Building Fences is like Building Relationships

“The same wind that uproots trees makes the grasses shine.” #rumi

In October of last year during a massive storm, three trees came down in the paddock where we keep the horses. It was a true mess. The kind that you start on and then wait over a year to finally finish. The trees took out one of our fence lines, replacing it with a tangle of limbs. Last weekend Ben and I went out to help finally help finish the project. We were on fence repair while our friend worked on chainsawing the remains of the tree. I’ve never built a fence from scratch before, nor repaired a fence to this extent. So with a hammer, a box of nails, some lumber, and an intention to build a fence, we got to work. I am a constant student of life and relationships, and I couldn’t help but notice how similar building the fence was to working on a marriage.

Here are my observations:
 It takes two in order to repair a fence. One has to hold the lumber in place, and the other has to secure it with a nail and hammer. Both parts are very different and equally valuable for the end result. Two people can work at the relationship in a very different way, often those differences are necessary and can be incredibly beneficial for the end goal. Try to avoid judging different as wrong.

Before we could build the fence, we had to clear away the debris. If there are sticks and limbs that are going to trip you up, it’s helpful to clear the pathway before starting the process. Work tends to be more streamlined when you have physical space and aren’t cramped.

It’s satisfying to work together on achievable goals, but not all goals are accomplished in one day. This was a 6 weekend long project. It took a lot of work to get around to actually building the fence. The preliminary work is so necessary. Celebrate the steps that lead to the final goal.

When overwhelmed, it can be helpful to pick a spot and just start somewhere. At first the project might feel insurmountable. It took moving one branch at a time over the course of a year to get to where we could build the fence. It’s a journey. Treat it like one.

Ask for help. We had to turn to our friend Haywood and ask for advice often. He would offer some gentle ideas for the fence but never judgement. Ultimately, he empowered us to figure it out on our own.

Sometimes you have to rip out the old. There were some boards that had completely rotted and no longer could be used. We had to tear those out in order to bolster the fence. When you realize a coping tool isn’t working any more, sometimes it just has to go in order to make space for the new, stronger tool. Even if it looks mismatched, in the end it’s stronger.

Fences can keep things in and keep things out. Decide your boundaries and what you want to keep, and let the fence hold everything else out.

If you’re looking to get out of a space of stagnation, build a fence!

Retreating Rather Than Reacting

Last month I took a three-day trip to the mountains for writing and meditation. I ended up doing more sleeping and reflecting. I arrived home with no blog posts or book chapters written, but I was extremely well rested. My husband laughed at me. “What did you do for 3 days if you didn’t write anything?” I sat. And I prayed. And I let myself be in the energy of inspiration, sitting in the energy of spirit. Often when I go on retreat, I go with a purpose, a determination to write something, make something, do something, to create. But in the process, it’s easy for me to forget to just simply be. Inspiration isn’t about having to produce a product or a book; it’s about being within your own spirit. In-Spirit. Inspiration.

In the days since coming back down the mountain, I have been working on how to apply that to daily life. It’s easy for me to be in my spiritual practice when I am in the quiet serenity of the mountains. It is much more challenging to sit with the same grace when the dogs are barking, I’m behind on notes, I haven’t returned phone calls, and my house is a sea of dog hair and laundry. How do we maintain the joy and peace of a retreat in what feels like the chaos of daily living?

I set out with the aim to have a mini retreat every single day this past week—moments of pause and quiet, sips of peace, and intentional connection points to allow myself to tap into inner wisdom and guidance. It looked like taking big deep breaths, snuggling with my two dogs on the couch and appreciating their warmth, feeling the leaves crunching beneath my feet in the forest, watching a stink bug’s little legs walk across a window pane, basking in the sunshine pouring through my window. Each of those took mere moments of my day. But when they all added up, I found I was no longer barking criticism at my husband for how he unloads the dishwasher, I had patience with the barking dogs, I was laughing and smiling more, and I felt more at home in myself.

