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Issues of Time - Hidden Mysteries of the Grandmothers

Posted on 22 August, 2017 at 15:30
Aging and changing, the cycles of life keep moving onward in their endless progression. As a teacher of chair yoga, I see how bodies age with time. There is a trend in our society to create the illusion of agelessness, to hide or shun the natural process of aging. There seems to be a greater fear of aging than there is of death. As a woman I feel the pull of the collective in terms of appearances, competitiveness and fitness in general. Ironically, more so in my field as there is a bit of a pull beneath the surface to need to stay young and healthy. At times, there is a covert bashing, if you will in terms of illness or improper aging, where one is to blame for such occurrences. In many ways there are means to better support the body and care for the vehicle that houses our souls, but sometimes illnesses come to even those who have done the right things (diet and exercise and good will towards all other life forms), and in terms of aging despite all our best efforts it will show in time. The psychology behind anti-aging or youth liberation as it is now called, seems cloaked and hides the undertone that tends to denounce a fundamental inalienable truth; the nature of existence and life in the physical realm itself which is temporal. Fear of change, when all is ever changing on the outside anyways, the real truth of this earth plane is an endless cycle of change in response to time. The laws of cause and effect themselves are submissive to the fact that time wears on. The constant factor; time, is inescapable and yet we strive so hard to fool and outwit it. All is vanity in terms of this grand form of denial as the wise king Solomon was able to show in Ecclesiastes.


Beneath the surface, beneath the physiological realm, on an energetic and even psychological level what is at play here….? What does this mean when we see the collective ever eager to cheat death and age? The boom of the pharmaceutical age, whose bi-products ensure a quicker end to the life of the earth with the wastes and toxins they leave behind to ravage the lands …all so that we can cheat death, stave it off a little longer. A battle against the forces of existence, a truly existential crisis (though most existentialist cannot see beyond the dominion of man his glorious self centered existence and most certainly ignore the horrors we force upon the other kingdoms of this earth both animal and plant to name a few).


We seek to be god, we seek to cheat death; and all the while do not see the vanity in this. For those in the new age world it is convenient to accept ancient vedic ideas of being god, especially since we as a culture have ever been trying to do so in a vitiated way through our self obsession with selfies and individualism.  It is the social heliocentric theory;  we are the shining lights of our universe as we go about in self aggrandizement, eating well and hoping to save humanity all like little gods with our narcissistic herculean hopes ignorant of the bigger picture. We say use this cream or use this ointment, even the most green conscious of us all have a twinge of this inherited karmic collective curse of trying to be divine, and live strong forever. So too is the story of the most beautiful angel in heaven Lucifer the light that tried to outshine god himself. Amongst most religious or mythological tales there is the blight of mankind…mans secret curse induced by our own need, man like the coyote who is a bit too clever for his own good always striving for a bit more of that! That whatever that may be…for now it seems we as a whole want youth, health and life for as long as possible come what may as a consequence.


So we have factories pumping out plastics to cheat the shelf life of the products that are to keep us going just a bit longer and stronger than before. Huge powers that manufacture these goods, keeping dark secrets about the real truth; hiding the secret balance of ying and yang, for each life extended something else dies. Our anti-aging creams, our blood pills, our electric homes, our super modified crops and foods. Always wanting more….flavors, time, comfort, luxury; the market selling to the mindset that has been cultivated well, driven deeper by the original impulse for more.


We as a people must wake up while we are here to see the true consequences of our actions rather then pay them forward to the future children we may or may not leave behind. What do we leave behind for them?  It is not what we have while we are here that what matters in truth, and yet that is the way we are living.  Borrowing from the future to give ourselves the luxuries now, just a few more years or a little younger face.  This is the secret truth that is not remembered but for a few on Saturday or Sunday, and even when we strive to believe we hold this truth daily ….check and see if it is truly self evident -see where you are holding your vanity. Look to the secret shown in your own eyes as you gaze in a mirror.


We change, and we have a little power to guide the way we see this change, how we work with it, what we are doing in terms of it and how it really adds to the collective essence we leave behind; only then do we begin to take a sobering look at the truth and see our part in what is our temporal existance.


Always scrapping the surface, a bit of nip and tuck and little shot of this or that, a hint of freshness...forgetting we are all but fruit on the tree of life, with a cycle that involves change and culminates in death. So why then are we living as though we are only here to buy and sell eternity? This may be the biggest product we collectively sell as a people and the biggest illusion of them all. There is now, there is this and there is what we are doing with the time we have been given.


Eat organic local food, consume less fabricated illusions, leave behind less death for the next generation and care for the earth! Place these things above your own comforts, think beyond our species but of the ancestors of all living things to come. This is why the grandmothers used to be sacred and now are hidden, it is the great hiding of truth!  We hide the aged, the sick.  We drink the milk and eat the flesh but dare not see the factories that make them.  We love to look in the mirror but only see a shallow reflection of what keeps us here to see it.  Look deeper.  


The polarization of terms and ideas has been quite apparent to me in this current social construct. The pros the cons, the right the wrong the good the bad; are entrapments to greater realization. The realization that for each thing there is a price and when we stop looking only at our own preservation and look beyond to the bigger picture only then can we truly respect the truth that is time and life while we are here! 



Meditation the Way of Mastery

Posted on 23 December, 2015 at 18:25

Meditation the Way of Mastery.

So we begin! 

The path has opened before you and we are at the begining of the long road towards greater understanding and self discovery.  For the beginner, meditation can be a daunting task.  Who knew there was such a plethora of noise, such a storm of excuses and so many pressing things that arise despite every intention to find solace and peace within.  The inner realm is laden with shadows, light and many colorful thoughts and ideas.  So how does one navigate the uncharted waters of the concious and uncouncious mind when diving into the deep sea of meditation?  Multitudes of directions, many thousands upon thousands of electric pathways to follow.  Impulses, emotions and other things triggered by the mind in endless space of silence.  How strange that in what is supposed to be silent, there is so much commotion.  The mind is so unruly, and the pressing nature of the past and future are such strong deterants from staying present and centered.  So how can anyone find peace in meditation at all?

Lets start with the basics!

Step 1- Begin with a comfortable seat!  While this sounds easy it is very challenging for all those but seasoned practitioners, monks and the like. The body,  accustomed to slouching, easy chairs and other forms of lazy sitting;  has trained the muscles to form around structured weaknesses. Years of poor habits are readily felt when attempting to sit in what is know as Sukasana, A.K.A easy seat.   Easy seat is not so easy for most Americans, something I see everyday when I teach yoga classes.  For many sitting in an Indian Style Seat may be likened unto a form of mideval torture.  The Hips are tight,the back is weak, the core is not strong and the shoulders and neck somehow seem to compensate for what is lacking everywhere else.

The fix-

Try a pillow or cushion and sit to the edge of it!  If this is still too intense, sit in a chair with feet firmly planted on the floor, or lay down but dont fall asleep!


Step 2- Relax

So you finally have found a seeminly comfortable seat!  Now notice your muscles!  Are you clenching your jaw and teeth?  How about the eyes?  Are you squinting in over concentration striving to see in the dark screen of the mind with no avail?  Are you sitting too straight?  Think natural and relaxed.  Systematically go down from the head to the toes and notice each area as you move downward.  Ground down throught the sitting bones and relax your shoulders.


Step 3- Breath

Notice your breath.  Notice,... is your breath is ragged and uneven?  Begin by slowing bring your breath into a natural flow.  Imagine your breath as an ocean wave.  Feel the breath open and expand, while it moves in and through the body.  Visualize and feel your body open.  Then, onthe exhale....relax let the breath flow out of the body.  Feel the belly fill on the inhale and the ribs expand, soften and deepen toward the earth as the breath begins to move freely out of the body on the exhale.


Step 4- Guide yourself towards stillness within

This is a bit tricky to get to and to sustain for the beginer and intermediate practitioner.  Depending on the situations preceeding your meditation and those things that are happening in your life at the time, there may be alot to work through to get to the place of stillness within.  Some are confronted with several situations

A. Restless body.  The first distraction will be some itch, pain or discomfort.  This is common especially if you are begining a fitness regimen after a long period of being sedentary and have not developed physical stamina and strength.  This will happen not only in meditation but also if you practice yoga.  You will have to begin patiently and learn to differenciate complaints from reality.  This will be tough to work through but not impossible.  Remember this is a practice and takes practice.  So start with a do-able amount of time, such as 5 minutes to start.  It may take years to reach 20 minutes, but do not fret.  Shift to a more comfortable position like laying down to continue if need be but try and avoid constant movement and complaints.  The undisciplined mind will create many false sensations to distract you from this process.

B.  Mental Checklists.  Once you master the body you will find the mind is a tricky thing to contain.  This is where the real meditation begins.  Notice if you begin with mental inventories or even sermons.  You may find your mind will not remain still or quiet.  The mind is like a wild horse that has been running wild for a long time.  Expect to be bucked off a few times and perhaps even taken on a few wild rides or tangents.  Return to the breath and if need be....say to yourself I am breathing in and I am breathing out.

C.  Unpleasant emotions.  Often times when the mental checklists or thougths go on too far or long in the space of the meditation time, a thought will arise that will trigger an emotional reaction.  Anger, frustration, depression and sadness will arise.  This is not a bad thing, but it is a tell tale sign that there are things to work on.  Many of us rush around our lives attending to checklists and or us distractions to avoid confronting real emotions that exist and have perhaps been supressed in your walking life ( the non meditation part of your life).  It is not wrong to use your meditation time as a processing time, however the trick is to not let it take over your time.  So allow the feelings to be there.  Witness them as they arise, watch the thoughts come up and acknowledge them but use your breath and centering tools to prevent yourself from being hijacked by them.  So allow the feelings to come up acknowledge them.  Then, derail any thougths that will cause your mind to get stuck in a whirlwind of fixation.  Return to the breath and stay present keeping your eye on the prize of peace!

Step 5- Be patient.  

Continue to keep bringing yourself back to center if you find yourself distracted by any of the above challenges.  The most important thing is to not judge yourself or pressure yourself to much.  It is ok if you dont get to a Zen state.  Slow and steady wins the race.  Even if in the moment you feel not so peaceful,  keep breathing and coming back to the stillness and be the observer of your own inner world.  Be open to explore and learn.  In order to master anything you must be open to the fumbling nature of baby steps!  You are learning to meditate so dont pressure yourself to be a master in one day!


