Karuna: Hi, I’m Karuna and the founder and executive director for Mind Oasis, and with me today is my guest, Lacey. Lacey, how are you?

Lacey: I’m well, thank you. I’m happy to be here with you.

Karuna: Cool. So this is called Meditation Happy hour with Karuna tea talk and truth. And we’re going to hit all of the different aspects. But before we get started, what I’d like to know from you is what your day has looked like so far.

Lacey: Well, I woke up early to the pitter patter of little feet and hugs and made like a Cachao drink with some collagen, which was new for me, a friend of mine gifted that to me. So I made that went outside, listen to the birds cuddled up with the dog and the kiddos.And then I spent some time with my husband, and I’m here. 

Karuna:  Awesome wonderful and where in the world, are you?

Lacey: Austin, Texas, it’s a hub we love.

Karuna:  Austin, Texas, very cool. So tell us just a little bit about your family, about your dog. Who do you have? Who are you keeping watch with?

Lacey: So I have two children, Ari is 12 and Tobias’s 9, and they’re doing online schooling right now. So we’ve been together quite a bit, which, you know, in most moments feels like stolen time and a gift. So I’m grateful for that. And then we’ve got our first baby Tilula she’s a little Boston terrier. She’s as sweet as can be. And then my husband, Enrique, and he’s also been working from home. So we had a lot of really nurturing family time, which has been nice. And I saw the gift of this time.

Karuna: Good. And when you’re not teaching meditation or mindfulness in schools, which will get to or teaching about the moon cycle and how we can incorporate in our life, what on earth else do you do?

Lacey: I do lots of things. I like to read, I like to garden, I’ve picked up a new hobby during this time. I’ve been drawing birds and doing water coloring and painting a little bit. I like photography. That’s something that I like to do. I like to exercise and learn. A constant student of life. I’m always learning.I’m very interested in wellness. And I like to play with my my kiddos and my friends and dance and live life.

Karuna:  Very cool. So one of the things Lacey that is so admirable about you is your ability to take something that can sometimes feel complex. Meditation and mindfulness, though simple in some ways. Right. We can choose an object like the breath to focus on and and do that again and again. And when the mind wanders, we come back. So that’s a pretty simple instruction and it’s also pretty simplistic way of looking at meditation. But in a sense, that’s the root of a meditation practice you take. But we all know it’s more complex than that, I guess, is my point. Right? We struggle with our just even arriving. We struggle with what does a meditation practice mean then? We struggle with, well, all these interesting things that come up in our meditation practice and then a lot of people just walk away. And what’s interesting to me is that you enjoy bringing meditation and mindfulness in particular to children or to groups of children in schools as well as their teachers. So I’d love for you to talk a little bit about meditation, mindfulness, children, schools. You can take it wherever you like.

Lacey: Ok, so, yeah, that’s my big passion is empowering kiddos and the adults in their lives that nurture them. And I have a background in health. I’ve been in the health care profession for over 20 years as a dental hygienist. And about 10 years ago, I realized I started thinking that a lot of diseases caused by stress and inflammation in the body. And if there was some sort of a way to fix stress that we could fix a lot of the problems that we were seeing in the oral capacity that we were struggling with trying to help people heal. I took a class and it was a professor who was talking about mindfulness meditation specifically on what happens, how it reduces biomarkers for inflammation. And these were all the same biomarkers that are found in periodontal disease and also correlated with so many other diseases like heart disease and certain types of cancers. And there’s contraindications for women birthing babies when they have periodontal disease. Anyway, there’s a lot of stuff. And I and a light bulb went off. And I’d also been doing a lot of research on the brain specifically for children’s development, because I wanted to understand what was happening to my children developmentally through the brain. And I had this light bulb went off and I thought, oh, my gosh, this is the answer. And this is the way that we can help people manage their stress by mental hygiene. And had this shift from moving from dental hygiene to mental hygiene. And mindfulness meditation is so often like brushing, enforcing our teeth, like, ah, we have to do these practices to keep things healthy. And it’s the same as our mind. And it kind of just took this whole unscripted journey, if you will, where I was homeschooling my kids and kept on learning. And I realized the first zero to 10 is when the major neural networks of the brain are really forming the main highways. So the things that you learn during that time are really, really critical and important. And here I was in this situation with you and so many others where we were learning and we were going through this meditation teacher training and our brain was changing. But it was so much more difficult as an adult to unlearn and relearn these things that we had I had never been introduced to until my adult life. And I thought, oh, my gosh, if we can bring this to kids during this really, really formative time in their life, they will always have these practices to come back home to themselves, to deal with stress, to calm their body, to quiet their mind, to increase their wellness, to increase their levels of compassion and kindness. You know, these beautiful gifts that live within us all these are going to be nationally available because we’re helping in a really disciplined but fun way to bring it to them through their school day and through empowering teachers who also have a tremendous amount of stress on how they can use these practices, not only to manage the classroom and help connect with their students, but also to nurse their own wellbeing. So these programs are born and creativity hit. And, you know, I was inspired by a lot of people and we kind of came up with some characters and I wrote some stories about the different parts of the brain. And then you have the brain train practice. So it’s just a simple three minute practice that they can do three times a day that helps wire the brain for success and well-being. Yeah, so I don’t know if that answers your question, but it did, and it’s amazing.

