Autumn has almost come to a close and as I bundle up for winter and the holidays, I'm also gearing up for the second session of an amazing program that I started at the end of September - The Clinical Foundations Program at the dhyana Center in Sebastopol, CA. In this program we are learning the foundations of the Ayruvedic approach to health and I can't tell you how happy I am to be a part of it! I am learning with the most excellent classmates, and instructor, DeeAnna Batdorff. This woman is just dripping bits of golden knowledge wherever she goes. It's incredible to be able to learn from her! Not only do I get to soak up some of this knowledge in class, but I have gotten to meet many beautiful hearts through the center. I love going there! I recommend to anyone to check out the services they offer and definitely hit up the Self-Care Sanctuary (also linked on my Recommendations page).
Attending class and clinics at dhyana Center, as well as getting more involved in the Songbird Healing Center community has been motivating, inspiring, and is proving to me that I made the right move leaving my corporate life early this year. It's a very different life and I'm still struggling to figure out my day-to-day routines, but I love what I get to do! Exploring healing modalities is exciting and when a client feels relief working with me, it's the incredibly rewarding. Continuing to go for it and figure out the challenges of my new life because I know this is where I'm supposed to be.
Stay warm, everybody!
September: Songbird is taking flight!
Happy September! IT'S SEPTEMBER! Holy guacamole! Happy Autumn month - my very favorite season *wistful smile* I'm ready for every season by the time it rolls around, but Fall is my absolute favorite. I love the smells, the colors, the chill in the air, going for walks in sweaters, APPLES. Excuse me while I get romantic about a season... <3 <3 <3
BUT GUESS WHAT! MORE CAPS! Very exciting new announcement - I will now be holding office hours at Songbird Community Healing Center in Cotati. It's a beautiful, healing space full of amazing people! The owner, Jasmine, has built something super special here and I'm so happy to be a part of it. Not to mention, the name Songbird hold such cool meaning for me as I sing with Songbird Studios in San Francisco (and have a songbird tattoo nbd :P). It's super weird how the universe works, isn't it? I will be holding office hours at Songbird on Saturdays (10am - 2pm) and on Tuesdays (2pm - 6pm). Please feel free to book an appointment with me through my online scheduler, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. I look forward to working with new people in this new space!
August: Grief and the Sunday of Summer
Hello, August, my old friend. We meet again. I heard it referred to as "the Sunday of Summer" the other day and now this is what it shall be forevermore. Once August is over we're pretty much careening into Christmas, right? I lost someone very special to me in August of 2016, and the last couple of years it's been a weight that's gotten heavier and heavier as it comes around the calendar. This year was a bit easier than the last, but that in itself brought up weird guilty feelings. Grief is WEIRD y'all. The nicer thing about this year is that I've had the time to spend on myself and on my grief. I've been able to explore it, dive into it - probably roll around in it a little too much - and spend some time honoring my passed one. I made shadow boxes that now hang on my bedroom wall with some of his things and our things, cards that were never given, flowers that were sent and have now dried. I was so afraid to go through these things. Afraid of the memories that would come up and their hurt to my heart. It did hurt, and I cried a lot. But then it felt better and some of the heaviness was lifted. I'm grateful for it. I'm grateful for the memories that I got to swim through again, painful or not. I miss him. He was dear, he was sweet, he was fucking FUNNY, and so damn smart. He could make you feel like he was the only person to ever see you. He was dark, he hid, he lied, he was unsure that all of him could be loved so he broke himself into pieces and shared each one with different people. I miss him.
It's hard to move forward, but as I said I may have spent some time wallowing and not letting others in as maybe I should. A good friend, who also struggles with this month, and I have been intentionally trying to be consistent with good self-care practices (enough sleep, exercise, meditation/journaling, time outside, etc.). We're calling it "Self-Care Sunday of Summer". Clever girls. Hashtags and all on IG if you want to do it too. All are welcome :)
July Feature: Holy crap it's July - Thoughts, feels, ANNOUNCEMENT!
I'm partly astounded that it's (now practically the end of) July and partly can't believe it's still only 2018. So much has happened in the first half of this year and yet it's flown by. If you’ve followed me on Instagram (pretty much the only social media platform I’m using at this point, but that may be changing soon!), you may have seen that I recently left my “9-5” job in corporate Human Resources to begin building my own business in the realm of helping and healing, more one-on-one.
