Ecology: We Are Family
Location: Base of spine & pelvis to feet
Physical governance: Bones, joints, blood, immune system, skin
Human right: To be here & the right to have
"Safety"..."I am safety"..."I take safety wherever I go."
Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System as a Path to the Self by Anodea Judith, Ph.D.
All Is Well: Heal Your Body with Medicine, Affirmations, and Intuition by Louise Hay & Mona Lisa Schulz, M.D., Ph.D.
Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home by Toko-Pa Turner
If Women Rose Rooted: The Journey to Authenticity & Belonging by Sharon Blackie
When The Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress by Gabor Mate, M.D.
The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind & Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D.
The 8 Human Talents: Restore the Balance & Serenity Within You With Kundalini Yoga by Gurmukh
Yoga Skills for Therapists: Effective Practices for Mood Management by Amy Weintraub
Second Chakra (Belly)
Ecology: Sweet Fluid Power
Human right: To feel & the right to want
Location: Belly & sacrum
Physical governance: Reproductive organs, bladder, hips and low back
"I move easily & effortlessly"..."Life is pleasurable"..."I deserve pleasure in my life"..."I absorb information from my feelings"..."I embrace & celebrate my sexuality"..."My sexuality is sacred."
DVD & Books:
Shiva Rae: Fluid Power - Vinyasa Flow Yoga (DVD)
Healing Back Pain: the Mind-Body Connection by John E. Sarno, M.D.
Goddesses Never Age by Christiane Northrup, M.D.
The Secret Pleasures of Menopause by Christine Northrup, M.D.
Pussy: A Reclamation by Regena Thomashauer
Food, Health & Mental Wellness with Psychologist & Chef Dr. Theresa Nicassio
Wed, May 22nd 7 - 8:30 pm
Lynn Valley Public Library
Free, but registration required (www.nvdpl.com)
LGBTQ+ Awareness for Parents with Michele Fogal & Caroline Wedderspoon, RCC
Thur May 30th 7 - 8:30 pm
Lynn Valley Public Library
Free, but registration required (www.nvdpl.com)
Third Chakra (Solar Plexus)
Ecology: Lustrous Gem - inner authority; mastery
Human right: To act & the right to be free
Location: Solar Plexus
Physical Governance: the digestive system, adrenal glands, pancreas, kidneys; weight problems & addictions
"I love & approve of myself"...."I am doing the best that I can"..."I am good enough"..."I don't have to overwork to prove my worth"..."I choose to see my self-worth"..."I nature & support others as much as I nature and support myself"..."Life agrees with me...I assimilate the new every moment of every day"...
"I am at peace. I am calm. All is well."
The Second Brain: Your Gut Has A Mind of Its Own by Michael D. Gershon, M.D.
Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body's Most Underrated Organ by Giulia Enders & Jill Enders
In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction by Gabor Mate, M.D.
Open Heart, Open Mind by Canadian Olympian & Bell Let's Talk Mental Health Spokesperson Clara Hughes
Politics of Love: A Handbook for a New American Revolution by Marianne Williamson
Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem by Gloria Steinem
Outrageous Acts & Everyday Rebellions by Gloria Steinem
Fourth Chakra (Heart Centre)
Ecology: Sweet Emotion
Human right: To love & to be loved
Location: Chest, upper back, arms, shoulder girdles, hands
Physical Governance: the heart, the lungs, the breasts
Counterforce: Repression / suppression of emotions, particularly anxiety, depression, anger and grief.
Blessings / quotes:
"May I be grateful for what I have,
May I bravely acknowledge what I need, and
May I wisely know that the path to a peaceful heart requires both." - thank you Lesley Arnould
"Be still beloved heart and know that you are safely held" - Swami Kripalu
"My beloved child, break your heart no longer.
Each time you judge yourself, you break your own heart." - Swami Kripalu
Let The Past Be The Past Meditation Mantra (scoop water over shoulders):
"I release all things
That no longer work for me.
I release all things
That no longer serve me."
More Beautiful Than Before: How Suffering Transforms Us by Steve Leder
The Smell of Rain On Dust: Grief & Praise by Martin Prechtel
A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson
A Thousand Names for Joy: Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are by Byron Katie
A New Earth: Awakening To Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
Love, Medicine and Miracles by Bernie S. Siegel, MD
Fifth Chakra (Throat)
Ecology: Truth & Reconciliation
Human right: To speak & hear the truth
Physical Governance: The mouth (teeth, gums, jaw), throat (thyroid), and neck
Counterforce: Communication struggles; lies
* Problems in the mouth are often found in people who have a hard time expressing and dealing with
* People with thyroid problems are frequently very intuitive but are unable to voice what they see
because they too often struggle to keep the peace or win people's approval.
