hawaii to San Francisco.  And before that, she moved from Austin to Hawaii.  When she relocates, she does so without knowing exactly how things will pan out in her new city and also a deep level of trust that things just will fall into place.  I admire her courage and self-trust required to reinvent the wheel through travel over and over again.  It's pretty cool and something I aspire to create more in my own life.  Making friends with the uncertainty is something I would like to work on more.

This begs the question, why do we grasp?  In yoga there is a principle called Aparigrapha, which translates to non-grasping.  It is the last of the five Yamas of Patanjali's Eight Limbs of Yoga.  I got to practice this pretty intensely recently as a person I became quite fond of, moved away just this morning.  When we meet people who excite, can be really tempting to cling on to them and wonder what will happen once the experience ends.  The real challenge, for me and for most of us, is to take the experience for what it is, without trying to change it or grasp onto it.  Thank you universe for the opportunity to practice this beautiful lesson. 

Parinamavada is another Sanskrit word meaning "everything is in a constant state of flux."  This realization is so liberating.  We won't feel good all the time.  There will always be a contraction after an experience of expansion and so we may need to go inward for a bit.  Non-grasping is so freeing.  Just as the seasons change, so do our experiences.  

Personally, I'm going to take this time to offer tender love to myself.  Just this week, I have several nurturing experiences set up including dinner with two people I adore at my favorite restaurant, Yoga and coffee with another dear one, yoga therapy as a client (I can barely believe this--how important to be a client!), a poetry reading, many many baths, writing opportunities and fruitful discussion.  Plus through all of this I am nurturing my sweet business and she needs my attention too.  

Alas, change.  And now the inquiry of yoga.  Until next time,



How is it Monday again?  How does time pass so quickly between then and now?  I almost hesitate to give my blog posts titles because I don't want to feel confined to stick with just one thing or theme as I write...and so, perhaps with a title like 'creativity' I'll have the spaciousness to discuss more vastly.

I'm in my office currently, eating this delicious chicken soup that one of my clients made me and I'm experiencing the sweetest gratitude over being taken care of---nourished...because, I'll admit, I sometimes have a difficult time remembering to feed myself especially since I started Open Circle Healing and I know it's not a great habit that I've gotten into...and my life coach would kick my butt if he knew, but it happens sometimes because I'm so busy and excited all the time and so I'm grateful for reminders to feed myself in all ways, not just with food.

Where to begin?  I intention for writing about creativity today is to both express how I would like to be creative in my life currently and also to speak to the importance of having an outlet to create and to play.  I'm still on my undetermined amount of time break from consuming alcohol and what I've been noticing as a result is a deeper well of energy---I suppose spritely would be the word for it...I sort of spring out of bed in the morning and I'm super ready to go, but sometimes that forward moving energy and excitement gets translated into an overly packed schedule with no room to be and breathe and meditate and do laundry...and so I'm becoming curious about other outlets for this momentum.

I found an old journal yesterday as I was attempted to further minimilize my apartment (it's already pretty minimal, but I'm entering a phase now where I don't want any extraneous items in my space and to instead, adorn my surroundings with beautiful things that inspire happiness and joy).  This particular journal has big blank canvas like pages just begging to be colored and collaged in and doodled in and written in.  I had last used it in 2009, while I was in yoga school and I noticed big, sweeping drawings of trees and skeletal creatures and Sanskit words all intertwined and it got me thinking.  I used to give myself so much more time and space to create and I'm actually pretty dang creative and artistic when I let myself be.

I know that I need to create.  The urge is bleeding out of me now more than ever---and how I see this manifesting is both in my work as I work to build a 6 month coaching program and also in taking time to collage on empty bottles and boxes like I used draw freely on blank spaces in a sketch book and to just lose inhibition and judgment over the work and realize that it is truly cathartic in nature.  This also shows up in my writing, when I write image rich poetry or prose and the goal that I have to cultivate a larger project in the form of a memoir.  Yes.  It's inside me---all of it, begging to come out now more than ever.

And so, creativity.  Yes.  that's how it is now with me.  I want to embrace this time in my life as one of pure creation and active, lovely, clear energy with a fiery undertone.

I encourage you reading this to consider what creativity looks and feels like to you and perhaps even to take it a step further and get involved in one activity that unleashes your creative spirit this week.  I'll be gathering supplies for my collage/writing/doodling project.  I have the entire day OFF on Wednesday and so, I intend for the day to be dedicated to art in some form.