Keep to your meditations!   The more you try the more you will understand!  

Come to Terms with Your Body- Ground and Connect

Posted on 13 April, 2015 at 1:25

Coming to Terms with Your Body

The body is the first step in your yoga practice. Many of us have walked through life in complete disregard for our bodies. Pushing, prodding and forcing our way through, treating our physical form as a machine neglecting the regular maintenance. Despite our outer focused society, where the car and the glam and the way we appear to others are a central focus, we have ironically forgotten the old adage that the body is a temple. Some cringe to think of this verbiage, others perhaps hear this with a tinge of angst while misreading this to mean that we must make an idol of ourselves. The middle way, or a balance between the contrasting interpretations is a great place to start the process of understanding. In fact, it is the tendency to polarize ourselves and our views that continues to serve as, at least in yoga, to be a limit to the greater goal of oneness and wholeness we strive to embrace.

The body is the first step to your yoga practice. Grounding back into the body is critical to find the middle ground with which to begin traversing the great road of discovery that lay ahead. The journey in yoga is long, there is no McPeace to drive up to and order a side of happiness and never ending bliss. The reason yoga is called a practice is that it takes practice. The ground covered is vast and begins like any journey with the first step. The first attempt at a yoga practice may be daunting. Why? Well the mind particularly during the first few 50 attempts will be littered with noise pollution, the interjection of distractions of all kinds – each seemingly urgent and of great import at the time. The truth…none of the pending thoughts and petty complaints that arise are really of much concern in the greater scope of existence, but this is where we begin. At least, this is where I began….and I can speak only of my own personal experience, though many have related to me similar stories of their personal travails on the mat.

To connect first with the body is a high priority. I have come to think of it as a grounding wire, the way to prevent shock and greater troubles found in evoking higher levels of spirituality. A practice lead solely by the capricious mind and its crafty imaginings can be an exhausting chase through an infinite maze of possibilities. With regard to yoga, it is best to follow a plan, thousands of years of experience can serve as a guide and outline, but the way for each is somewhat different. Even when following an old routine or an ancient lineage, if you haven’t grounded into your body first however …you may be entertaining a hazard more so than a healthy option. If you begin to practice yoga without taking care to connect and respect your physical body, you may cause yourself injury unintentionally. The reason being is that you may not really feel what you are doing.

Imagine for a moment, all your life you have hit your head against a wall. You have done this for all the years of your life and suddenly someone tells you that this is the cause of great pain. While it may sound true in some ways, you may hesitate to embrace this new knowledge. Let’s imagine for a moment you do finally decide that the headaches and pain you have been experiencing may in some way likely be connected, and finally you decide to make a change. The problem is your body has grown accustomed to this treatment, so it may be desensitized to a more gentle approach, it may take quite some time to come to a more normalized scale of feeling. The same is true for yoga.

I have taught hundreds of classes over the years, and in these classes I have seen countless people struggle and attempt to go deeper and further than their body can obviously go. Unfortunately, I can tell them and suggest over and over again that they take a more moderate approach but yet the habit is there, they cannot grasp that I am speaking to them. Even if you tell a person directly, this is not always well received. I know that this is part of their journey and I can only suggest and try to help them learn this important lesson of respecting their own personal body. In truth I too, have found myself guilty of this tendency.

Learning the limitations of oneself is a challenge. Self reflection is necessary and the levels to which one begins to do this only deepen with time. There seems to be a bell curve where much effort leads to great self questioning and then one day this need begins to wane. In the beginning the need for honest self inquiry is paramount, though many great realizations may take time to avail themselves.

A gentle approach to yoga and life run contrary to every ounce of the American mentality. “Push and compete, strive for success, keep your eyes on the prize and don’t give up.” I can’t tell you how many people ask when they will be able to do a certain pose, etc. It is a common misconception to believe that the level of one’s physical practice is in some way the most important thing. The important thing is to know yourself. If there is pain, refrain. Move to a place of reasonable comfort. Effortless effort. The asana means comfortable seat, ironically many find themselves under the notion that a pose must be uncomfortable to gain greater benefit, this could not be further from the truth. While a certain level of discomfort is common in yoga, especially that of the restless mind finally called upon to quiet; pain is not a part of a strong yoga practice. The no pain no gain idea is not the model to follow in yoga, though it may be a phase of your practice as you move to greater understanding of the body.

The purpose of it all is to ground with the body, come to the present moment and get real. During the practice of yoga you will learn to respect your body and work with it not against it. This is one of the very first principles to learn – pace yourself, find a balance between your will and the ability to surrender and let go.

 

Taming the Monkey Mind

Posted on 12 November, 2014 at 22:05


For many of us in this fast paced world we are plagued with an equally fast paced mind. Our thoughts can become a whirlwind as we try to juggle the many events in our schedule along with the ongoing dialogue we have with ourselves. For many of us we have been conditioned to use a judgmental style of introspection that can be very damaging.

When the mind is not critiquing our own actions and deeds it is busy evaluating the actions and conduct of other people or entities. Part of the problem is that as we grow into young adults much of our learning is based on contrasts and the identification of opposites to create definition in our minds. While this is necessary for understanding, there is a tendency to take this trend too far. Combine this with our inherited belief systems and the values we are conditioned to have; we become more of a judgmental rational being whose concept of the world becomes increasingly rigid and set in stone.

The belief systems we hold can manifest themselves into bars or walls that entrap rather than liberate. The yogis speak of finding higher truth, and it is believed that in order to do so, one must find silence within the mind and quiet the ego chatter. The temporal and ever changing nature of our physical existence is thought to be a delusion that hides the real transcendental universal truth of our wholeness and oneness with the universe. This may be a bit philosophical for the layman to digest, however simply put there is something more than the petty preoccupations we often fill our heads with.

For instance, when a tragedy strikes or a profoundly meaningful event like a birth or a death occurs we often reflect upon the wasted energy and time we have engaged in with insignificant events and thoughts. The rude comment someone made or a sideways glance from a coworker, are in the moment a great tragedy; one that often calls for great controversy and dismay, though in truth this is just the bruising of the ego and no tragedy at all. Or, perhaps a relationship ends and this consumes our every thought, so much so that our mind becomes a wasteland of negative vacillations and a myriad of pictures mingled with a playback of old critical assertions, when all the while time will pass and this perceived catastrophe will later be seen with greater reflection as a lesson.

The monkey mind, always looping and busily working towards chaos, with a diatribe of cyclical thoughts spinning like a hamster on a wheel, is just a result a panicked state. Indeed the nervous system will react to not only real physical threats to safety but also to troubling thoughts imagined or real of our safety being threatened. The body will react the same way, by engaging the sympathetic nervous system to react for self protection. The method by which we react or respond to this threat real or otherwise can be channeled in a number of different ways depending on our level of mastery. Many of us have come to recognize this already. And for most of you introspective soulful yogis this is nothing knew to realize as it may have been what prompted your quest for self realization. It is however a difficult thing to master, and many seasoned pilgrims on the path towards ego liberation and wholeness still find this at times to be a challenge.

 So for you my dear reader, of whom I am truly blessed by, I have compiled a few simple steps that come from a combination of Eastern Meditation Techniques to assist in the taming of the monkey mind.

Meditation for Taming the Monkey Mind

Step 1- Find a peaceful setting where you can find a comfortable seat and sit down

Step 2- Take a smooth and long inhale through the nose and even longer full exhale out through the nose. (This engages the parasympathetic nervous system and deters the fight or flight tendencies of the sympathetic nervous system)

Note- much of our rampant thoughts can be directly correlated to a jagged and fast paced nervous or anxious breath so give the slow breath a chance to slow the horses of your speeding mental chariot.

Step 3-Begin to relax the muscles of the body starting with the eyes, the face, the jaw and then down the shoulders. Cultivate a natural posture whereby you are using the technique of effortless effort, i.e. balance between will and surrender.

 Step 4- Use the breath as your mental soundtrack, letting all judgments and thoughts pass through the mind without any attachment to them. Try to use the breath as the only mental sound you hear.

 Step 5- Feel compassion in your heart for yourself, welcome in a lustrous pink light of love and compassion into your heart and imagine your heart blooming like a delicate pink rose.

 Step 6- After considerable time allow the breath to become natural and effortless and gently open the eyes and hold a soft gaze let this feeling of love join with all you see and feel yourself a part of all that surrounds you.

 Step 7- After the monkey mind has been tamed you can allow for a solitary message from your higher self to come in to your heart.

 

This is the end of the meditation and I recommend this to be done every day or as often as needed to help still the storm of mental vacillation 

Namaste

Mood Swings- The Pendulum

Posted on 12 November, 2014 at 21:50


So the pendulum swings, back and forth. For some the movement is faster and more extreme, while for others there is a slow and steady pace. Myself personally, my pendulum once moved with unruly force. I struggled greatly with the passions that were within me as a young person. It seemed my emotions were extremely high, and I was very sensitive to all manner of exterior stimuli. It has taken some time and great effort to manage these powerful waves of force within. Having a rather adventurous spirit and a very inquisitive and brave mind and soul, I have many a time been lead down whimsical paths; the sort less traveled. In many ways these experiences harvested great inner wisdom, often as a result of great folly and hard knock lessons. The knock often being my head as it hit a wall or dead end of sorts. Having both exposed myself to and been exposed to; these more colorful moments of tragedy, sorrow, love, lust, pain, and delirium; turning towards balance was extremely difficult for me in the beginning and still on some level remains to be a challenge.

 Some are born with this proclivity towards excess and others have learned it later as a go-to mechanism to cover inner conflicts; whatever the case may be whether it be an expression or for some repression, the shift from these tendencies can be extremely challenging and uncomfortable. Often times on a subconscious level the expectancy of these highs or lows can create a hare trigger mechanism within that will on a subtle and often unseen manner create a situation apparently on the exterior to return to this familiar extreme. Many speak of self sabotage and for many this occurs without even being aware of it. Perhaps subconsciously choosing situations that will bring about the very results that will provide the trigger for the inducement of these sensations. For instance, a person prone to nervousness and anxiety will find situations to provoke these behaviors subconsciously because it is the perceived state of equilibrium for that individual. It may seem odd to be in a position where nervousness does not exist for a long time and that in itself may serve as the catalyst for more.