Retreating allows us to tap into our inner strength and well of wisdom—the source of unconditional love that rests in our heart. Having the courage to retreating into our heart allows us to be in response, rather than reaction, so we can respond from that still small voice within. Reacting only amplifies the energy you are engaging with, but responding, gives us the ability to transmute and diffuse the situation. The difference is a few deep breaths, taking a moment to walk away and get in nature for reflection. The difference is amplifying the energies of anger and frustration, or stepping back into forgiveness and love. Do you want to hold onto the energy of resentment or the power of peace?

There’s strength and power in stillness and silence. How can you take a mini retreat this week?

Diastasis Recti

Diastasis Recti is a fancy term for when the abdominal wall begins to give way to intra-abdominal pressure. That means from the inside out, as opposed to the outside in. Most often this happens to women in their third trimester of pregnancy, although sometimes it can affect men as well with weight gain. 

During the post partum period, women are often focused on breast-feeding, managing life with little sleep, and perhaps, if there is time, working out. But very few exercise programs available are geared specifically for the postpartum mom’s needs, namely strengthening the fascia or connective tissue and the deeper levels of the abdominal wall, the transverse abdominals. In fact, some of the most common abdominal exercises like crunches or planks can actually do more harm and further the gap in the abdominal wall. 

Check out this video for a bit more information and to get a yoga therapy program that is safe and effective for postpartum moms. 

Dancing with the Wind


I remember my very first dance. I was in the 6th grade and had just moved to what was my third school within a few months time. Pennsylvania had yet to woo me with her charms and I felt out of place among the five girls at my new school. I was also a pretty big nerd, and was grateful for the conformity of a school uniform. But this was the big dance, the chance for each person to shine with individuality, free of a dress code.

I remember standing in front of the mirror, tall and gangly, awkwardly wearing my long limbs that I had yet to grow into. I was wearing black dress slacks, a frumpy red turtleneck, and pointy patent leather shoes that I had begged my mom for at the local department store. I was shaping up to be the next Hillary Clinton. The girls around me had on miniskirts and camis that showed off budding cleavage, paired with sweaters that were a size too small. I was out of place and self-aware. I went to the dance anyway and rocked the snack bar, until one of the boys asked me to dance. I think his exact words were, “I like your turtle neck.” We remained friends for years, and I danced just as I was.

The past few months I have been getting back in touch with a love of dancing while leading an intuitive movement class at Davidson. Each week the students dropped their preferred songs into the playlist and we got down. We moved in the dark with glowsticks, shimmied blind folded, banged on drums and maracas, and we even let our tongues do the tango with sour patch kids. I think I was the only one that sustained an injury…from a massive slip-on-a-banana-peel-legs-flying-through-the-air kind of fall doing the Macarena…oh wait. That was just me dancing at home alone.

The point is, we played, we danced, we laughed, we unabashedly co-created together and it was beautiful. From the first class where no one was dancing to the last one where everyone was running about the room to the Jaws theme song and making Chewbacca noises—each person learned to check self-awareness at the door to melt into the energy of the group.

When I think about who I aspire to be as a dancer, and what I hope to pass on to my students, it’s not Martha Graham or Isadora Duncan—it’s the tree in my backyard. This massive Virginia Pine that rocks and shakes with the biggest of storms, and sways gently in the summer breeze. That old, craggy pine tree allows the invisible force of the breeze to take the lead, and she gently yields to its pull. Her roots allow her to feel secure in her strength, and from those roots her truck is malleable to the ebb and flow of the wind. She is fixed in flexibility, strong in surrendering. Its only when her branches resist the wind, asserting their own agenda, that they snap and break. Life is such a beautiful dance if you’re willing to let go of the lead. Allow yourself to root into what you want and be flexible enough to let Spirit fill those needs in a different way. When we stand tethered to an image of what life should be, we forget to dance with the flow of life.