* Problems of the neck are often found in people who - even if they have flawless communication skills
on a regular basis - become inflexible and frustrated when they are unable to control the outcome of
The Serenity Prayer
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference."
Books & Movies:
All Is Well by Louise Hay & Mona Lisa Schulz M.D., Ph.D.
Eastern Body, Western Mind by Anodea Judity, Ph.D.
The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America by Thomas King
They Called Me Number One by Bev Sellars
Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese (also available as a movie)
Occupy Women: A Manifesto for Positive Change In A World Run By Men by Maureen Fitzgerald, Ph.D.
I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up For Education & Got Shot By The Taliban by Malala Yousafzai
Canadian Indigenous music featured in class:
Tanya Tagaq (Inuk throat singer from Nunavut)
Jeremy Dutcher (classically-trained tenor & composer)
A Tribe Called Red
Britain's Got Talent Auditions (youtube):
Susan Boyle singing "I Dreamed A Dream"
Paul Potts singing "Nessun Dorma"
Kyle Tomlinson singing "Hallelujah"
Sixth Chakra (3rd eye)
Ecology: "I once was blind but now I see" - line from the song Amazing Grace
Human right: To see
Location: Space between eye brows; pineal gland
Physical Governance: Eyes, ears, brain
Practices: Intuition, insight, visioning, imagination, dreaming, meditation, visual arts
The health of the sixth centre depends on how well you take in information from all realms - both earthly and mystical - and use this information in your life.
Awakening Intuition: Using Your Mind-Body Network for Insight and Healing by Mona Lisa Schulz, M.D., Ph.D.
The New Feminine Brain: Developing Your Intuitive Genius by Mona Lisa Schulz, M.D., Ph.D.
Outrageous Openness: Letting the Divine Take the Lead by Tosha Silver
Life Visioning by Michael Bernard Beckwith
The Inner Life of Asanas by Swami Lalitananda
Fierce Medicine: Breakthrough Practices to Heal the Body and Ignite the Spirit by Ana Forest (The Braid of Three Truths visualization)
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell
Horse Sense For People: The Man Who Listens to Horses Talks To People by Monty Roberts
The Divine Light Invocation
While standing in Mountain Pose, mentally repeat the Invocation:
I am created by Divine Light.
I am sustained by Divine Light.
I am protected by Divine Light.
I am surrounded by Divine Light.
I am ever growing into Divine Light.
- The Inner Life of Asanas by Swami Lalitananda
Ecology: Spiritual healing
Human right: To know
Location: Crown; cerebral cortex
Physical Governance: Chronic and degenerative disorders and life-challenging illnesses
Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds by Kelly A. Turner, PhD
Dr. Turner is a researcher, lecturer, and consultant in the field of integrative oncology. Her specialized research focus is the radical remission of cancer, which is a remission that occurs either in the absence of conventional medicine or after conventional medicine has failed. In her book, Dr. Turner gives the reader the results of her research on over a thousand cases of Radical Remission - people who have defied a serious or even terminal cancer. Here are the nine key factors that Dr. Turner found among nearly every Radical Remission survivor she studied:
1. Radically Changing Your Diet
2. Taking Control of Your Health
3. Following Your Intuition
4. Using Herbs and Supplements
5. Releasing Suppressed Emotions
6. Increasing Positive Emotions
7. Embracing Social Support
8. Deepening Your Spiritual Connection
9. Having Strong Reasons for Living
The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest by Dan Buettner
Over the course of five years, explorer, educator and author dan Buettner took teams of scientists to places in the world where people have lived the longest and healthiest lives. Buettner food five 'Blue Zones' with relatively high percentages of centenarians: "where people live 10 years longer, experience a sixth the rate of cardiovascular disease and a fifth the rate of major cancers."
The five populations:
1. In the highlands of the Italian island Sardinia
2. On the archipelago of Okinawa in Japan
3. At Loma Lina with the Seventh-day Adventists in California
4. On the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica
5. On the island Icaria, Greece
Nine best practices:
1. Move naturally
2. Eat a plant-based diet
3. Stop eating whenever the stomach is 80% full
4. Drink moderate amounts of red wine
5. Release stress & downshift every day (meditation, pray, afternoon nap, happy hour)
6. Have a sense of purpose / a strong reason for living
7. Daily spiritual connection
8. Engaged in the care of loved ones and experience more social respect as they age
9. Have a circle of healthy friends
Other book recommendations:
Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body & Mind to Face Stress, Pain & Illness by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D.