 It is almost as if the default setting for many in this cycle of neurosis, is neurosis. The behavior, whether it is: depression, melencholy, nervousness, anger, impulsive consumptions etc. over time becomes the norm. After repeated patterns of behavior deepen in their mental grooves, the concept of center has shifted to this extreme place on the emotional number line. It is like drawing a chart with x,y, z coordinates the center point of the graph does not need to be at zero. This is the same case, in some ways many people are set slightly to one quadrant of behavior or the other. Finding balance takes a great pull or a conscious shift, because the natural homeostasis of the person has been set elsewhere. To satiate the naysayers... I will say that in many cases a slight skew is nice and adds to ones self definition and personality, that is if you value individuality over transcendence. For those on the yogic path or many of the paths of humility in the East, certainly the appraisal of individuality is not so important as it is here in the West. It is for this reason that many stay trapped in a paradoxical state of limbo, over justification of the behaviors as part of ones´unique personality and then self doubt over whether or not this identity really makes sense in terms of ones evolution.

 Ideally one will evolve over time. These evolutions will not necessarily be grand nor extreme, sometimes it is necessary to make bold leaps. However, the bold leaps forward tend to come with the necessary gentle subsidence of the pendulum swing back to a more stable center. This is often times the case with drug addiction. Those who like myself, have suffered from extreme drug addiction at one time know that the return to normal is a complex situation. Half the mind still questioning; normal, stable and such perceived fictitious contemplations and the other half of oneself knowing that the continuation of this negative spiral will culminate in the prompt and miserable end of life. The dance between these places is challenging. Once the leap is made to stop and change direction, the work only continues to advance. The challenge of finding a new center and regulating the storms of emotions within requires great perseverance and an open mind. The methods and tools contained within are in serious need of repair and refinishing. Many not even certain of what tools to use. In these cases the pendulum swings wildly and it takes great effort to slow it down; only then can one begin to shift the paradigm on the graph of existence.

 Or, perhaps in the case of the abused woman who long suffered the blows to her self esteem and self worth. She may have spent years now in repair and reconstruction and have left behind this legacy of physical beatings and abusive pain long ago, but still have a deep subconscious misalignment. She may subconsciously still feel that a passionate relationship needs some extreme sensations in order to be defined as real love or compatibility. She now knows that the hitting and name calling are wrong but may still settle or expect extreme shows of affection and sadness to define true interest in her and the relationship. The pendulum is still swinging thought not as wildly as before. There may be a subconscious tendency to create issues or problems, drama or anxieties because peace in a relationship still remains a foreign and odd center to hold. It may take a great deal of time before she may be able to live in peace without distrust. the pendulum must learn to operate at a peaceful place, one devoid of the extreme dramatic interludes relationships may still be characterized by somewhere in her world view.

 Perhaps you have never been in this type of situation and feel this article has nothing to do with you. But pause for a moment! You may be unaware that it is possible that even your own balanced pendulum may still be skewed ever so slightly and the graph of your soul may be set a bit more to one side than the other. It is said that the likes and dislikes of man are a great deceiver. In the East and the cultures of great compassion one must be willing to shed the particularities of this and that. So perhaps there is a way to evolve your character even further and to live with greater self mastery. Unless we have arrived at pure peace daily there is still work to do, and the pendulum of life is still swinging from one side to the other. Good luck in your introspection and inventory. It is great to penetrate the veil and see beyond ones perceptions of truth.

 

 

Walk Your Talk- Integrity and Honesty

Posted on 12 November, 2014 at 21:30

Upon the spiritual path there comes the time where the philosophy must become pragmatic, grounded in actions which reflect those ideals which have been set as intentions. This is where the walk reflects the talk. This is where we have the opportunity to use the principles and put them to good use. It has been said that faith without works is dead, and here is the great turning point. How can the ideas and values we hold, be authentically expressed in our daily lives and day to day affairs?

 A measured step with mindfulness is now called upon, and reactions must shift to a new dimension and become responses, or rather a response suited for the call to greater integrity in the moment. The default patterns must now shift to steps taken with honest reflection and follow a higher design. This is where the real work becomes manifest. Intentions are the first step, but do not become real until they are actually lived.

The words we speak and the dialogues we have with others must come from a new place. Not from nervous vacillations of the insecure mind driven by the senses and our fears but by wisdom and courage. Wisdom is our knowledge made real with physical practice. This is why yoga is such a wondrous tool. Yoga begins with an intention and through time we learn to cultivate this intention and make it live through our breath and right thinking. This is where the soul becomes disciplined to act with integrity.

 Merely setting an intention but not following through, while a great leap forward from debased thoughts, is a crawl in comparison to the tai chi of life that we are called to practice. The deeper connection of thoughts, to action, to mastery; is a path that can only be taken with true mindfulness. In the beginning we wobble, we fall, we slip and backslide to previous untrained mannerisms and behaviors. By the mid day of the path we begin to vacillate between mastery and sloppiness, discipline and laziness. Upon the later hours of the day of life we come to a place of measured movement; a place in our evolution where value and measure become important methods of our energetic distribution. It is like the baby snake who does not know how to control his venom, so too we are we as we grow and learn to use our power.

We are responsible for our actions and deeds, we must be accountable for that which we create in this life. The way we wield our spiritual energy is our responsibility. Measured control of the raw energy we possess is necessary to live responsibly, it is a rite of spiritual passage to learn this great metaphysical truth. Once learned and known, we grow to the next place of learning: how to grow this power and transmit it and then to transmute negative forces or vibrations which make their way towards us from outer sources.

It is said in mythology of the Buddah that when he walked his aura was felt for miles around. A subtle shift was felt way before his physical self arrived to his destination. This is the craft of right use of spiritual energy and power. In Christianity many Christians speak of the miracles of Jesus, a truly ascended master, who was able to cure the sick and heal the wounded, cast out demons and perform great works of energetic prowess. We too, despite our infancy upon the path, are called to move towards this place of self realization and actualization. In Dale Carnigis How to Win Friends and Influence People, he speaks of methods of behavior to garner greater love and admiration from others by the use of diplomacy and altruistic methods of social conduct. These measured steps of behavior and decorous actions are part of the path of wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

 Honesty and integrity are paramount in terms of our evolution as human beings. These concepts are sacred in their vibration, and are as boundless as numbers in the way in which they speak to people of all cultures and races. This is a great step to begin to take. Honesty and refrain from lying to others, is a powerful way to build spiritual power and clean ones energy field and open the door for others. Integrity, or the realization through action of ones word is critical to our ability to live a more fulfilling life. Integrity stems from the Latin adjective integer which means whole or complete. This wholeness or completion comes from adherence to moral and ethical principles, and while each culture has a variety of customs and variations, at the heart of humanity there are certain behaviors or qualities which are valued in a person and that deem one to have integrity. Integrity is soundness of moral character; honesty.

We must be accountable for our actions, and our actions if we hope for greater inner peace, must be firmly rooted in honesty. Honesty must first be held within, for there are many who are incapable of being honest with themselves; a trait so often found in delirious addiction to sense pleasures or desires. The veil of delusion within us may be very hard to see in the beginning, it may be easy to mislead oneself to believe that what is unhealthy for oneself is good and vice versa. So often we find this derailment of integrity rooted in the hypnosis of worldly desires. I too, have found myself so transfixed on the exterior that I have neglected the internal truth. In my quest for love on this planet I have found myself so lured and tempted by the dream and desire of love that I could not see it was the furthest thing from me at the time, despite my great hope to make it so. Honesty with oneself is a key to the ability of getting real, real enough to be a person of grounded integrity and honor.

So next time you are in your yoga class, set your intention…but then make your intention real by manifesting it through correct behavior in your day to day affairs. It will take the breath to bring you to the present, from here then pause and look…see where you really are and then act from a place of integrity and honor.

Namaste

Zen and the Art of True Love Maintenance

Posted on 12 November, 2014 at 21:25

Zen and the Art of True Love Maintenance


Much of the methods for love we have learned are based upon the need for give and take. We have a conditional love that is fueled by the ego, love that is based on the receipt of certain things in order to continue. Without the satisfaction of certain prerequisites and quotas our giving begins to wane in the face of outer deficits. When our needs or expectations are not met we are often angry and feel dejected. Fears of unrequited love and being the fool, loom in our minds and provoke deep seated fears of betrayal and rejection. The awful feeling of being codependent to an abusive partner is real, a fear heavily promoted by our society. No one wants to be a doormat or a doorstop.

But sometimes these requests and requirements can prevent us from ever having a fulfilling relationship with anyone. Many times our wish list is too great and the burden is placed more on the other party than on our own actions. This is a great problem and at its heart the downfall of a lasting relationship. It is easier to abandon ship than to ride out the storm. Many quickly jump to sea and find themselves later marooned on a desert island, left alone with the characteristics that may have aided in drawing the initial disaster into their lives.

 Relationships are about being better stewards over the love we have before us. How often do we see serial daters, quick to find fault in each partner they pick, often times repeating again and again some similar behavior which is conveniently blamed on the other party. Had they been better navigators of their love ship, perhaps they could have ridden the storm or better calculated the impending signs of trouble. It may be that in the selection of the course or maintenance of the ship and its sails, somewhere care was not placed in the process. This extra attention, could have made the difference. Love is a daily effort, a minute or rather moment by moment endeavor. It requires great inner strength and mindfulness. True presence and awareness is required for true love to flourish.

 When walking the path of love there are many turning points and guide posts. There are many ports and places to stop along the way. Being mindful during the process is helpful in determining ones true allegiance to the journey. One can change direction at any of these bench marks. Often what happens is that the signs of neglect or wear and tear are ignored or not attended to in a productive manner. Rushing to get tasks done or to quickly solve problems creates a pending disaster which leads to a growing weakness that eventually serves as the breaking point. To approach the maintenance with a hand of a master craftsman is the secret to being a better steward over ones love. The master is at peace with all the aspects of the process of maintenance, even the more challenging aspects that are the keystones of growth and greater mastery.

 To approach love as a work of art, as the maintenance of a prized ship or vessel, is to be present and alive. Like a new baby puppy, who you love to feed and bathe and even reprimand for its silly antics; there is an art here, an art of love. Compassion for the follies and weaknesses of the beloved, understanding and acceptance of the challenges, a gentle hand that becomes more skilled with each mindful touch and adjustment; this is the true path of mastery in the realm of love.

Being a sailor myself I know there is a fine art in the craft of sailing a ship. There is a beautiful silent connection and feeling when both work together, and when making it back to shore after foul weather and storms. This is a bond of love and great depth. This is the way of true love.

