Soul Seeds // Kickstarter

Today. Is. The. D A Y !

The Soul Seeds // Affirmation Deck is officially live on Kickstarter! So what does this mean? Basically, this campaign will allow me to see how many people are truly interested in the work I’ve done. On the Kickstarter page, there are several ways for people to help support and fund the project and it’s also a way to “pre-order” the deck. Once the project gets fully backed, I will be able to send the cards to print and that’s where it gets super exciting! All these months of hard work, learning, starting over… and over, loss of sleep (to be real, I don’t really sleep anyways), will all be worth it!

NOTE: If you choose to support this project, you will not be charged until the the end of the Kickstarter campaign, only if the the goal is met.

So, now you might be asking- “Why Affirmations?”

Positive affirmations have had a great impact on my life over the last several years.  And I’ve found that repeating positive phrases with intention and trust has ultimately helped get me out of some seriously shitty head space… losing my parents, a cancer diagnosis while pregnant, persistent anxiety… and most recently, preparing myself for a sudden appendectomy.  It wasn’t an overnight success but speaking kindly and supportively to myself eventually became natural and comforting. {As it should be, right?!)  And it turned out, all of these difficult moments became the inspiration for Soul Seeds // Affirmation Deck and created a tangible way to be able to share this inner magic with others.

Top Left: The Day Before Diagnosis, Top Right: Mid-Chemo Treatments, Bottom: Gang's All Here
Top Left: The Day Before Diagnosis, Top Right: Mid-Chemo Treatments, Bottom: Gang’s All Here

Initially, I tried to get someone else to create this deck.  It didn’t cross my mind that I would be capable of learning Photoshop & Illustrator or get past the fear of being vulnerable enough to really put myself out there.  But hell, here we are!

HOW I USE AFFIRMATIONS

I tend to write affirmations down that serve me in that moment (that moment being an hour, a day, a week, a month… whatever- you get it).  I carry them around in my purse on sticky notes, create reminders on my phone which pop up at random times, scribble them in my planner, I repeat them in my head and often use them as intentions during my yoga practice. I also love offering affirmation cards at the beginning of each yoga class I teach to remind my students just how rad each individual truly is.  Of course, there are no hard rules for positive self affirmations- only what works and feels right for you. 

SO WHAT IS A POSITIVE AFFIRMATION?

Simply put, they are positive words, phrases, and statements that are used to challenge negative thoughts.  They can motivate and boost low self-esteem or encourage an overall positive shift in your life. They can help to decrease stress and increase feelings of self worth.  Affirmations are designed to alter the beliefs we have about ourselves so that we think more positively. Personally, I truly believe that our thoughts create our actions and our actions create our reality. Because, if we’re constantly inundating ourselves with negative thoughts, we will take negative actions (or lack of action)… thus creating our reality. So just imagine the beauty that can come about from speaking kindly to ourselves.

ABOUT THE DECK

  • 52 Card Deck
  • 90mm X 90mm Square Cards
  • 400GSM {The Thickest Cardstock Offered}
  • Matte Lamination
  • Sturdy Two-Piece Storage Box

A FEW WAYS TO GET THE BEST OUT OF YOUR CARDS:

Feel It

Connection is key.  You don’t want to just grab at any affirmation. Or jack your pal’s affirmation of choice if it doesn’t really speak to you. You feel me?

Say It As If It Already Is

The most important part of this practice- at least as I believe- is that your affirmations are worded in the present- as if they/you already ‘are’.  For example, if you are wanting to channel inner strength, you would say “I am filled with strength and courage” instead of “I will be strong”. 

Short and Sweet 

Keep it short and to the point so that you’ll actually be able to remember and reference back to it.   

Let It Happen 

If you try to force it, you may resent it.  Not just affirmations… but so many things in life.  Let the practice of affirming become a natural and organic part of your day.  Trusting in the process and repeating them daily will help to reprogram your mind in a positive manner. 

Think Positive

Be specific to what you do want instead of what you don’t want.  Our subconscious tends to skip words like not, don’t, won’t. An example of this would be “I radiate positivity” instead of “I won’t be a total bitchwad today”. 