Thank you for reading.  Until next week,



Staying in Discomfort

This post is coming to you a day later than usual because yesterday was Goliath with clients and conversations and self-care.  And so, it is now Tuesday and I am writing.

This week I am drawn to write about discomfort.  Part of the discomfort begins with the fact that I had already written this post but it got deleted.  The rain is making internet connection spotty, I presume.  So onward, I will do my best to reproduce what I had already captured.

It begins with a story.  The other day, I traded massage with the owner of Myo, Levi and he gave me feedback the body work I gave him.  He said skillfully that my work is very focused and methodical.  I think he even used the word calculated (which is interesting, because I do not consider myself a very calculated person) but it is what he experienced.  I also told me that he felt that I was an excellent observer of the body but that I could step forward more and take the session more into my own hands, literally...being more assertive and taking up space in the same way I do as a yoga teacher.  This resonates with me and it is part of the discomfort that I feel.  He also shared that I could linger on different body regions longer and give myself permission to just explore.  This brings up fear for me...staying put for longer---to explore.  And makes me consider that sometimes boredom and anxiety spring me forward to quickly---and I don't give myself a chance to stay in the unknown or the discomfort long enough to learn new skills and build new muscles.

This translates well into what our country is experiencing too currently with all the change, uncertainty and discomfort.  And the necessity to stay in this discomfort to have difficult and important conversations.  There is a lot of growth in the uncertainty and willingness to change rhetoric and norms.

Recently, I've been fortunate enough to dialogue with men and women about female oppression, which is something, as a woman I feel deeply inspired to address openly.  The discussions have mostly been about creating safer spaces by meeting somewhere in the middle.  I don't have to become hateful or inflamed to get my point across as a woman---that it is possible to get my needs met by stepping to my divine feminine power.  

I notice that when I am in a male dominated group, especially if the men are boisterous and take up a lot of space---I become more of an observer and a listener, which is a role I have become very accustomed to and even comfortable occupying.  It doesn't however, do the group a service if I withhold my true feelings on matter and just absorb it all.  That is not healthy for me nor the people I am around.  My voice matters.

I am interested in helping men and women meet somewhere in the middle.  That, as women, we are not the healed---here to teach men how to step up...we are here to meet each other.  Men, to learn how to step down from over explaining and talking too long and women to learn how to assert ourselves and speak up more---but we have to become more aware of how this effects us all and it is uncomfortable.

I also had the privilege of drinking tea with a man whose Facebook post from the week prior angered me.  It is not helpful for me, respond to something on the feels veiled and cowardly.  It was more fruitful to sit face to face with this person and talk about male/female roles and expectations and how was can shift the dynamics...

It is my hope and goal to lead workshops around this help men and women alike become more aware of creating safer spaces for one another---to encourage us all to step up and that includes me.  To stay in the discomfort, the growth zone...More will be revealed.

Until next time,



The Real Human Experience

Hello all,

It's Monday.  I am committed to writing each week on this day to give all of myself to this blog and not just I'm happy, but also when I don't feel like it, because being human is not just an 'as I feel like it' experience.  And right now, today...I do not feel much like writing or really doing anything for that matter.  Because I'm sad and tired and sometimes I do not want my pain to be seen...and so I withdraw.  People closest to me know this.  I go inside a snail shell and it takes time to emerge...but, I have a willingness now, more than ever to stay be open and it begins with this post. 

This month has, so far, been intense in ways I could not have anticipated.  Politically and personally.  And, in some ways, of course...I am not surprised because naturally, what goes up, must come down and that is both a personal experience and also a collective, group experience---as we shift and change---and I have heard and I know that before an awakening, usually there is pain and so as always,  I am hopeful but that feeling of hopefulness does not detract from all of the other things.

I'm an empath and feel things deeply and the current state of our nation is triggered, agitated or---perhaps, the community with whom I surround myself---is feeling this.  And, also I acknowledge that the way things are, are a reflection of how they have been for such a long time and so I recognize the collective reality of judgement and marginalization (women, people of color, LGBT community, immigrants, persons with disabilities...etc etc) that exists and has existed for so so long. I've read article upon article about how to address these issues with compassion and not just declare, 'I am a safe person' but actually be willing to put ourselves in the midst of uncomfortable conversations to expose our blindspots and biases.  And to this, I say YES.  Count me in.

