Answer the 2 most important questions you can ever ask yourself:
Who am I? And why am I here?
And pull the plug on the 3 most common subconscious beliefs buried in the human mind:
1. There is something wrong with me.
2. I’m all alone in this world.
3. I have to look outside of myself for answers, and for love.
"Amazing book...I refer to it every day! Each time I reread a section, I come out with fresh insight. EVERYONE can benefit from this book—it has literally changed my life and my perspective!"
"I love this book! Erica shared in a courageous, thoughtful and enlightening way practical and effective practices for living your more authentic self...I regularly recommend it to others to improve their life."
"I've spent years binging on yoga, self-help and inspirational books—this one is hands down one of my favorites. During my weeks of reading it I found myself referencing it and suggesting it to clients and friends. I'd absolutely recommend it for anyone seeking inspiration and truth."
"This book has changed my life. I refer to it every day. It's such a resource for me."
"AMAZING!!! This book makes you evaluate your life and its direction. The exercises in the book are fantastic and really require honest soul searching. It's exactly what I needed. I highly recommend this book for those looking to seek out their true purpose and ready to peel back layers to find their authentic self."
"The best life workbook you will ever read. Learn to love all there is to love in your life, beginning with yourself. The author really hits home with this book and I believe it is a must read for anyone searching for enlightenment and the ability to truly self love."
"Amazing. Absolutely amazing. I loved it...it's in my top 5 favorite books for sure..."
""Just want to say thank you for writing Showing Up Naked. So much to say to you. But just know your book...has saved me from me. I should say IS saving me from me. I am still in the process of finding my center.""
"This book helped me take a true hard look at myself, but it also helped me look and consider other people and their perspectives more. Erica wrote in a way that made it very easy to understand the insights. I became more forgiving of others but, more importantly, of myself (which I never would have thought about). I have become more patient, thoughtful, understanding, accepting, compassionate & driven to live a purposeful life."
Showing Up Naked is a 262-page life handbook designed to take you on a journey of self-discovery, and liberation.
Jam-packed with thought-provoking questions and fresh insight, experiential exercises, life-evolving meditations, heart-opening yoga poses, and more, this is a book you'll find yourself referring back to over and over again.GET THE BOOK
Cultivate the most important relationship you will ever have, the one you have with yourself.
Because your Life is only as good as the YOU you bring into it.
Starting with Chapter 1, each chapter builds upon the one before it, taking you through a guided, proven process that is nothing short of life-changing.
Take a sneak peek into each chapter below...
Follow Erica as she takes you deep into her world, and discover how her work with the homeless inspired this book that took her 12 years to write. Take a look inside. Read the introduction.
This is where we start to peel away the layers of all the social conditioning to which you've been exposed, so you can wake up from the collective dream most of the world is having, and remember the truth of who you are.
"It’s time for us to stop: to stop doing, pushing, forcing, struggling and trying so hard. For many, life has become a struggle, and we are exhausted before our day even begins. In a world where
everything is speeding up and technology has kindly stepped in to make our lives run more smoothly, we’ve simply expanded what’s required of us and become overloaded with responsibilities. Multi- tasking is considered a natural by-product of success, and those that have convinced themselves they are truly happy are the ones that are able to do it all with a smile on their faces.
But while we are focusing on filling our roles as employees or business owners, parents, spouses, caretakers to our parents, responsible neighbors, involved community members, politically proactive persons and homeowners, there is little if any time left for the most important relationship we will ever have in this lifetime: the one we have with ourselves..."
"So many people, after we start working together, report a sense of relief. Relief at the realization that there is nothing to fix… that there is nothing wrong with them and that the only thing they need to do is love themselves. It’s a revelation for so many who bought into a belief a long time ago that there was something wrong with them.
It is by lifting the veil that has been clouding our minds, by letting go of any story or belief that would have us turn against ourselves, and choosing instead to see ourselves through the eyes of unconditional love and acceptance, that we return to our natural state of wonder and awe at the gift of life..."
