The Fires of Awakening

Today the sun is an orange glow through the smoke filled sky here in Ashland, Oregon. The earth is raging with her fires in the forests and cities of California and Oregon for over three weeks now.

There is a feeling of fear that crests daily as the fires leap from one mountain to the next. I can’t help but recognize this call to awaken to what is priority.

It’s nothing new that the earth purges, destroys and regenerates.  But it is fairly new that we’ve woken up from our long collective deep sleep to the revelation that the outer world is simply a reflection of our inner one.  We have become so separated, isolated and controlled in our  environments over time that we have forgotten our role as children of this earth and that she’s a reflection of deep healing work.

If I zone out while playing with my 2.5 year old son, he will turn to me and say loudly, “WAKE UP!”. In that moment, I laugh and snap back into presence.  It feels as if our Mother Earth is asking the same of us.  To get present, pay attention and go within.

We are a microcosm of the macrocosm. The whole Universe rests within us.

Can we look at the smoke as a reflection of the cloudiness that rests within us at this time in our collective?

Can we see the fires representing the powerful agni energy within and the tapas, or the heat, that is needed to purify ourselves? 

Can we see the fires as energy that transforms and dismantles the old structures and ways of our past? 

Can we see the force of Shiva, the destroyer, as the energy of momentum offering rebirth and new beginnings? 

Does it feel like things in your life are in chaos and you can’t see a way out?

Let go. As things disintegrate, its a ripe time for creation, prioritizing what’s important and growth.

As a survivor of a fire that burned down my apartment in 2006 and left me with pretty much the shirt on my back, I certainly didn’t understand the beauty in it for a good solid month.  At the time when it happened, I was not present in my life.  Then, the smoke cleared when I went to the place that is famous for burning down things just built – Burning Man.  It was there and then that I was able to see the absolute gift and magic of my fire, and the ways that my life would shift as a result of that experience.

I was humbled to my knees in a new found understanding of presence and priorities.  Only months later I knew that I had received enormous gifts.

Like the phoenix rising from the ashes, I received a brand new life and opportunities that my Higher Self was begging for, yet my lower self was stuck in conditioned behavior.  What I received was a greater sense of health, community, love, support, and a deeper connection to my yoga practice. It also created space for one of my most significant relationships to come into my life.

In the end, it was a true blessing and a total wake up call that needed to happen for me.

And this is not to discount those that have  been affected and devastated by the fires. I send you and offer you love and support through an extremely challenging time often fraught with pain and suffering. Yet to help direct you to the larger plan that’s at work, what are you creating space for?

Today I invoke the fires (anger, rage, fear) within to be transmuted and released so that I can create.  Today I dream awake the destruction of the limits that I place around my heart so I can love more fully. Today I establish a deeper connection with you, my Earth Mother, by asking for forgiveness for the ways that I’ve taken advantage of you or have been mistreating you. Today I clear the smoke in my own being, as I trust myself and my purpose even more. Today, I ask for great purging and healing for the planet and the collective, so that we may live in more peace and harmony. Today, I imagine dropping deeper into the Great Mystery.

How are you being called by the fires of awakening?

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu. May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.


Wahe Guru! Celebrate dark + light!

Today, we are in celebration of International Yoga Day and the Summer Solstice –  both offering light to our world that feels quite dark.

What are we learning from these auspicious days?

Have you noticed, as I have, the juxtaposition of the juicy swellings of Divine Love in your own heart and the pangs of, anger, destruction, and judgement of your own mind served up by your past pains?

Some days, its as if I’d like to tear off my clothes and sing naked and wild at the top of my lungs and other days where my fear shuts me down and I hide.

We are all going through a collective re-birthing.  We are being forced to go down deep in the dark well of our own emotional being to dig up the remains, so that we can release the wreckage that we’ve created, heal our lineage, minds, and bodies to reveal the Light within.

As Yogis we are often reminded of how pressure and heat turns carbon into a diamond, or the exquisite lotus flower that penetrates the muddy waters to bloom its essential beauty for us to see.

Now, more than ever, we are understanding this yogic process of tapas, the burning, purification, discipline and practice that leads us to the eternal God seed within.

