Hello friends, strangers, and soon to be friends-

 

 How is your heart this month? Grab your cup of tea, coffee, or wine, and sit down, I’ve got a lot to share this month.
Sometimes, I sit down to write and I think, I have nothing to say, then words just pour out. 

 

I invite you to place both of your hands together, over your heart, close your eyes, and take three full breaths. So that rather than your mind answering how your heart feels, your heart can truly be heard. In this moment, my heart is giddy, excited, and exhausted. 
My family and I are here in Zimbabwe for three months. I am welcoming the change, the newness, and the community. At the same time, I find myself exhausted in the early evenings, and spending more time reflecting, and listening to the sounds of nature. The smells here are different. The first bird awakes at 5:13am. If you know me, you know I only know that because I am up and out the door to run the streets with the first bird call each morning. 

 

Life here is full, full of surprise, change, and daily adventures. We walk 7-10 miles daily to get to where we are going (school, the theatre, grocery store, or home), we could “comby” (taxi ride) here, but mostly we choose to walk. When we do ride in a comfy, 7-8 people ride on one seat. These are small minivans that drive up and down the major streets. If a kid sits on your lap, they are free. The water in our apartment has been out for 80% of our time here, small world problem really. We have become inventive about collecting lots of grey water around our home and our garden. A practice we have learnt from locals. We live across the street from a great park, where daily I admire how quickly children can make friends. I’m encouraging myself to be as brave as my girls and meet the parents too. Mostly, it has led to new friends for me, future park dates, and unexpected snacks. I feel truly blessed to be discovering more of who I am here.

 

I bow down today to those lives who have been lost during the recent Cyclone Idai, which hit Mozambique and parts of Zimbabwe. I can’t even begin to imagine the enormous loss, many people are still missing. Here on the ground, we are sending clothing and food supplies with the theatre we are currently working at, a small offering, for what will surely take time to recover from. 

 

I invite you to share your heart with me over the coming months. I’m a little bit like a butterfly, if you share more with me, I’ll share more with you in return. I’m still unravelling my mystery.

 

Teachings from the field-

 

One of my dear teachers, Elena Brower wrote a book (Practice You), and then added a deck of cards to pull from daily. This month, I have carried her deck of cards with me, here to Zimbabwe, where my family and I are living for three months. Her deck inspires daily action and reflection.

 

Here is a short practice, from one of her cards, you might choose to try:

 

“Sit with hands resting on your knees.

Inhale arms high; exhale hands to heart.

Breathe with this movement until you sense love amplified in your body.

 

This is how I amplify my love.

This is how I radiate universal love.”

 

Thank you, Elena, for inspiring my daily practice from near and far.

 

Reflections-

 

Over the last month I have been contemplating why it is we bring our hands together, to bless, to honor, to thank. It is a gesture I use regularly in my life. It is an offering I give to others when words fail me. Often I will press my palms together, but sometimes I lay them across my heart. In many of my classes, you will find me offering you an opportunity to bring one hand to your heart and one hand to your belly. Here is where we connect to self, and also to someone else, our history, our lineage, the one who birthed us. 

This laying on of the hands is both and outer and inner connection. When we are connected to ourselves, we can better connect to each other. We can  hold each other in our hands, or we can use our hands to release that which no longer serves us.

 

Our hands are tiny platforms of receptivity. It is a miracle that they have room to hold all of our stories.

 

How will you use your hands this month? To hold someone up? To steady yourself? To wrap yourself in an embrace? Or to give something away? Please share with me, I’d love to learn what it is each of you are processing.

 

In my own life, I am learning to live and love in Harare, Zimbabwe. Our girls have started school at a local primary school. We walk 2 miles to school each morning and purchase fruit from street vendors ( 2 avocados for $1, and 5 bananas for $1). Our walks to school are fruitful :). We have long rambling conversations about the recent cyclone devastation, Moana, and how people became people. I rarely need coffee in the morning with these conversations:) The girls continue to be an oddity at school. They are the only white students in the school, and everyone is curious about who they are. Margot seems to enjoy the attention, Elliette is a little wary of it all. I’m grateful to be here and open to seeing my differences and my privilege in being here.

 

When I was a child my mother enrolled me in an all black nursery school, run by Rhonda, that took place in her home. I don’t think the color of our skin, or the difference in it, was what my mother was what my mother saw. What she loved about Rhonda was her heart, she sang and sang and sang most of the day to all the kids. Her heart was joyous, her energy abundant, and she loved each kid like her own. This is what my mother saw in her, and this is what I remember of her. I have a few photos of this time in my life, and these photos I will show to Margot and Elliette years from now.

 

For now, what I am recognizing is heart. How someones heart can rise above the color of our skin. In difference, we find acceptance, and here I am forever met with difference. I am learning to listen deeper, to talk about privilege, to ask more questions, and to learn from the stories that are being offered to me.

 

So as you place your hands together this month, listen for the stories that unfold. Like finding the ocean inside a seashell, what might you learn from listening more deeply.

