Flexibility: My Word Of The Year

I start so many of my posts with the phrase I was listening to a podcast. I’ll be honest and tell you I listen to many podcasts. I learn so much from others’ experiences. But, this one sentence that I recently heard deeply got my attention.

Flexibility is strength.

As a yoga teacher, you would think that flexibility comes easily, and it does in some areas of my life. Yet, in others, I can be very rigid and controlling. When I heard this sentence, I immediately saw a very stiff rod with no give to it. It was cold and immoveable. I thought how that is often representative of my thinking.

When I had the cooties, I had to surrender to the illness in my body. For two weeks, I would sleep 12 to 14 hours a night and would often nap during the day. I could barely move my body during this time. I went from 10,000 steps a day to less than 1,000.

I was surprised that my body wasn’t stiff and sore due to lack of movement. Instead, I felt loose and fluid. This absence of tension in my body puzzled me until I heard the phrase flexibility is strength. That got me reflecting on why. During my healing journey, I wasn’t thinking. I was being. I was entirely in the present moment. The only “doing” I could do was being still. There was no worrying about the past or the future. There were no expectations of what I had to get done. I completely surrendered to the experience of my body.

Now that I am recovering my health, I have begun to notice tightness in my body again. I have been thinking more, planning more, doing more. . . controlling more.

This awareness has helped me decide that 2022 is my year of allowing more flexibility into my life. The more I can let go of control and allow Life to flow through me; the more flexible I will be in my body. I’ll tell you how it all unfolds.


Della offers weekly yoga classes, workshops, and intuitive readings. You can find out more about here services here.

Power Over Pain

Have you ever noticed how, when you are in pain, your thinking tends toward the negative? This is because pain lowers your vibration or your energetic frequency. This can be any kind of pain. For example, it can be physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual pain. Negative thinking is a natural result of dwelling in a lower vibration.

How do we shift pain? We rise above it. Easier said than done, right?
Rising above pain does not mean we ignore or deny it. Raising our vibration means we can overpower pain. Let us look at the word overpower. It is made up of two words over and power. Declare your power over pain! Choose a peaceful or joyful thought and think that. This raises your frequency back up to a place of empowerment.

When we are in fear or pain, we can feel like our mind is in control. Another way to shift out of a negative thinking pattern is by moving your body into Child’s pose. Bring your forehead to the floor with your butt moving towards your heels. Your knees can either be open are closed depending on your comfort. If you want to take this pose a step farther, you can bring your hands into Prayer pose and lengthen them towards the top of your mat. This is called Guru Pranam. This posture quickly deepens your breathing and quiets the mind. It raises your heart above your head so the mind can still. Stay here for as long as you like.

I do this pose in bed before I fall asleep to clear the gunk of the day out of my mind. When I am anxious, I do this pose, and when I feel grief, I do this pose. Thus, Guru Pranam brings balance back into the body, mind, and spirit.


Della offers weekly yoga classes, workshops, and intuitive readings. You can find out more about here services here.

The Next Right Thing

There is so much confusion in the world right now that it can be overwhelming. This overwhelm can create a state of paralysis within us. We don’t know what to do, so nothing gets done. We may want to do “something,” but fear keeps us from moving forward.

Instead, we allow ourselves to become bombarded with news, information, YouTube, and social media that we get sucked down the rabbit hole, and before you know it, we are in even more fear.

I remember being in A.A. many years ago, and the Old Timers would say, “When in doubt, do the next right thing.” I still follow this saying to this day. This morning, I woke up confused and disturbed by the state of the world again. Then, I remembered these words, and I calmed down. I went and brushed my teeth, practiced some pranayam, and then wrote in my journal.

The next right thing is as simple as brushing our teeth. When that is done, ask what the next right thing is. Do that and then ask again, and so on. The next right thing always shows up when you ask. Give it a try, and let me know how it has worked for you.


Della offers weekly yoga classes, workshops and intuitive readings. You can find out more about here services here.

How to Choose Love

I was listening to this podcast from Tara Brach on fear. She said that love is bigger than fear. This prompted the following conversation with my guides.

Me:  How does my Love become bigger than my fear?  

