About Chery

I teach PresenceYoga and treat clients with powerful yet gentle hands on therapy that incorporates multiple manual therapy modalities and 25 years of experience as a therapist. I am the owner/manager of Mountain Valley Retreat, a residential and overnight guest glamping retreat in the mountains of San Diego's backcountry. I love PCT hikers, hiking, dancing, painting, going to the beach, getting bodywork, holding my grandbaby, singing, petting my cats, sleeping, staring at campfires, silence, serving my clients, hanging out in my watsu float pool, howling at the moon, traveling to new places with friends, taking nature photographs, drumming circles, giving hand massage to old people, watching the moon rise over the desert from Turtle Rock, music jams, singing and playing my guitar (badly), free writing, sharing cool off the grid hikes with guests, soaking in my hot tub, yoga, laughing, potlucks with friends, hanging upside down, practicing innocence, being a PCT trail angel, working in my garden, cuddle puddles, preparing food from my garden, teaching pelvic floor yoga at Esalen Institue, riding horses, hosting retreats at Mountain Valley Retreat and all fun childlike behaviors.

Free Write on “My Calling”

Sun Salute in Sedona

PROMPTS:

What has heart and meaning for me?

What is important to me?

What do I love to do?

What ignites my passion?

What makes time stand still & expand for me?

What am I searching for?

What satisfies me?

What contributions do I want to make?

What actions will support my Calling?

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The Call to Dance

I am in a room full of people.  No one is speaking.  Everyone is alert and full of life.  There is a feeling of aliveness and curiosity in the air.  The music begins.  The bodies in the room begin to move with the felt sensation of the music as it enters our ears and expresses itself uniquely through our bodies.

Each person moves in their personally defined impulses and urgings inspired by the music, the community of human beings and the moment.

As we create this dancing moment together, this beauty, this fluidity, this unique and fleeting moment of communal, living art, my heart expands out of my chest and I soar into heavenly grace with my fellow human dancers.

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The Call to Treatment

My hands rest on the feet of the person lying on my treatment table.

I close my eyes and drop out of my mind and into my body…my personal navigation system.

I say a prayer of intention.  I ask that I might be a clear and clean channel for this person’s well-being.  I invite the unseen support of my guides and angels and those of my client to join us.  I express my gratitude for their loving support of the process we have entered.

I follow the urgings of my hands to touch and hold this body as I listen intently to the information that begins to flow into me.

I utilize the skills I have learned from my teachers and mentors and the experiences of my life…

As a wild child, a dancer, a painter, a thief.  A daughter, a friend, a teacher, a wife.  A liar, a lover, a singer, a mother.  A sister, a farmer, a therapist, a yogi.  A cheater, a channel, a seductress, a businesswoman, a divorcee.   A hiker, a seeker, a grandmother, an angel, a shaman.

At the end of the session, a clearing has happened…and a revealing.

Something that was no longer serving, has left.  Something that was needed, has entered. Something that was hidden has revealed itself.  Positive change has begun its process.

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The Call to Nature

I walk out the door and breathe in the fresh air and sunlight.  I feel the gentle breeze on my skin and the solid earth under my feet.  I take a big drink of water from my well and enjoy the sensation of its cool fluidity sliding down my throat, quenching my body.

The elements of nature fill me with life giving forces and make me feel strong and resilient. I am filled with energy.

I step onto the path and begin my hike through the hills and valleys beneath the shadow of the mountain.  Every pore opens to the landscape around me.  The sky is brilliant blue and sunlight filters through the leaves of the giant oaks that line the trail.  I hear the singing of birds, the buzzing of bees and the flutter of butterflies.  I smell the fragrance of the ocean like subtle notes superimposed on the powerful scent of the blooming flowers that have exploded like a carpet of color under my feet.

My feet are sure and my legs feel powerful as I swing along in balance with nature.  My body is getting an energy reset and I am in touch with my Source.  At the end of the hike I have re-sourced myself and with energy reserves full, I am ready to listen to the next indicated thing.

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The Call to Yoga

I sit on my cushion, on my mat, in the silence of the yurt, resting.

One by one, my students enter quietly, gathering their mats and props and setting themselves up for their practice.

When the room has settled, I breathe in a breath of the Divine and expand my field to hold the space with loving kindness, compassion, and strength for those who have gathered here this day.

I silently set the intention that my teachings will meet the needs of those who are here and inspire them towards greater health and well-being.