And maybe now, in the midst of all of this, we are becoming more awake...and with awake-fulness, comes discomfort, pain and the sense of not really knowing what to do.  I'll admit, I find myself grasping at straws sometimes to know what to do and so I boil it down to being my open-hearted, open minded self and express my willingness to learn more, do more, be more---take up more space, love more...educate more...share more...continue to be awake...not clam up when times are tough...but it's not always easy and I get tired sometimes.

And so, with all the intensity, I do realize the very important truth of taking time for myself to recover, to recuperate from everything.  This week, I'm taking refuge in naps and nourishing food, long solo walks and connecting to my inner child because she needs attention badly right now.  She really, truly does.  I'm certain that even just a week from now, I'll feel wildly different as is always the case---hopefully more rejuvenated---but, for now, in full transparency, I'm tired.

Thank you for reading my journey.  I aim to be as authentic as possible here and everywhere.


Shadow Side

My shadow self presents itself to me sometimes and it feels so powerful that it startles me.  I am mostly positive, think the best in people, find it pretty easy to connect....and then I have this side of me that is a wild, untamable beast, especially in the face of darkness or perceived injustice or unconsciousness. 

I'll make mention about my feelings without giving too much away regarding the situation, to protect anonymity and also to not reveal too terribly much about my family.  There has been some darkness lately in my family, and in response to it, my heart feels so tender....I am at times, a wild, untamable beast...snarly and a little out of control...when triggered, I can become more like a fast train moving and before I know it, I've written paragraph upon paragraph of text message content followed by unanswered phone calls...and I'm grasping for some semblance of control, which is merely an illusion.

We all have these dark sides to us!  There is no way to exist as a purely contained, emotionally controlled human at all times...we'd be robots.  I'm at this leg of my journey now where I am trying to forgive all parts of me---learning that without darkness, there would be no way to acknowledge the light and vice versa.  My intentions are good....I aim to communicate truthfully, but when I'm triggered----whoa...especially when it is related to my family---hold on tight!

I forgive myself for being haughty and for saying mean things----and for feeling protective of my family to the extent that I bared my teeth.  My fear is sometimes anger and underneath all of that is a deep sadness for the way people can treat one another---we are all doing our very best.

I stood in the bathroom after this morning's wildness and I pressed my forehead against the wall and prayed to God, spirit, universe to please be with me---in this moment of such revealed vulnerability.  I said, I believe in you, I believe in me...and in that instant, it started to rain----and on my bedroom window, on the condensation created by my own breathing, I wrote "I love you, thank you."  I know that I am being taken care of and so is the health of my family...the little girl in me who cannot stand injustice is feeling fierce...but I know the best I can do it just to love.

Until next week,


In Flow

In Positive Psychology, there is a term called Flow, which refers to "being fully immersed in energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.'  It is a state that I have recently become reacquainted with and I wanted to share a bit about what it feels like and also, the contrast feeling of being stuck or disconnected, which I am also familiar with.  I also wanted to discuss a bit about how I arrived at this new flow state and how I keep it going.

What Stuck is Like:

The feeling of being stuck is something I think we all can relate to as human beings.  I spent quite some time in this space and am pretty familiar with this state.  I recognize that we wouldn't be able to experience the feeling of letting go without the contrasting experience of gripping on.  I've written about this before.  For me, stuck feels like being in the small space of my head, rotating thoughts and ideas around...each time, turning them away.  Thinking, I can't possibly do that!  How can I trust myself?  etc etc etc....until eventually, I push the idea so far away from myself that I completely forget about it.  I did this for a long time before launching my business.  I stayed in a professional environment that wasn't fully serving me and I started to feel myself losing my shine.  I connected less with people and started to isolate myself...I became small and unsure...I began to believe that others had some idea about life that I wasn't privy to...I was disconnected and tired and lonely...I became regimented and shut down and ultimately could not be of service to my students and clients as much as I knew was possible.  

