October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

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💛I had two little boys. One was born at 40 weeks, 2 days and the other one at 26 weeks, 5 days of gestation. My first pregnancy was textbook perfect. My second ended in an emergency crash C-section with a baby like a squirrel +a 3 months NICU stay +a body cut-up, bruised. In an instant, my future chattered, the way my life “should” have been robbed. I didn’t know babies could even die, in movie’s they did- but not in real life and certainly not MY life.

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. As a Prenatal/Post-natal yoga teacher and grief activist, I’ve made it my life’s work to talk about the stuff nobody talks about. Where there is LIFE there is DEATH and both are terrifying and natural, dangerous and fleeting. Can we stop denying these stories to be told, or WORSE YET say nothing. We need to find more opportunities, outside of the therapy rooms (because therapy is NOT enough!!!) to tell our stories, move with sorrows, and breath together.

Prenatal/Post-Natal Yoga Teachers- make sacred circles with your students at the beginning of each class. If yoga is connecting, integrating, welcoming-in life - this doesn’t exclude each other’s (!!). The whole point of doing yoga is being okay with what’s uncomfortable. Motherhood -whether you are bereaved or not- is difficult, period. If saying ‘hi’ to your fellow yogi’s before breathing together in the same room is uncomfortable or difficult or weird or awkward for you then it’s an indication to do more of it!! Instead of using yoga to check-out of real life, use it to check-in. Check-in not only in “light & love” but in “dark & fears” too.

If our yoga community doesn’t step up to the needs of human today. Who will? That’s not only being trauma-informed. That’s being human-informed.

Love you in bellies, babies and voicing what you believe in always.

E. ⭐️
#tommytinkerforever #mothersaremagic#pregancyinfantlossawareness

"See the light."

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Vanity Fair gave the most incredible tribute to my sister-in-law Hannah. Please read it!! Please share it. Please love the life you are in!!! Hannah did.

She worked her butt & brains off, and she loved the humans in her ocean fiercely. How lucky was I to know even just a sliver of that capacity to love. Making dreams out of pictures, following her obsessions. And caring. Hannah cared the most. I loved this segment best.

“If you were looking, you might spot her darting around the room, usually in black slacks and an elegant jacket, lifting her camera with one hand and a light in the other, snapping a photo and then smiling with quiet thanks before moving on. She always sought the best in others. It’s what made her a terrific photographer and a compassionate human.”

A million thanks for capturing my sister so accurately & poignantly @rdwilliams .


If I close my eyes, I see her just so


Love you in - as per Hannah- seeing the LIGHT, always


E ⭐️

To rise with butterflies.

Jessie Redmond Photography

Jessie Redmond Photography

I close my eye. I dance. I collapse. I turn over in the sand. I jump in ocean to wash the sand. My heart is shut. I’m so angry I could scream. I scream. I run. I twirl.  My heart re-opens. I lie in the earth desperate for things to be different. Why did this have to happen? Why does my life have to look like this? I resist change. I procrastinate. I wake up in the middle of the night anxious, alone, restless. I make good hearty soup. I eat junk. I want to be with people. I want to be alone. I ask the universe for signs. I don’t see anything. C’mon universe! I get shook up by a book, a friend, a teacher. I still see nothing. Ok, fine I’ll wait. I’ll rest. I’ll walk. I’ll create. I create. I create. I create. I can see now. I see everything. My heart re-opens. I am here. I show up. I serve. I breathe new life. I never stop hoping and dreaming and desiring. Growing. Butterflying.

Slowly, I take the permission slip to live my life my way.

I step into my grief project, my love project.

I am grounded. I root, rock and sway.

I ignite, burn and combust to rise with butterflies.

They’ve taught me so much.

That to cocoon, morph and metamorphose is crucial

Then and only then will I take my formidable flight.

I want to embody my life. Stop the by-pass.

Hold the good memories and the tragedies.

With grace. With ease.

 

Okay fine.

I make a pack.

To lead it with love.

To lead it with truth.

Yours in what it means to love & grieve, always.

E. xo

I start another round of the Love Project Workshop Sept. 28. knowing with deep conviction that just like the butterfly: rebirth and release is there in all forms. This is small group workshops, please sign-up through ON THE MAT Yoga Studio today.


See the Light

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A month before she passed, I interviewed Hannah on She Quest Podcast. There are sets of questions you know, I ask on my show. One of them is “what is your mantra?”. Think of a mantra as invisible string of words tattooed on you. Something you can repeat yourself.

