Image from La Lupavia Tofino Retreat October 2017.
I've been wanting to write for a while, but wasn't sure what to say...
It feels right to just start and see what comes up today on International Women's Day. When I think about what I want to share today, gratitude to the wonderful women in my life comes up strongly. Thinking about my mother first. The example she has set as a strong independent woman and business owner is invaluable. My mother was involved in community activism, standing up against anti-Semitism locally and around the globe. She has always encouraged me to follow my path and do what I love. She loves me unconditionally, and is always there for me, helping me to understand what unconditional love means and what being a Mother means. Infinite gratitude to you my mama.
The next woman who stands out in my life is my mom's mom, my grandmother. She is the woman who inspired my jewellery collection. Her example of following her creative path and her love of beautiful things new and old has inspired my creative path. For this, and for her love and time (and incredible collection of beads) I am infinitely grateful.
I want to offer a massive shout out of love and gratitude to all my Sisters (you know who you are). Wow, just wow, your love, friendship and Sisterhood has changed my life. Thank you for seeing me, thank you for your honesty and thank you for allowing me to see you in all your glory, beauty and messiness!
And lastly, I want to offer gratitude to all my woman teachers, those who are very obviously my teachers, those who are teachers behind the scenes and those who will be my teachers in the future. You have all inspired me, guided me to remember who I am, go deeper, feel the feels, and stay on my path.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! May we all continue to show up as best we can for ourselves, for each other, and for Mama Earth! Blessings and Love to All!
And so She must die in order to be reborn, She continues in this cycle. Each time, coming back stronger and more herself. Shedding that which does not belong to Her. Rise and rise again Queen.
As I go along my path, each failure, each hard lesson brings me closer to me. I have been reminded by my yoga teacher and some popular quotes, and the great India Arie, that I am whole, I am not trying to get anywhere, I am already here. I am shedding and allowing to die, the walls, the ideas, the thoughts that I have built up around myself for protection. These things are not me. Through my mistakes, which I will continue to make, but hopefully less painfully each time, I am reminded of these truths. I also know that if I want to live fully as my best self, I must let these protections go, I must feel it all, I must face it all. Phew, it can be so heavy. The muck, the sticky dark stuff, that is how I grow. I see this mirrored in what is going on around the globe as well. All the dark that has been underground is coming to light, so it can be shed to rebirth something different, hopefully something more healed. None of this is straight forward, nor is it easy to remember when I am faced with the hard truths or in a moment of vast emotion. I just hope that each time, it is a bit easier to come back to me, and so far it has been. Similar to meditation, I cannot expect to turn my thoughts off, but each time I notice I have gone off on a tangent, I come back to my breath, and this does get a little bit easier to notice with practice. Of course there are the really hard days when it seems impossible, and that is where unconditional self-love and compassion come into play. Although I aspire to live that way always, again this is not simple, this is a practice. I have success, I fall, I slip up, I get back up. Compassion. I am not my mistakes, nor my pain, nor my skin (Listen to "I am Light" by India Arie for this inspiration)I truly feel that these dark challenges are bringing me closer to me, and I notice it more every day, even on the bad days. This is because I also notice, that when I am not doing the work, just getting by or distracting myself with things so I don't have to face the pain, that I feel more disconnected and farther away from me. It's funny, all these distractions are there to fill that hole of disconnection but it causes me to be even more disconnected. I am learning to be with me, quiet, breathing, creating, listening. I am beautiful, I am deep, and I am worthy. I am you and you are me.
Love and Blessings to All Beings on this journey, for we are all here together to heal each other and Mama Earth.
Winter Solstice Blessings, may your light shine bright!
If you would like to join me for some deep healing restorative yoga, I offer a class at Just Yoga every other Friday at 7:30 pm. Next class is Friday, December 22, 2017.
Just a quick update letting you all know that I will be back offering public Restorative Yoga sessions at Just Yoga, every other Friday at 7:30 pm. www.justyoga.ca . The way I offer the practice, is that the student knows best. You are your greatest teacher, you know your body best, how it feels and what it needs. My goal is to create a safe, comfortable healing space where you can tap into your inner Guru and receive the benefits of this glorious practice. I prefer to offer simple poses, in the hopes that students experience a smooth transition into their healing space. I offer plenty of breath work and guided meditation, which I hope allows you to stay present (I know for myself this can be quite the challenge). And of course, I love to offer LOTS of props! Hope you can join me for a practice!
Welcoming Autumn back into our lives is a powerful transition time of the year. We are letting go of the warmth from the Sun and the energy we receive from that. We are preparing to go inside, be with the dark and hibernate. This is a time of letting go and being reminded of the cycles of life. Something must die for something to be reborn. It felt easier for me to let go of the Summer this year. It certainly was a wonderful Summer, I spent a lot of time outside, soaking in the Vitamin D, praying, breathing, swimming, practicing yoga and hanging with my dog. I am grateful for this wonderful time.
As you may have read in my previous posts, I had some successes this Summer as well. My jewellery is now in store at Just Jewellery which is something I have been wanting for a while. I completed the goal of doing a photo shoot for my jewellery with some of my wonderful talented women friends, and I learned to make Kombucha!