What Flow is Like:

Being in flow feels like being one with the Universe.  Living and working are such natural extensions of myself that I barely have to think when making decisions because the answer comes to me effortlessly.  I never know what day it is and it doesn't really matter because everything is connected.  I write and create without blocks...I am motivated by a deep well of energy and I have very little time or space to over analyze or talk myself out of things.  I say yes more often than I say no and I experience the fullness of life.  I notice that people are drawn to me because of my bright spirit and I feel really full with love.  Projects and ideas flow toward me and I am moving in the same direction as the current that naturally moves with my life as I know it.  

How I achieved flow and keep it going:

This particular flow state in my life started when I said YES to myself.  It began in one of Erinn Lewis's yoga classes and also as a result of my therapist urging me forward.....but I remember this break through...and a small, but growing more powerful...voice within me saying, Brooke it's time to stop acting's time to take a risk.  Saying yes in this moment started a big, beautiful movement forward.  So, I think the first step toward finding flow is saying yes to the thing that scares the shit out of you.  It may be hard at first, but keep going...keep going because you have to and there is no going back....I started to see beautiful, serendipitous changes unfolding before me and that's when I knew I was on the right path.  Collaborations started falling from the trees and my light started to shine more....words spilled out on the page and ideas started flowing like water...there was no stopping this slingshot effect once I let go.  

I keep myself in this flow state by continuing to stay open.  I have moments where my thought patterns want to go back to their natural and familiar state of doubt and worry...but I remind myself that I am in the right place and this is the right time.  I show myself examples of when saying yes to my true calling has revealed the sweetest and most rewarding gifts.  If I feel like shutting down, I notice why and explore what it would be like to stay open, keep connected, keep searching...keep putting myself out there...I connect with my creative spirit through writing and dance and stay grounded through my yoga practice, long walks and talks with supportive friends and my family.  I feel gratitude daily and often express it out loud.  Life is a blessing...I want to savor every moment of it.

I continue to see my experience with curiosity.  Surely, after a period of extreme connection and high vibrational energy,  the opposing energy may be lurking around the corner...but, I remind myself that just as there are downs, there are inevitably going to be ups and also moments that feel dull....because that's life....and it is a beautiful thing to be awake to.

Until next week,










Loosen The Grip/Stay Centered

Hello dear readers!

It was brought to my attention this weekend by an East Side Yoga retreater and friend that my blog posts are helpful and people are reading them, which made me feel know that aside from the cathartic effect that writing has for me, that these little snippets are reaching people and are of good use.  So, thanks Melinda for reminding me of this.  I shall keep going and going and going!

I got back from the retreat yesterday and was, again reminded of the importance of stepping out of my daily life and going somewhere else to collect my thoughts, regain stamina and remember myself and what I stand for and what I'm passionate about which is holding space for people in whatever capacity that is needed.  

This morning, I went for my weekly walk with my dear friend, Lindsey and we talked a lot about our lives as space holders (she is a therapist) and when we walk, we share time and space and it's so helpful to be heard and to able to voice things that might otherwise go unsaid.  Aside from sharing our life's details and what's been going on, we also come to these really interesting and often, pretty accurate and introspective conclusions.  In this post, I'll share one.

I used to be an avid horseback rider.  I rode everyday, in fact when I was younger and got really attached and close to the beautiful beasts.  I was a show jumper and understood this really interesting connection between the horses and my body and nervous system without necessarily having the language at the time to discuss it.  

If you hold the reins too tightly on the horse, not giving them enough space to move their heads around, they rebel...they might even buck you off, which I experienced quite a bit in my younger years.  If you hold the reins too loosely, they won't trust you...they might go off to eat grass in the field or just totally take over....there must be a middle ground....some in between place to make them both trust you and themselves in the process.

This reminds me very much of the re-parenting process I've been going through with myself.  I have been learning how to mother myself with both respect and trust...building up my internal compass more and more to trust that I have my own back.

There was a time in my life where I did not trust myself.  I was a rebel, every sense of the word.  I would put myself on strict diets, I would abstain from life's pleasures and try to be 'good.'  Little did I know, this was in some ways, a method of punishment for the part of me that desires freedom and fun and excitement!  I inevitably would rebel and drink too much or be irresponsible with my body...and this cycle would persist for years...over and over again.  It was not that fun and it was pretty obsessive/unhealthy.  It was incongruous with the lifestyle I really wanted to foster for myself.