 

And she said “see the light”. She said that.

 

Today, it seems my life was so not funny, it was funny. The cry-laugh phase, where all I wanted to do is give up and swear in slang French (they a much nastier than ‘fuck’ if you ask me). I found myself so stuck in my own b.s. I couldn’t get out.

 

And then, I remember Hannah’s words “see the light”. SEE THE LIGHT. See the light.

 

Then you know what I did? I decided to SEE THE LIGHT.  

 

I went for a second cup of coffee. ( one of the lucky few who had power!)

I put on a neon pink shirt. (Hannah would have approved)

I got out of my own way. ( yes, mantra’s will do that!)

 

If anything, both Tommy or Hannah taught me is to SEE THE LIGHT.

 

And also, to never, never NEVER give up.

 

Yours in good word tattoo’s, always

E. xo

The LOVE PROJECT : What are we here for?

Jessie Redmond Photography

Jessie Redmond Photography


There is always more to uncover, more to know, more to heal, more to love, more to give. Being true to oneself is a rough-and-tumble ride, full of challenges and wonders. The Jungian scholar James Hollis writes, "We are not here to fit in, to be well balanced, or provide example for others. We are here to be eccentric, different, perhaps strange, perhaps merely to add our small piece, our little clunky chunky cells, see the great mosaic of being. As the gods intended, we are here to become more and more ourselves.

"Marrow" by Elizabeth Lesser.

The Love Project Workshop is starting again this fall. Become more and more of yourself.

A privilege to witness your unfolding, always.

E. xo


You live in my chest

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💛 Now that you live in my chest everywhere we sit is a mountain top... I know this one by heart from Rumi. I’ve painted the quote too, I love it so, so much.

As I looked out that day, I made sure to wink at Tommy. It was quick “hi buddy!”. I am lucky. The mountains, lake and the warm air blinked back at me. Blink. Blink. Does nature blink back at you, too?

Five years coming and am still learning how to welcome grief. Sometimes I feel expansive and weightless other time so heavy, like a truckload of rocks. But by now, at least I know that what I miss so terribly is a celebration of what I’ve love. And that this very love does goes on.

If i don’t grieve, I will harden in anger and drown in bitterness and pride. If i don’t grieve, I’d be walking dead. The choice has been to live, be generous and present and engage with the world. Drive the truck full of rocks.Full throttle. The road is full of twist and turns, construction stops etc.. Whatever I pass all of that- damn you Tommy!! I transform rocks into art. May be that’s what he wanted all along!? I’ll never know.

But what I know is that the permission to grieve Tommy makes me feel alive.


Anyways, I told Scott I wish we had brought some of Tommy ashes to sprinkle over the majestic Rockies. And then Rumi reminded me that all this didn’t matter since he lives in your chest, silly!


Your in grief as love and love as grief, always
E ⭐️

#tommytinkerforever

10 things I wish naïve ME knew 9 years ago.

Oh Lordy! Me- fresh out of my second Yoga Teachers Training in late July of 2010.  Photo Credit: Hannah Thomson

Oh Lordy! Me- fresh out of my second Yoga Teachers Training in late July of 2010.

Photo Credit: Hannah Thomson

9 years ago. Fresh out of Modo Yoga Teachers Training. Newly engaged with a few calm months to spare finishing my M.A . This feels like it was taken in another life, before entering the jungles gates to motherhood and what ultimately ensued.

Here are 10 things I wish naïve me knew way back when:

1)    In your quest to make people feel less broken and make that your life, you will learn the very same only by being broken yourself.

2)    You will make some terrible mistakes. Receive and give unfair feedback. It’s these fuck ups that will ultimately make you: a grown ass woman.   

3)    PLeasssse, giiiirlllll !!!! You are not here to fit in! Do your own thing. Do it your own way.

4)    Unrelated to art & yoga: GROW YOUR EYEBROWS.

5)    There is always more to learn and more to heal.

6)    Never look back. Nothing is ever wasted.

7)    You can touch others only as far as you’ve allowed to have been touched yourself.

8)    Say YES to your fate! Just say YES. Do not skip this important step. This will mean saying YES to death. YES to life. YES to horrible and wondrous thing. Saying yes will help you say no, too. Saying YES will walk you back to why you took your yoga teachers trainings and why you paint in the first place… for Moksha… for liberation.

9)   Insecurity is not the truth of you. Kindness is the truth of you.

10) Fuck it! Just do it. Go on, dance like everyone’s watching.

