Posts filed under Guest Blogger

Having a Bodymind Coach Changed the Trajectory of My Life

By Julie Kouyate

I was struggling. I mean, here I was, a totally spiritual woman, a successful massage therapist,  West afrcian dance instructor, home birthing mamma, and a WIFE! I had all the ingredients that would have many believe I was fulfilled, completely. I can't agree more that I was doing well and grateful for all that I had come to know about healing, living a natural and spiritual life, taking risks, and coming out okay. But, under all of that amazing goodness, I was still somewhat unsatisfied. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but there was something more, something missing.

 What was it? Well, for starters. I never went anywhere on my days off without my five babies I spent years lugging them around, fighting, crying, and all. I really thought they would miss me too much, and then the GUILT would set in. I am a woman, after all. I’m here to serve and nurture without fail. But in every single moment?

My husband and I never spent a night away from them. They breastfed and slept in our bed till the next one arrived and even then we would do double duty. My work was also a place that required me to serve, my dance classes needed to be managed—I needed to support dancers to be able to feel comfortable and safe enough to try something new.

I was burned out on life.

 Then I followed the call in my heart. I took action and landed in a program that I thought was going to give me a new way to work with clients. What I found was the total opposite. I FOUND MY WAY BACK HOME, a way back to my truest and highest passions.

 Bodymind coaching is what I found and it's a journey into a deeper healing, a deeper conversation that gets really REAL with reality and how a person is living their life versus how they dream it to be. It's not about “things” that you want (but the bodymind process can be about that), it's more about the way you desire to feel each day and how to go about amplifying the energy you want to live in.

Bodymind coaching is totally unique as its developed for lightworkers and healers who already have a deep wisdom with working with people’s bodies and their mindset in relation to emotions and dis-ease. But I got served!

Touch, along with a brand new awareness, is how it all began. I was being coached around some of my blocks and some of my deeper passions left forgotten and laying dormant within me.  I felt a renewed sense of purpose, and a direct route to achieve it. Best part is that this all came from ME! A great coach only guides and facilitates as you come into your own AH-Ha moments that are totally pivotal for growth. If we aren't growing and evolving then we are stuck, truly.

I am fully alive after bodymind coaching and it has brought many new things into my life. I task without pushing, tuning into my body to ask, “What is the one most important thing that must be done today?” Not 15 things done mindlessly, but one or two most important tasks. Then I ask, “What do I want to do today?” and “Which task feels best to do right now?” This is pure feminine flow, and it’s the intuitive approach to life. Since having a coach of my own, I now have done countless things that I would never have begun on my own before. These things were a distant reality. A dream.

  1. I finally took weekends off for the first time in 16 years. I always said I wanted to and “should,” but never did.

  2.  I left my children many times for fun and pleasurable things, and they were all okay.

  3. I choose daily self love (care). I take naps, I leave those dishes, skip some of those soccer games, buy those massages, create as a regular part of my day, regularly make time with my sister friends. I prioritize myself for the first time ever, and I’m nicer, and I am encouraged to continue.

  4. I take singing lessons. All my kiddos had lessons for over ten years. I said I'd love to do that someday for myself. I’m doing it now!

  5.   I’ve learned that spiritual work is key, and I continue to learn, grow, journal, and receive coaching for myself.

  6. I RUN GODDESS RETREATS! I'm finally utilizing all my healing gifts. I feel the fear of all the things that go along with following your passion even when I can't “make sense” of it. (more feminine flow)

  7. My coaching clients lives are being transformed in huge ways with my programs that take them through a unique healing process that is designed to transform.

  8. I am scheduling breaks on my workdays. It used to be self-imposed (unconsciously) to work straight through (if I’m not working hard I’m not worthy mindset) and now poof! DONE with that!

  9. My life is at the highest, healthiest place I have ever known and it could never have been done without the help of a coach to bring some of the programming of the “day on repeat” cycles we subscribe to unconsciously.

We are actually addicted to the chemical release that we create as we assign “a meaning” to an  emotion that results from  a specific event (the negative thought loop that makes a body respond (i.e stress response) and the release of depressive drugs in the spinal column like dopamine). The body has to come back into the conversation. When we connect to our truest source, our body's wisdom, then we can feel our way forward. I was asked a very important question that was so simple and yet so profound. Julie, what do you want to feel each day and how can you amplify this? The power lies within us to go from what we think we should be doing and being totally disconnected from that, to what we know in our bodies as the guidance to live a life on purpose. Coaching has given me the freedom to live in the now more than ever before and this is the only reason we are here, to connect and to be in the now. Enjoyment of life and not living with just the end result in mind is the key. Now, I know that this is not only a great idea, it is attainable!

Julie Kouyate is a Bodymind coach and LMT. She has been in the alternative healing and wellness industry for over 20 years, but coaching is now her preferred way to work with clients because of the way we can change our patterns to have a lasting change that leads to a more connected life that is less restricted in a holistic way…. Body, mind, and spirit! .  Learn more about her offerings, including the BodyMind coaching program, at, or call (734) 330-7903. 

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Posted on September 20, 2019 and filed under Guest Blogger, Healing, Intuition, Parenting, Bodymind.