You don’t need training as a classical ballerina or a polished modern technique. The tree is the best teacher. All she needs is simply a willingness to be vulnerable, dropping the shame and self-awareness, enough to be out on the dance floor. And then a willingness to touch and to be touched by the breeze. A willingness to surrender and trust. Rooted in the present moment, you can sway your hips with destiny, letting your future unfold leaf by leaf, petal by petal.

So in true 90’s fashion, I hope you dance.


The Phoenix


In my home, I have a ratty throw pillow that I’ve filled to the brim with old stuffing, pieced together from various things my dogs have destroyed. The pillow isn’t sealed. It’s ornate face looks out into the room, hiding its backside, where stuffing peeps out through a busted zipper. Every evening, when I come home from work, my dogs have removed this pillow from its perch and crafted a new concoction out of the stuffing. Most days I find it’s guts strewn across the floor in a chaotic mess. I dispense an appropriate amount of dog shaming, re-stuff the pillow and move on.

One afternoon last week, I found the pillow belly up. Propped against the pillow was one lone, dirty pink croc, dragged in from the kitchen. A golden ray of sunshine found its way through my window, smeared in dog goobers, and fell upon the creation. It was poignant and beautiful and felt intentional.

There’s a very real possibility I’m engaging in spiritual escapism to reframe my dog’s poor behaviors in a transcendental, new-agey container. But I also think that there’s something about their daily stuffing concoction that speaks to the creative, generative process.

It seems to me, destruction demands creation in its wake, whether it’s a written work, a piece of art, a dance, a relationship or a child. In writing, it takes “killing your darlings” to get to the essence of the project; after a big power outage, nine months later there’s a whole cohort of “snow day” babies; after a divorce one can find a new relationship…you see the pattern. It’s often in the wake of destruction that the old patterns and belief systems are burned away, making room for the next thing. Creation is the embodiment of the phoenix rising.

Death or destruction seems to go hand in hand with resurrection or creation…one cannot exist without the other. Holding on to the past, not allowing it to die off, leads to suffering in the stagnation where we stop our own rebirth. Falling into the temptations of judgment, fear and doubt, halt the regenerating cycle of the self from occurring and keep us stuck in the muddy ashes.

I’ve been working the past few weeks on destroying the places within that squelch my own creativity. From relationships to friendships, from writing my novel to completing grad schoolwork, from dancing to choreographing my yoga classes, I am working on actively enjoying the process of creation, as an endless cycle of death and rebirth.

I continue to leave the half stuffed pillow as a canvas for the artists to destroy and create with—their pillow fluff art a daily reminder to me of my work.


Duking it out with Dukkha


There is dukkha. I’m chasing my dog around the house trying to get him not to eat his barf—which is remerging from his stomach every five minutes. A piercing shriek from the fire alarm breaks my train of thought. “Dang! I was so busy on puke patrol that I forgot the rice!” As I rush back into the kitchen through a fog of smoke, Hank retches again and starts eating it. I look down at him and realize I had stepped in his diarrhea mess outside and had unknowingly tracked it throughout the kitchen, and when I glance back up the rice is literally on fire. I turn the stove off, rip the fire alarm off the wall, and call the emergency vet.

There is dukkha. They tell me Hank, who earlier in the day completed the master feat of eating ten pounds of dog food in under five minutes, could have bloat and could die. I should bring him in immediately. In a perfect moment of cliché, I slide down the counter to the floor, which is coated in a film of unidentifiable brown sludge, and start crying. I can’t afford the ER vet visit. I just made a mandatory donation to the Mecklenburg police for a speeding ticket, and had paid for two unexpected visits to the urgent care over the weekend for an infection and strep throat. I called my parents crying so hard that I couldn’t even get the words out. I think my dad thought I’d been in a car accident. Finally in between sobs and gasps, I managed to muster, “I’m done. I hate 2016…I want to go back to 2015. I can’t do a whole year of this, I don’t want it.”

