We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexi Neal and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Alexi, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
To me, balance is continuously shifting. Especially as women, we need to honor the reality that our energy ebbs and flows in cycles – and we will be so much more able to harness our passion and inspiration if we don’t try to force ourselves when the energy simply isn’t present. This mindset is radically at odds with the way our culture wants us to behave, and the 9-5 Monday-Friday system doesn’t really acknowledge or support it. It also challenges the idea that we are what we produce. Do we still have value if we have an unproductive, restful week on the heels of a productive one? Absolutely, but for many of us- myself included- it hasn’t ever felt that way. We are supposed to do, do, and do some more – and if we stop, even for a short time, many of us have inner critics that will start firing up why we aren’t worthy of our dreams and desires. So for me, balance is about working with and acknowledging all of this. Sometimes it means I have to force myself to work less, when there’s a part of me that really wants to keep pushing, because my higher self knows that I will not do my best work by straining. It means that at times I have furious spurts of productivity and inspiration, and times when I work on autopilot, doing self-care so I can prioritize the clients on my schedule and not marketing or content creation. What it’s really about for me – how can I be of service to my community? How can I live what I teach? How can I support other women if I’m not honoring myself? It comes down to trust. I trust that my energy will swing, whether it’s in an hour, a day or a week. In the mean time, how can I radically enjoy my life, as it is right now?

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I started off my personal and professional healing journey with Yoga Therapy. This way of working with yoga de-emphasizes creating specific shapes in our bodies, and instead emphasizes creating an environment where our innate body wisdom can surface. This client-centered, transformational approach has become the underpinning for my energy healing and tarot work now. For a long time, I felt like my embodiment work and my spiritual and energetic work existed in two different planes. While they certainly, supported each other, they didn’t blend. While I was talking about, along with so many other healers, the benefits of mind-body-spirit healing, the reality was that the modalities existed separately. I kept my Reiki sessions distinct from my Yoga Therapy sessions, and Tarot was a fun little side project that I offered only occasionally. That all changed this year when I realized that what really fired me up, what was really creating change for my clients, was when we brought the body into the tarot reading. When we move while doing Reiki. When we acknowledged the spiritual guidance that can come through in a deep, juicy stretch – or the way that our energetic bodies can inspire movement that is self-guided and profoundly healing. All of this is grounded in present moment awareness – even the Tarot. We often think of Tarot as a tool of forecasting and fortune telling, but for me the richness is in how Spirit wants to help us expand and grow, right now. It can be cool to know when we’re going to get a new job or get married, but what really fuels us is knowing, in a deeply embodied way, that Spirit has our back and wants us to live as vibrantly as possible. This is a radically different approach in the tarot world, where we often get a huge information dump of messages from Spirit and leave with a lot to “think about”. I realized there was room to do more, to make the readings the beginning of a true healing process by bringing the body into the room with us. We acknowledge what sensations arise when certain cards come up, we have the body ask questions, we move and breathe based on the invitations the cards are bringing forward. In the end. Tarot becomes a tool of transformation, not just information. This all developed through my own experiences. In my early twenties, I got what *looked* like a great job. My coworkers were amazing, the company was doing good work in the world, and I was in line to move all the way to the top. Meanwhile, I started struggling with panic attacks and chronic anxiety. During the day, when my mind was distracted, I would feel fine. But the minute I got home and tried to rest – it felt like a huge weight had landed on my chest. I learned to cope. My long-time passion for yoga and meditation helped (though sometimes focusing my breath, constricted as it was, was more triggering); alcohol and food were quick, if temporary fixes. I worked harder, thinking that the next raise or the private office would bring some ease. I threw myself into planning my wedding, hoping that if my relationship felt stable and certain, that I would finally be able to take a deep breath. And when none of that worked, I started seeing a therapist. I learned how to interrupt my spiraling thoughts, how to change my internal monologue. It helped. I still felt stuck. I still didn’t see that the problem wasn’t the anxiety. The problem was living a life that didn’t match what Spirit really wanted for me. It was during an argument with my partner that I finally broke open and started to see the Truth. With anger and anxiety bubbling over, I suddenly, finally, knew that I had to do something to get back on track. I started with Yoga Therapy, and picked up the rest of the cosmic breadcrumbs from there.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The first thing on any itinerary is mountain time. I love the huge-ness of the Continental Divide, but I also love to take people hiking in the foothills, exploring the waterfalls near Evergreen, the windy summits of Golden Gate Canyon State Park. The RiNo Arts District has had my heart for years. I love Stem Cider, Honey Elixir Bar, Finn’s Manor, Hop Alley… all the galleries, food trucks and street art. The energy there always inspires me to play and enjoy life. Finally, a yoga class with one of my favorite teachers, like Saraphina Mesmer or Annie Martens is always a beautiful way to tap into the Spirit of this community.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Oh man, so many! I am here because of so many incredible teachers and mentors. The foundation of my work is Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, an incredible mind-body modality. Then there’s the inspirational Marnie Quinn at Ceremony :: Healing here in Westminster, who was my Reiki teacher. Add in Lindsay Mack, the tarot teacher behind the podcast Tarot for the Wild Soul, who changed everything about the way I approached Tarot. Even this list feels so small as I am a ravenous learner, and I consider myself simply one woman in the lineage of healers that goes back centuries. Every one that has come before me has paved the way for me to do what I love today.

Website: www.soulfullwoman.com
Instagram: @heart_soul_embodied
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDkmUHqiPYyLR4MC13INQnA/

Image Credits
Kimberly Benfield

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