Now, I'm learning to hold a looser grip on trust my inner authority in all things...that I know I have my own back, because now I'm coming into great self-love and acceptance.  I no longer have to punish myself for being 'bad' nor reward myself for being 'good.'  I see that life is a constant relationship of ups and downs, trials and tribulations and that regardless of my external reality, I can have a strong core and trust myself even if I loosen the reins.

So, like a horse...I feel less inclined to run off into a barren field or put myself into a tight box....I can just be and graze as I feel like and live my life.  I will liken this to a dream I had quite a while ago about staying in my center.  I dreamed that I was in a pile up of cars in the middle of a field and I was about to crash into the car in front of me.  This was all happening in slow motion.  Instead of staying in the disastrous situation, I got out of my car and stood in the center of the circle, just watching.  I ran off to a nearby town and it was completely barren; a wasteland...the buildings were rusted over and everything was run down.  

I told the owner of East Side Yoga about this dream and he interpreted in to mean that if I am in my center, I will not need to run.  You see, the nearby town was dilapidated and didn't have anything for me....but the pile up of cars surrounding me was also something that disturbed me...the trick is to stay centered...stay inside myself and then, regardless of external circumstances, I won't need to run off.  That has been my deepest lesson...and so, I am grateful that it shows up in my life over and over again as a reminder.

Thank you for reading.  More next week!



On Being Open

I consider myself a pretty open person.  I think I've worn my heart my on sleeve since I was a little girl...people could always tell when I was concentrating hard, when I was sad and when I was worried.  I have worry lines that form on my forehead whenever I'm trying to figure something out.  That being said...sometimes when I experience a strong emotion in the form of fear, sadness or initial reaction is to hide...either by actually distancing myself from other humans or by wearing a mask of a smile...everything's ok, I swear!  Just today, I got to experience a wide range of emotional openings, closings, realizations and now I get to hold space for myself in my writing and in contemplation.  

This has been so far, a month of celebration!  It felt so amazing to be surrounded by so much love from friends and family to commemorate my 30th birthday.  I felt held by so much goodness and I was kinder to myself than I have been in as long as I can remember.  I was in Massachusetts; my heart home and felt so free there.  Now, all the festivities have died down and I am back within myself and back in the roots of my lived experience and journey as a healer and business owner and sensitive, emotional human.

I realize that not every emotional experience is going to be a skyrocket of butterflies and excitement...that what goes up must inevitably come down...but today I'm definitely feeling drained from probably a combination of being super social for the last couple of, too much sun yesterday and being so so so open with my newest and beloved activity--ecstatic dance--where I allow my heart to run so wildly and freely and for the majority of the time I am not thinking at all...and I let myself just unwind and let go of the grip a bit...

But then how do I relocate my center again?  I don't want to retract and go entirely into a shell because I feel vulnerable---so how do I stay connected even when emotions are stirred and I'm feeling the urge to go in?  

My friend Lacey, who is a psychic medium told me today that my Grandmother was trying to send me the following message:  'meet me somewhere in the middle.'  Ok Grandma, I get what you're saying...and I know that you are right...but my question is 'how?' To remain lovingly open while still caring for be vulnerable but not so much that I desire a complete withdraw in the aftermath?

I'm learning I know.. it's certainly not comfortable all the time and right now I can trace the beginnings of a new stage of realization...and now I know that the next step is to get on my mat and on my cushion and write and write my heart out.  Many, many Buddhist teachers remind us that the confusion and emotional chaos are very great places to be because in those places there is I know it is is for my well-being.  

Until next week!


I'm 30 and...

Hello all and happy Monday!

I'm currently in Western Massachusetts in a giant house while my friends make French Toast and I can see the lake and beautifully crisp trees in the distance.  We just got back from a chilly morning walk in the woods.   Music is playing, coffee is brewing and people are laughing and it makes me effortlessly happy to be surrounded with so much love.  Being 30 is so far so great!

Before meeting up with friends, I spent a few days in Boston alone and it was such an important and liberating experience.  It makes me realize that solo retreat experiences are so healing and important.  I rented an apartment and decided in each moment what I wanted to do and interacted with strangers and saw live music and danced and just did whatever felt right and it turns out, I actually really enjoy my own company.  I feel safe within myself and am becoming closer to me. I missed public transportation so much and learned again how meditative the train can be.  