Guides:  You start by relaxing the body. Take some deep breaths in and let the breath sink deeply into the body. Imagine that each inhalation is filling you up with light. Imagine each exhaling breath releasing all of the fear that has accumulated in your physical structure. As you focus on the breath, the mind will follow. Once the mind follows the breath, the body can sink more deeply into relaxation—this relaxation response is the container for Love.  

Love needs a container. You may say that that is not true but think about it from the perspective of your physical body. The physical body is a container. You place into it anything from the foods you eat to the ideas you think. The body contains all of what you put into it. If the container becomes too full from food or drink, you don’t feel well. With time, if you continue to overfill your container, your body can break down and become diseased.  

If your mind becomes too filled with fear, violent images, overthinking, etc., it too begins to wear down. Anxiety, depression, and other “mental illnesses” can occur as a result.

Fear is not natural; it is a construct of the mind. But, on the other hand, Love is natural and eternal. So, to answer your question on having your Love be bigger than your fear, breathe.

Me:  That seems too simplistic.

Guides:  It is very simple. The mind wants to distract you from breathing. When you breathe deeply, you automatically move out of the mind into Presence. It is in this space of Presence that you experience Love.  

Me: It sounds like the mind is the enemy.

Guides:  Not at all. The mind is simply a tool that is needed to bring you into duality. For that is the reason you have arrived here. You wanted to learn difference. You wanted to experience opposites. You wanted to evolve and grow. You wanted to experience Love through physicality. There is nothing like your earth plane in all of the Universe. Those souls who have arrived here at this time know (on some level) the honor they are being given to experience Life. On. Earth.

What a party!  


Click here to learn more about my yoga classes on zoom, intuitive readings, and spiritual workshops.

Darkness is your candle

There is a quote by Rumi which says, “Darkness is your candle.” It reminded me that there could be no light without darkness and no darkness without light.

When I get caught up in fear, it is easy to forget that. Yet, those are the times when I need to take a deep breath in and fan the flames of my Inner Light. On the exhale, I can then breathe that Light back into the world.

Deep breathes calm the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system, our flight or fight mechanism. However, when we are constantly bombarded by fear either from the news or on social media, it is hard not to get caught up in the drama and traumas of the world.

If you feel overwhelmed, go on a walk or do this quick energy cleansing technique to reset yourself. And, remember to breathe.


Click here to learn more about my yoga classes on zoom, intuitive readings, and spiritual workshops.

From Addiction to Self-Love

I’ve never posted anything like this before. Showing my body is not something I would ever do in the past. Primarily because of body dysmorphia and shame. I have hidden my body and reviled it for most of my adult life. This past year I set out on a journey to heal my body image issues and my food addictions. I feel as if I have done both.

Do I do it perfectly, or do I love myself every day? No! But most days, I can feel and see my beauty. I am becoming more grounded in my body as I become stronger through lifting weights. I manage my food addiction with a regular structure that I follow steadily, if not always gracefully. The structure gives me peace, and exercise makes me feel at one in my body instead of separate from it.

Not being fully in my body made it impossible to be present in my life. The standards of perfection that pervade our world sets us up for self-loathing and perpetual dissatisfaction. This striving for perfection distracts us from the more important aspects of our soul journey, mainly self-awareness and self-love.

I am proud of how far I have come in the past year. That is why I can show you these photos that are very vulnerable for me. It’s been about 15 years since I’ve permitted myself to wear a bikini. I have never allowed myself to be photographed in one before. Thank you for witnessing my journey.

I am in the process of creating a coaching experience for anyone interested in body love and weight management. Message me here if you are interested.


If you would like to find out more about my zoom yoga and intuitive services click here.

If you are interested in a really cool yoga mat with Della’s original artwork or photography on it. You can look at them here.

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Englightenment

The word enlightenment conjures up images of a long-bearded yogi sitting serenely in lotus pose on a mountain top. People wanting to know how to become enlightened themselves sitting at his feet. That idea of enlightenment seems daunting and impossible to achieve when in reality, the opposite is true. Enlightenment means letting go of our burdens. Our burdens can be our addictions, co-dependencies, or traumas of the past. Maybe we need to “lighten up” a little and not take ourselves so seriously. In any case, enlightenment is available to all of us, and it doesn’t take years of yoga and meditation to get there. It just takes a willingness to let go and let our Higher Power take the driver seat for a little while.