 Work with your beloved, learn them, feel them, listen to the sounds and learn to move in sync. Harmony comes with patience and open-mindedness. The ability to keep centered and stay steadfast and true despite any odds. A labor of love. Love as a practice, like meditation or yoga. Love as an art like painting or music, a developing evolution. This is the zen of love.

 

Redefining Success In the West- Manifest Destiny Within

Posted on 12 November, 2014 at 21:25

Manifest Destiny Within-Redefining Success in the Wild West


In today’s changing Westernized World there has been a welcomed return to Eastern Ideas. In essence we are approaching a major transformation but there are still lingering aspects of our conditioning that persist as the end of the Kali Yuga strains to make its succession and give birth to the Aquarian New Age. What strongholds still remain to make our charter across the Wild Western Frontier into the redefined ancient wisdom of the East as we come full circle during this momentous transition?

It all began with a noble notion: freedom and liberty from the rigid class systems of the past. With the dream of equality and a chance at a fresh start. The founding members of our Western Society in the New World arrived with noble hopes of advancement and settled against great odds to find a place for the disenfranchised. Ironically, our manifest destiny displaced those native to the west and a clash arose between great seats of power. In essence this is the battle that is also being fought on the new land within.

The mind struggles to reconcile new ideologies on purpose and meaning with the hard judgments of the personality ego and our long held and often unquestioned conditioning. Imbedded within our psyche lingers within: the collective unconscious remembrance of our roots in the east, our lineage and teachings from the West and a humanity beyond culture that is on a soul level a divine synthesis of the two. These karmic reminences along with the new school improvements and these inevitable changes in our evolution are our birthright as we scale the higherarchy of spirituality and strive to reach closer to greater states of connection to source. And all this takes place with the ongoing skirmishes between the still feuding factions within the mind struggling for sovereignty over the new world /old world full circle understanding that exists within the infinite aspects of the soul. So you see, we have the reenactment of our past here within our very selves on a daily basis both in the finite fronteer and the unlimited expanse of all that is,was and will forever be. And as complex as all this is we must simultaneously take this with the understanding that no battle or great work was done in a day.

So what shall be the face of the new system of government within each of our selves? How to rule the senses and win the battle that wages on as alluded to in the Bhagavad Gita? For those unfamiliar with the historical battle outlined therein we need not look further to our own historical example found in the great time of the Wild West and Manifest Destiny when our forefathers settled here to find a new life. In essence this is what we are endeavoring to do in our own advancement in terms of spirituality and in the pursuit of happiness. We continue to seek the same things but it is time for the means to do so, to evolve and change with the times. Change to the time which is timeless. Perhaps using a more yogic and balanced approach. Merging the old and new and the masculine and feminine, a blend and synthesis of opposites to end the war within.

Perhaps the easiest way to begin this process is by redefining success and taking a good look at the values that motivate and found the perhaps antiquated and then again perhaps not antiquated enough idea of what it means to be successful. In the legacy that we have inherited there lay a great deal of honorable and wise assertions: hard work, dedication, personal responsibility to manifest your own destiny through your own efforts. This is great…but the unfortunate twist is that these very ideals have morphed into a bottomless pit of greed and the proverbial Need More Monster (you know the one that always is Needing More and growing bigger every time he is fed). Our notions of success have been based on an ever competitive and growing world where there is always someone better, stronger etc. (according to these standards) and now with the speed of technology it doesn’t take more than a second to find this out. Perhaps in the days when less souls roamed the earth ones competition was not so easy to confront and did not exist in such volume and with this multitude. We have found ourselves amidst a turbulent change, and oddly the majority of the this turbulence is inward as with all our telecommunications it is more difficult than ever to collectively relate in the same way.

suc·cessnoun \sək-ˈses\: the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame: the correct or desired result of an attempt: someone or something that is successful : a person or thing that succeeds

Is this Success? What does it mean in this changing world, now that we are all by default beginning to realize something is amiss with the system in place? The system is breaking down, but people are struggling both internally and externally to find a functional way of integrating the new ideas. We all agree (for the most part) that greed is bad and there is more to life than just money. One of the greatest proponents for this is Master Card, and in this example lays the very irony and struggle that I speak of. Money doesn’t matter and other things do ….but use this card to pay for a priceless event and do it on credit with money you actually don’t have. So we are in essence doing this in a number of ways. Writing checks for momentary pleasures that we can’t cash, or perhaps giving our money away to a bueaurcratic pseudo non profit to feel better about helping the world without really getting our hands dirty. You see, there is a disconnect and in conquering the new wild west within yourself there needs to be a better plan in place, a different system and a vastly different way of quantifying and qualifying information and values.

 Reconstructing the ideology of success will be tricky and I believe this is one of our hardest tasks to implement, once the theoretical component is conquered within your mind. Its implementation must go back to the wild western value of hard work, the Native Americans had that well figured out already and the settlers had courage to face the unknown which is admirable as well. It is too easy to vilify one side and deify the other; this too is part of the old mentality of competition and success which needs to go out the window. As full integration and balance must come in a harmony of both sides, but without a replay of the Western Block and the nightmares of socialism and communism which unfortunately some have defaulted to in the new age community as a go to opposite choice for the evils of capitalism. Again one side good the other bad, this is the Kali Yuga of confusion.

 So I cannot provide in this short essay a solution to this growing problem, only that it is something to look at and perhaps consider for yourself. I feel that it is noteworthy that there is a great deal of old patterning in our current new age forward motion, and perhaps it is a great time …now especially that our government is shut down to really re-evaluate everything and rather than go to war again between sides find a evolved way of dealing with this interesting clash of opposing sides both inside and out.

All in all to conclude this tangential discourse....Look within to see wher you place your value. Look to see where and in what direction you are moving in, and then perhaps intuit and consider the implications. So often we forget to build a foundation, so part of a successful driven life is getting clear about your values and what they mean. If we look at our legacy and world traditions as a human race or even deeper as all members of life then look at what sucess really is. What self actualization is and what it means to move forward. The conquering of the wild west was well intentioned, many actions in this life are wel intented but have lingering negative effects. The only constant is that there is a paradox between moving forward and finding true center beyond any vacillations. There is being and flowing. It is all an evolution and a change and a shift. s an indidual and as a culture we are in a period of movement and transition. What this means and looks like is in its infancy still. More shall be revealed with time, as yet again we face a great expansion into an unknown future.

Namaste Friends.

Dealing With Difficult People

Posted on 12 November, 2014 at 21:15

Your Acre of Diamonds the Path to True Insight

Difficult People and Your Mirror Within

By Soul Girl Yoga

 

The concept of one´s personal acre of diamonds was shared with me in a fantastic immersion called Immersion in Love at the Soul of Yoga designed and lead by one of my great teachers Tom Kelly. The implications of this concept and its real life implication are beyond far reaching.

 

The person in your life who is your greatest button pusher, the most difficult to deal with and hardest to make peace with is your personal acre of diamonds. It is upon this valuable place that your greatest victory over the ego and self can take place. It is on this rocky soul that great luminosity of spirit can be born and harvested. It is in the reflection of these many diamonds and their multitude of facets and angles that our own reflection of Maya can be illuminated. In each vain attempt to blame this individual and for each fault upon which we can base a million valid arguments and justifications is the very place where our own deceit and fear is truly exposed.

 

The path of the yogi is a difficult path, it is laden with dragons of our own making which must be faced. Our acres of diamonds, our difficult people and situations are the battle ground upon which our necessary surrender to love must take place. Yes, this is a contrary notion, one of surrender over victory. Winning this ego-based fight over seeking amicable peace and love ... it is here where the true division between spirit and the finite, tangible, fading nature of this world collide. It is here where the sage upon the mountain of solitude ever in peace must test his spiritual mettle and truly live the teachings. This is where the mastery of life is forged. It is in this conflict, this heat, and this strife where we realize the futility of being caught in the spin cycle of blame and battle.

 

Easy it sounds in words and when looking at the big picture, but it is here where the forest may become lost in the trees and vice versa. This person is not the element from which to escape nor is it with them the battle must be fought. No, they are but mirrors to reflect back to us the nature of our own follies and mistakes in this life. Often that which we see in another, that we dislike, has a deep correlation to our own actions, actions often blanketed in ignorance. That is why it is so upsetting to see that which we so strive to conceal and ignore within ourselves. Yes, it is here in your acre of diamonds that self realization can occur. It is here where the God in others must be seen, it is here where the humanity in others and ourselves must be seen. It is not just them, but it is us all, all of us in our machinations and illusions. It is in these illusions where our need for defenses and blockades seperate us from the truth and our integrity as a soul.

 

It is the many faces of fear that we see and recognize, that which we ourselves despise when we catch ourselves falling subject to the same vices and misgivings. The answer my friends, lies in knowing that what we see in this so-called foe is really just another part of ourselves. It is here where compassion can become the bridge to connect the one heart and one mind of us all. From this first step across the bridge of compassion comes the courage to love, to forgive, to be present and to give up and surrender our control and judgments about what this person or situation needs to look like in order to satisfy the fabrications we have created in fear and have clung to as our armour in this supposed battle for survival.

 

The battle for survival which is in itself the defeat of love and all that that we each secretly desire, or even openly desire. It is in this war that we lose each one of us. For we are not meant to be at war, and the greatest feat of valor is not in winning and in the defeat of another but in the acceptance of another as we accept the truth that we are all here in the same boat and the awareness that we are meant really to be on the same team. A house divided cannot stand, and mansions made upon the sand are meant to fall into the sea.

 

Who is your acre of diamonds? See them now as they are ... your greatest teacher. If the answer or means to be in compassion and in love do not easily arise, and ... they probably will not, take the time to reflect upon this question. What is it in them that you must learn? Meditate upon this, it may take months, it may take years or it may happen in a moment. Your intention is seen by the universe but it is our actions, vigilance and resolve that make the difference. I was told once to pray for those who hurt you, bless those that curse you. Ironically however, hard as it is to do this, keep at it. Keep at it until one day you feel it in your heart. Fake it until you make it, and keep seeking. It is in this task that you will find peace. It is in this great practice that your acre of diamonds will no longer deplete you but will become the key to your greatest strength.

 

We are all just pieces of the same big puzzle, and each and every person in this world is a means to becoming whole. Mastery over this lesson is mastery over one of the greatest mysteries of the universe.

 

Thank you Master Tom Kelly for sharing the lesson of the Acre of Diamonds with me.