Karuna: Can you share one name of one of your characters from from the brain?

Lacey: Yeah. So I’ll tell you all three if you want. Our amygdala is our fight or flight or freeze and we call it the dragon and we’re like everybody has dragons. Dragons come out and if you don’t tame and train your dragon then things get burned down. It’s like our anger. Right. And so it normalizes things that kids really struggle with. And so there’s a lot of social emotional benefit to it because there’s a lot of shame and anger when it comes out, especially for kids. They think they’re bad.It’s like, no, you’re not bad. You’re just human. And we have to tame and train our dragon.Our dragon comes out and kids love this. So that’s my favorite one is the Dragon. And then we have the wise owl who is like our prefrontal cortex. And that’s really allowing us to have executive function and helping. I always say that the wise owl helps you to fly and create the dreams that are in your heart. And then we have the hippocampus, which is our seahorse, and that’s the librarian. It’s our library, it’s our memory keeper. And so in a in a mindfulness practice, a lot of our sensory awareness smells taste, things like that get lodged into our hippocampus, which is responsible for memory. So we use these characters interchangeably to help teach the kids about their brain, but also through social emotional constructs, do the words that they use in the stories that relate back to them.

Karuna: It’s amazing.I always forget what a wonderful brainiac you are because I know you from this. So you’re a multifaceted critter, right? You’ve brought so many interesting things to Mind Oasis you took a little break over the past year.But when we first got started, you know, you brought a wonderful series that in that talked about Christ in meditation. You’ve had things about the new moon, which is where we’re going to go and meditation. And then, you know, I’ve watched you with your mindfulness in the school systems around the Austin area. So there’s just this. And then plus, you know, dental hydrogen’s and and then we’ve we’ve done meditation teacher training together. So I’ve seen you in these wonderful roles as a mom and as a photographer. But I but, you know, you’re a total geek. It’s awesome. I completely forget about that part of Lacey. So thank you for sharing that with us and in such an accessible way. So one of my questions for you is in the time of covid, schools are operating a little differently. Are you or are people able to connect with your work directly, like if they have children at home, can they connect with with your trainings in any way, shape or form these days?

Lacey: Yeah, that’s a great question. And that’s something that I kind of was holding. I remember when covid started and we started to quarantine, you and I know about the practice of retreat and finding refuge and in moments, obviously, that there’s a lot of suffering. So I really intentionally went into this kind of quarantine looking at it as a specifically as a retreat. And I was very mindful about my practice and holding space to say, OK, how can I best serve these schools right now? How can I best number one, how can I best serve my family myself, that sort of thing. So we went into kind of this cocoon space and then I began to have more spaciousness around getting clarity of what was needed and listening to what was needed from some of the counselors and principals and teachers that I have been working with over the last three years. And I just started making these videos, which were really uncomfortable for me at first because, it was just uncomfortable, but I just kind of stopped caring. And so I just started putting these videos on YouTube. So, you know, there’s free resources on YouTube where there’s tiny little micro teachings and then there’s the brain drain practice and just different ways that you can bring these mindful words to life as a way to give back and to support the needs of the people who are online in an online format without being able to be there in person. So that’s what I’ve been doing to help and support them in that way. And then I’m in the process of launching my programs online and do an online self-paced course. And so that’s super, super exciting to be able to offer it in a larger capacity to many more people. And what else? I think and I started to time or two, I was just giving more people more resources in in a way that met them where they were at.

Karuna: Yeah. And so we can put a link to your website on the videocast in the podcast. And then folks can sign up for your newsletter there, so as things come out, you will let them know. And is it

Lacey:  Yes and sign up for the newsletter and we’ll definitely be sending out emails to let you know when those come available.

Karuna: Awesome. Awesome. So in a couple of weeks, I think it’s on the 16th of October, you’re going to bring in our long quickie workshop to Mind Oasis. And we entitled it New Moon Magic. Can you talk a little bit about the  workshop and then also talk about your work with the moon? So both.

Lacey: So going back to my Imus and I guess it was about six years ago now, I was you know, I had a healing crisis and it was based on stress and home schooling and having two young children and trying to work and, you know, having a photography business. And as hygienist, there was a lot going on. And I kind of was trying to do it all. And I had a healing crisis and I was diagnosed with PCOS and I they wanted to put me on medication and I didn’t really want to be put on medication. And so I just kind of started doing my own research on how I could, you know, I worked with my doctor. So we were in communication. But I said I really want to try to do this naturally. And so I started taking better care of myself. I started really self caring and I started to change up my diet. I took sugar out of my diet. I started doing more yoga, meditating, that kind of thing, to really nurture myself and my my immune system. But I did something kind of secretly and I was in the closet about this. And you didn’t really tell anyone about it. But I was fascinated. I’m super fascinated. I also have a weakness for spiritual, esoteric, ancient wisdom teachings and how that correlates to science. And just I don’t know, I’m just fascinated by it. And so I started learning about the moon cycle, especially for women.And a long, long, long time ago, all women would cycle at the same time. Before we had light.

Karuna: The people who are listening to the podcast, I was about to take a sip of my coffee and then Lacy said, blah, blah, blah, all women used to cycle at the same time. And I had a probably an epic look on my face and a pause in my coffee drinking because I’ve never heard this before Lacey.

Lacey: Yeah, I don’t know if you’ve read the Red Tent, but it was a very was like a it was just a thing and I’m totally getting off topic, but I’m random. So whatever here I am. And I just I thought maybe, there’s something to this moon thing, like there is something. And so I started watching the cycles of the moon and learning. And what I also learned is that each, like each moon cycle is very indicative of a woman’s cycle. So there’s twenty eight days in the moon cycle. There’s about twenty eight days, twenty nine point five days in a woman’s cycle, and that we as women in this modern society have kind of lost touch with this sacred cycling in this wisdom that we all carry within us. It’s so similar to the moon. So the moon became my mindfulness anchor, if you will, for my healing journey. And so, you know, you’ve got this fullness of the moon, which represents this time in a woman’s life where she’s like, you know, radiant and going out there. And that’s kind of like summer. And then it moves into more of like a waning. And that that’s like the fall time. And then we have the new moon, which is a time of going inward. It’s a time of planting seeds and really nurturing this inwardness. And then you start to come back out, which is spring. And so I was kind of playing with all of these symbols, archetypes, if you will. And I, I healed myself. I mean, or I didn’t. I mean, I was healed, you know, God help me. Your nature healed me, practices healed me. All of these things combined created healing in my body. And I just was like blown away by it. And so I just started planning my life with the moon. And my body started cycling the way that it was supposed to. And I went back to the doctor and I no longer had PCOS because the symptoms were gone. And so I worked with that for a while. And it was just been really interesting how that has happened. And then I got this very, very strong spiritual message that I was to do this journey, create this journey for women around the cycles of the moon. And it was really interesting because it was on the moon and it was on Christmas. And for me, it represented the Christ consciousness. It represented, you know, love, it represented wholeness, wholeness, these kinds of things that. Sometimes we forget, you know, that that we do have this inside of us at any point in time, if we can open ourselves up and connect with our hearts and our minds and so it just kind of happened. And I ended up walking some friends through it and it was just transformational for everybody. You know, when women got pregnant, like she literally birthed a real baby, another one birthed a business. Unscripted heart was birthed through this process, this kind of cycle process of empowering women to self care and allow their self care to be sacred, but also this little moon magic, which is kind of fun. So, anyway, wonderful.