There is dukkha. One of my teachers used to tell the story of the fish in the ocean. It roughly goes like this: one day two young fish happened to swim past an elder. The wise fish says, “Hey there, water’s great today, isn’t it?” The youngsters swim on for a few moments, until one turns to the other and says, “What water?” The moral of the story is we cannot always see the water we are swimming in. As bad thing after bad thing continued to happen from literally day one of the New Year, I kept reinforcing the negativity by saying, “this year is the worst.” We can’t always see the ways in which public opinion, pop culture, chaos, or even worse, the voice inside our head, is shaping our present experience. I was swimming a cesspool of self-proclaimed negativity and darkness.

There is dukkha. This Buddhist tenet roughly translates to there is suffering. But even suffering bows down before the law of impermanence. Just like the radiant splendor of the sunset graces the velvety darkness with her last glimmers of light, so too that same Light remerge hours later to remind us of dawn’s impending arrival. We go into the darkness with the promise of morning. It’s the eternal dance between Light and dark, independent and interdependent forces. I’ve had lots of nights this year. The one where I was up retching from strep throat, and Hank was licking the tears from my eyes. And the one where it was his turn to be sick. When morning came, he had successfully passed all of his gluttony and was back to his goofy self.

There is dukkha. As my life spiraled in chaos, I found myself searching for the next ball to drop, and waiting for my intention to manifest so I could continue playing the victim. When we find ourselves swimming in the waters of negativity, hatred, and darkness, we have a choice. We can keep floundering in the mud. Or we can dive deep into the waters of our heart and rinse off. We can lean into the darkness until we find the light. When we dive into the waters of Grace, we are purified, cleansed and renewed, having reconnected with the unifying ocean within. But the only way to the Light is through the dark.

Many consider it a virtue to be able to go with the flow, but I feel it’s a worthier endeavor to go against it. Or at least to pause and consider just exactly what current you’re riding. MLK day is a good time to remember just how easy it is for an entire nation to fall into the flow of darkness, hatred and fear…how easy it was, and still is, for an entire society to perpetuate cycles of racism and to turn off the flow of compassion and unconditional love from the heart. Sadly, messages of hatred continue to be the default setting for most media outlets. That’s on a macro scale, and doesn’t even touch on the ways in which we draw in negativity and perpetuate self-hatred on an individual basis, as we crawl through the trenches of day-to-day life.

After becoming aware of murkiness in the water we’re swimming in, we can take a hint from the wisdom of the salmon. When preparing to reproduce or rebirth, the salmon swims upstream to its place of origin. So too, we must be willing to press up against the currents to get home. We must embrace the opportunity to confront negative group thought and push back home, an eternal river of unconditional love, compassion, and tenderness.

I find myself pausing in the night now and asking, “What current am I flowing in? Am I riding on the waves of Faith or fear? Am I simply going with the flow because that’s what everyone else is doing? Or is it time to push up stream and head home?

Photo Source



Birthing a New You in 2016


In the past couple of years I’ve abandoned the pursuit of lusting after a normal life and embraced the birthing process of my inner wild woman. I made acquaintance with the woman I want to become, and in a way always was, and delivered her into being. Having served as a labor and delivery doula for many moons, I found myself pondering the essence of doula support and how it applied to my own birth—the birth of myself.

The root of the modern term doula stems from the Greek word meaning ‘female slave or servant.’ And I think when I was actively practicing doula work I embodied the art of service to the laboring mom. But as I have largely abandoned my active doula practice to pursue a career as a clinical social worker and a hypnotherapist, I have had a hard time parting ways with my identity as a doula. Redefining my title meant redoing my whole website, and losing a piece of me that held such a strong archetypal presence in my being.