Yeah. Still naive. Still growing my eyebrows. Still trying my darndest best at life..

Yours in valuing your original self, always!

E. xo

Non-negotiable: Journalling & Mark- Making

Source: @juliacameronlive

Source: @juliacameronlive

I call bullshit on individuals who claim they cannot “journal”. As my best friend Julia Cameron writes: “If you can’t think of anything to write, then write “I can’t think of anything to write”.

Mark-making is also well under- utilized as a self-inquiring tool for personal growth.

It’s this black and white philosophy that 89% of our planet hold, that one of “I am not creative type”, “not for me” and the “how would I even go about this” thats led me to create my free guide to creative liberation. “Marks & Doodles” which btw, you can find it as a permanent instalment on my website here:

http://www.estellethomson.com/marks-doodles-course

Journalling and Mark-Marking are really you, healing in motion.

Available to you in this permission, on your pages, a brain dump! And when you cannot put words to it, you can surely put marks to it! It’s a powerful thing to see your life on paper, to let it unfold in all it’s wonder and imperfection. Right, Sark?

Source: @sarkilife

Source: @sarkilife


This is surely why I have created my own line of Journals and Portfolios!

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I love my Estelle Thomson Art Permission Slip inscribed inside!

Let this journal be the roots

Let it help me grow.

Let it remind me that I loved.

Let it rip my heart wide open.

Between these pages, anything I want can be released

Why am i scared?

Why do i hide?

It’s now or never.

Show up. Be Loud.

I am ready to feel awake and alive, but from inside.

I understand that self-love requires self-work.

Let this journal witness to my words, stories, doodles, sketches, and paintings.

Bringing forth, whats within me:

I write.

I tell my story.

I doodle.

I sketch.

I paint.

And this will change my life and the world.

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Yours in healing, always.

E.XO

p.s: When you join SHE QUEST or THE LOVE PROJECT or YOGA MENTORSHIP or any of my on-site training you get a journal for free!

3 Ways You Can Exercise Beauty Today

Forget what you think is beautiful.

Forget what you think is not beautiful.

Forget what you’ve been taught about beauty for a split of a second and instead remember what’s true. This is perhaps the greatest gift of a daily art & yoga practice: a greater understanding of what is true. Not what is beautiful.

As an artist & yogi, my intention is to bring forth what’s inside me OUT. Express my innards out into the world. I don’t know anyone who’s innards is always pretty and cute. I also don’t know anyone who is able to live in a vacuum. Your truth is meant to be witness, shared and loved.

To not bypass the gut wrenching moments of my life ( one of mine was holding my sweet boy until the last few moments on earth) is not easy, it’s the work of a lifetime. My hope in giving you these 3 mini art & yoga tools, you can try to be comfortable in what you cannot change or solve.

  1. One of my favourite, quick getting ‘down and dirty' meditation is SAT NAM. Sat Nam meditation is an inner sound base meditation. The Sankrit word “Sat Nam” can be translated in English to “i am truth’. I sit down, cross legged and or on a chair for at least 5 minutes and Inhale to the sound Sat and exhale to sound Nam. Mantra’s have powerful in the the vibrational qualities, they stays with you all day ( if not weeks) long. I have students who say they cannot commit well to Sankrit, I would then suggest to repeat the mantra in English or your language of choice.

  2. In summer, I love to go outside and do a breathing exercise I call: breath beauty. It’s so simple! I go in my backyard - you can do this exercise ANYWHERES and breath everything that is around me. I breath the grass, and the trees, and the leaf, but I also breath the things I think are yucky like the spiders, the worms and even my old shed-lol! You can start with your yes wide open and look around you. Perhaps their are thing in your room or space of choice that you are seeing for the first time!

  3. You know I love journalling! I love it so much, I have several journals and portfolio’s in my online shop. To help you debunk your own concept of beauty and truth , answering these question will start the much needed conversation around this. Here are some prompts to start you with 1) what would happened if I operated from a place of truth? 2) How have I been not living my truth ( living a lie perhaps? ) 3) When is the last time I was truly moved by an experience?

Tommy and I wish you live in truth and never neglect the “not beautiful” , always.

E.xo

p.s: Art & Yoga tools are the cornerstone of my on site THE LOVE PROJECT Workshop ( now open!) and SHE QUEST ( which is becoming membership in September)

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I am worthy of this life.

Here is the place where I discover my true self.