Importance of Your Intention

Posted on 12 November, 2014 at 21:10

The Importance of Your Intention

Amanda Luisa Rodriguez Nagy

 

The key to the path of least resistance and finding the flow of life is in being able to tap into that which is authentic and pure. To get real, we are called to pierce what is known in India as the veil of Maya. The veil of Maya consists of the layers of static noise that distract us from the clarity and simplicity of the truth. Maya, is the monkey mind, and the ego chatter, the preoccupation with tangible temporal transitioning aspects of life. The truth is: that which is infinite and unchangeable. Truth is the constant at the heart of the evolving and transitioning aspects of human existence where as dillusion is in essence the body of physical reality, the sheath to our spirit (which is forever present.)

 

To get down to the core of the what is, the true authentic aspect of existence, is the goal of the yogi on the yogic path. To peel the layers of the onion of the ego self or personality ego (see...deconstructing the fortress of fear from last month) and get to the pure matter is the intention of the yogi. The pure matter is the creative force of life. The only way to connect to that which is eternal is to recognize that the power of the that which is and always has been, is within you.

 

Without being so bold as to define what this is for you, I will rather reference this in an open fashion for you the reader to decide for yourself how your own connection with the Great Mystery feels and what that looks like. It is not my concern that you shall resonate completely with my personal relationship with my view of the creator, however it is my hope that you will one day come to know that there is a powerful spark of that which created all of this around you within your own heart.

 

For those who may not feel comfortable quite yet with this as the center for all their intentions, I pose another possible option. Set whatever intention you like, but be mindful of having one. Really look at your motivations and what energy is driving your behavior and activities. This is the key to understanding a multitude of many great things, or rather knowing one great thing. Where you place your focus is where you go. Some have used this in interesting ways. Numerous seminars and trainings exist to manifest riches and large fortunes. It often involves vision boards and visualizing the goal and desire and thinking that it already belongs to you.....And this is a great method. This is meditation in many ways. But again, going deeper we need to look at the intention. Is it only to have a nice big house and a lovely car?

 

If this is the sole aspect and the depth of your intention you can be sure to expect and receive a temporal and fading outcome. An outcome that will leave you not only living in the future not at all in the present moment in the grass is greener mentality of non existence and illusion, every hungry and seeking and never being filled or finding that what can never truly fulfill. Is this not self defeating? Does this really fullfill what you were hoping for?

 

Deepen your intention and you will find yourself in a different place. What is deeper than the desire for the big house? Look at why you want this? There is something deeper perhaps still unarticulated that you desire. Is it happiness? Then if it is happiness, then what makes this thing called happiness in your heart? Here is the fun part...write a list of times you felt truly happy. Guess what. I am fairly certain that if you are even remotely concerned with your spiritual development you will notice that your list contains a majority if not an entirety of things that have nothing to do with the big house or any other monetary aspect at all. Mabey it is the beautiful wife or husband that you seek. Again break down the motivations to its core truth and you will realize you have been missing a major point and your vision clouded by the veil of Maya.

 

This is the dillusion, this is where all that glitters isnt gold folks. Hello.....we are buying into the pipe dream. Believing the infomercial of this world and not tapping into the real deal. The world is a great sales person, you give your money and sign on the dotted line all on emotion and the lure of the senses. It is so funny and we all do this, we all say the old cliches and retell the fables and relate and believe things like...money cant buy you love, or the path to hell is paved with good intentions and yet...there we go on a daily basis frolicking behind the pied piper.

 

Set your intention for your life. I was doing a reading for an old friend a truly special wonderful soul today and yet he has been caught in a bit of a identity crunch lately. We all are? And it is great. I saw in his cards the King of Pentacles that represents a man of wealth and riches, the King of Wands that is a honest, hardworking man of the earth and the knight of cups a true romantic and emotional intuitive youthful soul. They fell in one in the past (knight) and two in the present. One was the man he felt he needed to be according to this world and the dillusion of Maya ( a role he had been chasing with great passion) and the other was the authentic aspect of himself that he had been ignoring and had not remembered value in and the other was the young man who was neither of the two. The answer for him was to go back to the drawing board and get real about his authentic self. Somewhere in the midst of all the expectations, hopes, experience and his nature was the evolving aspect of who he was now and could be. However the mask to his true self was cloaked in heavy layers of this persona of the man of riches the world had sold him on the idea of needing to be.

 

I dont write this to criticize him, for his is a wonderful man. I use this as an example because we all have this same predicament. The key to finding your authentic self I believe is about getting real about intention. Looking at the big picture and then digging deep.

 

 

Get out a Piece of Paper

1. So look at the young girl or boy you were without getting stuck there write key words

2. write down the person you hope to be

3.look at who you really are (just the positive).

 

 

Next Section

1.Ok. then look at the dreams you had when young and what you believed in. Write them

2. Look at the person you think you should be or would like to become again. Write it down. Pause .....let it sink in.

What is all of this about? Why do you want to become this? What is the intent and what does it mean for you to be and have these things?

 

Find that answer and now go back to who you were as a youth and your beliefs and the positive about who you are now. Here is where it gets good.

 

Contemplate this for a while.

 

Now try to boil it all down to a few key words and one primary intention.

 

------------------------ The answer you must find for yourself at the end of all this. But I truly believe that by doing this you will have a different idea of your direction or perhaps a stronger resolve for pursuing it. Set the intention and enjoy the journey too.

 

Namaste

See Yourself Through AnotherĀ“s Eyes

Posted on 12 November, 2014 at 21:10

The depth of feeling

through the gateway of the eyes

 

The eyes are the gateway to the soul and if you are lucky there exist a pair of eyes in whom you can see beyond the world and into the universe back into yourself. It is where the moment becomes the embodiment of all moments, where in one person you find yourself. This is the union of infinity and it is found in our connection with another.

 

Some of the deepest lessons in life come from others, the greatest love comes from the ability to recognize the universal oneness in another and in that other find yourself there. Is it this merging of two souls through the eyes in a moment of truth that holds not only the key to them, yourself, but to everything.

 

once the walls are down, and you can see the beautiful soul of another and when you let them see you...that is when one of the great awakenings can take place. The defenses have fallen away, the channel is clear and you are for once removed from the covering, the drapery that masks your soul. Soul naked you merge, from the eyes with another, if you are lucky.

 

Perhaps this is the true test, the test to see how much you can trust, the test to see how comfortable you are. Not just comfortable in your own skin but comfortable without it, soul naked. Gloriously naked two souls with open hearts and without fear.

 

I did not realize the amazing nature of this as it felt so natural, but then in this...the after thought it has stuck me as so miraculous and fantastic, as it is so rare to feel so free looking into the eyes of another.

 

How often we meet the eyes of another and turn away, look away and feel that feeling of being exposed or as if we are exposing another. How frightening it often is to hold the gaze with certain people. And yet,...there is such a thing, there are such moments, moements where you melt into the moment with another and become real. A person with whom you can connect, it is safe and free. What is this and why? How is it that this can be?

 

In the wake of this wonderful event, I can not help but wonder why it is so hard to do this with the rest of the world. Here is a great quest. To love all people with such freedom and innocence. What miracle and heavenly wonder would this be if I or you or anyone were able to be so completely in love with everyone in the whole world. Is this possible? To be able to just gaze into each persons eyes and feel so happy, feel like you are wrapped in a beautiful warm blanket, to feel like a summer day? What an amazing thing to feel so natural.

 

Natural and alive. What a fantastic thing and gift it is to be here, to have the chance to meet yourself in the eyes of another one day and realize we are one.

 

Namaste.

Amanda

 

Yoga for detox, addiction

Posted on 12 November, 2014 at 21:10

Yoga is a key, a gateway to greater understanding and a wonderful tool. For me after years of trauma on all levels physical, emotional and mental I needed a way to bring the sieges of fight and flight behavior down and better fortify myself and equip myself. What I needed was a new way to live and function. Meditation and the Breath were the answers. The long exhale became my emergency evacuation switch for the all familiar takeover of the sympathetic panicked fight mode that had long since become my system default mechanism. Meditation began as a painstaking experience riddled with anger and negative thoughts, in these early attempts at meditation I likened myself to a rabid animal and it was my thinking that was thus frenzied and viciously striking out in pain and fear.

 

The gentle yogis who taught me meditation were so calm and yet inside my mind I had anger towards the calmness, frustration at the feelings of entrapment the silence I was called to cultivate created in me. I felt smothered and paced mentally in the cage of my mind like a wild beast brought under submission by a foreign and unintelligible new master. I fought against is with all of my ego, my fear and my pain. Then when the meditation would end after 20 minutes of hell, I realized that this was the problem. Not the teacher, not her voice, not the cushion, not the temperature of the room....no it was me and my severely troubled soul.

 

Yoga provides a discipline, a process and a protocol. As I worked with my body I began to undo the damage, the forcing patterns, the self harm and injury of years of poor diet and neglect. As these negative tendencies faded with more and more practice, I found other challenges like the lack of surrender, the tension and the held patterns of stress. The high shoulders of fear and the tense back of the waiting for disaster mode. Like a war stricken soldier I had been living in a state of constant arousal, always waiting for the shoe to drop even after I made significant lifestyle choices. Not letting people in, hard stiff hugs and clenched teeth. Wow!!!! Years of old patterning had to be undone.

 

I realize I was somewhat of a difficult case. Many of you reading this may feel that you fall far from this extreme, others will relate entirely. For each of the students I have met over the years out of over 800 classes that I have taught thus far across the span of age and physicality, these patterns if you know how to look exist in all. The degree is different but it is there. We are on the great journey and not one has yet arrived at the state of perfection. That is the great mystery and wonder of life. Yoga to me is a mirror of life. In the short time spent in a class or in ones own practice we witness and confront the issues of life we must work on. Are you a forcer, pushing and always going to far? A complainer where it is always something outside you that is to blame for your discontent? The wounded who blames the injury and never really tries to get well again? The stuffer, living on the surface and not really ever existing on a real soul level? The maladies of the soul are many and the healing thankfully is too.

 

For me breath, meditation, healing stretches and mindful movement, positive intentions and self analysis are the clues and keys to living a more real and abundant life.

 

If you live here in San Diego come and lets practice together. If not I have a series of videos to help that will be free and available soon, I offer products for your sacred space to decorate your life with reminders for healing, tarot for insight and other mystical ways to penetrate the viel and see into another side of yourself and life.

