Vida Luna 2018: Community

The concept of Vida Luna Women’s Wellness retreat was conceived in January 2017 with longtime friend and Transpersonal Development Coach, Nikki Hartley.  We wanted to provide an affordable long weekend to help women refresh their minds, renew their spirits, and heal their bodies. To recharge.


Vida Luna was born.

This past weekend, 10 women carved time into their busy schedules to their make their way from four different states to Lake Ouachita for our second Vida Luna Retreat. It was an honor and privilege to welcome back so many familiar faces, to witness the joyful reunions, and to see arms outstretched to the first-timers. By the end of our first meal together, it felt like a group of old friends catching up at a weekend getaway.

Throughout the weekend we practiced morning yoga overlooking the lake, and guided meditations lit by candles and the stars. We turned inwards; cultivating mindfulness through daily journal prompts and the use of oracle cards. There were delicious family-style vegan and vegetarian meals, quartz crystal hunting, dancing on boats, flamingo floats, teary-eyed hugs, and endless laughter.

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Being surrounded by other women open to listening and sharing their own experiences creates the sacred space and support we need to allow ourselves to lean into one another’s shoulders, and inspire each other’s awakenings. Because working through your own shit alongside another human working on their own shit reminds us that we aren’t alone in our pain and fear. That on some level we’re all the same. Connected. One.

Everyone who signs up for a wellness retreat is searching for something – even if they don’t know what it is they’re seeking. I’m not sure if anyone found what they were looking for last weekend, but I believe they all left having found a sense of belonging.


Someone responded to one of my posts on Instagram asking if it was a retreat or just a girl’s weekend.

The answer: BOTH.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Mother Earth’s Lessons in Love

0E683B1B-5370-4FAD-B818-D2F821557C68-56024-00002AAD7AE58AC0This morning I was reminded that our greatest teacher, Mother Earth, sometimes has trouble letting go.

We are a quarter of they way through the month of April, and it was 34 degrees when I bundled up in my full length, furry-hooded coat to take Mr. Darcy out this morning. As we walked down the sidewalk lined with frosted spring flowers, I couldn’t help but relate to the Great Mother’s unwillingness to surrender to a new season.

It’s hard to move forward when you recognize love in something. Nobody can avoid falling in love. Especially when it is an organic love, sprouted from a mysterious seed that developed into the most exquisite bloom imaginable. One of those loves where you know the universe has your back. You can feel it fighting for your souls to connect because the coincidences are too many, too strange, and too strong.

The love we carry inside of us is a force of nature. It pulses through us, and spreads to everything it touches. The earth, and our love, has a circular rhythm. A cycle. As the seasons change, so do our lives, our relationships, and the way we give and receive love.

How strange it is to find yourself at the juncture, and realize your love is moving in different directions. How strange it is that after all that, we are once again strangers who may not cross paths again.

This morning, I sent out a little prayer to the Universe hoping you’re okay. That it’s okay. That all the parts of you I remember are still there, and that you grow stronger, wiser, and find more peace each day. I pray that you’re healing, and that you’re happy. Even if it’s not with me. Thank you for being part of my journey, and allowing me to take part in yours.

Peace Within the Chaos

“Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”

My personal approach to life has radically changed out of necessity for survival, and I’m just now realizing its effect. You might have noticed it on Instagram (less of this, more of this), in my teaching style, or the subjects that light me up with excitement. The energy and enthusiasm is still there, but it’s different. More focused, more intentional, more grounded, and a helluva lot less conventional.

When my teaching commitments almost tripled in August, I cried daily on the way to school for two months before relinquishing as many classes at the studios as I could. It was hard to let go, but I knew it was was crucial for my own wellbeing.

It wasn’t enough.

I was still exhausted. I was still frustrated. I was angry, flustered, and flailing about trying desperately to stay afloat in the whirlpool known as: LIFE OF MEGAN. There was no remedy in the foreseeable future. So I gave up. I stopped fighting the current. 