From this moment until the closing breath of the session, I follow the guidance that comes to me.  My anchor is breath.  Breath initiates all movement and all movement supports breath.  My words create imagery that allows my students to explore their own bodies from the inside and notice the whispers of their own internal gurus.

My intention is for them to leave inspired to return to their mats each day, without an agenda, simply to sit in silence and listen to their bodies with loving compassion and honor what they hear.

Ah-ho.

Morning Pages…A Stream-of- Consciousness Free Write

Meaning, Hope, Inspiration, Curiosity?

What generates these concepts for me?
What is the experience?
What is the feeling?
What is the Grace?

Meaning gives purposeful inspiration to action.
Meaning is the underlying thought that makes an action worthy of taking.
What is the meaning of this moment?
I Mean to gain clarity of mind and direction from this exploration of Mind.

Hope is trust in the future.
Hope is the feeling that all is well.
Hope lends it’s positive intention to action.
It says to me that my action today is creating a positive outcome for tomorrow.

Inspiration is the fire in my belly that fuels me.
Inspiration is the breath of a life well lived.
I breathe in Inspiration and I breathe out
Right thought, Right word, Right action.

Curiosity is the platform for Inspiration.
Curiosity is the undomesticated mind of the innocent child,
A Curious Mind has no room for agendas, expectations, and judgments.
Curiosity is a state of awe and wonder, inspired, and ever hopeful.

Fluidity
“My life flows like a river, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding.”

Each morning, I awake to the possibility of allowing the moments of this day
To unfold without the conscious direction of Mind.
When I remain in a state of presence, Mind is a curious observer
of the movie called My Life… playing in and around me.

Time unfolds, and My Life is a continuous creation… not separate…
But deeply connected and part of everyone and everything I perceive,
And also everything I don’t perceive.
The seen and unseen, the heard and unheard, the felt and unfelt…
I Am That.

Trusting in the Divine Unfolding Play of the Universe
I watch with Curiosity as I play out my tiny part.
My tiny life. This tiny moment.
Nothing more than the opportunity to Dance with Grace.

Ah-Ho

Me and My Brother

An open letter to my friends:

I just spent a week with my brother.  Gregg is 70 and has lived with a PKD (Parkinson’s Disease) diagnosis since he was 45.  He has been on PKD meds for 25 years, had a “brain stimulator” procedure which failed to produce the desired relief of his symptoms… and YET, he still golfs, lawn bowls, paints, boxes, does yoga, sings in a choir, weight lifts and does a PKD stretch class.  He jogs, dances, does tai chi, writes music, sings karaoke (we sing duets), plays the guitar, plays cards & games, rides a bike, cooks, drives a golf cart and knows the value of a massage.  He can make a great smoothie and makes me laugh a lot.
He manages his finances, fixes things that break, and offers help wherever he sees a need, including organizing support groups for people with PKD.
My sister-in-law, Jo, has been in my family since I was 20.  I love and respect her for being Gregg’s constant companion and support for so many years.
I am 66.  Gregg was 3 when I was born  and has been my steady, solid friend all of my life.
I have rarely heard Gregg speak in the negative about anything.
Depression is a part of his disease for over 60% of those diagnosed.
He told me, that when he learned his brain stimulator was a failure, he got depressed.
He says, “I let myself have a pity-party for a couple of hours, and then I said, OK, enough of that.  Let’s get moving.”
If ever I start to feel down about my life, all I have to do is spend time with Gregg and everything gains perspective.  He inspires me with his willingness to be vulnerable… all the time.  With him I realize that life is what I make of it.
What do I perceive? How many layers can I peel off to experience the essence of life?
Everything is moving energy.  Can I relax my gaze, relax my body, relax my mind?
Can I  rest back…behind the parade of thoughts that is passing through the field of my mind?
In this relaxed state of perception, I see life with no clothes on.
“Naked Life”, is the experience of my primordial state, pre-domestication.
“You wild-animal, you!”
In this state-of-mind dwells my “true nature,” and it will always choose the efficient “path of least resistance.”  Gregg has shown me that this choice is not related to the conditions or external circumstances of my life.  It has everything to do with how well I am able to choose my thoughts (or even better!  Simply watch the parade go by…) rather than be a slave to my “thought-processor.”
My brain, the “think-tank” of my mental body, is programmed to run on auto-pilot.  The program produces rationalizing thoughts to neutralize the “events” of my present experience that are  creating a “disruption” in my nervous system/state of equilibrium.  This “disruption” can be good or bad.  The mind doesn’t judge it, it just wants to bring things back to balance.  Too high, bring it down.  Too low, bring it up.   Using data gleaned from my life-history recording, it’s purpose is to try and make me think I am balanced, equalized… okay…It wants to hear me say, I’m in a homeostatic state.  The truth is, I already am okay.  I was okay and I’ll always be okay, with or without the mind’s constant balancing act.
My body works very much the same way on it’s physical level.   My body’s immune system continuously meets whatever is coming into my field to neutralize it and try and keep my body in homeostasis.   My body uses it’s immune system cells while my mind uses thoughts.  The body uses the physical system’s cells of  the immune system, and the mind uses the mental/emotional system’s thoughts. 
What I am practicing, and I invite each of you to try it if you haven’t already, is to rest back behind my constant thread of thoughts.  As I rest back and observe my thoughts like a parade going down the street (it used to be a ticker-tape, then a computer screen,  but I needed to slow it down, so I made it a parade, you know, like the speed of walking horses and kids.) I relax and watch the parade of thoughts go by and when one catches my eye and tries to lure me in, I notice it and I say,“Thank-you, but, no thank-you.  I’m just great and I don’t need your help.”
With the mind ignored, the body does what it’s programmed to do… innately.  You don’t have to think to breathe, pee, eat, have sex and sleep…sounds like retirement to me!!
The thing I love best about myself is the way I joke with my own process.  I truly do not believe my own bullshit!  Eliciting a laugh is the best possible use of a thought!  Right?
So I say, “Right on, my Fellow “Feel So Much It Makes Me Crazy but THERE IS NO BETTER WAY TO LIVE!”
You are my peeps!