For me, it was fascinating being in a city that I spent my late teens and early 20s in again. It was beautifully revealing.  I felt older, wiser, more self-assured and the familiar background gave me evidence of my changing self.  It was lovely.  There used to be so much self-criticism and self-judgement, self-analysis and future thinking going on that I often missed out on the present moment.  Now, as I step into greater self-acceptance, I am learning to be more present and aware; to dance without thinking, to take in art as if through my whole body.

My friends and I sat around a dinner table the night of my actual birthday with a huge salad and some sweet potatoes and all shared our intentions for the coming year.  It was astonishing to me how open, present and emotionally mature we have all become.  We voiced things out loud that were sometimes tough and talked about our various inner experiences.  As we are all learning to become more present and accepting of ourselves, it leaves so much more space to connect and hold space for one another.  Honesty, and conscious communication are then more available.  It's healthier.  It's more mature.  

I'm really excited about this coming year; of stepping into a new decade of life.  Knowing myself more and being kinder.  I am so grateful for what is unfolding all around me and feeling extremely blessed.  I'm going to get back to the scenery for now and post more next week.  

Sending love,




Stronger Now

Hello world,

I'm coming to you a day early since I will be on the road much of tomorrow visiting family for Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year).  I have so much to say.  Something happened.  I'm not sure exactly when or how but I felt a shift within me over the past couple of weeks, a rebirth of sorts, a new coming into myself that I have not yet felt before.  I am more and more me.

I am not shy about the fact that I have dealt with anxiety for the majority of my life.  It is what brought me to the practice of yoga and threw me headfirst into the healing arts world and so when all is said and done, I am deeply grateful for it even though it makes my head spin and heart beat fast and world feel cave like.  It's the reminder to again and again come home to myself.  To take care of myself in these sweet and nurturing ways and as a result, offer my truer, fuller, more expanded self to my clients.

When the shift began....was probably at the beginning of September.  My dad was hospitalized and I went to visit him.  I was shaken from the inside in a way I had not been before.  He is fine, he is totally ok...but being in that context with him cored me.  I was a child quickly crossing the line of adulthood all at once.  It is up to me now...I thought.  It is up to me now to take care of myself.  I know this may sound kind of morbid....and in all reality my Dad is healthy and things are ok...but it was in this moment, I decided that I better start being kinder to myself...start mothering myself better...looking out for my best interests more.

On the way back from Houston to Austin after this incident, I came to terms with myself about some things.  I was no longer going to allow life to just happen to me...I was going to take the bull by the horns a little more and become me...I may seem easy going, and I can admire my own flexibility, but I'm learning what doesn't work for me anymore and I'm ready to step out of some patterns.  Hallelujah!  So during this month, I have been sober by choice.  I am more clear, productive and yes oh my lord yes, I am feeling MORE.  I am feeling it all; the self consciousness, the confusion, the uncertainty, the sadness left over from years and years of pushing it away or down or ignoring its existence.  BRING IT ON!  BECAUSE you have to FEEL it to HEAL it.  So that's been happening.

I took myself to ecstatic dance for the first time last Sunday and OH MY GOD.  THIS is my new way of connecting to myself and spirit and sensuality and UNIVERSAL LOVE.  I am in love with this new form of self expression.  SO insanely grateful that this beautiful healing community exists.  It is healing me.  I am being healed.  I am watching myself interact with this free form dance and the open hearted, beautiful souls who have been mirroring myself back to me.  YES.

I am growing and learning so much.  There have been dark times, where I have felt small and scared and unsure if branching out on my own was smart or wise or possible.  BUT, lately....I have seen so much light and beauty and incredible things have been opening up all around me.  I feel so much LOVE...and I'm excited to keep blossoming and unwinding and healing and becoming ME; to shine brighter...This work is a portal back to myself and I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

In amazement,


Growing Pains

After talking to my sister last week, we decided that the name of this post should be 'I don't know what I'm doing a lot of the time...'  I think the sentiment I'm trying to capture is that when you try something new and especially when it is more in line with who you are...there is a BIG BIG BIG opportunity for growth.  With this growth comes pain and mourning the loss of old patterns of behavior and all that accompanies stepping into bigger shoes.  So, 'growing pains' felt like a better, more accurate title....though I still don't know what I'm doing some of the time and guess what?  That's ok!