"We are pure potential: limitless beings housed in a body. We are one with our Creator, one with all of life. But when our true, limitless Self begins to over-identify with the body it’s in and buys into the collective dream—the story—a false self takes over. For many, our natural curiosity and connection to all that is was lost, buried under the weight of confusion as we were taught we had to change to be acceptable.
Eventually we bought into this idea, an idea which is so incongruous with the deepest, most authentic core truth of who we are, and in our confusion, the ego was born.
The ego served us well for many years. It allowed us to develop a sense of self, to ask for what we needed, to claim our space in the world, and to set boundaries. Ego-strength is considered a positive in many mental health circles, making it possible for us to function as an individual in a world of others. The ego gives us an identity, without which many of us would be lost.
But there is a point at which our greatest strength becomes our greatest obstacle..."
"Each and every one of us is a drop in the ocean, a part of a greater world soul. And just as drops in the ocean don’t work at being what they are, our value is intrinsic, lying inherently in what we are, not in what we do.
Still, our lives matter, and every choice we make has a ripple effect on the world around us. Just as our bodies rely on the healthy functioning of each and every cell to be vibrant and alive, so, too, do our individual lives matter. On a physical level it takes all of us working together to change our collective human experience.
Life is not linear, and our interconnectedness not only relates to nature now, and those that walk this Earth with us today. We are inextricably linked to our ancestors, and the contributions we make build on those that came before. Just as they could never comprehend the impact their choices would have on the lives of those that followed, and therefore the world, we may never know the ultimate role we play.
A certain level of responsibility comes with the knowledge that we leave a mark, an indelible impression—the choices that we make impacting the world around us, and the lives that follow..."
Nobody ever taught you how to understand and work with your emotional energy. And we tend to fear that which we do not understand. Now that you are standing on more solid ground, with a loving relationship with yourself burgeoning more and more every day, it's time to discover how to be empowered and strengthened by your emotions, ALL of your emotions, rather than overwhelmed by them.
"Most of us expend a lot of energy running away from ourselves. Unaware of what we are avoiding or why, we multi-task our way through our days, rarely immersed enough in any one moment to fully feel much of anything.
While simultaneously watching the morning news, eating breakfast and reading the cereal box, we are already halfheartedly thinking about the day ahead. With one foot involved in the task of readying ourselves for what lays before us, the other has already stepped into it. The ride to work is often a blur, essentially an unavoidable inconvenience taking away from otherwise productive time that could be spent doing…something. It’s no wonder we are exhausted before our day has even begun.
Then there’s the mostly numb version of ourselves that navigates the way home on autopilot while we review what happened and ponder what’s next.
At the end of the day, many will find it difficult, if not seemingly impossible, to shut it all off, and the mental chatterbox continues…for many, long into the night, robbing us of much-needed deep, restful, restorative sleep.
In fact, insomnia is estimated to affect more than half of the U.S. adult population. According to a survey by the National Sleep Foundation, 58% of adults reported having insomnia at least a few nights a week.
There has developed such a disconnection between our minds and our bodies, many of us have become lost in an endless stream of mental chatter that is so busy, we have become like heads walking around without bodies. We become so lost in the thoughts, the story line, the collective dream we are all having, that we no longer have a relationship with, or even feel, our bodies. Yet it is a connection to what is happening inside our bodies that connects us to our center and grounds us.
Most of us believe we are healthy enough if we spend time and energy focusing on caring for our physical bodies, as well as intellectual pursuits. But very little attention is being paid to our emotional wellness, which is the very energy that fuels us, and it affects the quality of our lives. For many, long after they have cared for the needs of their physical body and stimulated their minds with intellectual pursuits, emotional health is the last frontier.
Emotions are felt in our bodies, and in a world where everything has become so intellectualized, it’s easy to see why so many are afraid to stop long enough to allow one to register..."