Heal Your Body: The Mental Causes for Physical Illness and the Metaphysical Way To Overcome Them by Louise Hay
Man's Search for Meaning: The Classic Tribute to Hope From The Holocaust by Viktor E. Frankl
Conversations With God: An Uncommon Dialogue by Neale Donald Walsch
The Top Five Regrets of the Dying by Bronnie Ware
The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer
Dying to be Me: My Journey From Cancer, To Near Death, To True Healing by Anita Moorjani
Climbing The Blue Mountain: A Guide For the Spiritual Journey by Eknath Easwaran
Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.
A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
To Bless The Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings by John O'Donohue
Walking In Wonder: Eternal Wisdom for A Modern World by John O'Donohue
Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home by Toko-Pa Turner
Eastern Body Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System as a Path to the Self by Anodea Judith
All Is Well: Heal Your Body with Medicine, Affirmations, and Intuition by Louise Hay & Mona Lisa Schulz
Women's Full Moon Ocean Dip
Tues June 18th
Panorama Park Beach, Deep Cove
Jill and I would like to welcome all women to our ocean dip season finale.
Celebrate the coming summer solstice, the warmer water, and our brave community of women dippers!
Special guest drummer: Terra Mentz
Come on your own or bring your daughter, sister, mother, girlfriend!
Remember to wear rocky beach water shoes!
Questions, concerns, or courage boosting?
Greetings dear Spring Students!
I am delighted to have you in blossoming belonging this spring season!
Through-out our spring session of classes, I will be sprinkling readings & blessings from John O'Donohue, a beloved Irish poet, philosopher, teacher, and theologian who has been widely praised for his gift of drawing on Celtic spiritual traditions to create words of inspiration and wisdom for today. Some of my personal go-to O'Donohue books and audios include To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings; Anam Cara: Spiritual Wisdom from The Celtic World; and Walking In Wonder: Eternal Wisdom for a Modern World.
To add a touch of beauty, creativity, and ritual, each class will end with a different cover of Leonard Cohen's song Hallelujah. If you have a personal favourite, I encourage you to share it with me as I am going to need quite a number of Hallelujah's for a whole season of classes!
I am also looking forward to teaching Chakra-inspired classes after Easter. I will be focussing on the 7 main chakras of the energy body and will offer mini-teachings on each chakra and the corresponding mind-body-spirit healing wisdom. If you would like to take your chakra learnings deeper, I would recommend the following experts & books: All Is Well: Heal Your Body with Medicine, Affirmations & Intuition by Louise Hay and Mona Lisa Schulz, M.D., Ph.D. and the new release Charge and The Energy Body by Anodea Judith, Ph.D.
Each chakra is associated with a particular colour (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, white). To elevate the fun factor, wear the colour of the chakra to class! Below is the calendar to keep you chakra coordinated!
Monday 7:30 - 8:45 PM class
June 17 - it's a full moon this night and it will be our grand finale class until the Fall!
Wednesday 9:15 - 10:25 AM class
May 15 - the X factor class
June 19 - grand finale rainbow chakra class, until we meet again in the Fall!
Friday 9:15 - 10:25 AM class
May 17 - the X factor class
June 21 - grand finale rainbow chakra class, until we meet again in the Fall!
Come join a circle of sister goddesses on the evening of Wed March 13th to extend the celebration of International Women's Day and rejoice in the coming spring equinox!
Begin the evening in the warmth and comfort of the Parkgate Library with author Carrie Saxifrage who will read from her book The Big Swim on Wed March 13th from 7 - 8 pm. Free but registration is required as space is limited. https://nvdpl.ca/event/night-author-carrie-saxifrage
The moon bathing & ocean dip will take place after Carrie's reading, at 8:30 PM, Deep Cove, Panorama Beach. All women are welcome! No registration required! Special guest dipper will be Carrie Saxifrage herself!
To learn more about the benefits & practice of cold water dipping, please see my blog entry titled "The Cure for Everything" posted in September 2018.
I hope you will join me this spring for a season of Elevated Community Movement Classes!
Visit the Classes tab here on my website to see the spring class schedule.
There are a couple of changes to be aware of:
I wish to experiment with teaching a shorter class on Monday evenings. Classes in the spring will start at 7:30 pm and finish at the usual time of 8:45 pm.
The 9:15 - 10:25 AM Wednesday morning class will remain the same, however, I will be aiming for a slightly earlier ending (somewhere between 10:20 to 10:25 AM) in order to create a few more minutes of transition time between my class and the senior's incoming class.
Also, I have added a few new sentences to the Elevated class description in order to highlight that my classes include not only physical exercise, but are also a mental-emotional-social-spiritual experience. Here's the latest description:
ELEVATE Community Movement Classes with Heather McCullough
More than a great exercise class, ELEVATE is a complete mind-body-spirit experience. Guided by masterful teaching within a music-filled environment, move your whole body through simple, rhythmical exercise for a heart-pumping, body-strengthening, soul-shaking surge. Be in the now with flow & kundalini yoga. Engage your innate core power with Pilates-inspired movement. Wisdom teachings, poetry, and eco-social-spiritual themes are woven throughout each class. Guided breathing exercises and meditation practices are included. Move, sweat, breathe, connect, clear, pause, sense, stretch, relax, reflect and renew at every ELEVATE class. Please bring a yoga mat.