I have been working in my family's furniture showroom for about a year an a half now, SwitzerCultCreative. Over the Spring and Summer, I finally felt more like I had found my place there. I had the pleasure of organizing a pop-up shop with local Artisans and it came together wonderfully. I really enjoy working with artists and helping to share their art with others. This is one of our missions at SwitzerCultCreative, we represent artists and furniture makers who are very talented in their art, but perhaps need help getting their work out there. I also included some of my jewellery pieces in the pop-up shop and we have decided to keep it running until after the Winter holidays. The pop-up is featured in the SwitzerCultCreative showroom. I invite you to come by to explore the treasures.
As Autumn arrived, I began a 13 month journey, Red Moon Mystery School with Nikiah Seeds. This is a journey deeper into what it means to be a conscious woman living in our world, living with the seasons and cycles, diving deeper in healing past wounds and stepping into my purpose, offering or Dharma in this life. Over the past 6 years, I have been doing this work on my own, through workshops, with friends, or on retreat, but I was looking for something more focused and to keep me on track on this journey. After seeing Nikiah for a healing session at the beginning of the Summer, I decided to commit to the "school" and I am grateful that I have. It's funny how everything you need comes at the exactly the right time when you start to live life more deeply. It is only the first month of this adventure, but I have already received great healing and insight. Again, I am grateful for this.
I welcome the dark, the dank, the death, the colour, the deepness and the healing of this season. There's no point in resisting, Mother Earth's cycles come and go whether we like it or not. As I embrace and honour these cycles more fully, my life has more meaning and things make more sense.
Wishing you all Blessings and Love for this new cycle and for your lives!
ps. the top photo I took in my back yard and the bottom photo comes from "Moon Mysteries" By Nikiah Seeds and Nao Sims, Art by Eyan Myers.
A little update on Soulshine since my post last week.
In case you didn't see my Instagram post, I had the meeting with the jewellery store and they took 10 necklaces for their shop! So now you can find my pieces at Just Jewellery on Main Street in Vancouver! YAY! It feels amazing to be able to manifest these successes! I am hopeful that this will become a long term mutually successful relationship. It is a beautiful store and they have their original location in Surrey.
Feel free to have a peruse around my website, I have made some updates, including new photos from the recent photoshoot and I have also included some of Babaji's art. As mentioned in previous posts, Babaji's role in Soulshine and my life has been very important and his art portrays Soulshine in another form, just as my jewellery designs do.
It was a blessing to hear from Babaji this morning. He is in Varanasi, one of the spiritual centres of India on the river Ganga. This is place where people come to pray and cleanse in the Holy river. Babaji is in Varanasi for a special retreat. I hope that you will love his art and if you do feel a connection, you can shop for some awesome gear with his art on it at Society6. Their products are awesome quality and made in the USA. I ordered a bunch of items so that I could confirm the quality, and everything is fantastic! Feel free to contact me directly if you have questions about this.
Lastly, I updated my ETSY shop, and had to take some items off since they are now in store at Just Jewellery. Go visit them there on Main Street!
Blessings and Love to all!
This week was one of stepping out of my comfort zone and accomplishing goals! Often, I can be a procrastinator. I don't believe that it is laziness but more so fear of putting myself out there. This has been something I have been working on for years now. Slowly, slowly I am getting better at it. There is a shop in town that I want to have my jewellery in. It's a lovely store with many jewellery collections. I've been "thinking" about contacting them for 2 years...finally this week, I got out of my own way and made the call. I have a meeting with the owner to show my beautiful collection. What's the worst that can happen? No is not the end of the world, it's just no. I know that my creations are beautiful and special and that I am worthy.
Not quite as monumental, but exciting for me...I took a kombucha making class! Literally, I've been thinking about doing this for 2 years...It was fun and informative, and happily I have my first batch brewing now! This is the beginning of another creative journey for me!
Lastly, I gathered a couple of my creative, talented and beautiful women friends, and we did a photo shoot for my jewellery! I have beautiful photos of my jewellery alone, but I wanted photos with women actually wearing the pieces so my clients can have an idea of how it looks on and wear it sits on the body. It was a wonderful day and I'm glad that I finally made it happen, after literally thinking about it for 2 years...
I'm not sure if there is a moral to my story, but it feels good to go for the things I want in my heart, for the things that enhance my life and health, and continue you on my journey in this life. I know that this is all part of the plan, all part of the reason I am here.
Babaji has been an important part of Soulshine from the very beginning. Years ago my husband and I met him while traveling India. We spent time with him, getting to know each other, meditating, healing and learning. We have since returned to India to spend more time with Babaji.
Babaji is an ascetic. He has given up his worldly possessions to dedicate his life to his spiritual practice and his art. Babaji draws and paints what he sees in meditation and he is a beautiful artist. Babaji created the logo for Soulshine and I am so proud of it!