To learn more about me and zoom yoga classes, intuitive readings and spiritual workshops click here.

Are you are interested in a really cool yoga mat with my original artwork or photography on it? You can look at them here.

Surrender

I have been having to surrender a lot lately. My partner and I are remodeling one of the rooms in our house. By that I mean he is doing most of the labor. To work on this room, everything within it had to be moved to other parts of the house. As a result, our house is in chaos. I do NOT do well with chaos in my living space. I need order and structure for my mental health. Because that is not an option right now, I have had to practice surrender daily.

The word contains within it the word render. To render means to melt away. To stay peaceful I have to melt away the thoughts that are causing me anxiety. I do this through the long, deep breath.

The opposite of surrender is resistance. In yoga, resistance shows up as tightness in the body. Tightness in the body begins in the mind. When resistance shows up I have to ask myself, what am I fighting in my life that is keeping me from being my best self? What internal battles am I waging right now? Any battle I may be fighting is usually because I am resisting accepting my current situation.

When I feel the anxiety begin to build within me, I practice surrender—a melting away of what I am resisting. I breathe, go for walk or practice yoga. How do you surrender?


Are you interested in writing a guest post on addiction & recovery? You can email me at della@innerpeacemovementstudio.com for more details.


To learn more about me and zoom yoga classes, intuitive readings and spiritual workshops click here.

Are you are interested in a really cool yoga mat with my original artwork or photography on it? You can look at them here.

Control vs. Structure

Artwork by Della McGee

Five weeks ago, my partner Mike asked if I would like to join him in a cut. A cut is a term in the weightlifting world to reduce calories for a specific amount of time to lean the body out. We had both gained weight over the winter. Mike did it intentionally to increase his muscle mass and me because of some hormonal challenges.

At first, I told him no. My reasons were because I did not want to have my identity based on how my body looked or how much I weighed. I have had body dysmorphia and disordered eating most of my adult life. After much thought, I decided to join him. Our long-term goals are health and fitness, and a leaner body assists us in reaching those goals.

I was able to change my mind because I have healed so much of my Not Good Enough Syndrome over the past few months that I realized that I could do this. My goal wasn’t necessarily a particular number on the scale. My goal was to feel lighter and leaner in my body.

Both Mike and I are people who work well within a structured routine. I want to stop here and say that control and structure are two different things. Control in the way I mean refers to rigidly trying to manipulate a change in a specific behavior or an outcome. Control has always contributed to binge eating for me. Structure is a guideline or systematic framework. Structure is fluid where control is inflexible.

The protocol that he and I chose to use is a fitness app called MyFitnessPal. Just a note that I use the free version and receive nothing from the company for talking about them here. You put in the amount of weight you want to lose or maintain, and it gives you a daily calorie count to reach your goal.

The most helpful decision we made was to create a daily schedule for our meals. We divided the calories up between 4 meals and a snack. We eat around the same time for each meal every day. There are exceptions to this, of course. Life happens.

This lifestyle change was incredibly hard the first 30 days as the body got used to this new structure. It takes that long to integrate new habits, so that made sense to me. Once the body adjusted to the schedule, the protocol became much more manageable. Mike has lost about 12 pounds, and I have maintained my average weight. I have noticed that my clothes are looser and my body looks leaner.

I have not binged once on this new schedule. I have stayed within my calorie range every day, give or take 100 calories in one direction or the other. I find this liberating instead of confining. I am not sure this would work for everyone. My personality digs structure. Not everyone does.

When I tried to control my eating, I was constantly in battle with myself. That battle would result in binging. There is no battle when I use the app to record my calorie intake. I have just so many calories to spend every day, so it makes me incredibly mindful of my choices. I have found that food tastes better. It could be because I am no longer engaging in unconscious eating.

Just like when I first entered A.A., I had to go to a meeting every day to maintain my sobriety. I need to use the app every day for the same reason. The decision to use the app is a lifestyle choice, not a diet. We eat whatever we want within the calories we have set for ourselves. I will keep you posted as I continue on this journey.


To check out my Yoga for Recovery class or any of my weekly zoom classes click here.

If you are interested in a really cool yoga mat with my original artwork or photography on it. You can look at them here.