Karen Taylor

Karen Taylor

One day I noticed a spider spinning a web between the palm trees in my backyard. It was big, and beautiful with many intricate layers. Then one of the palm fronds fell, as they do when they dry out, wiping out the web. But, the spider just got back to it and created another web, without hesitation, without a doubt.

When we create something in our lives we will encounter many palm fronds that may partially or totally destroy it. The first reaction when something gets destroyed is that we failed, but did we? Or is it a chance to look at things again, differently; or even a chance to be solid in our purpose and, without a doubt, create it again.

The creative process is about, well, creating, but also destroying, shedding and leaving things behind that no longer serve or work in the project. This is transformation. The creative process is about not holding on to the last step, the last moment. As the spider leaves behind the destroyed web and proceeds on a new one without attachment, our creative process is just the same. We must continue to leave behind the last step; let go of attachments.

When we let go of attachments it doesn't mean we let go of caring, of our emotions, but rather of the superficiality of things; the surrounding distractions. We get to the heart of the matter, and allow that to enter our being, to be our source of transformation. When we let go of attachments such as disappointment, anger, frustration, blame, we allow ourselves to be open to inspiration. Joy enters and we can see a resolution.

And, without a doubt, we create again.

People sometimes say, once they learn I'm a yoga teacher, that they don't go to yoga because they aren't flexible enough. And as much as it cracks me up, I understand it. There is something inside of us that wants to be perfect, to strive for perfection, but sometimes we have no idea what that is or means. In the same way that I was afraid to speak Spanish for the first 2 years I was here in Mexico for fear of a mistake, or my sentence wasn't "perfect." So I stayed silent. What good did that do me? Well, I did alot of listening, but I was nervous and scared and didn't feel good about it.

The same comes with yoga postures, because our world focuses on "getting things right" and we think we need to strive for perfection in each pose. But what is that exactly? The first thing that can come to mind is our form. 'How do I look?' When in reality it is the last thing to think about. Perfection isn't how high your leg is in standing split or how steady your balance is in tree pose, but rather what's inside of us while we are doing these postures. While we put our bodies through these motions, what's going on in our heart, our mind, our spirit? When we achieve a sense of peace in the physical posture we are "doing" that is perfection. And, it's funny, because you then emanate peace, and people notice and even have comment, "wow you held tree pose perfectly." Really? I had no idea, but I know it felt right. And that's what counts.

I decided one day while I was driving my dogs to the beach for a walk, today is a cartwheel kind of day. I did a cartwheel in a class with some students about a month before and it felt great. I was scared at first because the last time I did one was, well, a long time ago and I wondered if my body remembered. I knew my heart did as I felt a surge of joy just thinking about making the first move toward a cartwheel. And, it was, pure joy. So I decided to do another one on the beach.

I happened to have my cell phone and I asked my friend to video it, just for fun. I must have done 20 of them, but 3 were caught on video. Someone viewing the video commented that my alignment was perfect. I wasn't sure what perfect alignment for a cartwheel was, but I knew it just felt good. I felt balanced, at peace, strong and free and that is perfection to me, no matter what it looks like. But when you feel it, people see it, it resonates. And that is what perfection is: resonating the joy within and connecting with other people's hearts.

If you enjoyed this blog, please consider helping us raise money for our Bending Tree Expansion Project. This is a project we've been working on to expand our services in the La Manzanilla, Jalisco, Mexico community.We have several levels of giving. Click on the photo to find out more.

Sometimes during a yoga class, when a posture feels uncomfortable, I wonder, why am I doing this? A posture can feel uncomfortable for a variety of reasons, but most of the time, discomfort is caused by trying to control it. This is where the jaw tightens, the shoulders raise, the breath stops. The idea of letting go and allowing, brings fear, doubt and, at times, stubbornness.

But it is so important that we let go, to create space. This space is crucial to us clearing the fears, doubts, programs and emotions that do not serve us. As we move through our physical yoga practice, using the breath we begin to open the muscles, deep at the cellular level, one cell at a time. And, as we do that we release what has been held in there… and, this leaves space. The space then goes from the muscles to the mind to the heart. We now have space in all levels of our being that we've created.

So now that we've spent the last hour plus creating space, what do we do with it? We fill it. Our final resting posture, Savasana means corpse pose in Sanskrit. It may sound morbid but it is, in fact, a death. A death of the old you, the you that held on to those feelings, programs, emotions, the you that held on to the need to control.

