Fully Alive - April 2016

My daughter just returned from a weekend of camping with a group of pre-teen girls and their Aunties (including our own Jenya Schneider, who is facilitating the kid’s program at the upcoming Conscious Embodiment Retreat!), out in the Santa Cruz mountains. 

Friday, the day of departure, she says she doesn’t want to go: the packing, the nights away from home, the elements, and not knowing what the group will be like.  I mostly ignore the complaints, because I know what’s coming.  We pack, we leave, and make the drive quietly but thoughtfully, as we both reflect on the weekend ahead.

At the drop off point, I marvel at the beauty of the land – a ridge-top overlooking the redwood-capped range; bright, sunny, and clear all the way to the glimpse of the ocean to the south.  Grass and clover cover the ground of the clearing where the girls are gathering in anticipation of the weekend.  After a few hugs, she is off in her own element, connecting with friends, the Aunties who mentor them, and the wildness of the woods and mountains.

Sunday morning, I arrive again at the same spot – the clouds just beginning to clear from the overnight inversion layer.  Getting there intentionally early, I sit to meditate in the sacred garden, where there is a circle of comfortable chairs, some looking out over the valley, others facing the great geode consciously placed to add sacred energy to this spot.  I feel vibrant and peaceful simultaneously as I close my eyes, listening to the bird calls, a dog barking, and wild turkeys in the distance.

Soon enough, the girls march up from their secluded camping spot, my daughter looking both tired and filled from within with the joy of connecting to nature.  As we drive home, she shares her sacred stories of fire tending and her special redwood tree.  She is fully alive, vibrant and grounded.  She wants the TV off and happily sits on the couch, quietly reading, embracing the silence.  Later in the afternoon, we joyfully plant broccoli, lettuce, carrot, and radish seeds in the garden. 

It is vital for all of us to spend more time in nature.  Every time my daughter immerses in deep nature connection (and every time I do), she returns transformed – back into her true self.  In nature, we feel fully alive, connected to something greater than us.

That is why I am offering the Conscious Embodiment retreat.  We live in a time of “nature deficit disorder”, as someone recently put it, disconnected from the planet and our own bodies.  It’s time to regain our aliveness, fully embodied and aware, and nature shows us how.  

If you want to join us, I have 5 spots for adults and 7 for kids left.  You can register here or see the information below.  In this newsletter, I am featuring a bit about Jenya Schneider, our amazing kid’s program leader.  Her warmth and enthusiasm is contagious, and her deep connection to the earth really inspires kids to find their aliveness and joy in nature.  Read more about her below.

And something else that connects me to something greater is chanting in Sanskrit.  If you would like to learn more about this sacred language, I am teaching a Sanskrit for Yoga Teachers workshop for the Yoga and Movement Center’s teacher training once again this month on Sunday, April 17th in Walnut Creek, CA.  You don’t have to be a teacher to attend – details below.

What makes you feel fully alive? 





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• Spiritual Quotes



Sanskrit for Yoga Workshop this month in Walnut Creek

Do you get tongue-twisted saying Vrkshasana?  Ever wanted to know the Sanskrit name for a lunge?  Wondering how Prasarita Padottanasana really is pronounced?  Or would you simply like to become more familiar with the Sanskrit words used in yoga class?

In this engaging and fun workshop, you'll learn correct pronunciation of the Sanskrit alphabet and feel more confident knowing, reading, and saying the names of yoga poses (while you practice them!).  Expand your knowledge of yoga terms, and enjoy chanting some Sanskrit mantras, too.

Sunday, April 17th  1-4pm at The Yoga and Movement Center

1379 Locust Street, Walnut Creek, CA


Click here for information and registration!

Conscious Embodiment Retreat - 5 spaces left!

And you can still save $10 by April 14th

A day-long retreat for deep connection with Spirit through your body and the natural world

• Yoga and Movement

• Grounding and Centering

• Meditation

• Deep Nature Connection

• Creative Expression

• Group Processes

• Sharing in Supportive Community

• Includes a delicious, healthy gourmet lunch!

Saturday, May 14th, 2016


At Ananda Valley Farm, Half Moon Bay, CA

More details on the Conscious Embodiment webpage

Early Registration (by April 14th) - $100 for adults, $85 for children ages 6-12

After April 14th - $110 for adults, $95 for children



This is Jenya Schneider, our kid's program leader!

Jenya Schneider is an avid student of Nature. Whether she is foraging foods and medicines, designing and tending to permaculture gardens, or being a doula to mothers bringing new life into the world, she is devoted to remembering to read the languages of Nature and reincorporate that wisdom into every child’s life. She honed her skills at Headwaters Outdoor School in Mount Shasta, CA, and currently works as an instructor at Trackers Earth and a Lead Auntie for Gaia Girls Passages.

New MeetUp group for Awakening Self

I have created a page on MeetUp for all the Awakening Self events - join it here and invite your friends!

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Have a look at my fan page, Awakening Self, where I post inspiration all week long.  If you like what you see, please click the "Like" button... and share with your friends!


Event Calendar

Every month, you can click this link to view my Calendar to see what is coming up!


Awakening Self Radio Show Schedule

(online on BlogTalk Radio)

All shows can be listened to from the links below, during or after the broadcast... or from your phone at (845) 241-9969(845) 241-9969

Listen to any previous Awakening Self Radio shows on my Radio Show Page!

No shows currently scheduled.

Last Month's Show:

Meditation & Inspiration - Stepping Into Spring

Thursday, March 24th - 9pm Pacific / 12midnight EDT / 4am GMT / 3pm Fri March 25th Sydney (or podcast after!)

The Equinox has arrived, and thus has spring!  We can tap into the vibrant energy of this time of year in our meditation practice.  Let springtime awaken your creative energy, give birth to inspiration, joy, and bring forth vitality and aliveness!  We will focus on these spingtime qualities as we go within to meditate on our Essence.


Spiritual Quotes


"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished."

~ Lao Tzu


"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves" 

~ John Muir


"If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change."

~ The Buddha



Rev. Connie L. Habash, MA, LMFT

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Yoga and Meditation Teacher

Interfaith Minister - Spiritual Mentorship

Menlo Park, CA