 

Namaste

 

Amanda Rodriguez

Earthing Cure for the Common Mind

Posted on 12 November, 2014 at 15:15

Outdoor Activities

Cure for the Common Head

 

There is something truly healing and theraputic about going outside into the expanse of nature and grounding the jagged and frenzied city vibrations back into their holistic roots in the outdoors. Grounding or earthing as it is often called is a powerful medicine for the runaway mind syndrome so often developed in this fast paced planet. To decompress from the high energy levels and telecommunications frequencies that are so damaging to the ability to focus and think clearly one must return to the primal and basic connection to the soil and the sea, the mountains and the fresh air. No matter which delightful verdent pasture you select for your earthing experience you are sure to soon find a gentle repreave from the madness in your mind.

 

The mind so often cluttered with future focus or past nastalgia rarely present and still in the awareness of the now so often urged by Ekart Tole and other great philosophers and ancients such as the Taoists and Rishis. Yes, to center and connect to plug into the real biorhythems of nature herself. This is a truely magical and magnificent experience and a perfect panacea for the ills of our materialistic future focused need focused society. The true need and the one so often ignored is fresh air and sunshine. This dose of holistic medicine is free and readily available to all. Even those immeshed in the depths of a dismal city may find if they seek hard enough an open space or sunny corner whereby one can sit and take in the truth of life in a few moments of still reflection and awareness.

 

So why do we become so immersed in the fabricated dillusion of this society the internet and the cellular phones and the cyber space and synthetic sitcoms which give us a false sense of meaning and a vibrational hangover from our indulgences.. Yes just as the telephone poles need grounding and electrical poles need a strong connection to the earth we too as human beings would become very dangerous to not only ourselves due to burnout but also to others without a grounding influence on our lives.

 

The importance of nature and our relationship to it cannot be understated nor ignored. For this reason I will leave you now to go outside on this the first day of spring and play in the vibrant and luxurious opulance of Gods creation.

 

Namaste

Quieting the Mind- Diving into Inner Peace

Posted on 12 November, 2014 at 15:10

Quieting the Judgntal Mind-Diving into Peace Within

 

 

It has come to my attention as of late that a great deal of my lack of serenity and peace throughout my day is caused by the nagging qualities of the judging mind that seems to always have a comment or opinion. This constantly seeking and never settled mental energy seems to switch from a relentless categorization of details and a plethora of assumptions regarding the matter at hand, to a cacophony of petty dialogues about others to then a series of critiques and suppositions about the accuracy and methodology of my own actions and doings. Between the outer world and the lack of true depth in my own "apparent" inner world, it seems the mind is a buzz with chatter and vacillations, constantly in a state of frenzied distress and only lucky to enough sometime to stumble upon a few brief moments of peace. The real goal for me is to find a way to turn the tide, to change the flow, to still the circus of distractions and abuses. The judging mind ever finding fault or even falling into agreement but never in still acceptance is a tiring place of chaos. In the Bhagavad Gita and the east they speak of loosing desire for likes and dislikes, freedom from the contrasts of Maya and the illusion of the opposites that appear to create the structure of this outer world which seems so real. This veil of darkness and light is but a contorted picture.

 

The entrapment of likes and dislikes is the foreground for the judgmental mind. the mind trained to make assertions based on evidence. This evidence is but a construct of our conditioned reality and our vision when founded on the sense data processed through the judgmental mind is the handiwork of the ego. In a sense event the writing I am doing now, walks a fine line here meshed within the same categorizing, over thinking mind drowning in rationalizations and theory. So how to slow the runaway train of the shallow thinking mind is quite the trick when much of our existence is solely found here in this web of mental pathways leading to more mental pathways driving the self further from source and spirit. In the quest for truth the mind is lead further from it by this process.

 

So the process must shift in order to find stillness and peace. The rapidly speaking frenzied voice of judgement must be replaced with the loving still and simple voice of true reason, that which is the highest reason. It is the reason that questions little and does not seek to know. It is the mind that is present in the moment of bliss. Samadi the 8th limb on the fantastic path of Patanjali does not include a series of mental diatribes and verbose rhetoric. No, samadi is the state of bliss where all is perfect in its own perfection. Nothing needing to be analysed or improved, it is the state of total submission to what is. What is just is. The tree in the garden is a tree. It needs not be defined as this tree or that tree to be the tree that stands before you, so too then is the state of the pure un-defiled mind the pure Budhi mind that exists at its higher vibrational form. It is an energetic awareness one that is powerful in the nature of its unity to the present state of being. So this is the path of enlightenment. Despite all the Janja Yoga and the quest for learning and knowledge, the truest form of understanding arrives at the point of submission to the state of non questioning, non seeking and just being.

 

How to turn off the switch of the judgmental personality is like a meditation. Anyone who has seriously tried to undertake meditation knows that it is a practice that does not instantly avail itself, despite the good intention of submitting to the moment and being present. It may take years to learn to have 3 minutes of true meditative silence and peace. Often it begins with a great deal of pseudo peaceful mental guiding and this unfortunately is still the judging ego mind. It takes a bit of time to really make the shift and learn how to dive deep beyond the senseless mind chatter to the deep quiet stillness that lies deep within. Some use a form of sitting behind the mind and being the watcher, though this is a challenge as it can create a fragmentation in the connection to the higher self and may be more of a dissassociative mechanism than it is a way to finding genuine stillness. I personally try to dive deep within the self to a place of quiet, to find myself the real person the one beyond a lifetime of defense mechanisms and escapism that had been pushed deep inside and left quiet guarded behind the vaulted doors of a hardened heart. This however is another topic and discussion one of which will be discussed in a later article and at anther time. The still place of peace lies within, at the place of true presence. To reach this place of centering with the self at its true level beyond the masks, barricades and facade one must have the courage and endurance built up within to make the voyage inward. The way to dive deep to the quiet inner cave of stillness, the tabernacle of quietude and connection to the I Am that I Am is to swim and go beneath the storming soundtrack of the ego judging mind and seek the refuge in the sanctuary of the heart.

 

The breath is a great start, use it as the springboard for the dive to inner depth and ever new joy and bliss. The deep exhale is the grounding mechanism I use just as if I were literally diving down deep beneath the waters of the Sea of Cortez. In some ways having had a personal connection to the sea in my real physical life has been a great aid in the integration of this method. For those reading who do not have this connection to the sea you may try this also in a bathtub and by doing so you will soon discover what this method is, and how to integrate it into your regular daily affairs and activities. It is in essence a way of checking into the zone of real consciousness. A break, a breath, a reprieve from this maddening torture that we submit upon our own selves. Our own monkey mind is our own personal pet, psychological terror mechanism, to stimulate a jarring and disturbing walking on eggshell existence in our own space. So to dive beneath the noise and the daily personal commentator who is our constant spectator and judge is not just a happy much needed break but also the means by which you can allow for this side of your mind to eventually fade away. It is a momentary check in with self point where you can actually come to the place of the real game changer where you return up for air into the world of mankind and have some leverage and can reset your gauge and focus and walk in a state of true presence.

 

This is the way to flip the script, or the switch of the mind and jump into another reality the real reality where you are at peace and present and not going 500 miles a second in your head or in nowhere land as a friend likes to call it. No,... check in and return to reality. Hi....you have arrived at being really there with you. From this point you can begin with standard operating procedure for real enlightened living and make more clear and conscious decisions rather than being trapped in living in your biases and prejudices about what is right, wrong and acceptable. This is where you return to a real existence not dictated subconsciously to you through your life of conditioning. This is why small children are at another level of consciousness and see life in such a magical and different way. As we grow and develop and sharpen our knowledge about our contrasts, likes and dislikes etc we dull our real perspective and awareness and begin to default our view into a caged and contrived projection of what we think reality really is or worse go into the place of total judgment because everything around us isn't how it is supposed to be. The consequences of which are dire indeed, as many of us know first hand from the wreckage we have perhaps made in our relationships with others at times because we believe them to not be living as we believe they are supposed to be. The greatest delusion of our separation from each other, our attachment to what we believe people should be like and how the people we love are supposed to love and treat us. This is a great handicap in the pursuit of peace and joy, one thankfully that we can overcome with patience, the breath and the ability to shift our mindset with centering and stillness techniques such as the one I have described above. A moment of silence and stillness is all you need to learn to cultivate to turn the tides and move from the place of judgment to the place of acceptance. Namaste friends, good luck in your practice of peace and presence in reality. This is true serenity.

 

As one of my favorite sayings goes-

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and the wisdom to know the difference.

 

You can change your own inner dynamic with meditation and the breath that is the difference and patience will help you there. Be kind to yourself and others. xoxox



 

Emotional Overdrive- The Wild Roller Coaster of Emotions

Posted on 12 November, 2014 at 15:10

When feelings and important issues are left unattended or worse pushed deep beneath the surface under the guise of “its ok”, the pending issues pile up like unopened mail in our bodies and begin to bio accumulate potential chaos, the longer they are neglected. Processing difficult challenges and reconciling powerful feelings of confusion or concern are difficult, but these issues worsen if not promptly addressed. Given, all things have their time in this universe and even bills that need to be paid have their due dates. It is when we neglect to look at or inventory these important feelings or messages that eventually these issues escalate into a greater more insurmountable problem. Putting off things that are needed to be done today lead to chaos when the unexpected hits tomorrow especially you are already behind on life.

There is a fine line to walk between being a drama queen and not being flexible to being in denial or stuffing emotions through avoidance. While both options are one end of the extreme neither is a healthy solution that brings positive results. The real question lies in what is important to you? What is important in this life. Some say to not sweat the small stuff, and this is true to some extent. This colloquialism does not however infer that the details are not important in life. The details of this life do matter and they quickly snowball into an avalanche when proper emotional maintenance is ignored.

The free life without structure and a come what may attitude, while theoretically ideal in practice soon spawns the prompt return of old behavioral issues that may have lain dormant while you have enacted this charade of composure. Real issues can never truly go away with a simple one time cure or panacea and certainly not wander off forever when beneath the surface you continue to feed the big ball of junk you are stuffing in the " junk drawer" of your soul. In fact this is negative emotional hoarding and the pile up can be a avalanche that will suffocate you with its weight and force the moment the door swings open or the balloon bursts. It takes a lifestyle change to correct years of negative habitual patterns and behaviors and avoidance is not a permanent fix it is one a weak facade that will not stand any real pressure. The cycles between high and low may at times seem like moments of equilibrium but the ride is not over and the twists and turns of the emotional roller coaster lie ahead. It is through really taking a true account of why the behaviors are taking place and what is creating these feelings that must be addressed, otherwise it will not be long before you are taken for another loop. The path to wellness is a road where there are numerous and a series of decisions, these decisions are what navigate us upon our path toward higher consciousness. Our responses to the effects of our decisions are what define our character and are in a sense the litmus to where we are in terms of healing. It is only through right action and thinking that the confusion and drama of our emotions can be brought into accordance with a fair judgment and correct behavior as a response.