When we create space, we are letting go and Savasana gives us the chance to release it and then fill the space we created with the things we want in our life; the things we want to create; how we want to feel about ourselves. We get to choose!

We leave our old selves behind and bring in the new Self. Our bodies are constantly changing and our lives are constantly transforming. Our yoga practice is just a way to focus ourselves for a short period of time on that transformation. Eventually our yoga practice becomes our daily life and our experiences in class and life meld together.

So we don't have to be on a mat, in a studio, moving through postures then laying on our backs to do the exchange of letting go and filling the space. It eventually becomes natural in our daily life and we can eventually do it while riding on the bus; walking the beach; or sitting at our desks at work. This is our practice, yeah it's physical, yeah it's even uncomfortable at times; but that's what it takes to get to the fun part….filling the space with what we're dreaming about.

If you've enjoyed this blog, please consider donating to the Bending Tree Expansion Project to help us enhance our services. Our goal is to help people find their strength and creativity from the inside out...meaning finding their joy and living it fearlessly, from the heart.  Levels include give from your heart; give with your light; shine your heart light.
Thank you and Namaste, Karen

Recently I've had to make some business decisions and take some time to reassess what I'm doing, why I'm doing it and how. Usually when I make business decisions or any decision for that matter I use my divine resources.  This may not be the traditional way to make a business decision that we learn in school, but it works and it works well if you have faith, believe in yourself and shed all that doubt that is telling you that this seems crazy. And, to tap into your divine resources to bring in divine order and perfection, all you have to do is ask.

I ask the Creator of All That Is for guidance to stay on the path of my highest and best good, in this flow, where all things happen easily and effortlessly. I ask for the steps to take to get there, one by one, and with each step I ask again. This may sound like a lot of work but it is automatic once you do it a few times.

Also available to us are our guardian angels, we all have them and they are here to work for us, they love it, so give them a job. Hand it over to them to do. It's as simple as asking for them to guide you during that job interview; or that roadtrip. And see what happens. You can even ask them to help you see the signs that the universe is giving you in that next step toward a relationship, buying a house or getting that dream job.

To summon your angels, it can be with statements like these:
Angels please guide me on this interview for my highest and best good.
Angels please protect me, my passengers and my car during this roadtrip.
You can add visualizations; or as much detail as you would like. Sometimes the more detail the better...

One time, during a hurricane I asked for my angels to protect everything on the roof. And, they did. I left a yoga mat up there and it was unmoved. A small plant in a 1/2 soda bottle also unmoved. But my palapa roof was torn off from the rebarb base, posts and all. I didn't mention for them to protect that and it went flying.

But, what gets in the way of our divine guidance and our angels is fear. And, it is most important that we leave our fears behind; leave them in the dust. As we progress on our path, if we find that we are hesitating; or we have that feeling in the pit of our stomach; stop and ask "what am I afraid of?" and see what comes. Then ask "what is the worst thing that can happen if I…let's say apply for that job; or talk to that person." see what comes.  And maybe even follow it up with "what's the best thing that will happen if I…apply for that job; talk to that person." see what comes and allow that to drive you to go for it.

When we branch out and begin to live our dreams and desires, fear loves to get in the way. And we just need to use our divine resources to dig deep to find out the root of our fears, one by one; and to guide us step-by-step on our path where our soul purpose is revealed to us.

If you've enjoyed this blog, please consider donating to the Bending Tree Expansion Project to help us enhance our services. Our goal is to help people find their strength and creativity from the inside out...meaning finding their joy and living it fearlessly, from the heart.  Levels include give from your heart; give with your light; or shine your heart light.
Thank you and Namaste, Karen