Here is the place that restores my well-being

Improves my vitality

Promotes my assuredness.

That I am worthy of this life.

I am worthy of Spanish Rooftops.

Messy hair buns and dirty sore traveling feet.

I am worthy of this body’s originality, focus and integrity.

Here is the place of all place that I can be that.

Feel and move safely with this life.

Here I can trust.

Yours in discovering your true self, always.

E. xo

C'est beau la vie!

Écoute complète ici: http://bit.ly/affairesetmagie_estelle

Merveilleuse conversation EN FRANÇAIS (!!!!) avec Karine Ricard pour le beau Podcast “Affaires et Magie de Mères”. Retrouver l’épisode complet ICI: http://bit.ly/affairesetmagie_estelle

Retrouver Karine sure son site web:  https://www.lamarelleco.com/

Retrouver Karine sure son site web: https://www.lamarelleco.com/


Karine écrit:

Estelle danse avec la vie (littéralement) et partage ses réflexions et ses enseignements sous plusieurs formes. Que ce soit dans ses classes de yoga, ses retraites, son membership en ligne pour reconnecter la femme à son pouvoir créatif, ses oeuvres d’art et sa poésie qui sont offerts dans une variété de formats, ou son programme de mentorat pour aider les profs de yoga pour injecter plus de sens à leurs cours, elle BRILLE sans limite avec tellement de simplicité. ⭐️

On jase de sujets chauds, comme ceux-ci :

• Le besoin urgent de partager le darkside de la maternité pour plus une collectivité plus transparente et bienveillante

• Comment ne pas s’identifier à travers l’un ou l’autre des rôles qu’on joue dans la vie

• Où tracer la ligne quand notre marque personnelle (personal brand) gagne en notoriété et qu’on se fait reconnaître à l’épicerie !

• Son parcours en tant que “performer” et comment le théâtre lui a ouvert la porte sur le yoga

• L’art, la forme de thérapie qui l’a suivie toute sa vie avant de devenir essentielle pour faire changement de l’isolement du post-partum immédiat

• Son parcours à travers 2 grossesses rapprochées, un enfant prématuré et les défis de santé qui s’en sont suivis - et comment ses pratiques et rituels déjà établis l’ont sauvée dans ses expériences extrêmement douloureuses

• Le moment où elle s’est rendue à l’évidence que la tristesse ferait partie de sa vie, toute sa vie et le constat que le deuil, c’est tellement VIVANT

• Le Grief Project, un projet qui l’a trouvée tout naturellement après des années à partager son cheminement suite au décès de son garçon, qui a aidé tellement de femmes et qui a finalement été converti en un documentaire télé sur la CBC !

• SHE Quest, son membership pour femme en quête de sens, de liberté et de créativité qui allie l’art et le yoga comme outils de connaissance de soi et de transformation

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• Et tellement plus <3

Pure MAGIE 

Bonne Écoute!!

http://bit.ly/affairesetmagie_estelle

E.xo

Pssst.... Documentary Alert!

Jessie Redmond Photography

Jessie Redmond Photography

🦋 Pssst: Did you know I made a documentary? My own documented SHE QUEST through love & loss.

In a way, going on a SHE QUEST is looking at loss in it's many forms. By rule, you cannot transform anew without loosing something. For me, it was loosing my son Tommy but also the life I would have had with him! Grief is wide and alive and part of our everyday highs and lows. Everybody grieves. Everybody as a soul. Soul work is in fact- grief work! You can watch my #tommytinkerforever documentary HERE.

A big thanks to CBC for supporting voices & stories outside the mainstream media that have something to bring forth and OUT 💥 into the world.
Love you in love & loss, always.
E. ⭐️ p.s : if you’ve watched it.... what was you biggest takeaway? 😘
Lens : @jessieredmondphoto


Hint: The darker the secret, the sparkliest the cave

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CAN we stop competing and comparing? Many, many people don’t feel justify speaking/sharing their stories because it’s nothing like « other » people hurdles. For example, sometimes the most well-meaning humans have uttered to me « nothing like you’ve been through ». That’s not fair!!!! It’s all valid. ALL of it. What you think is a minuscule malaise could be the tragedy for another. And it’s ALL valid . When we begin to look at another human pains as our own, another human emotions as our own, only then we start the subtle and powerful work of unfolding. In SHE Quest I call it « the work ». But it start with telling your story and saying: I matter!! Loud or shy: i matter!! Hurdles and screw ups will never, ever stop. Things will come crashing down and dang it I have no control over it. But when I looks, listen, write, tell or dance my story I get to see the world is full of magical cross-overs and thresholds to dark secrets that leads to sparkly caves. In that way, I make way for peace.
Hint: The darker the secret, the sparkliest the cave.
My cross- over was loosing Tommy.
For you- it’s something else and it’s ALL valid.
Yours in wonder entrances and dancing stories, always.
E ⭐️ #tommytinkerforever

Answer D

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How did I find myself twirling in Spain?