Trust

If you are pulling an affirmation card from a deck, close your eyes and take a couple of breaths.  Trust that whichever card you pull is the card that is meant for you in that moment. If a card ‘jumps out at you’ trust that you are absolutely meant to have this card.

Breathe. Affirm. Repeat.

Give yourself a moment to quiet the mind and connect with your breath.  Read or say your affirmation out loud, paying close attention to each word, how they resonate, observing any emotions or sensations that arise. 

Above are only recommendations as to how you can work with your affirmations but the truly joyous part is that YOU get to choose what works best for you!

Checkout the Kickstarter campaign here!

**This project would never have made it this far without the help of my friend Blaire. She believed in me from the very beginning (aka when I tried to convince her to make this deck) and continues to believe in me and guide me throughout this crazy creative process and project. Blaire- there are never going to be enough words for me to express my gratitude. Other than- bitches do indeed love nebulas.

***Fun Fact: The night I texted to Blaire that I thought she and another specific friend should make an affirmation deck, she immediately responded that her and said friend were actively working on an oracle deck- which turned out PHENOMENAL! You can check it out here: The Threads of Fate

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T H R E E YEARS!

Today marks 3 years since I got the call confirming what I already knew… And what we all now know.

What I didn’t know at that time was- What would happen to the baby growing inside of me? What would my husband and 1 year old do if something happened to me? How would I choose to handle the news? And I definitely did not comprehend how dramatically my life and outlook on life would change.  

That call obviously shook my world and the world of my family and friends.  And I often wonder if baby Wyatt could feel it too.  But after speaking with my team of doctors, my first concern was addressed.  The baby in my belly would be perfect… and he is. Sometimes a perfect pain in the keister but still perfect.

And thankfully I am still here to witness the great father John is to our little humans. And I get to see Harlon growing up to be an amazing child. AND it turns out, I handled the diagnosis and what followed pretty OK.  Of course, I had and continue to have my shit days.  And my complete shit days.  And my “I’m never leaving my bed because life isn’t fair” shit days. But I try to keep a positive outlook as often as possible (while giving myself permission to throw the occasional pity party). And I remind myself that I get to choose if I walk around miserable and mean or if I want to choose to look at the positives and radiate joy.

This way of thinking is not for everyone, I get that.  And I have never tried to push my views on life onto anyone else.  I mean, we all get to walk our own paths.  But I remember reading a quote by another survivor right after I was diagnosed which said “Breast cancer can change you, but the change can be beautiful”.  I have tried to wholeheartedly embody that idea by looking for the beauty even when it seems to be pure shit surrounding me.

I know I don’t post very often about my story anymore.  But it’s not because I am “all better” or “over it”, but it’s because I am busy living this life I’ve been blessed with, spending my time with the people I love and who spark pure joy in my heart.  This disease has taught me what is important and what is not, where I want to focus my energy and where I can let go.  I am busy with my family, teaching yoga, supporting others who’ve been diagnosed, working on projects… all with the goal to leave the world better and more joyous than I found it and to be the light for others when the darkness tries to consume them.

Truthfully, anxiety still haunts me, as it always has.  And I’m not sure if I’ll ever get past the feeling of ‘running out of time’.  But life continues to be put into perspective and it’s nice to know we are all in this together…

So cheers to many, MANY, M A N Y more years to come!

Be Well

I met Mary Baker – CFO & Co-founder of Be Well Yoga for Cancer Recovery- earlier this Spring when I attended Be Well’s yoga teacher training. I felt an immediate connection with the program and the founders. I am honored to be a Be Well graduate and am so grateful to have Mary and Heidi in my life. They are supportive, caring, compassionate, smart, dedicated… I could go on! Here is Mary and Be Well’s story!

Tell us your story. What is your program all about and how did you find yourself involved?