As my body no longer had the energy for a strenuous physical yoga practice, my focus turned from asana to meditation. Each morning before work I pulled out a mala, sat on the floor in front of my coffee table altar (I’ve since upgraded to a bookshelf), swooshed around a stick of palo santo whilst evading Mr. Darcy, and silently chanted a mantra 108 times. Within a week my mood improved. My stress decreased. Somehow I began to settle into a rhythm.

I researched Ayurveda more thoroughly, and discovered I was naturally drawn to warm, heavy, vata-pacifying foods. As I incorporated more Ayurvedic practices into my routine, the more balance I found in my physical and emotional body. I decided to enroll in a 150-hour Ayurvedic Wellness Counseling training.

Meanwhile, silent chants became audible, mantras grew longer, and I threw in singing bowls, crystals, oracle cards, and revisited my archetypes. I studied ancient texts, philosophies, the subtle and gross energy bodies, chakras, etc. – things I’d thought were mildly fascinating, but had never really taken an active interest in. Last month I opted to take a vow of silence at an ashram in East Texas instead of my annual spring San Francisco trip.

These things? They are changing me.

As I was cautiously wading into this unfamiliar world of mysticism and spirituality, a student brought back a Ganesh statue from India for my alter. Ganesha is the remover of obstacles. My teacher once told me that he would also place obstacles in your path if there was a lesson to be learned.

Maybe this entire hurricane of an experience has been pushing me toward the place I’m supposed to be: Finding harmony and balance through fresh approaches to healing old wounds, exploring more pragmatic ways to confront challenges, sharing this newfound knowledge with others. I feel more connected to myself, others, and the universe as a whole than ever before.

Everyday is a deep, rolling sea of controlled chaos. Waves of motion – from place to place, class to class, student to student accompanied by storms of music, voices, emotions, bodies – threaten to drown me in their need for undivided attention.

I am learning to find peace within the chaos.

They say you have to sink or swim, but I think I’ll float for awhile instead. See where it takes me. And soak up all the lessons along the way.


Social Media Detox 2.0

Last April I stepped away from social media to help prioritize and refocus on the important things. It was a wonderful experience. This year, I’m repeating the detox with a new goal in mind:

I’m working
on myself
for myself
by myself. 

The deeper I dig, the more I uncover. There is much fear to be met with. I’m taking this month to excavate those buried skeletons.

Or at least begin to.

I’ll be updating my progress here. (And posting photos of Mr. Darcy.)


Jai Siddhatma: Victorious Are Liberated Souls

Two weeks ago, I sat alone with a glass of wine desperately trying to decompress from another week filled with dance classes, yoga classes, students of all ages demanding my undivided attention, rushing from one space to the next, and found myself googling “silent retreats.” I stumbled upon Siddhayatan Spiritual Retreat. After browsing through their offerings, I noticed that for a small additional fee I could bring Mr. Darcy and within minutes I had impulsively reserved my space for the following week.

Monday morning the pup and I set off for the ashram in East Texas. The day was bright, brisk, and beautiful. Mr. Darcy napped for the majority of the drive while I sang along to all of my favorite 70s jams.


Upon arrival, I was greeted by one of the nuns who went over my options along with the general rules and guidelines. Since puppy was with me, we were staying off the main property. The space was simple, modest, and bare, but clean and more than enough room for the two of us.


The area surrounding us was enclosed with a special gate designed to keep the coyotes out, so Mr. Darcy was free to run wild and play fetch. We did a fair amount of wandering outside the gate before I had to head back to the main property for mantra with the Master and other retreaters.

My knowledge of mantra is limited, but I was familiar with several from my 300hr training. For the first few I opted to listen, but by the second page I readily joined in. The energy you feel when reciting mantra with a group is almost tangible. It reverberates and pulses throughout your body – you’re almost humming with energy like a plucked guitar string.


It was fun to meet people from all over the world who had found their way to this place. Some had been there for over a month, others had arrived within the past few days. One of the men asked why I was there. He said that everyone who came to Siddhayatan was searching for something. He also told me that while someone had successfully done a 38 day water fast, but the longest anyone had gone without talking was 8 days.