I’ve been scratching at the intrinsic nature of the word doula and who gets to lay claim to that title. Although typically a word used to describe birth assistants, the term doula has more recently been conscripted by other helping professions such as hospice workers or “doulas of death.” Perhaps we need not wait to call upon the services of doulas until the beginning or the end. After all, the act of living itself is a constant, daily dance with life and death. Certainly no one is more sure of this reality than Mother Nature herself as she asserts her authority with winter’s annual kiss of death, leaving the distinct aftertaste of spring on the horizon.

We all carry seeds within us that are uniquely gifted to our individual selves. If we water the seed, it grows and eventually we give birth. As a doula, I’ve helped many women deliver babies, and I’ve been present as loved ones transitioned into the afterlife. But I can’t help but wonder why I should limit myself to the beginning and the end. We all have something in our womb space clawing to get out—whether it’s a novel, a business venture, an invention, or simply a happier self.

I’ve never witnessed a pain free delivery. Anytime we consciously decide to deliver the gifts that are within us, birthing them to life, we can expect some turmoil. I can wholeheartedly attest to that. But you can’t keep a baby in the womb forever. And putting your hand in the way of the birth canal won’t convince a baby to go back where it came from—although I know a few fathers who tried that technique. One way or another whatever is aching to be born of you, be it a baby or a novel or a better version of yourself, is coming out.

A doula is a person who is strong enough to hold the space for that experience and vulnerability. I’ve had many doulas throughout the birth of myself. They’ve held me like I held my clients as they labored. They held the space for those transitional periods and tiny deaths in my life, as well. Their essence as doulas whispered, “let me hold the space for the delivery of your soul.” And I let them. So I ask you, “what are you trying to birth in 2016? Are you manifesting rainbow, laser beam lactation and other supernatural powers? Do you have a doula?”

Photo Credit

Do You Believe in Magic?


Do you believe in magic?

I do—perhaps too much. A few days ago in my evening meditation I was actively trying to manifest money for further hypnosis training, and while I was at it, I threw in a special request to Spirit for a little extra grad-school cushioning. The next day when I got home from work I checked the mail—a typically drab daily routine where my anticipation of a letter from literally anyone is met with the darkness of an empty mailbox or some generic mailers from Petco. Imagine my surprise, when I reached into the darkness and pulled out, quite literally a golden ticket, well, envelope.

I tore into it, reading the contest rules. If my poker chip matched the number on the sheet, then I won $5,000—well fine print said, either $250 or an Ipad mini, but either way, I wasn’t complaining. AND get this. My poker chip matched the number. A miracle! I jumped up and down and called the hotline with my confirmation code. A nice lady on the other end scheduled my prize-winning pick up date for the following day at the car dealership. Oh yeah, did I mention it was a car dealership mailer?

Now most of my readers, along with every one of my family members and close friends, are rolling their eyes. How could she buy that…again? Well, Spirit works in mysterious ways, and why not through a car dealership mailer? So the next day, I swung the doors open at the Kia dealership, and with a smile bigger than a rainbow, complete with leftover freckles from my costume as Gretel earlier in the day, I proudly announced to the entire showroom, “I’m a winner!!!” I frantically waived my mailer in the air and a grouchy lady at the front desk pointed me over to a salesman.

He led me to a table in the back and had me take a seat. “Name and address?” he asked, as he stared down at his computer. “My name is Cait Klein and I am just so excited that I am a winner, and I am in social work school and I am trying to do more training in hypnosis, so basically I am chronically poor, and also I feel like maybe I’ll donate some of my earnings to charity, oh and these freckles on my face are from the fairy tale ball at the school I intern at so I’m not crazy, I just didn’t have time to wash this part of my costume off…..this went on for five minutes non-stop.” I could hear myself rambling, but I couldn’t stop that verbal vomit…not right before I would win my big prize.

Finally he looked up from his computer.

“Do you need anything else from me? Whatcha been looking up on that thing?” I ask.

“No, mam, I just was checking Facebook.”


