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Meet Sally Hope

Motorcycle-riding renegade life coach and leader of the Wildheart Revolution. Loves: Hot-pink lipstick, puns, guns, crosswords, two-steppin', and french manicures.

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Author Archives: Sally Hope

Getting Through The Unthinkable

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about this week as everything felt a bit trite after last week’s share. I thought about writing about the positive mind since I just taught a workshop on that last night. Or about writing about how to reconnect to the “joy” in your life after listening to a pretty annoying (but super helpful) podcast about it.

I thought about writing about the “WHY GOD WHY!?” moment I had collapsed in my stairwell this weekend and how I pulled myself out of it by using the tools in the Joy podcast: “Find the things that bring you joy and do more of them in your life” (duh). Apparently what brought me joy was putting together a rad outfit and fun makeup and hair and going out with my friends to see a dirty rock n roll show and running into a bunch of exes while looking fly. Zing!

But as I started to write all of those posts, they just felt a bit flat. I don’t know why I didn’t want to write about any of that. And instead all I kept thinking about were the emails from people in the past couple weeks who have responded to my last two posts about my breakup and not feeling like my shiny self.

I kept thinking about the email I got forwarded from a well-known blogger who had her own “surprise!” breakup and how she’s coping with it, including creating a killer Spotify Playlist and how she’s not calling it a “break-up” but rather a “break-upgrade” (hell yeah sister) and listening to songs that would make anyone want to stand taller, stronger, and occasionally smash things.

I kept thinking about the people I know in my life who are going through extremely difficult things like divorces, cancer, being ghosted by people they love, caregiving, chronic illnesses, the loss of their jobs, miscarriages, CPS issues, and just being so sad that all they want is a “dad hug” (me too girl…me too).

And then I think about how all of these people still get up every morning and take care of their kids, reach out for help, reach out to others to help them, volunteer their time, get their needs met, sing songs, write poetry, go to therapy, go to doctors appointments and put their hearts on display for everyone to see and I think about how brave and courageous and incredible that is.

That people in the world can be in so much pain and still show up with beauty and grace and still give to others and go on living in the face of so much hurt. We are all so much stronger than we realize.

Continuing to get up each day while you’re grieving is courageous. Lending a helping hand to someone else when you’re suffering yourself is compassion personified. Showing up for yourself and your loved ones when you have to duck into the bathroom to sob now and again takes strength. And I just keep seeing that over and over in my life.

No one gets out of here unscathed, but we can make it all a lot easier on ourselves and each other while we’re here by loving ourselves and loving others. So I guess this post is to say THANK YOU.

Thank you to the people who have reached out and said “me too” and “you’re not alone.” Thank you to every person who is or ever has been in pain and has kept going. Thank you to the people who are still there for their kids even when they are going through the unthinkable. Thank you for showing the world and me and everyone around you that pain doesn’t have to mean the end of anything but rather an opportunity to experience more goodness in the world. The bright side of things. The light in the darkness.

I still do want to share with you the info about the Positive Mind that I taught in my workshop because it applies here too since it’s all about how to see the light in our lives even amongst the dark. I made a video for you that explains this and I share a meditation for it in case you need a little extra boost of lightness. Check out this video to find out why the Positive Mind (and Negative Mind for that matter) is so important.


The Positive Mind Meditation

This practice opens the heart center and the feelings of the positive self. It is a gesture of happiness. The hand mudra became a symbol for blessing and prosperity.

Posture: Sit with an erect spine. Curl the ring finger and little finger into each palm. Bend the thumbs over top of them to lock them into place. Keep the first two fingers straight. Bring the arms so the elbows are by the sides, and the hands are by the shoulders with the two fingers of each hand pointing  straight up. Bring the forearms and hands forward to an angle of 30 degrees from the vertical. Press the shoulders and elbows back firmly but comfortably. The palms face forward.

Eyes and Mental Focus: Close the eyelids. Roll the eyes up gently and concentrate at the brow point, the Third Eye area at the top of the nose where the eyebrows would meet.

Breath: Create a steady, slow, deep, and complete breath.