The silence wasn’t so bad. While a little lonely being separated from the group on the other side of the property, I was able to chant in the mornings and spend time with others during meals. There is something both peaceful and liberating to be able to absorb all of the activity and conversation happening around you without the expectation or obligation to participate.


I hadn’t realized how much I’ve been needing to slow down. I spent countless hours wandering through fields with Mr. Darcy, and the rest of my time reading, writing, and sleeping. I was able to identify my fear behind some of the issues I’ve been dealing with, and have felt a pretty big internal shift since naming them out loud. The next time you have an opportunity to do something out of the ordinary, I encourage you to book it before you have time to change your mind. It could change your life!



Smoke on the water after morning mantra on the walk to breakfast.


Beautiful flowers I was able to capture on the Spring Equinox.

Texas sunsets make my heart flutter. This was my view between mantra and dinner Monday night.


Function vs. Fun

I have done next to nothing to prepare myself for the upcoming week, and I feel fucking great.

You see, Friday I got tired of my own bullshit (again). I have been giving, giving, giving almost every ounce of myself for the past six months that I haven’t had much leftover at the end of the day.

I read this article a few months ago about what self care really means, and caught myself nodding along thinking “Hell, yes!” because it justified my seclusion.

Since August, I’ve been exhausted most of the time. My place always seems cluttered and I feel scattered. I have minimal patience with students, I’m overly sensitive and overreactive in my personal relationships (Shout out to R for being a champ the past month!), and ultimately spend all of my free time hermiting away trying to catch up on sleep, laundry, meal prep, and getting my shit together for the next task. All of my trips/visits since August have left me drained instead of invigorated, and Friday I remembered that: This isn’t the way I want to live my life. 

So I’m sitting here wondering… is all this stuff self care, or just necessary for survival?

It’s time to start refilling my own cup.

Friday I made the decision to reclaim my life. I made a list of what I’ve been missing:

Yoga classes
Social life
Life’s little luxuries

These are the intentions I’m going to focus on at the next New Moon (this Saturday). Practicing self care through making more time for the things that bring my soul joy. Yes, being a grown ass adult and doing all the things in that article are necessary and constitute self care.

But I want to have my salt baths and to eat my chocolate cake too.

So I’m doing that.

This weekend I did laundry, dishes, and in true bachelorette-style bought two vegan pizzas, coffee, wine, and tulips from Whole Foods. I’ve gone on about eight long, luxurious walks with puppy, bought way too much shit that I don’t need (but am super excited about) from Spiritual Gangster, took beautiful photos with my new iPhone of rocks, tarot cards, and pretty much anything else that will stay still long enough to use the portrait feature, and I even signed myself and Mr. Darcy up for a silent retreat.

This weekend I didn’t clean my place from top to bottom. I haven’t started mapping out the YACEP workshops that I want to do. I didn’t sit down with the book about Vicarious Traumatization, figure out how I’m going to manage to pay for all of the everything, or bridge the gap with that one friend.

But I did paint my toenails pink.

And I feel more put together than I have in months.

Cheers to finding balance in the self care department. The stuff you need to function vs the stuff you need for fun. Always a work in progress.

PS. Here’s a photo of Mr. Darcy. Obviously, the only I could get of him in portrait mode.




Lessons from the Tarot

Those of you who keep up with me on Instagram may have noticed I’ve been posting daily oracle and tarot cards, followed by their meanings.

While reading Ruby Warrington’s, Material Girl, Mystical World, I read that “rather than a way to predict future events: A reading is a perfect reflection of your subconscious. And as such, each and every card contains a valuable learning to help us navigate whatever stage we’re at in our personal evolution.” 

Those words really struck a chord with me due to my interest and study of archetypal work (read more about archetypes). The more I read about tarot throughout the chapter, the more I was hit with keywords like “shadow,” and I immediately knew this was something I wanted to learn more about. MORE TOOLS FOR INTROSPECTIVE SELF-STUDY AND LIKELY PAINFUL, BUT NECESSARY GROWTH?!? Count me in.