“Ready to go check if you’re a winner?”


We head over to a poster in a back corner of the store. Apparently the fine print had actually said if your poker chip matches the number on the store poster. And surprise, surprise, mine didn’t. But it did match for the consolation prize—a whopping two dollars!

I collected my two dollars from the cashier, and in an effort to save face on my optimism, did a dance that Buckwheat from The Little Rascals would have been proud of, instead of “I have two pickles, I have two pickles, I have two pickles, hey hey hey hey,” I substituted dollars and sang my way out of the store.

I got into the car with a big sigh. In reality the day turned out well. The two dollars covered my gas to drive to the dealership. I had a solid car dance session while driving home. And a friend bought my dinner. So in the end I still won something, although I think it was a pity dinner for my gullibility.

The truth is, I wouldn’t change a thing. I choose to believe in magic—to believe in miracles and wild things. To chase naïve dreams and to trust in what I can’t see. I’d rather live in the undomesticated territory of make-believe and magic. I’d rather trust in the Mystery. Faith sometimes guides you in weird ways, but there is always some treasure at the end of the rainbow, even if it wasn’t the pot of gold you were expecting.

I choose to walk barefoot in the grass to root and to ground, before falling asleep and waking up back in the ethers of tomorrow. I hope this Halloween you let the magic of fairies and goblins, of angels and demons, of princesses and dragons, carry over into your everyday life. I hope you find the magic in life, and dive into an adventure with a healthy dose of unwavering faith, enjoying every moment of the bumpy ride.



Listen to the MUSTN’TS, child,

Listen to the DON’TS

Listen to the SHOULDN’TS


Listen to the NEVER HAVES

Then listen close to me—

Anything can happen, child,

ANYTHING can be.

            Shel Silverstein

Recipe for Chakra-Chip Cookies



Most of us use the language of chakras every day whether we are conscious of it or not.  “My heart aches every time I see that Humane Society commercial with the Sarah Mclachlan mezzo soprano emotional background music.” Or “Ever since the move, I’ve just felt so ungrounded.” Or “That guy gives me the heebie jeebies.” We are all complex beings, and we need a systems approach that reflects the nature of our reality as emotional, mental, physical and spiritual creatures. The chakra system does just that. 

As I work through my masters in social work, I continue to be inspired and amazed at how well the chakra system captures the complexity of the human soul, while aligning with many western biopsychosocial models and theories. Maslow’s psychosocial model, for example, defines human needs as a hierarchical pyramid founded in physiological needs, and building up to safety, social, esteem, and self-actualization at the pinnacle. As you check out the chakra summary below, notice that it follows a similar structure.

In the chakra summaries below you also see a model of addictions based on the chakra model, as well. Using substances to fill in and match energetically what we are lacking in that chakra makes sense. I mean who hasn’t drowned out a bad break up with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked and a Nicolas Sparks movie. And I know I can’t be the only one who downs mac and cheese when I’m homesick? Much of the chakra system is intuitive, because it models what we already see in human behavior.

The chakra system also presents an interesting way to understand and conceptualize trauma. Most somatic issues, regardless of how they present, have two major roots: trauma or autoimmune response. Since trauma occurs from the outside in, there is generally a perpetrator, traditional energy healing suggests there must be a healer (whether a shaman or a therapist) to remove the energetic toxins. Now think about what age a child is when a trauma occurs and what kinds of mental, emotional, physical issues will develop. According to research on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs Study), children with childhood sexual abuse experience chronic low back pain and digestion issues and self esteem. That’s second and third chakra right there, and most children need help and support in processing through the traumatic experience (a healer, therapist or supportive parent).

The cool thing about yoga therapy and energy work is it is tailored to a chakra based system. The entire person receives healing, not just one element of them. Last month I attended a workshop with Cyndi Dale, author of the book Energetic Boundaries. Here is an outline of some of the things she had to say on the chakras, supplemented with additional information from Carolyn Myss’s book Anatomy of the Spirit. Keep in mind, this is a super rough outline of an incredible complex system and much of the info comes from the sources above! 