 

Essential Oils-

 

I first experienced essential oils while living in Australia as a teenager. My step-mother was all about them, and I worked at a little gift shop that sold essential oils and crystals. I didn’t know anything about them, except they smelled good, well mostly good. Between, my job and my stepmother, I soon started learning about their medicinal qualities, their healing benefits for the mind, heart, and physical ailments. I learnt about infusing, and cooking with them. Now I use them daily, topically and through multiple infusers. I even carried one here to Zimbabwe, because it lives on my alter, provides me peace of mind, and promotes wellbeing. I sue it nightly with my children as their nightlight too. Over the coming months, I’ll share a little more about oils with you.

 

This month I’m using the oil of empowerment and the oil of abundance: Ginger and Wild Orange, two of my favorites.

 

The oil of ginger is about purpose and empowers individuals to be responsible for their actions. It encourages us to become our own warriors, to drop the victim mentality, and to commit more fully to life. Wild orange addresses emotional issues and supports positivity. It is also known for inspiring creativity and a boundless sense of energy.

 

Each morning I rub them both on my sternum before heading out the door. It reminds me to move from my center, to be playful, and that in life all things move through.

 

If you are curious about these oils, you can purchase them directly from me here:  www.mydoterra.com/nikkiweaver/#/

 

 

Daily Practice-

 

Most recently, I have been meditating with my arms outstretched, palms facing skyward.

Sometimes, I feel as though I am holding the weight of the world, other times, as though I am standing atop the world. I invite you to try this practice this month:

 

Sit comfortably with your tail reaching towards the earth, and the crown of your head reaching for the heavens.

 

Inhale, bring your hands together in front of your heart.

 

Exhale, extend your arms away from your body with your palms facing skyward.

 

Invite 3-5 breaths here, extend your heart space into your fingertips and feel your heart expand.

 

Inhale, reach your arms overhead with the palms facing each other. Allow space to exit between your palms. Invite 3-5 breaths here. Feel the earth below you, in you, and above you.

 

Allow your breath to become fluid, we must ground in order to rise. Notice the opposites that reside within. Can you create space for both?

 

Repeat for up to 10 mins.

 

For me, this practice has allowed me to find more clarity in my life. It’s helped to soften my heart, and expanded my ideas of self. It has supported me when I have felt the weight of the world, and when I have been held up by the world. May it find you wherever you are at, today.

 

Becoming-

 

As we move into April, I’m thinking about some of the upcoming gatherings I have planned.

 

Plenty of time to join me, to circle up to heal, and feel your way more deeply into this crazy world of ours, with compassionate seekers and healers.

 

In September, you can play with Julie Jeske and I in Lucca, Italy for a luscious time of conversation, movement, food, wine, and daily adventures. Plus, September 13 is a full moon!  I love full moons, don’t you?! So envision yourself watching the moon rise as the tuscan sun dips away. We have room for a few more lucky ladies, so please reach out if you would like to join this group offering.

 

For those of you planning to join, Vibrant Living Italy, I have a treat for you. I filmed a 30 minute yoga and meditation video on the art of BECOMING, inspired by Michelle Obama’s book. Please reach out if you plan to join this retreat and I will send it along to you. Julie and I have a whole bunch of monthly surprises we are planning as we gear up for this collaborative time of gathering.

 

Here is one of Michelle’s quotes that I love so much right now:

 

“For every door that’s been opened to me, I’ve tried to open my door to others. And here is what I have to say, finally: Let’s invite one another in. Maybe then we can begin to fear less, to make fewer wrong assumptions, to let go of the biases and stereotypes that unnecessarily divid us. Maybe we can better embrace the ways we are the same. It’s not about being perfect. It’s not about where you get yourself in the end. There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique voice. And there’s grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.”

 

In October, you can join Atieno Bird and I in Portland, Oregon for Be Lov/D, a weekend of healing arts, movement (yoga and hiking), singing (local singer songwriter performances and a full group sing-a-long evening), and theatre (two shows!). Plus, brunch and dinners together during the weekend.

 

A Blessing for you-

 

May April fill your hands up with truth. May this month reveal itself to you in stories, your own and those that you learn. May you practice holding on, and letting go, simply. May your hands guide you forward, and open to all that lies ahead.

 

Two hands together,
Nikki

Vibrant Living:
A Women's Retreat in Italy
Co-led with Julie Jeske (pictured below)
September 7-14th, 2019
Lucca, Italy

Together, we will share conversations and movement on pleasure, presence, ancestry, moon cycles, vulnerability and humility, daily essential oil treatments
, creativity, wholistic living, practices for being grounded & heard, massage, learn from our stories,and practice reiki.
Julie is one of my favorite people to lead with, if you haven’t met her you should, and if you have you are probably better for her presence in your life.
On this retreat we will collect the beauties of Italy, shared with new friends as we cook together, yoga each morning inside the great hall or by the pool, explore local towns, swim, sip wine, taste olive oils, and enjoy art. We hope you can join us for this nourishing experience!
*LIMITED SPACE*
Register Here
Be Love/d: You are an Infinite Being
Co-led with Atieno Bird
October 11th-14th, 2019
Portland, OR

Are you ready to be loved, beloveds? Are you ready to be reminded that, as infinite beings, we can meet the challenges of our lives very adequately, and often even brilliantly? Are you ready to join a circle of women and see your divinity reflected in their eyes? Are you ready to be love?

Click Here for more info and to join us!
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