Soulshine has been the very lucky recipient of many of Babaji's works of art and he wishes us to share them with the world. Over the years, I have dabbled in creating shirts with his incredible art but I was unsure of how to get them out there. I recently learned of Society6, which is a wonderful platform for artists to share their art. You can now find Babaji's designs on Society6. Click to shop and view
I have also created an external link from my website, so you can shop Babaji's incredible healing designs from my site. Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about Babaji or his designs.
My husband and I do help support Babaji so he has food, accommodation and art supplies, so please shop away! His designs make wonderful gifts! Hari Om Babaji, we are so grateful to have you in our lives.
I will be participating in ART WORLD EXPO 2018. Here is an interview I did for the show!
1.What inspired you to start a yoga and jewellery business?
I started practicing and studying yoga before I started making jewellery, and I knew I wanted to be a yoga guide once I decided to take my first teacher training. Through the amazing people that I met in the yoga community and the healing that the practice brought to me, I started to tap into my creativity. My grandmother, Frances Switzer, is the original inspiration behind the jewellery side. She had her own jewellery collection, Frances Switzer Original's, which she created from antique and unique beads and pendants she collected while traveling the world with my grandpa. My grandpa is an interior designer and had a local Vancouver, furniture manufacturing business for over 50 years, Willam Switzer and Associates.The creativity and love for beautiful things runs in my blood.
2. What does Soulshine mean to you?
To me, Soulshine is basically exactly what it sounds like. Bringing my inner light, beauty, and healing capabilities out to the world through my creativity and art, and by creating sacred space for people to tap into their intuition for what their body, mind and soul needs.
3. What has been a highlight of having a business?
I feel very grateful that I have this platform from which I can share what is in my heart and soul with others, when sometimes there are no words only art and energy that can portray these things.
4. A lot of your jewellery includes the use of natural stones and metal work with symbolism. How do you choose and do you have a favourite?
When creating my pieces, I usually go with my intuition. I try not to think too much, but choose beads and materials that feel right. My creations turn out beautifully and sometimes they surprise me, often the final product is very different from my original vision but I like to just go with the flow of creativity.
If I am creating a custom piece, I like to speak with the client before hand to learn about them, and find out what they are looking for from their special jewellery. Many people come to me with a healing energy that they would like their jewellery to exude for them. With that guidance, I can choose the beads and stones that have certain healing properties.
It is too hard to choose a favourite stone, they are all so beautiful and unique, and bring joy in different ways. I find that I am drawn to work with different materials or stones at certain times, and then I will be drawn to something else. It is all very intuitive.
5. Where do you see your work in 5 years?
I plan to continue to ride the flow of creativity throughout my lifetime. I am sure that as I change and grow, my style and creations will change and grow. I took an intro metal work course last year, and I would love to take more courses in various materials, and it that way my work will develop.
6. Will you have any specials for Art World Expo visitors?
I plan to have many new and exciting pieces for Art World Expo 2018!
I had a wonderful heart warming moment last night. I was out with my husband and friends, celebrating a birthday; all the women including myself were wearing necklaces created by me. First of all, they looked so beautiful! It excites me to see my art come alive when it is worn. Secondly, it was a realization for me that I have wonderful friends who also love what I create, trust my creativity, and wear my jewelry proudly. I so love creating custom made jewelry pieces for my friends, family, and other wonderful women and men! I am proud and confident to say that I am a jewelry designer and artist.
On the yoga side, I rented studio space for the first time, and had a beautiful evening guiding a yoga nidra practice. After this success, I know that I can do this again! In the Fall, I will be leading a 6 week Restorative Yoga series. This will also be at Sacred Space Studio on West 4th avenue in Vancouver.
It is important for me to have found my niche as a yoga teacher and meditation guide, and as a jewelry designer. Please check out my yoga schedule page for upcoming practices, and my Etsy shop Soulcollection for what's in store. Again, I love to create custom pieces, and I've always got more in stock then what is in store. Contact me to view.
Sending love to all on your journey of life!
I have returned from The Conscious Goddess Festival, although I feel that I left a part of myself there at Cheekye Ranch in Squamish, BC. It was not so much a festival but a sacred healing journey and celebration of life. I think that many if not all of the attendees left something of themselves behind on the ranch. Throughout the weekend, sitting around the sacred fire or holding down the fort at my vendor booth, I could hear the powerfully haunting howling and cries of women and men letting go of that which has held them back. Generations of build up of muck and lack of Self and Mother Earth Love. All of that was left behind in order to move forward and do what we are truly here to do. LOVE! We are abundance, we are love! We are the ones we've been waiting for! We do this deep healing work for ourselves, for all beings and for the future generations.
Another beautiful thing that happened for me personally was all the love I received for my creations. This has inspired me to let go a little more, let go of that fear of rejection and make more efforts to get my jewelry and art out into the world. I know that I am not alone in believing it is beautiful, people want to see it, touch it, hold it! My art not only excites me, but it excites others and sparks that fire of light and joy within them. Not sharing, not putting the effort in is not only depriving myself, but giving into that fear affects everyone and continues that pattern, which I so deeply want to destroy.
Look out for what's to come! Once I put this intention out into the Universe, I cannot go back. All is possible. Believe in yourself and what you have to offer. We are the ones we've been waiting for. AHO!
With love from Soulshine