I'm a visionary...a dreamer, an idea energy lover and a healer...I am not so comfortable (yet) in the realm of keeping track of my books in an excel spreadsheet or collecting client emails to send follow up notes to or even taking progress notes on my clients to develop a plan of action.  I'm very good at being present...being with my clients, empathy, compassion etc....yes I have those things down....the other stuff,'s providing me with a new level of things I have yet to grapple with.  Luckily, there are people whose specialty it is to deal with these things...and so, alas this week I'll meet with a financial planner to help me better organize myself around money, numbers and the things that are seemingly more boring (but I'm trying to view as more fun/artful)

So yes, sometimes I want to pull my hair out because my computer is running too slowly and my phone doesn't have enough space for the apps I need in order to record myself doing things....but that's ok...I'm just learning to develop new muscles...ones that were underdeveloped for a while because I didn't need to use them.  I didn't need to keep track of things in the same way or organize my schedule so mindfully...but I'm getting a chance to practice all of this now.  It's all in the learning.

I've also been experiencing some growing pains in the area of self love, which ironically (or perhaps completely purposefully) is what I'm leading workshops about.  They say you must teach what you are meant to learn and holy moly it's true.  The 6 week workshop that I've been co-facilitating with Marissa Knox has urged me to take a look at how I approach myself in these 6 crucial areas of my life a bit more.  I've been curious about myself in the realms in a more meaningful and mindful way because I have stepped into the role of teacher about this stuff.  That doesn't mean I have to have it all together or have figured out how to do it...quite the opposite.  Actually, this workshop has had a sort of unraveling effect on me.  Where attention goes, energy flows....and so the examination has been underway and sometimes a bit too much and self-conscious at times.  Being overly concerned....which is not in service of self-acceptance either.

How I've grown in this way is evident in the risks I've been willing to take lately. I have been sober this whole month by choice...which has been an exercise in mindfulness and social vulnerability.  Not that there is anything inherently wrong with alcohol and I actually find it to be a pretty joyful way to unwind...but I needed to show myself something...I needed to see who I am without it...socially and otherwise.  The results have been a more self-conscious Brooke...who sometimes fumbles for words or doesn't have enough energy to stay the whole night at parties or outings and the learning to say no piece that is trying to emerge...though sometimes still has trouble.  I've been more productive this month for sure and though certainly not happy all the time and more accurately feeling more intensely..and definitely faced with a bunch of discomfort and self-doubt and real shit---I honestly wouldn't trade the cringe worthy moments for anything.

I've also been practicing authentic relating sort of by accident and then finding myself more and more drawn to the community in Austin.  I tried ecstatic dance for the first time and it was an incredible experience.  If you don't know what it's essentially 2.5 hours of free movement with a drop any move the way your body wants you to...without speaking to anyone.  It was one of the most positive experiences I've had.  I was a bit nervous at first...dipping my toes in...but by the end I fully jumped in and it was amazing.  It was exactly what I needed.  To me, this is cultivate learn to serve myself better and more...on my nearly 30th year, I commit to trying more things for me...things that I enjoy and not because anyone told me to or not to....I'm coming into myself in a big way and it's the most uncomfortable, joyful, scary, lovely, vulnerable, and magical time of my life.

I love you all.  Thanks for reading my journey!






Vulnerability is Beautiful

I'm not always willing to be vulnerable.  Sometimes I clam up so tightly that no one can see inside and I portray being fine and I need to be alone.  Other times, when I feel my edges soften and I can recognize my own humanness, I can step into my own sore spots and share them with others and this increases connection and leaves me feeling less alone in my journey.

A few moments cropped up over the past few weeks where I was both willing and unwilling to be vulnerable and the feelings surrounding the circumstances were met well when I opened myself up.  I don't think it's always appropriate or even safe to reveal ourselves always, but when the circumstances and timing are right, they are really right.  Vulnerability builds trust.

Somehow I have this 'I can do it myself' mentality.  This could be a product of my being first born of three girls or becoming emotionally aware or mature at an early age and therefore adult-ized by the age of 12.  It could also be my stubbornness...but more likely it is my shame. It was easy to not feel any of this shame when I was working for someone else more regularly....when more of my life and schedule were not up to me to decide...but, nowadays, it feels harder to hide my fears of failure and even rejection.  I'm trying things and needing to rely on myself more...which means that more comes up.  