This process was never stated to be easy.  “Doing the work” as many spiritual aspirants say, is filled with challenge, obstacle and trauma, yet also with opportunities and triumphs.

In efforts to see the Great Light we also traverse the Great Dark.

Our society tends to focus on the dark. Perhaps its seems so magnified because we know in our hearts more than ever that Unity and Love are Truth and we are shamefully recognizing how far away we’ve strayed.

It’s as if we can’t believe it, so we keep talking about it.  Yet if we know and practice the Law of Attraction, we need to re-direct and place focus on what we wish to amplify, Love.

It doesn’t mean we ignore.  It means we take our anger, our hatred and disgust and we create action and solutions for the greater good.  We don’t blame, but we rise up in ownership and responsibility and play our part in supporting radical change.

We are collectively moving through our first, second and third chakras to clear out fear and separation, distorted sexual energy, guilt, shame, and abuse of power.

We are moving to the heart chakra.

Today, we offer hope, unity and love in exchange for the suffering that is sweeping our collective consciousness.

We are being asked to spring forth at this time and celebrate and dance and be free!

Today, I’ve created a Despacho offering to the land and to the guardian spirits to ask for forgiveness for creating such an imbalance of resource on this planet.  Personally, my sacred offering to the Earth will be better stewardship and more service to Her and the collective.

I was recently offered a great gift to be a Melissae at a Goddess Temple here in Ashaland, Oregon at the Jackson Wellsprings. As a Goddess Temple Melissae I get to be in service to the Goddess through stewarding the land, water, altars and structures of the Temple.  I plan to dedicate my time there to the virtues of love, safety, community, beauty, grace, kindness and compassionate support.

What can you do to be of service to the Light today on this longest light-filled day of the year?

What can you do to be in service of communing with the your own being filled with Light?

How can you practice more self-love and kindness?

Can we all celebrate the darkness too as the contrast that is needed and Divinely guided to reflect back to us our own inner work?  The mirror of Nature is our Guru.

Today the Kundalini Yogis use the term “Wahe Guru”. Wahe is an exclamation of ecstasy like, “Wow!”.  Guru is a teacher or guide. Guru takes one from the darkness into the light.  Let’s celebrate the moment we recognized that God is within.

Blessings to you my community for honoring the path of the Yogi, seeker, light-bearer, steward, and champion of humanity.

May you be blessed and revered for your work.

Be the light that changes the world!

Wahe Guru!

xo Nicole

P.S.  If you are a healer, yogi or spiritual entrepreneur and you feel like you need solid support traversing from dark to light in efforts to create your light-inspired business for this planet, set up a complimentary call with me. We need you to reclaim your power and actualize your visions NOW!

P.P.S.  If you want to be a part of a growing spiritual community of incredibly gifted and spiritual women, please join #shamanicpriestess FREE Facebook Group.


3 Steps to Develop Trust in Yourself

Trust is big word.

Do you know what it means?

In the dictionary it’s defined as a ‘firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.’

So I looked up the word, “belief”.

In the dictionary its defined as to ‘accept (something) as true; feel sure of the truth of.’

So trust can be defined as, “a firm acceptance of the truth in the reliability, ability, or strength of someone (ourselves or another) or something.”

When clients come to me for healing and coachign, they admit they have a hard time trusting themselves and others.

If looking at the above definition you might ponder, what in their lives created a wavering in their reliability, ability or strength?

I say, the belief in the ego experience.

Your beliefs systems are a product of your childhood environment. You accept the opinions and attitudes of your parents, childhood friends and society. You ingest behaviors.

The ego is an artificial sense of who you are. It’s an idea based on other people’s opinions. You begin to believe this is who you are and and then think of yourself in this way.

You have a hard time accepting the truth about yourself as a reliable, strong, and powerful creator.  Yet, your true essence is Love – limitless, boundless, and free.

You believe so deeply in this Ego identity that you cannot often see your True Self.

The ego in and of itself is neither good or bad; it just is. It’s a stage in our development that serves its purpose…it needs to be progressively shed in favor of the re-emergence of our true self from the mists of childhood. ~Shefali Tsabary, PhD.

You are now witnessing the societal collective egoic programs that have been running for a long, long time that say, “you are not enough”.

