Tag Archives: retreat

Allison La Bianca – International Missions Director for Holy Yoga

 

Allison LaBianca is the International Missions Director for Holy Yoga.  Currently, her home base is in Los Angeles but you will find her traveling around the world connecting with people of other cultures. Her heart is to experience the greatness of God by engaging in the diversity of all of God’s people,  and offer avenues of healing to survivors of trauma.

Her desire is to see people awakened and free….awakened to their truest identity and free to move and breathe in the world unshackled.

She is currently developing curriculum to be used globally for those working with survivors of trauma who are looking to incorporate body based therapy into their programs. Allison teaches trauma informed classes in Los Angeles as well.  Follow her on instagram @allisonlabianca to be updated about new offerings coming in 2017.

Go With The Flow

As many of you know, I have been training to be a Holy Yoga instructor.  I am so excited about this.  Next week is our retreat.  I signed up for the training in the spring and started the class on September 6th.  The retreat has been on my mind for months.  The retreat is the culmination of all the hard work and preparation.  The retreat is where it all comes together.  We (90 women?) practice together for 6 days.

The preparation has included weekly phone calls…webinars…prayer partners.  We read five different books along with the binder filled with Holy Yoga information and of course, the Bible.  I watched 4 DVDs and practiced on the mat 3 times a week at least.

I have prepared my family.  Kid’s schedule on the refrigerator, plans have been made.  Lunch food bought and stocked.  Rides arranged…Halloween under control…costumes, plans, rides, schedules…check.

Bags are packed, new yoga pants, new yoga mat…toes are a pretty red…a fall red…pedicure pretty and ready for the mat.

Heart is open, ready…awake…primed for change and growth and transformation.  Mind is ready to embrace the ideas and the laughter and the wisdom and the grace of the women who will teach and learn with me.

Body is ready.  Not as ready as I’d like it to be but it bends and it flexes and my heart opens and my breath is strong.  I’m not the “playing weight” I’d like to be but I don’t think we ever are…regardless of who we are…it’s a burden we carry as women.  I have worked to lay that burden down and accept with gratitude the way my knees bend and my shoulders carry and my back is strong.  I have learned about the spine…the crown to tail alignment…the beauty of the primary line.  My body is ready.

My spirit is ready too.  It’s ready to  share and open and learn and accept and pray.

Last night I was ready, mind, body, soul, heart…ready.

This morning my flight was cancelled.

There is no way to get to my Holy Yoga retreat.  It’s not going to happen.  Hurricane Sandy is too strong, too scary, too powerful.  People are evacuating, flights are cancelled, there is no going there.  Am I supposed to go into the “eye of the storm”?

I thought of the irony, the political climate is so tense right now with the elections.  The place I was going is a ”battleground” state.  A bunch of women armed with Bibles, practicing yoga,  descending on a “battleground” state in the midst of a massive, powerful, scary storm seemed fitting.  It’s a beautiful image really…Let’s put on the “armor of God” and go in there and be strong, peaceful warriors preaching love and unity.

Yeah…cool image but not happening.  At least not now.  The battle will rage, the storm will rage and we will watch from a distance.  Suit of armor beside us ready for another time.  Or maybe we will wear it for the internal storm that is brewing…the internal storm of unrest, anger at not getting what we want, anxiety, disappointment.

But what about driving?  Renting a car?  The Greyhound bus?  Another airline?  Another airport?  I spent all morning clinging to hope and calling and looking up and connecting and waiting and grasping.  To no avail.  A friend called because her parents live on the East Coast and she told them I was going to drive there and they said, “ABSOLUTELY NOT”.  I kept checking and hoping and praying and planning and talking but I know it now…in my heart…I know it…I’m not going.  I can’t fix this with a phone call.  I can’t change this.  I have to accept it.

What I want is not happening.  What I worked for is not happening.  What I’ve planned for cannot happen now…maybe later but not now.

Is this a test?