Ideas for Helping Your Child Invest in Their Future Self

t takes strong willpower to say no to ten more minutes of texting friends or playing instead of going to bed. It also takes willpower to say no to ten more minutes of sleep when you are still tired and don’t want to get up for school (or work). This is because immediate gratification has a serious edge over some possible vague reward that may, or may not, show up in the future, and only if you work for it. In other words, when working from our evolutionary default setting, now will beat later every time! 

Chrissy Barua Eats the World

What’s for food? Where to next? Believe it or not, these two questions roll through my mind each and every day as I search my mind for ideas for my next delicious meal, or my next far-off adventure. Appetites for both, insatiable. Food and travel, the fabric of my being. And, as it turns out, the subject of my little passion project.

Posted on June 7, 2019 and filed under Food and Nutrition, Guest Blogger, Travel.

Why Practice Mindfulness?

by Barbara Newell


When Laura Cowan interviewed me for her cover article in the current Crazy Wisdom Journal, we touched on the two main avenues of practice for cultivating mindfulness in everyday life. Ms. Cowan wrote candidly about the parent’s classic dilemma: wanting to enjoy the proven benefits of mindfulness in relating with herself, with her loved ones, and all the ups and downs we all encounter in life, yet feeling stretched too thin to add another item to the to-do list. The avenue of finding small ways to be more present right in the midst of what’s already happening throughout the day came naturally to the forefront of our interview.

The other avenue is the one commonly referred to as “formal practice.” It doesn’t have to mean sitting in the lotus position at an altar with incense burning (as lovely as any or all of these things can be). It simply means setting aside some minutes in which we don’t do anything else except reconnect, again and again, with our “home base” of mindful presence.


For many people, this home base is following our breathing; others find a different anchor works better for them. In it we give ourselves full permission to let go of our agendas. Every time we notice our mind has wandered off (as human minds are wont to do!), over and over again, we bring the mind back to this home base of spacious, kind presence. It seems so simple – which it is – and yet countless people have found it really makes a difference.

One well-known, busy mom I know made herself a deal one day many years ago now. She vowed that henceforth she would meditate every day – and - she gave herself what she calls the “back door” that it didn’t matter for how long. There were times, particularly when her son was quite young, when it was just taking a few conscious breaths and saying the briefest prayer at night, on the edge of her bed, before keeling over; yet her promise to herself made a real difference.

These two approaches to cultivating mindfulness very much support each other. When we take a few dedicated moments to really pause and reconnect with wakeful, caring presence to our own heart, it’s much easier throughout the day and week to take the micro-pause in a challenging moment -  even a single, mindful breath - that gives us just enough room to check in with ourselves and respond to the situation instead of habitually reacting to it in a way we may regret later.

Similarly, when we do take short windows of opportunity to resource ourselves throughout an active day - how about just enjoying a few refreshing, conscious breaths when we’re at a stoplight, instead of looking down at our phone for the hundredth time? - there will be less accumulated restlessness when we do take those dedicated minutes to come back to the miracle of our living, breathing body, here in the present moment.

Recently I recalled a brief exchange that took place nearly 25 years ago, when I was quite new to meditation. I was just meeting a woman living with metastatic, stage 4 breast cancer. Within a couple minutes we somehow discovered that both of us were meditators. Suddenly her dark-brown eyes bored intently into mine, with a fierce gaze from which life’s trivialities clearly had been burned away. She got straight to the point: “When the mind is in the present moment... there is no fear.”

My mind came to a complete stop. It was beyond question this woman knew what she was talking about. I knew that I needed this practice.

I am grateful to her.

You can reach Barbara Newell at Grove Emotional Health Collaborative’s office on Main Street at or by contacting her at and (734) 224-3822 x113.

To learn more about Barbara, read Crazy Wisdom Kids in the Community—Mindfulness with Barbara Newell, Joy Aleccia, and Anique Pegeron from issue #73.


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I always get a kick out of seeing how startled individuals outside of music studies are when they learn that the vast majority of music majors in America graduate with little, or more often, no skills in the primary creative processes of improvisation and composition, nor in the African American musical heritage that is arguably America’s primary cultural contribution to the world.

Posted on October 11, 2018 and filed under Art, Creativity, Guest Blogger, Music, Education.

Setting Stories in Motion (and Movies to See!)

With the kind of work I do through my creative company — 7 Cylinders Studio — I get to interact with an ever-evolving cross section of our community.

I want to highlight a handful of those criss-crossing clients to survey our local landscape through the lens of video and provide some of the more compelling projects I’ve been fortunate to produce these past few years.

Lessons From the Trees

Have you been to a redwood forest? Or laid flat on your back watching the stars? Or seen a person that you’ve never met, that you are certain that you “know”?  There are so many ways that people feel connected, and conversely, so many ways that we forget we are connected and tell ourselves that we are all alone.

Posted on September 13, 2018 and filed under Guest Blogger, Nature, Spirituality.

The "Sweetness" of Valentine's Day

By Roshani Adhikary

Athletes work their whole lives to realize their one dream of winning gold. They often see their hard work wither away as a competitor skates right past them, only to win by a fraction of a second. Nothing has taught me the value of a millisecond more than the Winter Olympics in Sochi. 

Posted on February 14, 2014 and filed under Yoga, Valentine's Day, Guest Blogger.