The Monday evening and Wednesday morning classes are for all community members (mature youth to fit elders welcome). The Friday morning class is for women only and Parkgate Kids Club registered childminding is available. All classes are held at Parkgate Community Centre.
Feminist Fortune Cookies
“A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality & full humanity of women and men.”
- Gloria Steinem
“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” - Gloria Steinem
“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” - Gloria Steinem
“Women may be the one group that grows more radical with age.” - Gloria Steinem
“ I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine marriage and a career.” - Gloria Steinem
“We've begun to raise daughters more like sons...but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters.” - Gloria Steinem
“When humans are ranked instead of linked, everyone loses.” - Gloria Steinem
“In the world of the feminine, everything you feel is right.” - Mama Gena
“ Reinvention is our birthright and our obligation.” - Mama Gena
“Women are the greatest untapped resource on the planet.” - Mama Gena
“When she designs, and then lives, her own destiny, a woman naturally sets right everything wrong in our world.” - Mama Gena
“The feminine is the feeling part of us, our deepest intuition, our sense of community & connection. Additionally, it is a sense of spiritual morality and consciousness. The feminine is life. It may shock you to hear that she does not care about production, accomplishment, domination, assertiveness, or winning. Those are masculine values. On the contrary, she favours enjoyment, inclusion, surrender and sustainability.” - Mama Gena
“The world is designed to take the wind out of a woman's sails. To fill her with fear about all the ways she is inadequate. We each need the focus and determination of warrior women to fight the tide of self-hatred that comes from living in a culture that devalues us.” - Mama Gena
“I had never considered myself beautiful, but I decided that I could change my mind.” - Mama Gena
“Extremists have shown what frightens them most: a girl with a book.”
- Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace Prize, age 17
“Well behaved women rarely make history.” - Eleanor Roosevelt
“Anger is one of those emotions that's been long-stricken from the social palette of acceptability. Especially for women, who are taught that being angry makes you unlikeable, and being unliked is a kind of rejection from femininity itself. But a terrible thing is lost in the suppression of anger – your relationship with one of your greatest allies: Instinct.
- Toko-Pa Turner, Author of Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home
She's The Ocean
Vancouver International Women's Film Festival
Free Screening at Vancity Theatre
March 8th, 1 pm
She is the Ocean examines nine extraordinary women from the four corners of the globe. Starting with three women who engage in the thrill of ocean sports, to a famed scientist who plunges into the deepest depths on the edge of human survival, to a cliff diver who is hailed as “The bravest woman in Germany” the film captures the one thing they all share in common: a profound love for the Sea.
Women's Full Moon Ocean Dip
Wed Feb 20th, 8 pm,
Panorama Park, Deep Cove
All beach sisters and water dippers welcome!
Water shoes recommended!
A hot beverage that can be shared with a few women encouraged!
Your sister goddess ocean lunar hostesses
(or are we just loony?)
Heather McCullough & Jill Maynard
For my Winter 2019 season of classes, I have been incorporating themes from Toko-Pa's book "Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home" and sharing practices from her courses such as "Courting The Dream" and "Dreamwalking".
I am very excited to recommend her upcoming lecture titled "Belonging Is A Skill". She will be speaking in Victoria, B.C. this Friday Feb 22nd at 7 - 9 pm with live streaming tickets available for those who can not attend in person ($21.00).
You can find out more about this event, purchase tickets, and see a trailer for Belonging by Toko-Pa Turner in the following link:
"Your grief for what you've lost lifts a mirror
up to where you are bravely working.
Expecting the worst, you look and instead,
here's the joyful face you've been wanting to see.
Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes.
If it were always a fist or always stretched open,
you would be paralyzed.
Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding,
the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birdwings."
- from The Essential Rumi Coleman Barks with John Mayne
"Breathe it all in, love it all out" - Mary Oliver
"So take a breath and find out what is unsolved in your heart.
Breathe in patience, breathe in love.
Love yourself bountiful & send that love out.
When you send love out from the bountifulness of your own love,
it reaches other people. This love is the deepest power of prayer." - John O'Donohue
"One conscious breath in and out is a meditation" - Eckhart Tolle
"My place is placeless, a trace of the traceless.
Neither body or soul. I belong to the beloved,
have seen the two worlds as one and that one call to and know,
first, last, outer, inner, only that breath breathing human being." from Only Breath by Rumi
Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC)