Lighten Up | Yoga & Life Coaching Workshop

LIGHTEN UP for Christmas Retreat

Co-hosted by Grace x Strength & She Seeks

20 amazing souls showed up to this God-breathed event. Some for themselves, some to show us support, some for Jesus.  Whatever the motivation behind, we hope that each and every one of our guest walked away with a “lightened up” sprit and renewed heart for the season and new year to come.

Tucked away in the lower north shore suburb of Artarmon, Yoga Pavilion, we felt, was the perfect spot for our mini-retreat.  We divided the group into two sessions and grouped them based on the level of yoga experience that we knew or felt they would prefer. We hoped that each individual walked away with their She Seeks coaching booklet ready to take the world with their 2018 goals and some soulful moments on their mat in their yoga session.

As with all our events, classes and retreats, it is with trust and faith that we believe the day’s events and the people are answered prayers. Prayers from the hosts that:

1.Our hearts are postured humbly to bring Him glory through our passion do what we do.

2. He calls those to show up to show up.

3. He uses our being, our lips, our bodies to be the vessels to bring His message to those who need to hear and to be the heart to those whom He wants to touch.

The event filled our hearts. We are so thankful for the honest feedback, positive and tips for improvement (where there will always be).

Our gratitude goes to our guests who so faithfully stayed with us and practiced “being present”.

We are so pleased to be able to offer 10% of our ticket sales to help Holy Yoga’s Breathe Love Give Campaign, to being trauma-sensitive yoga training to parts of the world that need it. May You All be blessed.

With love and light,

Alyssa, Josephine & Joanne xx

Grace x Strength Launch | A Dream Come True

It’s Day 2 of launching Grace x Strength @gracexstrength with soul sister Alyssa Mak. I’m flooded with emotions – exhilaration, fear, vulnerable, gratitude, proud, humbled, delirium, happy…..

Some of you will have walked this journey with me so closely that you probably sensed this brewing for a while. However, unlike my other business ventures, this one has no targets to meet, no go-to-market strategy, no 3-year financial goals. There wasn’t even a set launch date! Everything just came together organically and calmly. It’s so counter-what-I’m-used-to! It’s entering total uncharted territory. And I call this a true leap of FAITH.

True to what this brand stands for, it’s an experience of grace and strength for me too! Et voilà!

Grace x Strength [#GxS] invites you into community to experience exactly that [GxS] through yoga and soul care programs. What does that look like? Maybe short yoga 🧘🏻‍♀️tips on Instagram, maybe more workshops, maybe classes, maybe retreats, maybe online classes… I say “Maybe” because we do whatever God calls us to and go wherever He takes us.

This a new exciting chapter of my life. Thank You for reading to the end and allowing me to share my craziness with you. Some of you will agree with this thing. Some of you will think I’m cray… but hey, life is journey! And I’m just thankful for your encouragement in pursuing my dream and calling. 😃 .

Moving to Melbourne (with Christ)

img_9951Wow…it has been almost 2 months since we first made a start to packing in Lane Cove, Sydney.  These past 2 months have been a duck in a pond, paddling at a consistent velocity under the water yet seemingly calm and wading above water.  Those who look at me from the outside will see how beautiful and easy it seemed.  Those who don’t know of my OCD tendencies may imagine that it still needs unpacking and settling.  The truth is that the home was basically picked up and set down in a new location in a matter of 7 days.  Within one week, the new home was 100% all completed and the kids were in a new environment, new school, new day care, new routine.

And with this seamless transition, I have many people to thank (and yes, I’m saving the best for the last :P).  First, it is our crazy awesome nanny who worked so tirelessly without grumble to get everything packed and unpacked.  From disassembly EVERYONE’s bed frames to assembling everything plus clean sheets.  Every hook, every detail in our home has been meticulously managed by this capable and unimaginably strong woman.  Second is Willie’s EA, Lisa.  The lady who gave guidance, emotional support and made sure that my heart was in the right place at all times.  Never a moment did she let my schedule slip with the flying back and forth between the two cities and never a moment did she let the details of logistics get past her eyes.  Then, I have the tribe of friends from my Holy Yoga sisters and Kingdom women to my closest and dearest friendship circles.  Their grace for me and support has meant that the physical and reality of the burden was much less heavier.  The prayers that were said me gave me such strength.

I once boasted how I was nicknamed “Wonder Woman”.  Now, I realise there is really a whole tribe of us.  We just need to look around.  These are the beautiful creation of God.

