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Candace McKim is a Yoga & Chakra therapist and spiritual director who just released her first book Yogini’s Guide - Intuition Is A Choice and Yogini's Guide to Intuition Oracle Cards. Candace's book is truly an accomplishment and a work of art. Founder and CEO of KiraGrace, Kira Karmazin states, "The writing and illustrations are beautiful. Her voice is genuine, open, honest... an absolute joy to dive into." We were just dying to pick her brain, so Candace generously gave us a few minutes of her time to answer some of our questions. Here is our interview with the brilliant and beautiful Candace McKim:
KiraGrace: You just released a book entitled Yogini’s Guide – Intuition Is a Choice. Can you tell us a little bit about it and the inspiration behind it? How do you define intuition and what is the choice we have to make regarding it?
Candace McKim: The book initially began as a deck of yoga oracle cards, Yogini’s Guide To Intuition - Oracle Cards. As I did my daily yoga practice, different images, sensations, and intuitions would come to me, and I started writing it down. I decided I would make the deck 54 cards, using half of the sacred number 108. I began with choosing 34 yoga postures as well as the seven chakras, eight limbs of yoga, and several other aspects of yoga. The cards in their own divine timing got started and stopped over many years.
In 2012 I raised $20,000 for victims of sex trafficking in India with Off The Mat, Into The World. Days before leaving for India in 2013, I sold my yoga studio that I had had for 15 years. When I came back from India I had no yoga studio and had given up teaching weekly yoga classes, thus freeing up time and space for me to write.
I pulled out the cards and starting editing them. My daughter Chloe McKim was in her third year at the Alberta College of Art and Design working towards her Fine Arts Degree and agreed to illustrate the artwork for me.
As I was editing and expanding on the cards, I knew there was a book as well. People asked me what I was going to do with the cards and how was going to get them published. At the time I had no idea, yet somewhere in my soul I knew that the opportunities would come when the time was right, and they did.
Intuition is a perception of truth, a quick and keen insight, a knowing. Intuition is something we understand immediately, without any need for conscious reasoning. However, that’s where we get caught up! We either choose to listen to or disregard our intuition. We get the intuitive hit, yet when we have to explain it to others we may begin to second guess ourselves, influenced by others and society's expectations, limiting beliefs or our own insecurities.
This book offers examples, tools, and insights on how we sometimes follow our intuition and at other times we do not... how we may stray from our path yet somehow we find ourselves coming back to what we are passionate about.
KiraGrace: Your website states that your life work is in support of “The Woman who is trying to be everything to everyone, hoping her life looks beautifully perfect. On the inside this Woman feels something is missing, she yearns for connection. As she hears the voice of her intuition she fears stepping wholly into her purpose and femininity, afraid of ridicule, confrontation and loss of security.” I think that’s something we all can relate to. How did you discover this life calling? Why are so many women these days disconnected from their inner selves, their intuition?
Candace: I discovered this by writing out who the book was for, which is my own story. My life looked lovely from the outside yet I knew I was not being completely authentic. I was yearning for more spiritual connection. For most of my life I hid my spirituality, my intuition and my ability to read and feel energy. I knew I wasn’t alone in this. I was afraid to fully be myself for fear of being ridiculed, confronted, or losing my security. I had created limitations for myself.
I realized that I needed to value what I contributed so effectively to my family, household, community and more. I want to encourage all women to value their own unique offerings and inspire them to step into their greatness.
What we bring to our homes, households and community are not only extremely valuable but are vital to this world. I realized that what we offer can not be measured by dollars but instead by quality of life, joy and happiness.
KiraGrace: Does a woman really have one purpose she was born for? Or does it change throughout the seasons of her life? What are the tools we can use to find our true path?
Candace: Our purpose changes and evolves as we do. However, when we reflect on all the opportunities, the connections of how our life has weaved and flowed, we can recognize a path, a purpose that is true and fulfilling. Our purpose might not always be comfortable, but we feel drawn, compelled even, to go there.
