My Mission, Mountains And Metamorphosis
I am so excited to share the inspirational story of my friend Kelly Spiggle, fellow North Carolinian, yoga teacher, wanderluster and nature lover.
Kelly is a loving wife and mother of two as well as a social butterfly who spreads joy to so many others. After the death of her own beloved mother, Kelly went on a quest around the world to find a guru, health, wellness and happiness.
Eventually her journey led her to Asheville Yoga Center, where we met at an advanced yoga teacher training. We then worked together to develop her brand and website Girlfriend’s Guru. Get to know her in this post and learn about an exciting Autumn retreat happening this October in Asheville, NC!
Namaste & Have A Great Day!
I grew up in Atlanta, attended college at Georgia Tech and had a career in fundraising for higher education for almost a decade before I made the decision to become a stay-at-home mom. My husband and I had also just moved to New York City 10 days before 9/11.
Almost a decade later, I lost my mother to cancer and that propelled me into my own wellness journey. I began my yoga teacher training at Asheville Yoga Center with the sole intention of a personal healing journey. However when you have been given so much light, the desire to share can become so strong and about midway through I knew that my next decades would about sharing with others the amazing gifts that were being shared with me.
Instead of making a New Year’s resolution in 2014, I picked several different words that I brought mindful intention to throughout each hour, day and month for the whole year. Words such as home, balance, love, purpose, alignment, breath, travel guided my thoughts, intentions and actions. I literally and figuratively used these words to manifest things that I wanted more in my life into being. In 2018 I realized that I had to narrow it down to just one word.
So, 2018 was my year of mountains. I physically started by hiking the TopaTopa mountain range near Ojai, California, followed by the Colorado Rocky Mountains/Estes Park, and finally found myself in Patagonia at the foothills of the Andes Mountain range and Torres del Paines National Park.
This was the year that I strengthened and empowered myself to climb mountains but also to embrace love and gratitude to enjoy the view with a “eagle perspective.” When I was condor trekking in Patagonia, I really celebrated having become visible to myself over the last four years. I have always enjoyed traveling but only since my mother passed did this passion of mine truly awaken.
The other important piece of having a mountain year was incorporating yin energy work to mindfully “return to base camp” instead of “crashing into the valley.” I had to learn how to physically and emotionally work my way up and down the mountain of the vibrational ladder. In other words, I had to build emotional strength, power and resiliency on the way up and learn how to nurture myself and really stay present without crashing and burning on the way back down.
Three lessons that I learned from hiking:
1. The importance of good hiking boots! With both yoga and hiking it all starts with the feet. Making sure that you have good foundational support is a must. The day that I was hiking across the continental divide in Colorado I had accidentally only worn my tennis shoes as I mistakenly thought my hiking boots were in the back of the car. Wow! What a different experience that was. I was much less sure footed and I kept feeling my ankles roll at every step. I actually encountered a marmot on a pretty steep part of my hike. I remember the two of us staring eye to eye. I thought “Does this mean that I’ve climbed high enough on this path to find contentment?” And I feel as if the marmot replied “Keep going, you can do it Kelly!“
2. If you can stay mindful and present, so many animal spirits and natural elements can cross your path and are there to help guide and teach you lessons. Listen to the wisdom of Mother Nature. Originally when I was thinking about my year of mountains I was thinking of the solidity and stability of all the rock. However, I was humbled at the power of water as I got to experience melting glaciers, mountain lakes and mountain waterfalls. It taught me that being soft like water could be a way more powerful force.
3. You do develop a certain resiliency by testing yourself and going farther than your comfort zone. It’s amazing the transformation that happens when you show up and are visible to yourself! It really helped me better discern what situations and people that are worthy of my gifts and energy and to walk away from the ones that were no longer serving me.
So I encourage everyone to head to the summit; a place of pure potential.
I really think it’s what made me able to get really clear and finally develop my new Girlfriend’s Guru logo and website.
When I came up with the concept of a Girlfriend’s Guru, I was in search of Guru - or teacher - myself. Historically a yoga student would have a one-on-one mentor relationship with their teacher. To be honest, I was searching for that replacement “mother“ figure. My mother was my first and greatest teacher. I wanted that sense of certainty back.
I remember reading books like How Yoga Works and A Search In Secret India where the yoga student gave his or her self completely over to the Guru. Then, I discovered Asheville Yoga Center. I found that the blessing of doing my yoga teacher training at a place as distinguished as AYC is that they gather so many teachers from many different lineages with a wealth of experience to share. I didn’t find just one teacher, I found many!
Also at that point in my life, I was traveling to New York, Milan and Paris to chaperone my daughter who was pursuing high fashion runway modeling. Places like Jivamukti NYC and Golden Bridge Kundalini became my home away from home. Maybe I have a pitta or hummingbird personality or maybe I am just too stubborn to commit to one teacher. But I know in my heart of hearts that I was given many teachers to help me figure out my own path and stand on my own two feet.
I am so humbled and grateful to draw on the knowledge of those who have walked the path before me. When given the gift of so much light, I felt that I did not want to receive it for myself alone but that I needed to share it with others. When I find out about a sale or a product or service I love, I’m on the phone calling all my other girlfriends about it. “Hey! You got to go check this out!” That is the spirit and intention behind Girlfriend’s Guru. We are always learning from, supporting and encouraging each other!
Which brings me to the women’s Autumn Goddess Energy retreat that I am hosting in Asheville, North Carolina happening October 10-13, 2019. It’s all about creating balance and tapping into your inner purpose in order to inspire action and help you to tap and release the goddess within.
This retreat is designed for all kinds of women in transition. Maybe you just lost a parent or loved one. Maybe your kids are going off to college. Maybe you are adjusting to a change in career or your home or your health. Or maybe you feel a desire for something that will make your life more meaningful or fulfilling.
Yoga, meditation, wellness coaching, sound healing, yoga Nidra, chakra balancing, intuitive card reading and of course yoga hikes with Namaste in Nature are just a few of the many tools that we will use over the weekend to realize and unlock your own personal potential. This is the perfect time to cocoon, rest, heal and then invigorate your spirit so that you can emerge as the most elevated version of yourself!
We are staying at OM Sanctuary, a 54-acre nature sanctuary near downtown Asheville that is dedicated to rest and renewal. I am thrilled to help you begin the journey to self and unlock your inner goddess so that they may enjoy a life full of love and abundance. This will be a very small, personal group setting so I go to my website and secure your spot with a deposit as soon as possible as we expect to be fully booked months in advance.