Do what you like; like what you do. I bought a coffee cup with that mantra on it to remind me that our work is meant to be something that we enjoy doing, that it gives us joy and fulfillment. Don't get me wrong, work can have it's moments, but overall it should be a happy place to go and to be. And what better way to receive that reminder than with your morning coffee? To start each day and ask yourself, am I doing something that expresses me today? More importantly do I like it.
So, why is it that sometimes we feel afraid of pursuing what we love to do? Is that step so far from our comfort zones? We take many steps to find our true path our true purpose, what our soul wants, what our heart wants. Some of us take the scenic route, some more direct but most likely this isn't the first life we've lived; and our experiences are golden. Every experience is a way for us to shine our heart lights….express our true Selves.
Shining your heart light is to allow our heart to take the wheel and direct our next move. Whenever we allow our heart to lead the way, to shine, we live our truth. We connect to our soul and take another step toward being awake in this life. To be aware of our divinity, our divine guidance that is always with us and the fact that our life is meant to be happy, joyous and abundant.
Tuning into your heart shifts fear to the side and embraces joy. Embraces the support of the universe. Yes, you are that powerful. Your heart is that powerful, to overrule your mind where your ego, aka fear, resides. Your heart takes you from fear-based reaction to joy-based flow. How do you know if your heart is shining? It feels better, it feels good, easy, fun, happy and inspirational….any or all of the above…simple as that. Do what you like, like what you do. Do what feels good and feel good about what you do.

If you've enjoyed this blog, please consider donating to the Bending Tree Expansion Project to help us enhance our services. Our goal is to help people find their strength and creativity from the inside out...meaning finding their joy and living it fearlessly, from the heart.  Levels include give from your heart; give with your light; or shine your heart light.
Thank you and Namaste, Karen

In yoga we put our physical bodies in postures to help us see what's going on inside of us, our minds, our hearts, our spirits. We then place our physical bodies into Savasana, the final resting posture on our backs so we can find a little stillness, at first physically, then mentally, spiritually. We aim to find just a moment of stillness where we can just be, just be with ourselves, just be in our environment. And, this carries over to our daily lives, amid the chaos, the sensory overload and the multitasking, we aim to find a little stillness. This might be in the form of looking at a picture that catches your eye; tuning in to the radio playing in the background;  or watching a bird eat a bread crumb on the side walk. Whatever it is for you, it's about allowing yourself to be absorbed in the moment; you are totally present in that moment; the breath is even.
Our breath….
Breathing is the most important thing we do, in our yoga practice. It is our life force after all and very powerful, so let's use it! Taking deep inhales and exhales is something that we may find ourselves not doing, so let's come back to it. Really fill the lungs on the inhale and feel the release on the exhale. Do this a few times to get comfortable in it. And take notice on what your breath is doing during your day.
When we find an even breath, the body follows, the mind follows, we find an evenness, a calmness that brings us to that moment of stillness when we can see our true purpose.

Sometimes when I want to find a little stillness I turn to nature. Here's a video of a rainy day in La Manzanilla, Jalisco, Mexico that just brought a little peace to my morning:

If you've enjoyed this blog, please consider donating to the Bending Tree Expansion Project to help us enhance our services. Our goal is to help people find their strength and creativity from the inside out...meaning finding their joy and living it fearlessly, from the heart.  Levels include give from your heart; give with your light; or shine your heart light.
Thank you and Namaste, Karen


We hear that meditation brings us peace, it heals, it connects us to divine energy, it rejuvenates, it grounds, it balances, but how do we do this? In my discovery of meditation, I tried meditating on my own, and I sometimes had a moment (or several) of wondering, what the heck am I doing?

Yesterday on my way up the stairs to my apartment where I'm staying as I teach yoga for the month at a retreat center outside of Puerto Vallarta, a little boy passed me and said to his friend (in Spanish), "I am going to the river." The river is right at the bottom of the steps as the rain the night before increased the flow of it. The river is shallow, only  shin high, but very fresh and runs all the time right in front of where I live. The boy walked down a few steps to the bottom and proceeded to just jump right in, bend his knees so he can wet his face and jumped back up again.  It made me giggle. To see such uninhibited joy is so inspiring! And it got me thinking.

When you are on vacation the beauty of it is you lose a sense of time. You don't know what day it is or even what time it is until you have to leave. And, even in everyday life we find ourselves losing our sense of time when immersed in a project we enjoy. But when it's unenjoyable our sense of time changes and we tend to count the minutes. Minutes seem like hours; hours seem like days.

As we move through postures in yoga, it becomes a journey of self-discovery; to peel away the layers revealing our Self with each choice we make with our practice. Self with a capital "S" refers to the Highest Self our absolute truth that is connected to Spirit (the universal subconscious mind and Creator of All that Is). And I wonder, during my yoga practice, who is the real me? Is it the one who stays in Wheel another breath? Is it the one who heeds the call of Child's Pose in the midst of Sun Salutations?  Perhaps all these choices are the essence of Me.

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