The tools are to trust our intuition without needing to know the final outcome. When we get disappointed or let down, surrender and trust that there is a greater purpose. When we act on each intuitive hit that we get, and then the next and then the next, voila! We are following the path, we are living on purpose.
KiraGrace: Femininity has been a constantly reoccurring topic in our office lately. How would you define authentic femininity? What does it look like for you? What advice would you give to a woman who has lost touch with her femininity or no longer values it?
Candace: We all have both Feminine and Masculine qualities. Typically we see masculine energy as task and goal oriented, assertive, competitive and analytical. Where feminine energy is viewed as emotional, creative, passionate and intuitive. Femininity is about honoring and valuing all of what women have to offer the world. How do we balance out and value both our masculine qualities as well as our feminine qualities? Our ability to nurture and support, our creativity, passion and eye for designing beauty.
When we are stressed and working hard with many demands on our time, the first thing we compromise is our creativity, the second is our relationships. Both of these are what feed our feminine energy.
Acknowledge when you are being creative and amplify it. You don’t have to start painting or write a book, but make your everyday tasks a little more pleasant by adding your own creative flare. When getting dressed add color, prints and style! I love all the beautiful colors of KiraGrace tops plus the prints of the leggings are exciting and fun. These make us feel unique, bring us joy and when we feel good we have more confidence in what we’re stepping into.
Spend time with friends and nurture your female relationships. We gain so much support, inspiration and joy from our relationships with other woman.
KiraGrace: So much of your life is in service to others. For someone who is constantly giving, what recharges you? How do you refuel?
Candace: Living Yoga fuels me. Eating a healthy vegetarian diet, doing asana or some other form of exercise every day, taking a lot of deep breaths, meditation is crucial and heading to bed at a descent time keeps me rejuvenated for the next day.
I was taught Transcendental Meditation when I was 13 years old, so a daily meditation practice is absolutely essential for me.
Spending time with my family warms my heart. Since my children (3) are all now in college, I cherish the times we are together even more than ever. My husband and I bought kayaks last spring and loved our summer spending time in nature and on the water.
Girlfriend time is very high on my priority list. I get fully recharged by getting a group of friends together and laughing until all hours of the morning. Often we’ll read oracle cards.
KiraGrace: What has been one of the hardest challenges you’ve faced in your life? Greatest joys?
Candace: I have a lot of JOY in my life. I tend to lean towards the positive that is happening in my life, I see magic all around me and am constantly in awe of the beautiful synchronicities that happen!!!
One of my greatest challenges was also one of my greatest joy’s and that was accomplishing the challenge of raising $20,000 for victims of sex trafficking and then travelling to India. The topic, as well as the challenge of raising so much money pushed me to my edge. Once I accomplished raising that amount of money I felt very powerful. The research, statistics, and learning the horrors of the girls made me so sad and shocked my soul. Meeting girls who had been rescued out of red light districts, speaking to the organizations formidable founders, and seeing the culture, sights and traditions was extraordinary and inspirational.
KiraGrace: When do you feel the most beautiful?
Candace: I feel most beautiful when I am teaching yoga and doing work that is meaningful to me. I’m more confident, and I'm able to speak clearly, ready to step up and be seen. Then I reach for bright colors, fun patterns and high quality fabrics that are KiraGrace clothing.
Candace combines the wisdom and benefits of Yoga (Asana, Pranayama, Meditation, Spirituality, Ritual and Chakra Studies) with her social work, counseling experience, and her own life situations as a path to Optimal Health. Her life work is in support of The Woman who is trying to be everything to everyone, hoping her life looks beautifully perfect. On the inside this Woman feels something is missing, she yearns for connection. As she hears the voice of her intuition she fears stepping wholly into her purpose and femininity, afraid of ridicule, confrontation and loss of security.
Through interactive workshops, inspirational talks, personal counseling, retreats and her book; Candace guides you to identify your path, supporting you to courageously stay connected to your intuition and value your femininity.
Yoga Videos and meditations are available on Candace’s website: www.candacemckim.com