A) Tommy
B) Picasso
C) Gelato
D) all of the above

It’s a simple fact of life that I wouldn’t be in Barcelona if it weren’t for loosing Tommy. So while I am rapping up an incredible week of leading 12 starlight souls in South of France, I decided to hop over to Spain for a twirl or two.
Grieving Tommy has taught me so much, you know !? First, to never avoid or postpone life. Second, to let yourself go to the depth of your sadness. It’s there that you will find yourself refusing to live small and numb. I always thought sad was dark and depressed but it’s quite the opposite. In this sacred place, I found movement, colours , dance and flow. The dark places inside you are like Picasso’s sacred art : deeply misunderstood, undervalued, offends and revolts the oppressed. And yet, without Picasso the world of art wouldn’t have renewed and exploded like it did.

Third, Tommy has taught me that real grieving never gets stuck, never waits, never hesitates. In that way, Tommy (and Picasso) have made saying “Who does that !? “ not exist.

Real grieving let me see and feel with my whole body (note: not just from the neck up) that life is generous, wide and alive. Its sweet , crunchy and scrumptious to the sense and and I don’t want to be held back- I’ll take two scoops, please!
I’m so proud of my Tinker for teaching me this, you know ? Picasso’s art and gelato are just bonuses.
Answer D) all of the above!

Love you in #tommytinkerforever, always.
E ⭐️

Mantra for Bereaved Mothers.

✨Coming out of my fairy hiding hut sans-wifi weekend to dance & twirl with other mothers on International Bereaved Mother’s Day.

Paramount to my muse-fairy philosophy is that we must teach our bodies to move towards our emotions.
Breathe ~Relax~ Feel~ Watch~Allow is the oldest Mantra I’ve ever learn, I make light of it in the Tommy Tinker Doc.


Mama of angel(s), use it today. Take 5 minute in your own fairy hut ( sometime mistaken as silent bedrooms, yoga mats, beaches or backyards). Internally or best yet- loudly to yourself:
Breathe ~Relax~ Feel~ Watch ~ Allow.

Life has soaring highs and unmistakeable lows- it wouldn’t be life if it was just so. To pause today and acknowledge our losses connects us to the love we have for our children, the love they have for us, the love we have for each other.
This love is whole , full and everlasting.
Back in hiding I go Love you and your angels too.
E. ⭐️

Brave is Vulnerable

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“Everybody wants to be brave. Very few of us want to feel vulnerable. Brave is vulnerable!!!!! “


My bff @brenebrown is on Netflix & and it’s raining until May in Nova Scotia so GO watch it.
Today. Tonight. ASAP.


Yours in reframing superpowers, always
Today. Tonight. ASAP.
E ⭐️

Rumi is always right.

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💛👣This is love: To fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.” • RUMI

Rumi is always right. (First to let go of life.) In the kitchen on the night after Tommy’s memorial. Looking right, his high chair and looking left a clean empty milk bottle. I kneeled down to get his formula. I grab it. I stop. I have done this ten of thousands of times before. Chin to my chest, bouncing my knees, closing my eyes- oh yeah, I don’t need to do that anymore.

(Hundred more veils falling.)

In our backyard, I look at Isaiah biking. Look how tall!and big ! and smart! and daredevil you are!!!! Didn’t I just cradle you both in my arms? (Hundred more veils falling.) Motherhood opened me up to my complexity and identity. My priorities instantly shifted. A crash course in alertness, tenderness, multitasking and forgetting me. But in the forgetting is this remembering and then somehow I give myself room for growth and the dignity to discover what I think and what I want. I give more. I care more.

I cannot know or be or do everything: I can only listen, notice and feel my way into my child. I’ve improvised with them and created a nest from day 1 and it’s been;

Quiet and loud.
Difficult and delightful. (this is love)
Rumi is always right.

(to fly towards a secret sky)
And so i fly!
And take one more step without feet.

Yours in unfolding into the wondrous path ahead,
Always.
E ⭐️ #tommytinkerforever