I’ve been reading about Jesus and loving me some HOLY and some YOGA and feeling really strong in my faith.  I’ve been hearing about BOLD prayers and courageous faith and I’ve been embracing the need to see all things as sent from God and ordained and Holy.  There have been tears…Holy Spirit tears that have nourished me and cleansed me.  I’ve been working and practicing peace and acceptance and faith and ….TRUST.

But I don’t feel any of that right now.  I feel heartbroken.

I want it and it’s not going to happen.

I do think this, like all things must be from God.  He is trying to say something, to teach me something and I don’t know what it is.  I never fly alone.  I don’t go on trips by myself.  I don’t get trained in things.  I want this.  It’s different.  It’s for God’s glory for God’s sake!

WHY CAN’T I HAVE IT????

I’m working on acceptance of what is and the master plan.  I can choose to be sad which I will choose for today.  But tomorrow, I will choose TRUST.  I will believe I was not supposed to fly out tomorrow.  I will TRUST that He still has great plans for me but this time, His plans are not my plans.  I will TRUST and I will say thank you.

Okay…here goes…I get it…stop trying to control…Here’s my prayer…my mantra for the week…

Lord, Thank you.  I trust you.  Go ahead…you lead…I’ll follow.

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©2012 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved
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The Tween years

It is really difficult being a parent of kids who are in that “Tween” stage. 

My friend asked me for advice on books to read regarding girls and all the social issues that go with being a “Tween” girl.  I responded to her question and she suggested I put it on the blog hoping others might benefit from it.  I wasn’t sure if I was going to do that but I’ve had a few different conversations lately about the social pressures for the “Tween” set and figured maybe it’s helpful for all parents to hear. (This goes for boys too but I wrote it about daughters and I thought putting he/she everywhere would be annoying. But make no mistake, all of this is true for sons as well as daughters.) 

Here it is…

Here’s the thing I’ve learned (and been told by doctors) – if your child feels accepted by her peers, that’s the icing on the cake but what she really needs in order to feel confident is to be accepted by YOU (her family).  The world can be a cruel place but if she comes home and feels safe and loved and accepted, if she can laugh and be authentic and be supported by her family, she will be confident.  (The opposite of this is if she feels her parents think she is weird or different or if they are pressuring her to be friends with people she doesn’t trust or if they are pressuring her to do things she is not comfortable with or if they are making her feel like she is not good enough.)  I would say (and I’m still trying really hard every day to follow this advice) to listen to her and then listen to her more and validate her feelings.  I wish I could take back all the times I said, “Oh, that’s ridiculous.” or “Why aren’t you doing what they are doing?”  I’m sure she could feel the times when I was wondering why she wasn’t doing what everyone else was doing.  I wish I would have been present in the moment, listened, and said, “that must be difficult” or “I’m sorry you are feeling sad.”  

The other thing I’ve learned is to trust my daughters.There’s nothing better in the world than feeling like your mom has “got your back”.  Trust that you have set a good example and taught her how to be kind and that all of that will show up in her.  That she has the ability to make good decisions and that when she tells you someone is “not nice” and she doesn’t want to be with her, to just trust her and her reasons.  They need us to choose them.  They are ours.  We have to be on their side.  That gives them confidence.   

I have no doubt that I will struggle with these questions for my whole life.  I don’t pretend to have any answers, just ideas to help you avoid some of the regrets I have.  The best advice I have is to pray, pray, pray.  There is a whole series of books about the “power of the praying____” and the “Power of the Praying Parent” is great. 

I find it necessary to retreat from the crowds-the neighbors, friends and schoolmates-every once in awhile.  To have time that’s sacred for family.  To rest.  Read to her in bed, snuggle, watch tv, make pancakes. They are under tremendous pressure to perform in every way. Stay focused on her and don’t concern yourself with anyone else.  She is your priority.  She is invaluable and your greatest gift.  Tell her that…everyday! And trust yourself.  Who wouldn’t be confident when they know a mom like you is on her side?