I know that it is not helpful for me to wall up because I'm too scared to let people see the messy parts.  That I'm afraid of my parents getting older.  That I'm afraid of situations that I feel like I have little/no control over.  That I am nervous about becoming successful (whatever that means at any given moment).  That I am lonely sometimes and crave connection so badly but am sometimes fearful of it.  It doesn't help to always keep those things to this blog is one way to reveal things about my process, but I also had a few affirming interactions this week that helped me feel that vulnerability is beautiful.

A dear friend and I (this relationship I care about SO deeply) had a miscommunication or a misunderstanding or I don't know....maybe I just miss her or was projecting.  I wanted to tell her that I missed her but I could feel myself walling up, thinking....I don't need anyone, I can do it by myself, I am capable...etc. etc....which was only coming from a place of self-protection and potentially just that I missed days when we could just enter each other's across the hall rooms in the morning and walk to kitchen together to make changes and so do circumstances and friendships.  Sometimes my stubbornness wants connections to stay the same and my fears of abandonment pop up.  

After lots of skirting around and saving face, I eventually softened and revealed the truth which was that I MISS HER.  We got to spend some quality time together this past weekend and it helped me see that even though circumstances have changed, the love and connection for one another is still the same and very much in tact.  Just tell people how you's a reminder to myself.

Another opportunity to be vulnerable happened with a new co-worker.  We shared in a very safe space with one another present-focused feelings we were the moment, slowed down.  "I feel intimidated by you..."  "I feel like I want to impress you..."  "You are already impressive to me."  The mirroring and open dialogue felt real and important...and something I had not done previously but I was relieved and glad for the opportunity to be so open.  It inspires me to be more open in my communication with know that I can...that it is possible.  To share myself...even the messy parts.  

AND a women's gathering on Friday night where we offered bits and pieces of ourselves. I won't reveal too much here, for the sake of confidentiality...but the essence of the experience was total raw and real honesty.  "I am comparing myself to everyone in this room..." was uttered allowed...and the curtain of perfectionism was immediately lowered and I was humbled.  So, So humbled.  Before arriving, I had texted my friends "I'm really nervous about going to this gathering with a bunch of women I don't know....what if they judge me?"  Not only did they receive me and each other with warmth and turns out that we were all in agreement about this fear.  Will they judge me?  Will they accept me?  Will they like me?

And so, here I am....with a willingness to be a bit more vulnerable when it feels safe and appropriate.  To discovering more about myself with love and openness.  To work through shame I have about my body, being a woman, numbers, money, directions, my messiness, my sometimes forgetfulness and lack of organizational skills and sometimes when words get stuck in my throat.  Willingness is a good thing and I do believe that I am exactly where I need to be in my journey at this point. Perfectly imperfect.

Till next week,



It seems appropriate to write about slowing down and dropping into stillness at this point in my journey.  I know I have written about it before, but this time it is coming from a different place, a more experienced place, a place of knowing a little deeper and of understanding myself more as a human being.

Knowing that I have a tendency to dive into things head first without considering all the possible implications and even how it will feel in my schedule, I can over do it and deplete myself so much that I am neither available for myself and certainly don't have the space for others.

Visiting my dad in the hospital was a wake up call for me.  I was shaken back into reality by the startling realization that my parents are getting older and things are changing.  Perfect health is not a forever thing for any of us and poor health is possible too.  I was really startled into a new level of self care...slapped in the face...wake up!  

I started my meditation teacher training classes a few weeks ago and have begun a daily meditation practice where I sit for 20 minutes each morning before checking email, social media or text messages.  This has been helping me in more ways that I ever considered. I have time and space around me to let thoughts come and feel into my body and it's working for me!  I'm feeling things that I have pushed away for months and even years.  The discomfort of being human....feeling socially awkward, feeling emotional, insecure, feeling all these things.  Letting myself feel the reality of this temporary life.

Meditation in the early morning makes it difficult to drink the night before and so I've crowded out alcohol for the time being...and I am more clear and focused than before.  It also helps with running and yoga and just being a more available human.

I am learning to sit in the discomfort of the pause.  That sometimes a strong emotion does not need to elicit a strong action.  That sometimes I just need to feel the thing and act at a time when I am not so triggered or heated or confused or sad or angry or scared etc etc.

And so it is in the pause, the discomfort with the grey area, and the not knowing that I am residing for the time being.  I have goals I need to work on for my business and personal life that need a lot of attention....and so I'll go there.  In and in and in.