"We live in a world where so many of us have become numb: overwhelmed by disappointment, burdened by past wounds and grief, stubbornly attached to the stories we have created around our lives. Like a movie continuously replaying in the recesses of our minds, each day is a continuation of the same old story…another chapter…a further installment into the epic drama in which we have become inextricably engaged.
Consider again the number of people that rely on antidepressants to make it through daily life, or who only get a good night’s sleep with the help of sleep aids—often immediately followed by some early morning stimulant to reignite the forces that will allow them to get through the long day looming before them. It’s a tragedy that, for so many, life has become something to get through, something to endure, rather than a gift to be cherished, embraced, and celebrated.
How did this happen? How did we get so jaded—believing that life is difficult—and that happiness is an elusive, often unobtainable goal, something existing only in the distant future as something to be pursued? And because the space between where we are and where we want to be seems so expansive, the journey to inner peace and happiness appears to be such a long and arduous one. Is it any wonder so many of us doubt if we have the energy and endurance to make it?"
"Very few people live in the moment.
Most are too busy being stuck in the past, as if reliving the story in their minds, and retelling it, somehow allows them to change what happened.
Many can’t, or won’t, move on out of the belief that holding on can somehow protect them from what has already occurred. I am again reminded of something I once heard: that the things we fear most have already happened to us. Out of a mistaken belief, many tend to guard themselves against that experience and defend themselves so they never have to be a victim again. But all too often this changes the very lens through which we see the world, and can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The players may change, but the story line is the same.
We can never find peace in the present if we are vested in trying to fix the past. The past does not exist. It is only a memory, a collection of images in our mind and the emotional energy attached to it that still resides in our bodies. It keeps us stuck…in a memory, in an experience that is often rich with gifts and opportunities once we let go of our attachment and resistance to the pain associated with it..."
"Just as our physical spaces get cluttered with the past, so too do our minds become filled to overflowing with memories of the past and worries of the future, so much so that it is a challenge to even identify where the present moment exists within it all.
The monkey-mind that results from a mind out of control blocks our ability to tap into and receive intuitive guidance, and like a record caught in a groove, can keep us stuck in a perspective, making it hard to fall asleep at night or relax during our waking hours. And the clutter in the mind shows up in our bodies, as memories stored there. Yogis know these as Samskaras, which are imprinted holding patterns, making the body a map of our current internal state, and of our past.
I recently watched as a young girl who appeared to be about 14 alight from a school bus on her way home. She was tall, with a few extra pounds, but the most striking thing about her was her energy. Her expression was flat and lifeless. Her posture slouched, as if she didn’t even have the energy or the will to stand up straight. The energy I felt radiating from her didn’t feel current, like the way one feels when they’ve simply had a bad day. I could feel her depression, her sadness, and I couldn’t help but wonder when it happened: when the radiant, playful little girl she once was gave way to the sad, lonely-looking young lady I watched shuffling home that day.
As children, our subconscious minds are wide open, and like sponges, we absorb everything we see, hear, and experience. We don’t even begin to develop a filter to help sift through the barrage of incoming stimuli until at least the age of seven. This becomes a part of our subconscious programming, until something in our adult lives triggers that old memory, and the beliefs attached to it. Those are our greatest opportunities to gain awareness and to learn and grow. But most of us lack the mental discipline to notice and observe the responses happen- ing inside of us without becoming reactive and getting sucked into an old habit pattern, replaying the past in our present lives..."
Now that you have a deeper, richer, more authentic and loving relationship with yourself and your emotions, it's time for a fresh perspective on how you relate with others, and with Life.
"Imagine as a child in today’s world what it would be like to come home to a mother or father who is completely available, willing and able to listen to you completely. This caring adult listens to you attentively with interest as you give an account of your day; the conflicts you encountered, the successes and failures you experienced, and how you feel about yourself at the end of the day as a result.