Lastly and most importantly, thanks be to the big man above, our King. I have felt the presence of Jesus every step of the way.  Even at times when I felt the epic project was slipping, He was there with me.  I know because the Holy Spirit spurred my heart to lean in to Him.  There were moments that were really tough.  The physical heaving lifting of the move.  The emotional flurry of leaving a city where I have lived half of my life in, with my closest of friends and family.  The spiritual home that I find peace in every Sunday.  All these were things I had to farewell and confront that my identity is not rooted in where I live on earth, but where my soul resides in His Kingdom.

On a lighter note, of course, it’s fun to talk logistics.  I kept tabs of everything for fun.  So let’s have a look at this:
Cost – $10K*
Boxes – 180
Hours – 180^
Number of fights with hubby – 3

*not all out of pocket, but you get the point
^inc. everything move related, including packing, unpacking, getting the home set up, rental in and renting out, bills, change of addresses, etc)

Not too bad, huh?!

***
Logistics and jokes aside, I am really sensing that the Lord is blessing me in abundance with my time here in Melbourne.  Multiple times, I have been asked what I’m doing here (like I always need to be doing something!) Honestly, it has been a challenge to let go of my ‘career mum’ identity and embrace that I’m being a mum-of-leisure, working on projects to spread the Word.  Am I involved in Efficient Media?  Short answer is ‘not really’.  Am I teaching Holy Yoga?  Short answer is ‘not yet’.  So, what am I doing?

Well, I’m treasuring this time that Big Daddy has gifted me with to spend with my children, cook and bake, soak in His word, improve on my yoga…and working on different projects to serve His Kingdom.

For a long time now, I have been wrestling with just ‘serving’ vs ‘growing’ His Kingdom.  The apostle Paul says, “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.”  ~ 1 Cor 15:58 (NIV). There isn’t always the promise of ‘growth’ and that isn’t for us to say anyways.  But there is the trust that the labour is not wasted.  Having the time now to really ponder this allows me to fix my eyes on Jesus and know that ‘growth’ is not the bullseye but the ‘serving’.  I’m still learning much in this journey and for now, being settled in what has been voted the best city in world, Melbourne, there is no better time and place to soak in and learn “servitude”.

Until next time, my friends… hit me up when you’re this world’s best city!

Soul Care Retreat 2017 | Christian Yoga Retreat

9th September 2017 marks a very special milestone for me. It was the first ever retreat hosted by Holy Yoga Australia. It was a Spirit-led, God-breathed success that brought His people together to gather and steep into the goodness of our Heavenly Father. It was a chance for those whom were seeking spirituality to meet Jesus on their yoga mat. It was a dream come true for me.

Who would have known that 3 years ago (back in 2014) when I was yearning for a deeper relationship with Jesus and struggling with how the love of the benefits of yoga could complement my faith journey, that I was capable of leading a spiritual yoga retreat? In the space of 3 years, the Lord has led me into deserted places of loneliness to reflect and grow, and risen me to be the forever young leader in front of crowds like this retreat. And for the opportunities and lessons, I am immeasurably grateful.

The many lessons learned in co-creating and collaborating with the co-hosts of this retreat have been precious. From its inception from a bold and visionary Holy Yoga leader in San Francisco, to the many fears of logistics, turnout, funds, sponsorships…the Lord has proven us unfaithful yet mercifully provided. The number of times, we cried out to the Lord together because the 4 of us couldn’t agree nor connect at the same time. The number of times, our faith withered at the thought of financial challenges. The number of times we put ourselves before the Lord and our fellow co-hosts. How many “number of times” can actually happen within a 2 week planning period??!!!

YET. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to work through all of our challenges and strengthened us.

To detail the challenges that each of us were all going through in our own lives is pitiful. But in the midst of the planning, every bit of our every day lives were real. 3 of us were going through home moves (interstate relocation, even), 1 of us was living on the other side of the world. 2 of us were going through significantly changes in our professional work lives. While all 4 of us had family to look after. Sure, we all have such challenges but I would like to think that it’s not every day that we move residences nor change jobs. As pitiful as it is, it was real and I honour each of us that through the tough season, we were able to stretch ourselves further for God’s work and ministry. This, is the very heart of our ministry. Sacrificial love. If love gave only when easy, that it isn’t sacrificial.

***

So what about the actual day?

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,” ‭‭~ Ephesians‬ ‭3:20

“Wow, just wow.” This has become my favourite expression.  Because words can not describe what the Lord brought to us.

