Ascent: Being There … Supporting Your Personal Evolution One Step at a Time

Clearing Your Personal Path

January 2011

Part 1 in Ascent’s “Living with Fire” Series

Be In Flow:
Empowered by Yoga
for Life’s Journey

It’s the start of a new year, and one of your resolutions is likely to be — better fitness.

Maybe friends have raved about an “amazing” yoga class they took. It helps them build strength and balance, experience inner calm. It supports weight-loss by building muscle. All of this, in a low-impact workout.

Or maybe you’re feeling the need for a new focus… and new energy for living.

Yoga can be an important part of a total life-plan — a way to energize and focus your consciousness as a foundation for personal evolution.

There are many styles and variations of yoga. If you decide to explore yoga, giving the following information to the studio manager or instructor will help them match you with the approach and class best suited for where you want to go.

  1. Conditions effecting your health — including:
    • repetitive-use injuries
    • systemic conditions, like hypertension, diabetes, muscle hypertonicity/spasms,
    • or migraines
    • body-alignment issues, like bulging/herniated disc, tilted pelvis, flat back or feet
    • depression, anxiety, stress
  2. Whether you want a class that’s oriented toward
    • yogic philosophy
    • improved alignment
    • a specific therapy, or
    • creating a dynamic connection to life
  3. Your personal goals. Do you want to
    • participate in a triathlon?
    • release bodily stresses created by your life or work?
    • build strength ?
    • lose weight?
    • clear mental chaos and open the creative mind?

Remember, your life is the story you write. Yoga can help give you the strength, poise, calm and inner focus… whether you need to revise the story you're now living, or to write a new destiny.

May you live in abundance and radiant health!

Andrew McAuley, RYT 500, E-RYT, LMT

Andrew McAuley travels nationwide, leading trainings/workshops in yoga and massage.

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began …

So begins The Journey, a poem by Mary Oliver, driven by the force of urgency — that is, the urge to discover and live fully our one, true, authentic life.

Vividly, verse by verse, Oliver describes the track that leads to this authentic living.

We set out from home … feeling our way unsteadily through the darkness of uncertainty. We’re opposed by the headwinds of cautioning voices. (“Are you sure you know what you’re doing?”) Eventually, through the shredded clouds of unclear vision, our own pole star blazes. We start to see, and then …

Finally, we hear the one and only voice we need to follow. Finally, we can say, “This is who I really am, and this is what I need to do. We experience the ignition of that core energy that makes us feel fully alive and on course.

Welcome to your authentic self, and the one life you need to live.

The urgency of this drive — the need to discover our own way in the world — pulses in each of us, raw as the urge for food and water or sexual connection. It demands that we work to express all that’s visionary, capable, beautiful, strong, order-bringing, healing, artful, brilliant … all that’s best in all of us.

Many of us think, “I sense the pulse you’re describing. I want to live a more authentic, passionate life … but I don’t know what that means for me or how to find it.”

Throughout the coming year, Being There will offer monthly guidance on how to find and explore the path of your journey, to the authentic life you need to live.

The path begins here:

  • Step One: Open up headspace.

    Set a time for meditation and journaling. Spending time alone and in quiet … and focused … allows you, as one writer put it, to “descend with the mind into the heart.”

    The goal of this practice is to allow gaps of stillness in our mind’s chatter … and also in the thick layer of emotional energies … both of which form the “static” that jams our inner compass. We spend all our time jumping from one superficial thought or demand to another … or riding the flood of an emotion and the reaction it brings.

    To leave behind these familiar “surroundings” is to begin the journey into the stillness and lone-ness from which our individual self wants to emerge.

    Make time in your schedule for this practice. Set aside 30 to 60 minutes, daily if possible. Minimally, three times a week. Don’t be driven or legalistic about it; do make the effort.

  • Step Two: Clear the path.

    This requires time. There are no shortcuts. There is only clearing the path … and attentiveness.

    Since our minds have several layers of consciousness, we need to move out the debris of outer-life demands that block our inward progress. (Keep a notepad at hand, to write down the daily duties and errands that flood this layer. Capturing them quickly both directs them out of your head and assures that they will get done … later.)

    You are likely to encounter the more subtle layer of feelings. Journal about feelings that arise … because unidentified feelings and unsettled feelings remain stuck within us, like muscle knots in the soul, that impede free movement. The goal here is not to intensify feelings by over-focusing on the event that caused the feeling. Instead, ask yourself, “What does this experience direct me to do … or teach me to change … in my life, relationships, work, beliefs?”

This month: Join us in this commitment to a meditation and journaling practice, and begin clearing the path to your authentic life — the one true life that’s yours alone to live.

In two weeks, we’ll send you a “booster email” to keep you focused and moving ahead.

In February — Step Three: Allow Your Personal Vision to Form

seed fire
It’s Your Life. Be there.



Ascent adds Jackie Keenan to its roster of first-time authors, with the publication of her book, And the Spirit Led.

Jackie completed her book during Ascent’s 2010 Guided Writing Program, and it is now available from the Westbow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson Publishing.

New Writing Workshops
to Jump-start Your Career

Our 2011 Writing Track starts this month with two Writing Intensive Workshops for new writers … and for already-published authors who want to move to new levels of skill and market penetration.

During these lively interactives, you can start with your raw concept or with a manuscript in-the-works. You’ll learn how how to open the creative mind … and also how to develop exciting outlines, create stronger plots, and build memorable characters. If you’re working on essays, you’ll learn how to inject power into your prose.

Ascent’s goal is to set you well on your way to a successful publishing experience.


Leesburg, VA ~ January 13 - 16

Reston, VA ~ January 27 - 30

Alexandria, VA ~ February 10 - 13

Winchester, VA ~ February 24 - 27

Frederick, MD ~ March 10 - 13

Leesburg, VA ~March 24 - 27

Washington, DC ~ April 7 - 10

Workshop hours:
Thursday through Saturday, 9 am to 4 pm;
Sunday 10 am to 2 pm.

For information and directions, and to learn about our 8-Month Guided Writing Program visit our website.

Email or Call:
(540) 454-4495 8 am - 8 pm EST

» To Register  


Upcoming Free Talks

“The Path to Published: Creating Your Personal Plan”

  • Ashburn Public Library
    January 10, 7 pm
  • Purcellville Public Library
    January 11, 7 pm

Learn how to create your own strategy for breaking into print and building strong connections with publishers.

Come join us for coffee and refreshments at one of these venues. RSVPs requested (540) 454-4495.

“Getting Publishers to Say ‘Yes’”

  • The Daily Grind
    February 8, 7: pm
    Loudoun Street Mall, Winchester, VA 20176

Remember to RSVP to (540) 454-4495!