Karuna: And so if someone signs up for your new Moon Magic Workshop, what can they expect? Like, what are you guys going to do? What will you be?

Lacey: So I’m going to go over just a little kind of brief overview, maybe tell my story a little bit, because I think people are always interested in the personal story behind things. And then there’s a little bit of science that will be brought in and talking about just how the new moon is a real potent time to plant intentions, but also to commit to self care. You know, for twenty eight days is what we do regularly helps to change our brain and change those neural connections in our brains. It takes about twenty one days for the brain to change, but you have to show up for yourself really consistently. And so holding that space in that container to to show up for yourself, there’s a calendar that they’ll get a little promise that they can write to themselves to to promise to hold true to their their care. And then we’ll meditate, you know, and just kind of really drop into our bodies and connect with our hearts and our dreams and our desires through this kind of feminine way of being wonderful, so it really sounds like I wrote the description.

Karuna: So I wrote I, I posted the course. I’m cracking up that I didn’t catch this and I’m going to make a little tweak. But so it really sounds like, in a sense, this is designed using the moon cycle to bring something to life over the next month, starting on the 15th or so, excuse me, the 16th or so, and so for those of us who have something percolating, like a new book or like working with an emotion that’s coming up strongly or something like that, this could be a wonderful, like a little line in the sand to say, OK, I’m going to try for the next twenty eight days to really invoke this thing into my life or let go of this thing that’s holding me back in my life.

Lacey: Yeah, absolutely. And the new moon. I’ve done this course several different ways, but I’ve found and I’ve gotten clarity that the new moon is this potent time to plant these intentions. And then the course starts on the full moon. And it’s it’s organized in a way that really becomes a mind body, spiritual cleanse and an intention setting. So you’re really planting seeds. So I love the moon is also very much a symbol for gardening. And so there’s this time where we’re planting underneath the garden. Right. So there’s this planting of seeds time, which is the new moon. And then there’s a time where they’re rooting. Right. And they’re starting to route and then there’s a sprout and then there’s a bloom and then there’s composting. So it’s that kind of garden metaphor, too, of how we can work with the things that are coming up in our lives and have a sense of acceptance for all of those stages, because I think that we tend to just want the bloom without the compost or we don’t take the time to plant the seeds or to nourish the soil. And so using the moon cycle, I would say it’s like a buffet for, like, self care. And you could pick and choose which flavor and texture that you like because there’s stuff for the science geek, there’s stuff for the heart. There’s stuff for the body, there’s stuff for the health and wellness. And so there’s a spiritual aspect to that I love.

Karuna: And then Lacy on my podcast, I always ask guests their final question, the same question of everyone. So I just want to make sure we got through talk for sure. We got through. I have coffee. You have water. We’ll use that as our metaphorical tea. So now we just have to get to truth. So what is your truth?

Lacey: That is an interesting question, what is my truth? I think the first thing that comes up is love. Love is my truth. And I think that’s why I’m so passionate about doing these courses and sharing these practices with people, because when we can calm our bodies and calm our nervous systems and quiet our mind, what happens is that we are so connected to our hearts and to the love that we all are and the love that breathes in and through us. And love is compassion. Love is kindness. Love is gentleness. Love is faithfulness. Love is justice. Love is mercy. Love is all these different things. And I just love when people get to connect to that, and I think that’s the beauty of unscripted heart, is that especially as adults, we have these scripts running through our heads. We have these neural wirings. And sometimes that keeps us from living from this unscripted heartedness, this ability to live from a place of love instead of fear or stress or that it’s more this authentic empowerment of love, love that that connects us all. And so that is my truth. And I love being able to empower other people and seeing other people use these systems. To get in touch with their church so that they can shine, because I do believe that everyone has an innate gift and that is within them. And if we were all connected to that and we all were able to let that shine and we had tools and resources and support to be able to do this, I think that so much of the world, the world would be a kinder place.