This chakra has to do with your tribe, your physical family and support network where you feel safe and supported. This can also relate to how you feel within your larger society and culture. Balance here looks like feeling safe and at home, both within your immediate core family and within a culture, social and familial law and order.

Imbalances manifest as: sciatica, varicose veins, depression, immune related issues.

Physical gland associated with it: Immune System

Age of development: 1st – Infancy

Addiction associated with chakra: cocaine/alcohol.

Taking the Scenic Route over the Spiritual Bypass Lane


Here’s a hypothetical a friend posed to me this week: if someone punches you in the face, and you end up needing surgery to fix the nose, but you secretly always harbored dreams of a nose job—that’s the universe working it’s magic, right?

The inspiration for this post came from a Yoganonymous article discussing “spiritual bypass,” a term used by Buddhist teacher and author, John Welwood. He notes, “Spiritual bypassing is a term I coined to describe a process I saw happening in the Buddhist community I was in, and also in myself. Although most of us were sincerely trying to work on ourselves, I noticed a widespread tendency to use spiritual ideas and practices to side step or avoid facing unresolved emotional issues, psychological wounds, and unfinished developmental tasks.”

It’s the way in which we fall back on religious or spiritual practices to avoid actually putting the work in. Blaming stuff on the universe can often be a way of checking out, avoiding the bumpy emotional terrain of owning your stuff, and opting for the interstate. But if you look at America’s freeways, pretty much everyone is opting for that route…it feels faster, more productive, and efficient. Why choose to take the scenic back-roads when you’ve got a highway and a lead foot?

One of my all time favorite children’s books is “The Little Soul and the Sun.” In it, a little angel boy is super excited about learning the ins and outs of forgiveness. God corrals the exuberant child in from the clouds and tells him he can only learn forgiveness on earth, since Heaven is a place of perfection and unconditional love. A friend of the boy volunteers to go down to earth with him, telling him, “You’ll have to remind me who I really am. I might forget,” and she heads down to earth, with the intention of hurting the boy so he can learn how to forgive. At her core she is just like the little boy, but she signs up in that lifetime to be the abuser.

Honestly, how many of us actually are jazzed about an opportunity to learn forgiveness? I can’t say I volunteer for the lesson freely. And if we aren’t contemplating these things for ourselves, we certainly aren’t thinking about the rapists, murders, and abusers of the world, and their core beings or higher selves, which really may not be so different from our core selves. There are those places where it’s not so simple to explain things away with the universe. How can anyone attribute a mass murder to some sort of Divine plan? I think that’s the number one spark for a spiritual crisis. And at the same time, many of my client’s with trauma histories often say they wouldn’t change their past because it made them who they are today—however, it’s usually after years of extensive work that one gets to the point of seeing it all a part of a bigger picture.

As a yoga therapist, metaphysical enthusiast and MSW student, I find the idea of spiritual bypass to be incredibly relevant for looking at the intersectionality of my work. Sure I could prescribe a pranayama or asana practice for a client, or suggest they take up a certain prayer or ritual, but if that’s all they do, it may not provide much healing. We all have emotional work to do. We all have to dive into those deep pains, insecurities, and points of contention for growth to occur. Sure the universe delivered a nose job to the hypothetical girl at the beginning of the post, but also missed out on an opportunity to dive into her work around body image and self-worth.

Before saying the universe has a divine plan, check in with yourself and see if you did the work that came with it. Are you still holding pain that isn’t yours to carry? Still harboring grudges or grief? Still remaining in positions or relationships that compromise your personal power? We all have work to do, and we can’t always take the spiritual bypass lane, even when if it feels like it gets you there faster. We came to earth to enjoy the bumpy roads of the scenic route.



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