Since leaving in February I’ve spent a lot of the past few months taking classes all over the place, lots of traveling, learning, meeting new people, catching up with friends and family. It’s been nice to move at a slower pace and yet as I said, it’s flown by. I still don’t quite have anything to grasp onto in this new life and it’s both freeing and very scary. Now I’m home for a while and things will be settling down. Knowing that I am fully vulnerable to depression, and have felt mini swings of it several times even through the fun of the last few months, it’s not smart of me to have nothing to do. So instead I'm overwhelming myself with ideas and projects :D
Not wanting to lose any momentum, I’m already putting my first Reiki classes on the books! I’d be very excited for you to join me and a few others (space will be limited and introductory pricing is RAD so sign up fast!) in the first Reiki I and II classes that I will be hosting in The Little Yellow House. Woohoo! I’m so stoked to begin teaching this beautiful practice that has been woven throughout my life so interestingly. To start, I will be hosting a Reiki I/II weekend intensive over August 25th and 26th for those wishing to become practitioners, as well as a two-day evening course for Reiki I on Wednesday/Thursday August 29th and 30th, meant for those who are interested in learning more about the practice and particularly in using on themselves. I'm so looking forward to both classes! Please check out the Classes page for more detailed info as well as how to sign up! I will be adding more classes quickly, so keep an eye out! Btw, the cost of classes will be increasing after September 2018... just a heads up!
April Feature: Feeling this growth...
Is anyone else really feeling the growth in 2018? Kind of hurts though, right? Hang in there with me.
T-shirt by Spacesick available at Shirtwoot. (Click shirt for link)
March Feature: Spring! Rebirth! Renewal!
While the beginning of the calendar year is a natural time for reflections and new goals, Spring is another time of natural new beginnings, which is why it is probably marks the new year in many cultures. While I love the cozy, quiet, tucked-in feeling of Winter, by this time of year I am very ready for some warmth and sunshine. I am ready to be outside and breathing the fresh air (although seasonal allergies can make this sort of thing less carefree at times, grrr). This Spring I am personally going through a rebirth as I recently left my full-time day job to work more on my goal of helping and healing. The more steps I take on this path, the more I realize I have to learn about myself and in general. It's humbling and extremely exciting! What I am going to try to do, and what I think we should all do, is to try to tap into the energy and magic (yes I said "magic", get over it) of Spring and jump on any new ideas, projects, plans, adventures, etc. But also give yourself space to get dreamy and spacey and peel back your own layers. Rediscover yourself and/or plant the seed of redefining yourself.
February Feature: Self-Love
February is a month to celebrate love! I love love! But instead of focusing on romantic love this month, I want to think about how we love ourselves. We can forget to love and appreciate ourselves and it can often feel selfish, but self love and self care are not selfish. Once again for the people in the back! SELF LOVE AND SELF CARE ARE NOT SELFISH!! This month I want us to challenge ourselves to practice a few self love tools.
Practice self-care: This can be any number of things that are literally taking care of yourself - a long hot bath, taking time to read quietly, preparing a healthy meal, going for a walk, spending time with a dear friend, etc.
Make a list of your accomplishments: Freakin pat yourself on the back! Get on the balcony and take a look at what you have achieved. Take a moment to be proud of yourself and accept that you can do great things.
This is going to sound cheesy, but tell yourself that you love yourself! Hey you in the mirror there... I love you! *wink*
Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses: It can often be easier to list our strengths than our weaknesses, but by truly acknowledging where we have challenges, we can then understand and accept this part of ourselves. Self-love is unconditional.
Meditate: I feel that meditation is such an important tool for self-love because it allows you the time to be present and breathe. Sometimes there is no greater gift to ourselves than that.
Have yourselves a glorious and LOVING February! Please let me know if you try any of these tools and if you find them helpful! I would love to hear your experiences :)
January Feature: Reflections and Intentions
January is a natural time to reflect on the previous year - what were our roses and thorns? What lessons can we take from both kinds of experiences? How did we show our strengths? How did we show our vulnerabilities? Were relationships built? Were any weakened and why? I invite you to take some time and reflect on 2017, but also think about the person you want to be in 2018. How do you want to make an impact? How do you want to feel? Who is the person you want to be? What are you going to do to take care of your mental, physical, and emotional health this year? How can you challenge yourself to stretch and grow? Here is the assignment - Take at least 30 minutes, find a peaceful place where you can sit and focus, and take the time to focus on your reflections from 2017 and your intentions for 2018. You can do it! 30 minutes is nothing. Take the time. When you reflect upon this year next January, I hope that you feel this activity made a difference for you!
December Feature: Depression fighting iPhone Wallpapers!
Every little bit helps when you are fighting off depression. I came up with the Depression Fighting Wallpaper for my phone when a friend sent me a helpful quote during a tough time that I was going through. I took the saying, put it over a peaceful feeling photo that I had taken, and made that my phone wallpaper. Just seeing that phrase several times a day started to calm me. It's not a cure, but I think it's a helpful tool for anyone's toolkit. I hope you enjoy my photography as well!
Aubrey Nichole Rhodes is a Coach and Reiki teacher/practitioner with a degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences and over a decade of experience as a Human Resources Professional, including both coaching and training. She is open to working with individuals for one-on-one coaching and/or healing, as well as with groups for team coaching and training. Aubrey currently resides in Sonoma County, California.
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