Imagine being given the opportunity to share anything that comes up for you with an open-minded, non-judgmental, unconditionally accepting adult that holds the space for you while you pro- cess difficult emotions, confusing thoughts, and frustrating feelings with which you struggle. Afterward you would feel fully received and seen by that person, validated, understood, and valued. You could then shed much of the frustration from the day and move on in an emotionally healthy way. This is an ideal picture, but for most of our children, it is not the reality.
Unfortunately, we have become a society that does not listen to each other. This results in many people feeling alone, misunderstood, and insignificant. Imagine the thoughts going through the minds of our children when they have emotions and feelings going on inside of them that they don’t know how to cope with.
Today’s children have much more complicated, heavy-duty issues to sift through than we ever did. And we are failing miserably at giving them the tools to effectively deal with them. Often Mom and Dad are too busy with work and other stressors to be fully present for them, and other adults, be it family or neighbors, are often too wrapped up in their own dramas to put forth the effort..."
"Our thoughts are powerfully creative. Thoughts are energy. And we are creating with this energy all the time, consciously or unconsciously. Every moment of every day we are creating our present experience, and our future.
Unfortunately, most of us do this based on old programming, like a computer downloaded with an operating system based on the information that came in long before we even knew how to write our own names.
Now take the raw data that came at us throughout our lifetime, and add to that the interpretations we made, often erroneous, about what really happened. And like an old record stuck in a groove, we can keep replaying a song over and over again, bringing into our current reality recycled experiences of our past. The players may change, but the story line is the same. Everyone else in our life simply becomes a foil for us and all that we have yet to learn.
This continues until we finally have our fill of that old story and decide to break out of the pattern of thinking that recreates it over and over again..."
"I’m always amazed at how beautifully creative life is at teaching me how my actions impact the world. There have been countless scenarios where I have engaged in behavior that did not come from my highest self based on fear or judgment or selfishness, only to one day be on the receiving end of strangely similar behavior.
Whether you choose to call it Karma or not, when we choose not to give into the Ego’s temptation to judge ourselves and others as right or wrong, we can rise above the circumstances and see the gift in conflict. Conflict often reveals to us an area in need of developing.
When we need to develop more of something in order to move closer to our own loving essence, how else would we do that other than finding ourselves in situations that demand exactly that? If lack of humility, or compassion, or self-confidence is keeping us from being able to expand into our own loving truth, we will attract into our experience that which will require more of it from us.
Just as gemstones are put into a tumbler together so that by rubbing up against each other their sharp edges are worn away, it is through our relationships and interactions with others that we smooth out our rough edges. Often it is only when those underdeveloped parts within us bump up against another that so much is revealed. We need each other in order to grow..."
"Some people are hiding in a small corner of their minds. Don’t be afraid to fill out your body, your spirit, your life. Claim your space in the world. Know who you are. When you stand tall and fill out your space, your whole aura changes.
In yoga there is an asana I love to use to help students get a feel for how they are showing up in their lives. Tadasana, or Mountain Pose, is a simple standing pose, with arms relaxed by our sides, which is designed to help improve posture and bring a heightened level of awareness into all other standing poses. It is here we can gain insight into how we are showing up in our lives. Some slouch down into their hips, unwilling to take up their full height. Others round at the shoulders, as if to duck and hide, while others lean forward into life, as if they can somehow control it.
It is usually only with practice and guidance that students are able to relax back into their bodies, stand tall and claim their space. The way we show up in our bodies tends to be the way we show up in life.
There is no better place to be than alive with the truth, and the deep and all-pervading confidence that comes from knowing yourself intimately, and choosing always to honor what is true—what is real for you. To live any other way is to live within a house of cards. It will all come tumbling down eventually.
Once you know your truth, it is up to you to live it. This is your life; nobody else gets to live it for you. It is an intricately woven tapestry made up of all of your choices. Let it be your masterpiece..."
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