Holy Spirit was present. The people He brought to the place was providence. We knew that each soul and being that we had been praying for was the fruit of love and faith. We knew that our work was done and it was the moment to hand over to the Lord to speak words over these faithful people who had been led here. We knew that this was a sacred space for these people to meet Jesus on their mats. We knew that this was the time to let the Holy Spirit take over all of us. And all that was done in His name.

It was Christ-centred yoga.
It was Community.
There was grace and there was strength.

We all learned to live beyond ourselves in that space.
The fire and water ceremony and heart circle was divine. I sensed that most of us had something deep to surrender and may we continue to do so. I sensed that there was yearning in the room to reach into this world, and be part of a community where we can serve and have purpose. I believe the heart circle was such a reminder.

I am still in awe of the power of the Lord and the privilege I have had to host this event.

I pray that the hearts He has spoke to will continue to open and soften to His voice. I pray that the next retreat will be equally successful in that He will provide as He did and grow us deeper yet still.

Lord, I love you.  Friends, I love you.

Let us build this Kingdom of love together through the unity of the Spirit.
Last but not least, when I speak of provision, our sponsors are those gracious hearts who didn’t hesitate to serve His Kingdom, our community and bless our retreatees. Deep gratitude to each and every one of you. May you reap what you sow.

SPONSORS:
1. Alyssa Mak – Alyssa Mak, Pilates & Yoga Instructor
2. Christian Women in Business – Sarah Jane-Meeson, Founder
3. Luxe Mane Salon – Lily, Hairstylist & Owner
4. Mums With A Mission – Cath D, Founder
5. Quit the Quick Fix – Kate Thompson, Founder
6. Salt + Glow – Roxy, Founder
7. SheSeeks.com.au – Joanne Tweedie, Founder & LifeCoach

Thank you to the lovely Sugar Apple Studio for allowing us this beautiful space.

Thank you to our wonderful creative video partners from Carbon Lily who poured this soul and energy beyond what we had expected, in His name.

Soul Care Yoga Retreat

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE!

Inviting you along to experience how we do community, yoga and living beyond ourselves.

It has been such a blessing for me to be able to find capacity to co-ordinate and co-host this event with my soul sisters. This is a prime example of the power of our sovereign God. His provision is far greater than what you can see with your naked eye. Faith and trust in Him is all He asks and yet we find it so difficult time and time again, but yet so easy to be on bent knees seeking for His help when we need. 

So much I’ve learnt through the process of pulling this retreat together in such a short amount of time. Will you come and join us and experience for yourself, first hand, the grace of our Father in your life?

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE!

Fideliz Cruz Vision Casting Workshop | Anointed Leadership

Another great event and highlight to my week. Despite the hiccups and challenges I have had with family issues, I’m so grateful the Lord provided and allowed for me to participate in this workshop.

As I always say, “Showing up is half way there”. I’m proud that I showed up and Jesus, as always, showed up for me.

Last session in April, only 3 months ago (although it seemed a lot longer!), my mission statement was,

“To be a fearless and faith-filled entrepreneur and yoga therapist, joyfully serving God in my business, community and loving my family.”

I was so ecstatic about having a sharp goal and vision, I made sure that the mood/vision board was laminated and stuck on the wall of my walk-in wardrobe so that every morning when I dress myself, I would wear my mission.

And boy, did I!

I have to admit that reviewing my past quarter’s actions against the mission was a daunting move. But I’m so glad I made space for that time and did it. I am able to say that I tried my best to live it out and simply because I made a commitment to it and made it a habit to remind myself daily.

And all because the beautiful Fideliz gave me the tools to do that. Talk about anointed leadership!

This time, in this July vision casting workshop, I was blessed to be able to meet other like-minded beautiful women – some whom I have been divinely and newly connected via social media and others whom I have connected with very naturally since my Holy Yoga journey . This workshop has provided and will continue to be an opportunity for an in-person gatherings for like-minded women! 

If you’ve chanced upon this blog or have been meaning to meet up with me to talk Christian Yoga and Wellness, please do reach out as I will have tickets for the next one happening in October! I can’t wait.

Meanwhile, my goal for this quarter has taken a more specific position as I feel the Lord giving me permission to step up and into this space with honour. I pray that He will give me the wisdom, grace and strength to journey through and serve Him joyfully. 

“My vision is to be an anointed leadership in business, women’s communities and my family. I am committed to showing up, serving Jesus and personal growing in faith.”

For more information and to join this beautiful community, the next workshop will be in October. Stay tuned by following my social media and check out www.fidelizcruz.com!