I took the book’s advice about letting a tarot deck choose me, and after some online sleuthing I had my very own Leila + Olive tarot deck on the way. I’d seen them at a shop in Sonoma last August and had almost purchased them without any real knowledge or interest in tarot.

This is clearly a sign they are meant for me, right?

I waited impatiently for an ENTIRE WEEK, and once they arrived I eagerly opened them only to discover… WHAT THE FUCK DOES ANY OF THIS MEAN? It’s all flowers and moons with a few snakes scattered about.

So I ordered WTF is Tarot? followed by this book and the traditional Rider Tarot Deck because I realized I needed some more descriptive images to practice deciphering. I am one of those people who learning by doing, so I began posting on Instagram daily. There are only so many questions you can ask yourself without getting redundant.

I began by drawing cards, and attempting to decipher them on my own and cross-checked with another source. Kind of a pain in the ass, but how else are you going to learn all of the cards?

This week I realized I’m not supposed to memorize all the cards (I don’t have time for that shit, either). The same way all the meanings are understood differently, the readers will be interpret them differently as well. There is no right or wrong.

So today I sat down with the gorgeous deck of suns, moons, stars, and flowers for the first time since I bought them, tossed a pretty Dalmatian stone on top and actually kicked ass in my reading. (Yes, I still cross-checked.)

This intuition stuff is wild.

There’s a lot of self-doubt to overcome. Fear that you’re not doing it right, you aren’t studying enough, the list could go on forever. But I guess the important thing is to get out there and give it a shot.


New Moon Ritual for Intention Setting

The New Moon is the beginning and end of the lunar cycle. This is the time when the moon is directly between earth and the sun, and becomes backlit making it appear invisible. But even though we cannot see the moon, we know she is there. This phase of darkness offers an opportunity to reflect inward, and to plant the seeds of new intention.

This is my favorite ritual for calling in the energy of intention. There isn’t a right or wrong way, so add and omit anything to make this ritual your own.


Step 1: Create a sacred space. 
I usually use my coffee table so I have lots of room and a comfortable, shag rug to camp out on. I arrange pictures, crystals, herbs, flowers, candles, malas, my Moon Deck, and my journal for writing down my intentions.

Step 2: Get grounded. 
I begin by clearing the energetic space by burning Palo Santo (Most people smudge with sage, but I’m not a huge fan of the odor.). Then I spend a few moments practicing Sama Vritti, or any other pranayama technique that helps me move inwards with a mudra (symbolic hand gesture) that will aid in the intentions I’ve been considering. There are several New Moon Meditations of various lengths available on the free app, Insight Timer, if you prefer a guided meditation.

Step 3: What have you been dreaming of? 
Consider the things you’ve been longing for lately, and notice the recurring images, feelings, and thoughts that appear. Often, our intentions stem from our recurring desires.

Step 3: Make a list. 
List what you’d like to draw into your life that can help you achieve your dreams and goals. Dream big! The New Moon is a time to visualize what you truly want so that you can turn it into reality.

I usually draw a card from the Moon Deck at this point for guidance regarding things to consider in this new journey.

Step 4: Symbolic acts. 
If you intend to start a new journey that will require you to leave something behind, you may write some of those things down and burn them like in the Full Moon ritual. If you want to invite love into your life, maybe put a rose quartz and lavender onto a small bowl or pouch along with some of the qualities you seek.

Step 5: Keep your dreams alive! 
The hardest part isn’t setting the intention, it’s making a consistent effort to turn it into reality. How can you keep yourself aware moving forward? Some people place intentions under their pillow, or on their nightstand. Others place them on their alter, or taped to the bathroom mirror where they’ll see them daily. I personally make an effort to journal about my progress.

Step 6: Follow up. 
Remember that each new moon falls in a zodiac sign has its corresponding full moon six months later (see a list here). Think of your intentions in two week/6 month cycles. At the full moon, note progress and find ways to take actions on the intentions you’ve whether it’s moving towards completion, finding you need a change of direction, or scratching it all together.

