Carol Anne Patterson, RMT, RYT - Reiki & Yoga Therapy
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Three things I learned from my day with Michael Franti
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Three things I learned from my day with Michael Franti


Three days ago, I spent a day with Michael Franti.  Okay, I was not really with him, but he was literally a yoga mat away, singing and smiling and sharing his light.  There was a palpable bubble of love and laughter that carried us through an entire day of yoga and music and unity.  I’m not really much of a concert-goer, and I rarely desire to see someone more than once, but I found myself wanting the show to go beyond the Asbury Park curfew.  I found myself re-planning my upcoming week in my head so that I might somehow attend the New York show on Monday, Philly on Tuesday…preferably with my kids in tow so they could experience the joy of this Soulshine tour.

The day after, I noticed feeling more connected to spirit in my work, like my soul had opened a bit wider.  It was as if I had meditated for hours and the universe was answering me with wisdom from beyond.   Here’s what came shining through:




1.  When we trust and are open to receive, we get exactly what we need.

This I know to be true.  I teach it to my clients.  But I’m in awe every time the universe gifts me with an opportunity, a teacher, a new friend, or a sign from beyond.  I had been having a couple of really rough days last week, capped off with a rare migraine headache that sidelined me one day.  This was a clear message to reschedule my clients and take care of me, with some meditation, self reiki, a nap, and an early bedtime. 

I awoke the next morning to thinking-of-you-messages from random friends who were clearly connected to my soul that day.  One was a message from a very new friend who had happened upon an extra ticket to a concert and thought of me immediately because she somehow knew “I needed it.”  To clear my work schedule, cover my kids’ care, and drive to a full day event with a car full of strangers is not something I would have done freely, but the message was loud and clear.   I did indeed need it.

When we step away from the busyness to be still, we create space…space for clarity and for lessons on this life journey.  We open ourselves to abundant gifts.    The day after Soulshine, spirit spoke very clearly to me in meditation.  “We are exactly where we are supposed to be in this moment.  You are exactly who you are supposed to be in this moment.  Let go of fear…you are surrounded by love.  Trust.  Let go.  You will have all you need. “  

Trust.  Be open.  Receive.



2.  Find time to be Joyful.

I’ve been to group yoga events before.  I expected to roll out my mat, do a ton more sun salutations than my personal practice normally includes, and enjoy an amazing savasana fueled by the collective energies of the yoga group.  What happened instead was we laughed and we danced, we hugged strangers and played games, we jumped up and down (a lot) and “flew” like acro-yogis.  It was child like.  It was pure joy.  My stone and dirt covered yoga mat didn’t even phase me one bit when we finally settled down for a savasana serenade by Michael Franti.  

I realized is that it’s been a moment since I experienced such uninhibited, joy- filled play.   Divorce, moving, raising children, running a business…it can be hard stuff.  I’m careful to set aside time for yoga and exercise and a good nap every now and again, but every once in a while, you need to jump up and down.   You need to salsa dance in the restroom of the Cuban restaurant while you wait for a stall to open.  You don’t need a group full of like souls to join you, and you don’t need a leader to guide you.  Dance.  Sing.  Get stuck in the rain on purpose. Connect with JOY!


3.  Be where you are right now.


It’s probably not a good idea to separate from your group just before heading into a general admission concert.  In the moment, it seemed like a fantastic idea to satisfy a sweet tooth by hitting the boardwalk for the Elvis Presley dessert crepe just before the show.  Lesson learned.   My crepe loving friend and I spent the first 15-20 minutes of the concert standing on tip-toes, looking left and right, and checking our cell phones for an answer to “where are you???”

It then dawned on me that we were so busy looking that we were missing the show!  So we stopped, dropped the anchor and jumped up and down right where we were…singing and dancing, entertained by and with the joy- filled strangers around us.  We were back in the Soulshine bubble.  

Life has a way of pulling us out of the present moment.  Fear, regret, worry, and impatience are all the equivalent of standing on tip-toes, looking left and right.  Don’t miss the show.  Dance exactly where you are.  Mindfulness is such a beautiful, peace-filled practice.  Practice it daily.  Combine it with gratitude to open your heart.  Make it a habit to look around and see beauty in hidden places.        Be fully where you are.

Let your soul shine my friends!  You are beautiful!

Fun time provided by my inner child, super cool friends, and Michael Franti's Soulshine Tour.  Check it out this coming Monday in New York or Tuesday in Philly.  You'll be glad you did!

Awesome memories captured by photos from  JoeLongoPhotography.




4 Comments to Three things I learned from my day with Michael Franti:

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anita brown on Sunday, July 20, 2014 10:12 AM
What a pleasant surprise to find that you had already written this beautiful piece while I was thinking of you on my mat this morn and contemplating what I would write about our day!! Loved every minute, every word, every breath…shine forth lovely S O U L!!! X O
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