Mantra: Mentally pulse rhythmically from the brow point out to Infinity the sounds: Saa taa naa maa

Saa is Infinity. Taa is Life. Naa is Death. Maa is Rebirth/transformation. This describes the cycle of life. This kriya brings a total mental balance to the psyche. The entire mantra means, “I meditate on Truth, Truth that I am.”

Time: Try it for 40 days. During that time eat lightly and speak only truth directly from your heart. Practice for 11 to 62 minutes. (or whatever gets you on your mat to do it)

To End: Inhale deeply and exhale three times. Then open and close the fists several times. Relax.

© The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan

Here’s me explaining it.

So now I want to know…where do you sit right now? Are you collapsed in a stairwell experiencing the unthinkable? Are you feeling strong and reaching out to those who need help? Or are you both? Leave a comment below and let me know what you do in times of challenge to help you get through. Either way, thanks for showing up today and every day.

And lastly…do you know someone who is strength personified? Or someone who swoops into help when they are needed? Share this with them to say thanks. XOXO

P.s. Here’s a pic of my super fun ladies night.

Her breath on my neck and I could have sworn it was….

Last night, my dog breathed on my neck as she nuzzled up to me on my pillow and I could have sworn it was him. 

Her warm breath on my neck after a deep inhale and a big sigh. The breathing…in and out…as our ribs ebbed and flowed against each other in the same rhythm. The warmth from our bodies snuggled up together. And for a second, I thought it was a person next to me.

The last person who was next to me exactly two months ago today. One minute being the ribs moving in and out next to mine and the breath on my neck and the next minute completely gone, as if it never even happened.

Vanished.

Like a magic trick.

And like in magic, you’re left wondering…how did he do that? How did he just disappear? And you stare in disbelief while trying to retrace his steps, and yours, looking behind every curtain, not knowing which sleight of hand you missed, or what was happening underneath it all while you were looking elsewhere.

It was a sunny Saturday when he came to get his stuff, every item of his waiting for him in a trash bag in the laundry room. Clothes that I had folded and put into his section of the closet so many times before, a big tub of honey he had brought over, silly items like frozen peas and a tray of change, giving them all back to him. Not because I don’t like money or honey or peas, but because I don’t want to be reminded of him and how sad and disappointed I feel every time I see those things in my house.

“I don’t want this to end,” I said as we hugged.

“I can’t give you what you want,” he said before he turned away and walked through the garage for the very last time.

That was the last time I heard from him or saw him in two months.

Which is surprising because up to that point, we were planning our lives together.

Coming up with a nighttime routine for the kids. Holding hands across the table at dinner. Staring into each other’s eyes before bed. Just days before about to book tickets to California for Christmas and joking about next year’s Halloween costume, negotiating a trip to Ireland in March and what to make for dinner for the kids the following week. And then one small fight about plans and a two hour phone conversation later, it was over.

Now, all traces of him in a trash bag in the back of his car. And my dog on his side of the bed reminding me that there used to be breath on my neck from a person who I thought really loved me. But never actually did. Another magic trick I must have missed while I was looking somewhere else. 

Breakups are hard because they poke at the most tender places inside of us. The places where our biggest fears live that beg the questions…”am I not a lovable person? Am I not good enough? Did I do something wrong? Why don’t they want me?” They make us feel unwanted and broken. They show us that our biggest fears might be true…could be true.

And so you try hard not to, but you spin anyway in the aftermath, always looking for some proof that you mattered and weren’t insignificant and all that time loving and caring wasn’t wasted. Wanting proof that you’re someone worth missing. But they don’t give that to you.

And I’ve been thinking a lot about this stuff for the past two months, I’ve realized something I’ve tried to learn before, which is that getting validation would be really nice and would feel good, and in those moments late at night with Gia in my bed, I want it so badly, but needing it from them in order to feel ok perpetuates a bigger issue, which is that you don’t already know it within yourself. We’re often told that it isn’t anyone else’s job to make us feel whole and worthy and lovable, that that’s our job in life. That is never so apparent as it is when you have a broken heart and an ex who just disappeared.