 

 

It is said in Yoganandas interpretation of the Bhagavad Gita that at the end of the day it is we who must decide whether or not we have won the battle against the unruly senses and the temptations towards falling short of the mark. Let me preface this with the fact that falling short on occasion does not mean you are a failure in your pursuit towards greater emotional health and wellness but rather it is a sign that you may need to work a bit harder on living in accordance to the decision to being a more balanced and healthy person both within and without.

 

 

How to address our feelings to others if we feel neglected or uncomfortable with a situation is difficult and often the longer the promptings for these feelings are left unexplored or worked on they begin to fester into a ball of a raw mix of various emotions: often sadness, anger, and confusion or rage. It becomes hard to decipher the convoluted puzzle of self-deception that has been compounding with little white lies to the self and contorted by denial. Dig deep, look within. What is the nature of this ball of incumbent furry and despair? The helplessness and self-deprecation is sure to follow with perhaps a brief or extended interlude of finger pointing and tangential misplaced energy. What is the cause of your issue?

 

 

When you feel angry or slighted or confused process these feelings after sitting with them for a moment. Choose not to lash out immediately nor to bury deep the feelings and shrug them off. Ask yourself why do I feel like this? Write it down. What am I feeling? Who does this involve and what can I do about it that will keep me in line with my goal of living a healthy and productive life? You must first do the work and then make a decision. Do not make a decision unless you are prepared to hold true to the determination for a little while. So for instance you have a relationship in which you feel does not really fit into the idea of what you think your relationship should be. You hang in there and ride the rollercoaster of should I stay or should I go, am I to blame or is it their fault? Is this persons fault or if only this were not the case and some other situation were happening would it be ok? And so on and so forth....

So here is where the cycle begins to grow into a tornado of potential danger of catastrophe. You let it slide and make rationalizations for yourself and/or others and cling to a fantasy of what might be the case were the situation to have any other assortment of variables. Waiting perhaps for these conditions to manifest and unfortunately to no avail. Maybe even you change a few things hoping it will spark a new chain reaction to lead you toward this goal and yet despite your best efforts it returns only the same result. Why is this? It is because deep down you have not really resolved the heart of the matter. You continue to expect your inner landscape to change based on the possibility of a perfect series of events that may never occur. It is in the moment that real reality for us lives. So get real. Is what you want here now?

If not, why? Everything you need for happiness is here for you now. It may look different that your picture of joy and happiness or fulfillment but that is because you need to expand your closed vision. This comes from making the decision to believe that this basic fundamental universal truth is indeed the case. If you do not then you must then continue to experiment with the manipulation of variables in this life in the hopes of finding the perfect formula for your success.

Now, what If upon closer inspection you realize that yes…everything you need is here right now but you are unable to shake this feeling of anxiety or doom regarding your circumstances. For many of us especially if you have a history of doing this to yourself repeatedly (getting upset with what you cannot control in life like people, places and things) you may need to look at methods to shifting the stinking thinking.

Are your ways of dealing with these raw energies and questions harmful to yourself or others? This harm may just be the general energy pollution that you are letting off-gas from your aura. A wise man once told me that on the path to self-mastery you must learn the power of your vibration. We are responsible for our energy and the way we transmit this to others. No matter what the circumstances we are, called to be in dominion over our weaker selves. So remember not to beat yourself up for failing to effectively navigate the chariot of or senses if you find yourself yet again in another moment of impulse behavior.

 

Two great mechanisms of self mastery are meditation and a personal inventory or some method of free writing to release this ticking time bomb of powerful underlying emotions. Often our lack of control or impulse go to behaviors are propelled by this growing and powerful fusion of pent up issues that we try to pretend we are resolving by letting them hide out of sight. This is our karmic test and quest. The events which spark these feelings are placed in our lives is to facilitate our greater learning and understanding of both the self and our place in the grand scheme of the universe. Often the over inflation of the importance of ourselves and our own needs is a huge milestone and challenge to the road to recovery from the deceptive and delusional world view we have been given or taken on in this lifetime. Our delusional belief in these rigid views of what the world is supposed to be like in our minds are the source of the problem. To see beyond your own BS you need to really look at what values and ideas you have been rigidlly holding on to that have been fueling these emotional outbursts. Often our entitlement or feelings that we are not being treated correctly spark this angry or sad or distrubed response. The rigid structures of belief need to be distilled within our hearts and minds and taken to its pure form. What is this life about for you?

Let’s say it is about peace. Then ask yourself, how can I find peace in this situation? What can I do right now to move towards greater peace and embrace this now? Create a simple life goal. Keep it simple, the simpler the better. This has nothing to do with the assemblage of outside factors (money, a better boyfriend, a baby, better job). The goal must be your goal for your life. Let’s say it is happiness. Now there are a few given things to consider. There will be loss in this life so do not let this be the deterrent then to the manifestation of happiness. So how can one be happy then with the knowledge that all things must end, and that change is constant in this life? Now look at the life goal of happiness…..ok here it is in black and white. By holding your hopes that your goal will be constant happiness you must really look at how this is possible while still keeping real with the fact that all emotions have a healthy place in your life. Here is the great pitfall of saying all I want is happiness in this life. It sounds so great. I do not care for money all I ask Great Spririt, HP or whoever is that you fill me with permanent abundant joy. Hmmmmmm. Looks like a sure fire way to feel guilty about feeling real feelings and probably the precursor to stuffing them because they are viewed as bad or undesirable. No....feelings are healthy and good. It is how we use them or let them use us that is a problem. If someone you love dies, you are allowed to feel sad. It is healthy to feel a little bit unworthy too at times if you are not putting your heart into your work these feelings are tips to show you something and they are natural reactions to things as well. You are here on earth to feel things. It is the way you work with these events and feelings that we are talking about.

 

So do not stuff your feelings, open yourself to feeling them in a safe way it is ok to be mad, to cry, to feel sad. Let yourself experience the abundance of life.

 

Namaste.

Mindfulness Key to Healing Trauma

Posted on 12 November, 2014 at 15:05

I am blessed and honored to be under the masterful teachings of Mr. James Fox, founder of the Prison Yoga Project, this weekend. His teachings and insight have begun to open within me a fantastic journey into a new state of peace otherwise unknown to me until now.

Plagued by old traumas and lingering effects and associations relating to these deep old festering wounds, finally, an answer. One, in fact, that has been there all along. This panacea is called mindfulness and meditation. The key with this method is to not suppress the feelings of pain, fear and grief that are old friends to the sufferer of PTSD, anxiety disorder, depression and other trauma-related ailments, but to allow the pain to be felt from a place of non-judgment and quiet acceptance. It is from this place of peaceful, unbiased observation that the emotions are not compacted into the spirit awaiting their untimely explosion or release, but rather are allowed to pass through like a wave.

If you ask any lifeguard or big wave surfer what they do when hit by a wave of tremendous force and power - the secret that they will share is, in fact, the same method I am speaking of. Indeed, for anyone with panic disorders, anger management issues, or the like, they can attest that the waves of seemingly uncontrollable emotions feel the same. Fighting and resisting this influence only exacerbates the issue and compounds the problem, often quickly followed by "knee jerk" programmed reactions of fight or flight, i.e., self defense. To the outside world it may appear as provocation, but, to the sufferer, it is a reaction, one that they often feel compelled to do without any method of control as a means of self preservation. So, the answer is to ride the wave from a place of less resistance. Some yogis have discussed this method as sitting behind the mind in a state of observation or watchfulness. From this place we can allow the wave to run its course while remaining calm and saving our energy for after it rolls over, often times saving us from greater peril much due to our own panicked vacillations.

As my dear friend Shiva Das and astrologer told me one day when looking at the vast extremes of my natal chart -- I must learn the Tai Chi of life and learn not to fight fire with fire, but rather transmute and transcend. Shift the energy to a light energy. In fact, this is what the great Masters in Asia have done for centuries. This movement of not only deflecting negative energy, fear, anxiety, etc. but actually moving it to a healthier place through this method. Riding the wave, observing the mind and emotions rather than fighting them from a state of non action. Let the wave move through while staying peaceful.

Use the breath. This entire process is highly dependent on concentration, stillness, faith and the breath. Slowing down and breathing stops the knee jerk reaction. Wait before acting. Patience, breath, stillness, non judgment. This is the meditation of peace, this is the meditation called mindfulness.

Try it today - if you feel uncomfortable for any reason, look at yourself through quiet open eyes and breathe. Let it pass and you may indeed, like me, learn something really cool. Something that you have known all along but have forgotten.

Expectations- A self defeating prophesy

Posted on 12 November, 2014 at 15:05

Expectations The Self Defeating Prophecy....On Cognitive Dissonance and Limiting Beliefs

 

Our desire to force and control situations is often tied to limited beliefs on how our goals and desires can be realized. When our secret agendas and expectations cleverly hidden within the subconscious as inalienable rights or entitlements are challenged we are often angry or sad. A series of self defeating behaviors takes place as we go through the emotional roller coaster of trying to manipulate and change the details of what is happening by a series of tricks and methods that we believe are coming from a place of determination and proactivity. This is often a dangerous double edge sword that can leave in its wake many negative feelings both internalized and expelled upon those closest to us.

These methods, those we use to try and bend the will of others to fit our expectations and the hopes of our own desired outcomes are very limiting and damaging in a number of ways. Sometimes this can lead to the complete abandonment of our goals and desires as we quickly lose hope when our limited notions of how we believe this situation should be played out doesn´t pan out as we would like. Succumbing to the subsequent negative feelings that come from this perceived failure can make us wax and wane between giving up and pushing forward in these precarious conflicts. We do the inner dance of yes I can or no I cant and begin to sit on the fence mired in the anxiety over whether or not to abandon the project or stay true to our intent. But it is this ….what is our intention? That is the secret clue to uncovering possible solutions to this evolving calamity.