Be Well came to life on a road trip home from a 10 day long training that my friend and now business partner, Heidi Borsch, and I attended together back in 2014. Heidi and I both lost parents to cancer and sought out training to learn how to use yoga and mindfulness practices with the cancer population. One year later, Be Well became an official 501(c)3 nonprofit and has been serving the cancer community for over 6 years. Be Well offers 12 weekly Yoga for Cancer Recovery classes that are specifically tailored to the unique needs of cancer patients. Currently we serve the North County San Diego and Riverside County areas, with a brand new class coming in September to the OC!! (Led by two amazing Be Well Graduates – Jessica Beese Filloon and Jenny Jensen!)

Three years ago, Be Well formed its 55-hour Teacher Training Program to help get more Yoga for Cancer trained teachers into the community. Since inception, we have trained just under 50 individuals ranging from cancer survivors to medical doctors, all with a passion to serve the cancer community.

What populations / areas do you serve?

Our primary population is those who are living with a cancer diagnosis. We deal with all cancers, with breast cancer being our highest percentage of students. We also welcome caregivers, friends and family members to attend class with their survivor. We know firsthand the direct impact both cancer and yoga can have on everyone, and we love to see the positive effect our Be Well program has on everyone who comes to class!

What are the main obstacles that stand between you and your mission, and what ways do you find to overcome them?

The biggest obstacle we face on an on-going basis is funding (which is the case with any nonprofit). Finding creative ways to get money to keep our program running and growing is always at the top of our agenda. Secondly, an obstacle we face is continuing to get word out to the world about our program so our classes and training sessions can grow as well!

Program aside, tell us about yourselves. What makes you, YOU!

Heidi and I joke that we share a brain! We are very much a yin/yang pair in personality, temperament, and appearance – but our differences also make us a perfect match like the two hemispheres of one big brain! We are both passionate about what we do and both agree that teaching our Yoga for Cancer classes are the highlight of each and every week. Heidi is definitely the creative one – she loves painting, making jewelry, and other crafty activities. I am more of an active, fitness junkie and when I’m not teaching yoga you’ll find me out hiking or at the Crossfit gym getting my sweat on!

How has C directly impacted your own life? 

For both of us, cancer took away a dear loved one. Heidi was a young mother when her own mom died of ovarian cancer and I lost both of my parents within a 6 month time frame in my early 40’s. This was a life changer for us and we both felt deeply that we needed to give back in some way, to do what we could now and moving forward to help others who are living with cancer and those who are caring for loved ones with the disease.

What are your go-to acts of self care?

There are definitely real side effects of our work with the cancer population. Over the past 6 years, we have lost more than 6 very special students and friends and each one is a challenge. We give ourselves time to feel and to grieve and we also acknowledge that the time we were able to spend with them was time that made a difference in the quality of their life. We also make sure that we do our self-care – meditation, yoga, exercise, time with loved ones – are all part of our daily routine to keep life in balance.

What have you learned about yourself and the C community since starting with your program?

Cancer, whether you have it personally, or you experience it through a loved one, changes everything. It completely alters your outlook on life. Every day is a precious gift. Each breath an unrepeatable moment in time. We both feel that we have been able to really tap into our compassionate, nurturing natures and share our gifts doing something we dearly love.

If you could share any piece of advice for someone who has been diagnosed, what would it be?

DO BE WELL YOGA!!!!!!

Do you have a favorite quote, mantra, phrase, or curse word? 

Hmm that’s a tough one! We use quotes and mantras for all of our classes and over these many years I have found SO many good ones!!! I’ll share with you the very first quote I used at my very first yoga class and which I still feel is incredibly important for everyone to remember: “When you own your breath, no one can steal your peace” Teaching our students, especially our cancer students, to breathe well is one of the most important things we do in our classes. They can take that skill everywhere and into every situation. Time and time again they tell us how much learning to breathe properly has positively impacted their lives.

What are the latest happenings with your program right now? 

Coming up next – our Fall training! We are still seeking a few more qualified individuals to join us on the journey of becoming a Be Well Certified Yoga for Cancer teacher!! www.bewelltherapy.net/teacher-training

How can we contact your program?

www.bewelltherapy.net @bewelltherapy on Instagram and Be Well Yoga Therapy on Facebook