You are awakening and remembering the non-dual truth of Love, yet you live in the nature of dualism, ego and lack consciousness.

You are undergoing a big shift – understanding the Divinity in all things and seeing yourself in the other.

You are beginning to understand that you have the ability to bring God intelligence into manifest.

You are witnessing that you impact “the other” greatly and that you have this innate power and intelligence inside of you.

How can you step forward into trust?

Or as defined above, change your beliefs to become ‘firm in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of yourself and the other?

This brings me to the Yoga Sutras and the concept of Kriya Yoga.

Kriya Yoga is what is said to release our suffering that is rooted in self-ignorance (ego which keeps us separate) and lead us to Self-realization/God.

Kriya Yoga is also referred to as the concept of “skill in action”.

Creating “skill in action” has three steps.

These are 3 Steps that will help you develop trust in the other and yourself:

1) Discipline/Self-Purification/Heat/Body ” – Tapas = Strength

2) Self Study/Reflection/Mind – Svadhyaya   = Reliability

3) Devotion/Surrender to God/Soul – Isvara Pranidhana = Truth


You can become trusting of yourself when you do your inner work.

You can show yourself how to build strength in your body, by purifying and practicing and disciplining yourself. Through a physical practices like yoga, you can start to overcome the stories and beliefs of your limited mind.

When you self-reflect, you discover reliability through making conscious choices and closing the gap on your subconscious programs through self-awareness. Yoga has been defined as bringing the subconscious to the conscious and creating union. This way you take ownership for yourself and control the monkey mind. You become aware of our reactivity, judgments, and ego and become discerning and responsible.

When you surrender to a spiritual belief system that all is Divine, Love and in Perfect Order then you release a lot of the pain and suffering that feeds the Ego of separation. When you surrender to the beauty of all as equal under the eyes of God, then you can see the truth that Love flows through you as YOU.

This is a mind-body-spirit approach to developing trust in yourself and the other.

I will share a testimonial from a client who went through my Unleash the Priestess Within + Thrive integrative healing and coaching program.

This is what it feels like to develop trust in yourself!

I had no idea what to expect from this program, but I believed in Nicole and her ability to help me find whatever it was I was looking for. I needed a guide, someone who was spiritual but also successful and pragmatic in her approach to healing. I recognized all of my own potential and saw glimpses of who I could become, but felt as though I was somehow preventing myself from acting on this potential. Envisioning the life I could have made me happy, but I was depressed about feeling disconnected from the path that would guide me there. I was stuck and I needed help. My intentions for the program were vague: I wanted to be happy with my work, I wanted to accept myself as I am, and I wanted to get rid of my attachments to past experiences. Through my work with Nicole, these intentions became clear and powerful. Exploring what happiness means to me, who I am, and what experiences I was holding onto gave me a greater sense of self-awareness and a greater appreciation for the experiences of others as well. I am more accepting of myself, which naturally has led to a greater feeling of connection with and acceptance of the world around me. Once this was realized, everything else had a tendency to fall into place. This program was challenging, but I am left feeling proud of myself for taking a risk and investing in something that has essentially granted me freedom. I would recommend Nicole’s program to anyone who is looking to take back her power and move beyond whatever self-imposed barriers are keeping her from following the path that was meant for her. ~ Misa, Coaching Client



Clean Up The Body, Clear Out The Mind

By Nicole Doherty published by American Athlete Magazine

Becoming a great athlete takes a lot of work. It takes time, dedication, practice and commitment.

One of the first orders of business for a professional athlete is conditioning—cleaning up the body and priming it for optimal performance. The same is true about the practice of Yoga.

Our physical form, which is our body, is very much like a machine. Much like a car, we need to clean the outside, vacuum the inside and perform regular maintenance, like changing the oil, on schedule.

We need to do the same with our bodies; we need to maintain our personal vehicle.

Most athletes are great at what they do because they have detoxified their system and have become attuned to their bodies and its needs.

To continue using the car analogy: Detoxified your system and becoming attuned to your body makes it function at peak performance. This helps it operate well at high speeds, keeps it from breaking down over long distances, and helps keep the wheels on. Simply put, successful athletes learn how to maintain their bodies.