It forces us to see that it’s our job to love and honor and appreciate ourselves so so much that even when a breakup happens, it doesn’t make us feel unworthy and broken. It might be tender, but we can still stand strong knowing that we did our best and are wonderful and worthy and incredible and sometimes, things just don’t work out because they aren’t meant to for whatever reason we often don’t know until later. Easier said than done…trust me, I know.

Loving myself wholeheartedly isn’t natural to me. I grew up with a story of being abandoned. I took on the story that I wasn’t worth sticking around for. That I’m super special, only part of the time, and ultimately, when I really need you, you can’t or won’t be there for me. That’s my go-to her-story that I play out in every relationship.

But this time I’ve been focusing on the other piece…of loving and accepting myself. Of finding those places in myself that feel good and special and worthy all on their own. Of filling my own bucket when I ask the question “Am I a lovable person?” Working on knowing in my heart that I am. When I do this, it makes me feel better. And so late at night, when I feel sad or scared or abandoned, I put my hand on my heart and I say “I love you I love you I love you” over and over again until I start to feel it.

I didn’t want to share this story with you because it makes me feel like a failure (again) in the one area I care the most about…love and relationships. But I vowed to be more honest in case you’re going through something in your own life that feels hard and tender, so I can share anything that’s been helping me, in case it can also help you.

I’ve been spending 30 minutes a day, every day in a meditation focusing on self-compassion, which comes in handy when I want to go down the spiral of how unlovable I am. And I can’t say that it’s going perfectly for me, I’m still sad, and hurt sometimes, but I can say that it is helping a TON and that the spirals are less severe. That the good days are more frequent. The lows don’t last as long. Change takes some time.

And so I don’t know what you’re going through in your own life, but if you’ve ever felt caught off guard by a breakup, or felt like your life suddenly changed in a way that you weren’t expecting or wanting know you are not alone. Know that it won’t always feel like this. Know that there are things you can do to feel better. And maybe…this meditation can help you feel loved and ok despite everything…it is for me. 

See the meditation below. And if this post resonated with you at all, please share in the comments below and share it with anyone you think needs to see it.

Here’s to filling our own cups,

Sally

COMPASSION MEDITATION

Compassion gives you the strength to go through suffering and yet, feel no pain. There is absolutely no grace without compassion. Read the translation and if “God” doesn’t resonate with you, use Universe or whatever does. Whatever higher power that helps you.

Posture: Sit in Easy Pose with your spine straight.

Mudra: Cross the middle fingers over the index fingers of each hand. Place thumbs on mounds of your pinky finger, which is just at the base of the pinkie.

Mantra: Sing with a lyrical version of Rakhay Rakhanahaar.

I use this one:

Eyes: Closed.

Movement:

On the first line of the mantra, bring the hands up and press the left hand over the right press over your heart center.

On the second line of the mantra, lower the arms so the wrists rest on the knees.

Continue alternating in this way, but keep the hands at the chest for the last line that repeats twice.

Then briefly lower and raise them again for the first line.

Rakhay rakhanhaar aap ubaariun

Gur kee pairee paa-eh kaaj savaariun

Hoaa aap dayaal manho na visaariun

Saadh janaa kai sung bhavjal taariun

Saakat nindak dusht khin maa-eh bidaariun

Tis Saahib kee tayk naanak manai maa-eh

Jis simrat sukh ho-eh saglay dookh jaa-eh

Jis simrat sukh ho-eh saglay dookh jaa-eh

Translation:

God (or Universe) himself is looking out for us,
gives us the light, and takes care of our affairs.
God is merciful and never forgets us.
God guides us, giving us good people to help us.
God does not allow hurt to come to us.
I take comfort in the thought of God.
When I remember God, I feel peaceful and happy
and all my pain departs

(Briefly lower the hands and then continue.)


Time:
 Continue for 31 minutes. (or as little as feels good to you…I recommend 7 for newbies)

The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan ©2008

P.s. Here’s the cutie keeping me warm at night…

He said this over curry…

“I just don’t want to see you lose your shine” he said over a shared plate of chicken curry.