The next New Moon is Saturday, March 17 in Pisces. Here are some things to consider when exploring intention setting for this lunar cycle. I hope that your lady luna adventures prove to be as insightful, healing, and inspiring as mine.  xx

What’s with all the moon stuff?

For those of you who know me, you know I am a huge fan of getting in touch my wild af divine feminine by howling at moons (sometimes in public), twirling under stars, writing things, burning shit, and doing all kinds of craziness in the name of lady luna. After several years of projecting my insanity on girlfriends, and luring them into participation with promises of cheese and wine, I realized that there were other people out there interested in the phases of the moon and what it meant to them as an individual.

Here’s the rundown:

Many astrologers believe that our energy corresponds with the cycles of the moon. Our energy begins to awaken with the new moon, making it a wonderful time to set goals, explore new ideas, and plan projects – basically this is the time to lay down the foundation for anything you want to see happen. Our energy is at its peak at the full moon, which means this is the time for action! Use this extra kick of vitality to revisit the things you’ve been building, either moving towards completion, finding you need a change of direction, or scratching it all together.

I think of following the cycles of the moon as a mystical, energetically charged form of project management, because it’s such a great way to set goals and monitor their progress. New moon is for creation, full moon is for completion and release.

Each new moon falls in a zodiac sign has its corresponding full moon six months later. For example, the Supermoon we had on January 1 was in Capricorn, and its full moon will be June 28. This means that I will check back in with the plans and intentions I set on January 1 over that six-month period.

I hope that your lady luna adventures prove to be as insightful, healing, and inspiring as mine.  xx

1/16 – Capricorn
2/15 – Aquarius (SOLAR ECLIPSE)
3/17 – Pisces
4/15 – Aries
5/15 – Taurus
6/13 – Gemini
7/12 – Cancer (SOLAR ECLIPSE)
8/11 – Leo (SOLAR ECLIPS)
9/9 – Virgo
10/8 – Libra
11/7 – Scorpio
12/7 – Sagittarius

2018 FULL MOONS (Full Moon Ritual)
1/1 – Cancer (SUPERMOON)
3/1 – Virgo
3/31 – Libra
4/29 – Scorpio
5/29 – Sagittarius
6/28 – Capricorn
7/27 – Aquarius (TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE)
8/26 – Pisces
9/24 – Aries
10/24 – Taurus
11/23 – Gemini
12/22 – Cancer


Intuition vs Instinct


It’s a word, a feeling, I’m on intimate terms with. It pops up pretty frequently, and rules the better part of my decision-making process. Intuition is how I’ve chosen where to live, which jobs to take, which people I can confide in… I suspect it’s where I got the whole “free spirit” label, because it doesn’t always make a whole lot of sense or seem like the wisest course of action. But for the most part, following my intuition has served me well. #notsorry

The thing is, I think we sometimes mistake instinct for intuition. THEY ARE NOT INTERCHANGEABLE. Intuition is an understanding without conscious reasoning, while instinct is an innate or fixed behavior that is a response to certain stimuli.

You’re probably familiar with fight-or-flight instinct. Fight-or-flight is a psychological reaction to a perceived harm or stress. When the potential threat is identified, the animal prepares to either kick some ass, or get the hell out of there.

Instincts can keep you alive.

They can also keep you from living.

You see, a lot of instincts stem from fear of harm. And when we begin to confuse instinct with intuition, we often find ourselves living our lives ruled by fear.

Ever worked a job you hated for far too long?
Continued or revisited toxic relationships you knew weren’t serving you?
Walked away from people you really dug?
Passed up new opportunities that you now regret?

Those aren’t intuitive decisions. Those are fear of being hurt. Instinctive behaviors probably developed as a result of a painful experience. And the only way I see moving away from those patterns is to search and destroy.

So today I’m acknowledging my big fears. Calling that shit out.

The really scary stuff.

Because I’m pretty sure that’s the only way I’ll be able to intercept those instinctive patterns. I may not be able to control the feelings, but I can control how I respond to them.

Because I choose to be ruled by intuition instead of instinct.

Because living is more important.

*Shout out to my intuition for guiding me to this place. YOU ARE THE BEST.