I Forgot Who I Was…

I forgot who I was!

This morning, in Yoga,  I remembered…

At least, a part of myself.

 

I remembered I am strong.

I remembered I am kind.

I remembered I am human.

I remembered I am Divine.

 

The forgetting…

It happens when I get lethargic and sluggish

It happens when I stop turning inward

It happens when I pay more attention to what others think than what I know.

It happens when I stop my practice.

 

My practice is to stop hiding in my doing.

My practice is to listen to my body.

My practice is to honor what I hear.

My practice is to love myself enough to do my practice.

Desiring Mind

Mind cannot help itself.

It does what it does

Seeking balance

With the external world.

Constant

Are my thoughts

I desire this…

I don’t desire that…

Dear Mind

Choosing from data

Collected from experiences

Of this life and others…

Endless futility.

Mind attempts to right the wrongs

Make sense of the nonsense

Make peace with the pieces.

In Gratitude

I accept Consciousness

Telling me, I am not That.

Mind is simply an appliance.

Doing it’s best to make me feel okay.

But I know.  I Am okay.

I don’t need Mind to fix anything for me.

I step back into Stillness,

Relaxing behind Mind

Knowing that one day,

Mind will realize it can rest back with me

And discover the fullness of life without Desire.

Spaciousness

I feel the lazy summer days of youth,
Awakening to the potential of an unplanned day.
Rolling over and burying my face into the downy pillow,
Dozing and dreaming of delicious emptiness.
No one waiting for me to rise and engage.
No one handing me expectations,
My script  to follow.
“No where to go, Nothing to do, Nothing to think about!”
I recite the Mantra now,
Attempting to call back Spaciousness
Pushed away with the busyness of doing
The important work of adulthood.
Heart pleas to Mind,
Relax.  Unwind.  Let go.
Slow down and know
Spaciousness is always here
Waiting for you to find your breath
Whispering the wonder of simply being
Here, in this moment,
Where space and time expand infinitely.

The Real Numbers: California

Here are the numbers, California! Keep the Faith!

The Writing of John Laurits

good cali image


The Golden State: According to Math

Warmest greetings, my friends! Today, I’m going to drop some very important numbers to prepare you for…

The Battle of California!

Of course, you all know — as well as I — that the California primary has the power to make or break each of the candidates for democratic nominee.

With a stunning 475 pledged delegates at stake, the fight for the Golden State will be a battle for the heart of our democracy — its results shall blare & resound like roaring thunder in the teleprompters of every TV station in the nation and they shall flash with the brightness of ten-thousand suns on the screens of millions of Facebook & Twitter feeds.

Verily, on that day, some shall rejoice, while others shall cast their faces down & gnash their teeth! 

Image courtesy of Jacob Yona Image courtesy of Jacob Yona (follow him @JacobYona)

So, Does Bernie Sanders Stand a Chance?

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