And he would know a thing or two about my shine…he’s seen my shiniest days as the lead singer/magic-maker/co-creator of my band. He saw me hit the rockstar pose every night. He saw a line of people wanting me to sign their cd’s. He saw me woo management and labels and become besties with the biggest rockstars on the planet and not bat an eye when we opened up for Bon Jovi. He saw me come alive on stage and then he saw me stand on my own stage once the band ended and I created the Wildheart Revolution, traveling around the globe while creating my business from the beach and from an RV letting the wind take me wherever I wanted to go with freedom, wildness and heart.

And so when he told me that, I knew he was seeing something that had been there for awhile…the sun setting more and more each year. It was true.

“Believe me brother…I don’t want to lose it either.” I thought to myself.

It has been about five years since that sun was at its brightest with a thriving business, living in my dream city, just coming off of two years of my dream travels, having already reached every goal I had set for myself, and plans for so much more. I felt like I had the whole world at my fingertips and my best life ahead of me, truly. I felt accomplished, beautiful, creative, healthy and happy.

Five years since that and as I sit here today, I wonder “is my best life behind me?” Just saying that out loud pings my heart with a feeling of loss and grief.

Loss and grief.

Emotions that I have felt a lot in these last five years, and also emotions that have contributed to me giving up writing about my life, beginning the process of my sun setting.

Writing has always been a way for me to express myself and feel connected to other people. A much easier way than conversation or art or even music. Feelings and experiences right there on the page. Never quite knowing if someone even reads it. Feeling delighted when they do and they say “thank you for writing that…I don’t feel so alone now.”

But about five years ago I stopped writing and sharing, mostly because overall, I didn’t want the life I had anymore, Things changed. Traumatic things happened that I didn’t know how to deal with and definitely couldn’t share about. Scary things. Things that involved lawyers and hyperventilating in a bathroom. Things that felt too hard to hold on my own, and so I gave it all up.

And in that time I moved to another state to be with someone and it didn’t work out in a really big way, I had to fall completely apart not knowing if the pieces would ever come together again, I got (and still have) a huge flare up in my chronic illness that completely debilitates my life and prevents me from doing the things that I feel like make me “ME,” I dated, got into another relationship, got dumped, felt embarrassed and defeated and still haven’t had that “comeback” I’ve been waiting for so I could show you all how I did it. I’m en route to my Rocky-style victory. I hope.

So…I didn’t write.

And I realized, sitting across the table at Indian food with the person who has become my mirror, that part of my sun, is in sharing truth. It always has been. It’s in sharing those shameful moments, those embarrassing experiences, those “I know we all do this but no one talks about it” bad habits that makes us not feel so alone. It’s also in sharing the victories and the triumphs and the ways we are strong and how we pick ourselves back up. And that is valuable. It is what the Wildheart Revolution is all about…being truthful about who you are and what you want and having the courage to say it.

That is why we love the songs we love or like the art we do…they speak to something we’re feeling and can’t say ourselves. And I’ve been missing being a guest at that party. Even if I’m coming to the party now a little more shy, a lot more road-weary, and a little more wounded.

So I have vowed to myself to share more stories this year. For me but also for you in case you’ve been feeling what I’ve been feeling in life…sometimes absolutely heartbroken, or just broken, and sometimes ecstatic and joy-filled. Sometimes “don’t wanna get out of bed” and sometimes “dance in the car.” As Brene Brown says…

“When we hear someone else sing about the jagged edges of heartache or the unspeakable nature of grief, we immediately know we’re not the only ones in pain. The transformative power of art is in this sharing. Without connection or collective engagement, what we hear is simply a caged song of sorrow and despair, we find no liberation in it. It’s the sharing of art that whispers…‘You’re not alone.’”

So consider this your whisper.

You’re not alone in your pain, your grief, your strength, your joy, your love, your shame, your vulnerability, and your striving to be better.

You’re not alone in your prayers, your hope, your faith, your fear, your hopelessness, your triumph and your doubts.

I am so thankful that you’re here.

I am so excited for my first share, next week. It involves warm breath on my neck, late at night. Stay tuned.