Most people come to Yoga with bodies like beat up Chevys.

And that’s OK because at least they are beginning the healing process. Think of Yoga teachers as mechanics who are prepared to make repairs using the right tools. In Yoga, we start to work the outer layers to move toward the inner layers using techniques to create body awareness. We peel away past injuries and the negative compensations that have developed over time as a result these injuries. We also peel away tension and stress. More importantly, we use the practice to prevent new injuries, open the body, and detoxify the system.

In Yoga, the outer layers of the practice address the functional anatomy—aligning the body, working isometrically, isolating muscles, strengthening, stabilizing and elongating them.

Part of the practice of releasing impurities is achieved utilizing postures like “seated forward folds” and “twists”, which help to stimulate and wring out the intestines, where most of our garbage resides. But even more important than these particular poses is the use of the breath. When we consciously breathe we generate heat in our system that burns off the pollutants found in our gut. There are many different breathing techniques that are part of the cleansing process, a common one found in classes today is called “Breath of Fire”.

Once we begin the purification process, we notice that it begins to take hold in other aspects of our being.

Ever notice the way you feel after you’ve cleaned your car? I have a Mini Cooper and when that little cutie is clean and sparkly, well, I just want to put the top down, blast the radio and drive all over LA!

My point is this: When we freshen up, we start to feel better. Our energy is cleaner. We present ourselves differently.

Our mind is serene when there is less clutter on the floor and the seats.  Detoxifying the body soothes the internal chatter of the mind.  The whole goal of Yoga is to still the fluctuations of the “mind stuff” or “citta” as the term is known in Sanskrit.

I began practicing yoga over ten years ago, and I really didn’t understand these concepts very well. Maybe I just chose to ignore what I needed to change about myself. I loved the way Yoga made me feel every time I walked into a class, but my lifestyle outside class was not supporting the practice. I worked really hard and partied even harder. I was stressed out. I never watched what I ate. I slept a little—mainly watched the clock. I drank caffeine to stay awake during the day and would take sleeping pills at night. Even worse, I actually thought this was pretty normal because it was behavior I learned was shared by friends and coworkers. I simply didn’t think change was needed.

Now that I have learned about the mind-body connection and how energy works, it seems so crazy that I couldn’t figure out why I still didn’t feel great. But I should have known. Gold Medalists don’t win those medals training every now and again while binging on cupcakes, donuts, caffeine and sleep aids. They talk the talk and they walk the walk.When I started practicing yoga regularly, 3 – 5 times per week, I really started to become aware of shifts in how I was feeling. Once I began to purify my body, my mind followed.

Every time I showed up on my mat, I was confronted with the thoughts that were feeding my addictions and patterns of behavior off the mat.

I learned that going inward into the highly individual practice of Yoga became a journey of realization, discovery, acceptance and awareness. Every time I released the tension and toxins of my body, a little more of my mind’s negativity went with them. I began to experience peace, joy and happiness. These came in bits and pieces at first but then became regular occurrences.

In Yoga, as with all athletic practices, dedication and consistency is encourages.

This is defined as “abyasa” in Sanskrit. Following this course, we can unravel the complications of the body and mini traumas (or big ones) that have occurred on our life path. We can use a practice of breath and movement to release resistance and move toward more spaciousness in our minds. With more space, we can develop a keener awareness and sharper focus. When we are ready, we can dive even deeper to discover more through yogic practices like meditation.nd Yoga has spilled into every crevice of my existence. I no longer succumb to any of the aforementioned behaviors. Interestingly enough, I’m now a sober, vegan Yoga teacher who also leads seasonal food cleanses. This certainly was not my intention 10 years ago when I walked into the Yoga studio. But my life has become amazing.

If you are resisting detoxification through a Yoga practice (or any training), it’s probably your Ego telling you to not change. But like any good coach, my suggestion is to just keep showing up to practice. Put in the time.

With consistency and dedication, you can make a real shift in your life. As Patabhi Jois, one of the founders of Western Yoga has famously said: “All is coming. Yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory.”  Yes, it’s really all about experiencing it first hand.Carve out some time, dedicate yourself to a practice and commit to real change.