Until next time, friends xx

Mini Yoga Learnings | WIP

WIP – Work-In-Progress

Working on improvement but that's what life is, right? A work in progress.

Earlier this week, I had the most relaxing and positive start. God spoke Hebrews 12 over me and at that point, I thought I knew what He meant. Then a series of events turned the emotional needle the opposite direction. Now I ponder over Hebrews 12 and have a more profound perspective. Just when you think you know… What can I say? Life is a constant WIP. Yoga is a great reminder of that.

“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?” ~ Hebrews‬ ‭12:7‬ ‭NIV

National Volunteer Week 2017 | Wesley Mission

The best contribution to $4M I’ve ever made – the joys of my life. Some would have heard my story for the very first time of how I got the privilege to volunteer, at Wesley Mission’s School for Seniors as a Yoga teacher, at this celebration at #nationalvolunteerweek. 

Jeannie Mathews, I’m forever thankful to you for bringing me in. 
***

Today is the last day of National Volunteer week, a celebration to recognise those who contribute to the community in volunteer services.

Today, I am so proud and honoured to be celebrating this with other volunteers in Wesley Mission, as they host their last afternoon tea for this week. Some of you will have heard my story of why I volunteer at Wesley for the first time. And I will share this personal story again and again of my calling into volunteering in this loving place. All you need is to ask me 😊

Today, I met those who had volunteered for 30 years and those who were still volunteering and serving the community in their 90’s. To think my Friday morning yoga classes offered to the School for Seniors in the past 16 months is a big commitment is naïve, compared to the work that some of these other volunteers have done. Don’t get me wrong, I do not want to undermine the hours and effort that I have spent and the benefits that the community receive. But it was certainly very grounding to see the joy of those who have served in community, especially the elderly community (94 year olds!!!) 

Wesley Mission highlighted that the contribution is equivalent to a saving of $4M AUD in wages. The impact of the lives that volunteers is invaluable. 

96% of volunteers say that they feel happier and sleep better.

I certainly feel and own this privilege. ❤️ Curious to know if it’s true? Give it a go. Try and see for yourself!

You Become What You Love


This has been ringing in my ears since the past Sunday’s sermon delivered by Pastor Brett Glover. It has provoked deep thinking and sustained a good reminder for my week.

Essentially, it’s human inclination to lean towards what you love. We are fearfully and wonderfully created for worship. But if we aren’t careful with what we choose to love, and eventually worship, we may find ourselves trapped in meaningless ways. 

Of course, not everything is meaningless but there is truth in the saying, where your love of something steers your priority in life. It becomes your natural priority compass. 

“If you love alcohol, you will become a drunk.”

“If you love money, you will become materially possessed.”

“If you love work, you will become a workaholic.” 

Makes me ponder how deeply rooted my love is for Christ and His teachings and whether I love it enough to ALWAYS choose Him…. 

What do YOU love the most?

 🍩,🍷, 💰,🤸🏻‍♀️, 🤳🏼, ? Or ✝️?
 #soulfoodforthought

Shuffling Priorities

Lately, it may seem that I am posting a lot more Hyperlapse videos than photos of static poses on Instagram. 

❓THIS IS WHY… ❓The past few months have been a season of transitioning and change. Life is always changing, I know. But in some seasons, changes happen more abruptly than other season. These past 6 months have been one of these abrupt ones. It challenges you to re-evaluate priorities, your relationships with others and for me, my relationship with God. 

Priority shifts have been clear since the beginning of 2017. From comfortably teaching several Holy Yoga classes and proactively leading this movement here in Australia 🇦🇺 up until November last year, starting 2017 saw me being called back into my digital business, Efficient Media, and the restoration of my health. 

As a yoga teacher and spiritual leader, we often preach the importance of “creating space” and “holding space” for your physical and spiritual health. In order for us to be effective leaders, it’s not just fair but necessary to practice what we preach. Literally.

I love recording the different seasons of my yoga and faith journey on Instagram. But it cannot be at the expense of Truth and misaligned with reality. Reality is that I have far less time to dedicate to static posing. Truth is that restoration comes from spending much time in Scripture, chewing on the Word and spending quality time in prayer and meditation with Jesus. 

❗️HENCE…❗️

Instead of photos, which requires more time investment, I have been recording some of my practices to continue to inspire, empower, share and spread. 
✨MY HOPE…✨
Is that the things I share and the formats will continue to be interesting and spark the interest of those who have been called to hear; that the journey and the joys of my experience will encourage in some way. 🙏🏻 

P.S. Here’s my 10-minute standard mid-morning flow sped up 6x.  🌤