Did this resonate with you? Have you felt less shiny too? Have you been afraid to share yourself? If so, leave a comment below. Like Brene Brown said, it’s in our sharing that releases us.

And of course, if you liked this, please feel free to share.

Here comes the Sun,

Sally

P.s. Click here to see my curry comrade and I play a super pretty duet.

Meditation To Fulfill Your Destiny

 

Everyone knows that meditation, as we think of it, is boring. Who can sit there for an hour and try to “clear your mind?”

Hardly anyone is the answer.

Although I love that kind of meditation and find it really valuable, the thing I love about Kundalini meditations is that they are SPECIFIC. The instructions aren’t “sit there and watch your breath” but rather each meditation is geared specifically to the thing in your life you want to work on.

Want more money? There’s a meditation for that.

Want less heartache? There’s a meditation for that.

And so when I got an email from one of my students in my meditation courses asking for a new meditation so she doesn’t “self-sabotage” her big dream, I got really excited.

Finding meditations for specific issues is my jam.

And since what she asked is really universal, I thought I would share the recommendation with you today too in case you also have something you’ve been wanting, or if you feel stuck in a relationship, job, or thought pattern.

This mantra meditation is the miggity miggity miggity miggity mac daddy of all Kundalini meditations and is said to bring you to your destiny. It wakes you up to that which is best for you. And it kills any fate you’ve acquired that keeps you in a painful karmic cycle of repeating the same darn pattern in your life over and over again. It changes your destiny to complete prosperity. Although it doesn’t specifically prevent self-sabotage, it puts us in line with our destiny so all that self-sabotage naturally falls away. Check out my video that explains why this meditation is awesome.

And here’s how you do it.

Posture: Come seated into a cross legged position. If that’s not available you can sit in a chair or lay down in your cozy bed (I totally do this…whatever it takes eh?)

Eyes: Closed softly

Mantra (sing along or just listen):

Ek ong kaar, sat naam, karataa purakh, nirbho, nirvair

Akaal moorat, ajoonee, saibhang, gur prasaad. Jap!

Aad such, jugaad such, Hai bhee such, Naanak hosee bhee such.

Here is my favorite version (feel free to YouTube others)

Translation:

One Creator. Truth is His name. Doer of everything. Fearless, Revengeless, Undying, Unborn, Self illumined, The Guru’s gift. True in the beginning. True through all the ages. True even now. Oh Nanak it is forever true.

What this means: 

We’re calling on that which creates everything in our lives. You might call it God or Universe. And we’re lining ourselves up with that. It’s the embodiment of “we are one.” So we’re saying that which creates is me and I am that which creates. It’s true now and forever. Once we’re aligned with that, we create in prosperity that which is absolutely best or us since the ultimate creator isn’t one in which puts us in crappy situations. We’re breaking out of that (“fate-killing”) and all we’re left with is our truth. Our destiny.

Time:

Do as little as 7 minutes and up to however long you’d like. You can keep it playing in the background all day for an extra punch.

Journal Exercise: 

Before you start this meditation write down everything you’re feeling right now. Then ask…”what is my destiny” and do the meditation.

When you’re done write down everything that comes to mind.

If you still want more info about this mantra, check out this awesome podcast all about it

And now I’d love to hear from you. Did you try this one? What do you think? How was your mood before and how is your mood after? Let me know in the comments below.

I hope you enjoyed the video and make sure to sign up for my list if you want to be the first to know when new meditations come out.

 

New Moon Meditation For Setting Intentions

Art by Madison Perrins

I’m writing this to you from one of my favorite coffee shops in town. Where I sip my hot green tea in a window seat watching all the Main Street walkers pass by. Today, as I’m writing, I notice the breeze in the air, mostly because it is causing the branches on the tree in front of the window to sway, and the leaves to fall off and float towards the ground.

I say out loud to myself… “fall.”

And I realize that we are officially in a transition time. The closing of one chapter and the opening of a new one. From summer to fall. From long days to long nights. From shorts to sweaters. And from weddings to back-to-school. Which reminded me of something that happened earlier this week..