Karuna: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, I’d love that one of the things that we’re really talking a lot about on Mind Oasis right now. Is it points back to two things that you brought up. We’re talking a lot about kindness and and we will be through the end of the year, largely because when I look out into the world, I see a lot of kindness, but I see a lot of unkindness, too. And whether it’s more or less, you know, there’s the debate. Has it always been this way or are people just paying attention or is it just a little bit on loudspeaker? I don’t think that’s the point. You talked about how children zero to 10 are developing the main highways. Right. And what I feel is similar to you, I wasn’t raised in a meditation environment or mindfulness environment. I had to find that much later on, and like most people, I came to it through yoga. But I think that when we encourage people to be kind, they actually don’t know how. I don’t think most of us, though, though that might be innately who we are. We are love. I agree with that. And I believe that our true nature. Actually, we have a lot of stories covering all of that up. And so when we say to someone, you know, if you could just be 10 percent kinder, the world would look different. Well, how do you do that when it’s a very ingrained process to react when any part of you is threatened and and so it’s interesting to me how meditation and mindfulness interplay and allow us as humans the space to tap into something other than reaction, which to me is the access point towards kindness and and it’s not easy, and that’s why it’s called the practice. So that’s one thing that you touched on about the zero to 10. You know, much like if you ask me a multiplication, as long as it’s between zero and 12, I can probably do it off the top of my head. Why? Because I think in second grade or third, I can’t remember which one. I learned those tables frontwards and backwards. Meditation and mindfulness could very much be the same thing. But we hear it my way since most of us who are here didn’t have that training young. And so we’re we’re trying to figure it out at the age of 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70. Right. So that’s one thing. The other thing about mindfulness. That you touched on is. That it can have a ripple effect, it does have a ripple effect, you betcha, baby.And so one of the other things that I’ve been really thinking about as a small startup organization is at some point, you know, in the the mid seventeen hundreds there, a bunch of guys over in England who said we don’t like the system of of England at that time and we’re going to go to the United States yet, and we’re going to steal a whole bunch of land and do terrible things. That’s not the point of this particular story. But there were just a handful of people who had a dream. I think sometimes dreamers get a bad rap like, well, it’s always been this way, but to me there just this possibility of revolution there is the pot, the real possibility of, particularly in this time of creating a kindness revolution. And that’s really what we’re up to at Mind Oasis, increasingly vocal about it being so you can get calm and peaceful from Minuit or from meditation. But that’s not the point. The point is actually to go out and be a more mindful person. So it makes my heart feel really happy that your truth recognizes the power of love, which, of course, can be expressed through kindness.

Lacey: And you brought up revolution, and if you look at that word, there’s love spelled backwards in that word. And in order for us to have a revolution and I’m one of those people that do envision a bold new way of changing systems based on mindfulness and love and all these, I like that word mindfulness. That’s awesome. But in order to have a revolution, we have to go back and learn to love here and embrace every part of our humanness. The reactions, the shame, the guilt, the grief, the hard stuff. Right. As adults learn how to find that sense of peacefulness within us so that we can have that here and then we can move in and do the world in a way that is more mindful. And I think that’s how revolution starts.

Karuna: Absolutely. And I love it. I love it. And so I’m just going to wrap back around to your workshop.Also, sometimes people think, oh, it’s a workshop. Well, this is a workshop to plant an intention during a particularly potent time, both astrologically, but also if that’s not your thing during this time of change in our systems here in the United States and in the world. And so, again, it’s your workshop is New Moon Magic. It’s on October 16th. You can find it at Mind Oasis or you look under the tab that says learn and go to workshops and series and you’ll see this beautiful face. Lacey. Thank you so much for joining me today.

Lacey: Thank you.

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