On Monday, we had a new moon. Which means that it is the beginning of the moon cycle and two weeks away from the full moon. You’re probably like “and…….what does that have to do with me?”

Well…new moons are a time to plant seeds.

They are the beginning. The closing of the last moon cycle chapter and the beginning of the next. So energetically speaking, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about what you want to have happen right now so that in a couple of weeks (with the full moon) you’re ready to “harvest” all that you’ve intended. It’s the perfect time for setting intentions. For dreaming. For thinking ahead and planting all the seeds of what you want to have happen this month.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot in my own life. I feel like the past seven months, as I’ve struggled with my health, been forging a new relationship, and got swept away in a busy summer, I’ve somewhere along the line forgotten to be intentional and think about my life in the bigger picture. What do I want to create right now? Where do I want to be in five years? What’s my bigger picture vision?

When life is about survival, day to day, it’s hard to dream about the next five years. Similarly, when you’re in the hustle and bustle of life, or summer, we don’t always take the time to think about what we want for ourselves after the season. But now, with the new moon, and the changing of the seasons, this is the perfect time to do that.

Where have you been going along in your life unaware? Punching the metaphorical (or actual) clock? How is your current situation like groundhogs day? Where have you been forgetting to dream?

This week in my Kundalini yoga class, we talked all about this. About how to plant seeds and set intentions. But this time there was a new spin to it. Usually when this conversation comes up, we think of making a laundry list for God/Universe of all the things we want, and while I’m also a fan of doing that (and have totally been doing every day), this week we focused on starting with the things we’re already grateful for. The idea being that when you’re in the state of gratitude and appreciate and positive thinking, more of those things come your way. Similarly, if you spend all your time worrying, you’ll usually find that your worries manifest, because “like attracts like” meaning, what you put your attention on grows.

So this week we put our intention on all the good stuff, so that all the good stuff grows.

This meditation below is all about that. In the mantra we’re saying “thank you that which is bringing me from darkness to light” leaving some time and room for our positive intentions. Check it out here (written instructions below):

Posture: Sit in Easy Pose (cross legged post) with a nice straight spine

Mudra: The hands can be in any comfortable position (Gyan Mudra, folded in your lap, on the knees, etc.).

Eyes: Close the eyes and focus at the third eye/brow point

Mantra: Chant the Guru Ram Das Mantra for 5 – 31 minutes. There are many melodies for this mantra . The one we’re using here is Pritpal Singh Khalsa and you can get it right here or it can be recited in a monotone. Try to complete the whole mantra on one breath.

Words:

Guru guru

Wahe guru

Guru Ram Das guru

Guru = that which takes me from dark to light

Wahe = prase that which/thank you

Wahe guru = praise that which is taking me from dark to light

JOURNAL EXERCISE 

If you like this concept and want a little extra to boost up both your gratitude and also your positive intentions you can try this journaling exercise I’ve been doing. Here’s how it goes:

1) Start off by thanking God/Universe/Self for all the great things in your life. Ie the house you live in, having running water, blue skies, etc etc. The trick here is to think about it in a bit of a deeper way than just rattling off the same list everyday. Think about thanking yourself for having the courage to have a difficult conversation, or thanking your friend for opening her heart to you.

Also…even if things are going terribly in your life, still find the things that are good. Maybe a smile from a stranger or the best meatball you’ve ever had. It’s the little things.

2) Then write a narrative about the things you want in your life, but write them as they’ve already happened. Paint the picture with your words. I like to start mine with something like “I am so happy that…” and then I fill in the blank. Or I’ll say something like “I am so excited that Brene Brown called today. We chatted on the phone like old girlfriends and I’m so excited about our upcoming collaboration with how to teach emotional intelligence in schools.”

Even though that didn’t happen, I write an entire narrative as though it did. It allows me to dream far and wide. Try it and see what happens.

And now I’d love to hear from you. In the comments below let me know:

1) What is the thing that stuck out the most to you in this article?

2) What is one thing you’ll try this week to set good intentions for yourself?

I hope you enjoyed the video and make sure to sign up for my list if you want to be the first to know when new meditations come out.

 

Wildheart Revolution