Ironically the conflict is often self generated by the conditions we place on these events and goals. By releasing these benchmarks of perceived success and going rather with a more open minded organic flow many of our failures could have actually been some of our greatest successes in life had we only opened up to the infinite possibilities available. When we are able to give up our small notions of what things should be they can bloom into something more beautiful than we could have imagined when we let the universe do its work while we give our positive support by setting the intention and staying true. Many times we will resort to seconding guessing the entire purpose of it all as we begin to subject ourselves to the feeling that this thing is unattainable and thus in a final ditch effort of self preservation return to what we know and ditch the whole idea and call it all in vain, only to conclude by telling ourselves it wasn’t that great or worthwhile anyways. This is our way of staying perpetually stuck in a negative spiral of depression as we no longer go beyond the safety net of our experiences and become limited and stuck in what we know and eventually in the mantra that it wasn’t worth it anyways so best not try at all.

Take for instance the classic story of the fox and the grapes by Aasop, often cited as a classic story of cognitive dissonance. Dissonance, the last resort in the self defeating process of unrequited rigid expectations and the for lack of a better word our own inner BS mechanism (Bull S$%t for those who were wondering) to justify our continued failure.

The fox who longed for grapes, beholds with pain

The tempting clusters were too high to gain;

Grieved in his heart he forced a careless smile,

And cried ,‘They’re sharp and hardly worth my while

So my dears and of course you know I write this mainly because this is my struggle for the day….What would you rather have the same thing you have always had or something perhaps great and new. Now…here is the way to get it. Set the intention a positive intention and then ask for guidance and clarity from above as to how this may take place. You see a great salesman once told me that the No´s in life are not closed doors but opportunities to connect with a greater truth. Find the problem and make space for its resolution in your mind and soul by not giving up or in to negative emotions. Now given, the end result may be arrived at by a series of new and possibly exciting ways. As long as you are willing to try something new and yes maybe a little scary there is a great chance for success. Of course for the faint of heart you can remain in your misery and wonder why life and great things continue to pass you by and you wallow in self pity and blame the rest of the world as you once again try the self defeating prophecy of boxed in expectations and be stuck in the caves with the rest of the cave men who were content with eating raw meet and freezing at night. Its up to you. Have the courage to think outside the box and remember don’t give up, shift the way you see what is happening and the impossible may very well become possible with a little letting go and opening up. And to continue with my love for clichés….Dont be afraid to think outside the box.

……

 

Inspired by my opposite, my strange friend and most amusing muse

An Attitude of Gratitude and Finding Your Dharma

Posted on 12 November, 2014 at 15:00

An Attitude of Gratitude and the Key to Finding Your Dharma

 

For those in the yoga world familiar with the concept of your Dharma, You may be still fervently searching for the answer to what your dharma is. For those unfamiliar with this term I will go into a brief description of what this means.

In the yogic teachings the word Dharma is essentially ones duty or place in the grand scheme of things. Each thing has its own dharma or way of fitting into the great order of life or existence as a whole. Many have taken the eastern view on this concept and westernized it by combining this to the Western notion of one’s purpose in this life. This along with the idea that the creator (I like to keep this loose and allow for any variable for your particular culture to fit in here as x would in an algebraic equation) has chosen for each individual a particular purpose that is suited to the natural or innate gifts or talents that you have received in this lifetime. Combining this to the modern yogic lifestyle it moves to imply that each person has been due to Karma (again you can keep this big picture and look at this conceptually without being attached to the word or being made anxious by it if you are of a different religion) or fate etc. been given in this lifetime (whether it is the only one or many i.e. karma) certain skills that are natural to a person, personality such as great with people or great with numbers etc, and likewise certain handicaps or areas in which the person is not naturally endowed or strong in. Ok, so you may feel a bit lost here and wonder what does this have to do with this Dharma thing.

Well, I will tell you. Today I was speaking to a good friend who has been pursuing this topic around the world, and has spent a considerable amount of his fortune and time trying to find. This is not at all uncommon for some and then again you may know a friend or relative who may not know anything about the concept of Dharma but has since a young age known their mission in this life and have since that time been on the fast track to doing just that. Many doctors attest to this type of knowing. They wanted to help people and be a doctor, never deviated and never regretted it. So why is this so hard for many of us in this lifetime and so easy for others? What is the answer and how can one who has no idea find the formula that worked for those who have it so well figured out. Now, let me tell you that I myself find that I have made many deviations on my personal path and journey but at the core of it all I know I always had a knack for writing and philosophy and loved demonstrating things in front of people. Now....did I think I would be a yoga teacher and be writing this to you now....No...But here I am.

I think the first step in discovering your personal dharma is getting really real with yourself. To do this the best way is through gratitude. Look around in your life, look at yourself and get out your gratitude list. What are you grateful for? Get the pen and paper out or say it out loud and really see this. This is the best positive grounding technique to shut off the negative block and shoo away the dark cloud above your head that is blocking out the clarifying light from above. So, get real and get grateful. Most of our complaints are based on lack of true vision and gratitude is a great way to defog the mask and see what colorful fish and lovely things surround you.

When you get grateful you get clear. Now see what you are grateful for in your own life, and in your own self. What are you good at? When this comes from an attitude of gratitude you can be sure your ego that is not your amigo is out of the way and you can really assess your assets. This is the key to everything. Your natural abilities and strengths are a great place to start. And here is the real kicker.

After assessing your strengths, find gratitude in your weaknesses. You see, your weaknesses are what help you grow stronger and learn new ways of living. Without them you would probably never be challenged to get out of your comfort zone and grow. In fact if it weren’t for my weaknesses I wouldn’t have anything to write about. loll. So folks that is the tid bit for the day. Meditate on this and I bet you get a lot closer to finding your own Dharma.

 

So grateful for you. Thanks for reading. xoxo

Finding the Flow in Your Life

Posted on 12 November, 2014 at 15:00

Finding the flow and tapping into the beauty of life. After a great deal of vacilation and struggle and a tremendous amount of sorrow and pain from forcing and pushing my way to the top, I by the blessing of God have found the flow. I am happy to be in my own skin.

 

As much as self will and my designs for life seem to be that of great import, I am yet again humbled and awed by the mastery of the greater universal plan and its unveiling in my life. It seems that just when I gave up and let go and gave it to my higher power. He gave me more than I could have hoped for or realized.

 

There is such a feeling of peace and joy to find the blessing of another kindred soul in this lifetime. If even only for a moment, how beautiful such a moment is when the distractions of the mind drop away and one can just rest in the peace of being in the moment fully present. To be safe enough with another to let the guard down. To be with family and friends and embrace their presence.

 

To be onself without the show or the costume, without the mask. There the soul naked and in its glory finally safely revealed to another. So beautiful and magical.

 

The flow. To be safe enough to go with the flow. To be true to oneself and thus be true to others. This is what life is. This is worth more than any treasure. This is the greatest treasure. I am blessed to have been present today. I am so grateful.

Personal Boundaries and The Spiritual Path

Posted on 12 November, 2014 at 14:55

Personal Boundaries and Your Path

In an attempt to please others we sometimes make the fatal mistake of not owning our own personal power and staying true to our self and our path. As women this is a common situation as we take the archetype of martyr and submit our own feelings in the misguided effort of trying to make other people comfortable often times before our own needs. The self sacrificing tendency is very harmful to our well being and while on the outside or even sometimes on the inside this appears to be the right thing to do, it is often very detrimental not only to our own selves and self esteem and value but also to the other party as we cosign a negative behavior in another person and take away their own power to do the right thing for themselves. It essence this is a self defeating behavior, one that results in both parties lacking respect for themselves.

 

When on a plane we hear the prompts for safety in case of a disaster. To most, this is a boring lecture that is always the same...but how many times have you considered the fact that the parent is instructed to place the mask on themselves first before they assist the child or any other individual. Likewise in my recent training on Psychological first aid the same concept of taking care of ones basic needs and health first are a prerequisite for the first responder. There is a reason for this, the same reason we are told that to find true love we must come as a complete individual rather than as a broken person looking for another to fill the void. There is a basic law of the universe inbedded in this entire strategy, and it is not a selfish motive but rather facilitates us to be at our greatest potential to be of service and aid to others. A mentally distressed individual cannot add a sense of calm and security to those around them, it takes a person who is grounded and centered to do so. You cannot give away what you do not have. So the goal is to have it.

 

Now, how does this tie into personal boundaries and your path? As a woman or man, employee or boss etc. we need to have a code by which we live. The spiritual path while different when taken from each culture or religious sect etc., regardless of subtle differences, have this concept in place. There are certain things that we should not allow in our lives, things that may be different from person to person but are important none the less. The challenge comes when we are seduced by peoples agendas and we in hopes of maintaining the status quo end up relegating our own personal status quo to some nether region of our selves ....into some dark closet within our hearts while we negotiate what we really know to be right. The classic example of which, and also motivation for this blog ..is when women are coerced or prodded to give up our sexuality even if it does not feel right. Granted it may feel right on one level but somewhere deep down inside we know that it is something special and very important, something best not cast before swine. Regardless of this many teenage girls and even women in the dating world today feel that this is something they must do, or something that after no becomes a tiresome word to the disrespectful suitor who interprets it as a yes we ourselves begin to feel bad about having to stand up for ourselves. The end result is never a good thing. For either party, though the pain is most felt on behalf of the woman who has given into this played out archetype of subservience and people pleasing.

 

Part of our path is owning our power. This does not have to be aggressive in a 80s type feminist warrior archetype way, but rather can come from a divine place of calmness and also of strength. We have a right to our bodies, to our boundaries and to our beliefs in what is permissible and what is not. This is a great test on the spiritual path. Knowing right from wrong by tapping into our true self, not regurgitating propaganda or rhetoric but by really getting in touch with ourselves and saying no this is not what serves me, and saying I am not going to participate in this. This is not just a lesson for women but also for men. Just think of Germany in WW11, how many people were on board with some majorly wicked and awful acts. The status quo, wanting to please others...this is deeply ingrained in our global culture, in humanity itself. Slavery was once legal but was it right. No. Some people did not feel it was but said nothing and went along with it, others who were much further behind on the spiritual path did not think twice and took it as right because it was supposedly right according to others and then there were those who just didn´t care if it was right or wrong but did it because it served their ego and need for power. So you see, this issue is very powerful and important as we grow along spiritual lines.

 

The hard part for many of us, and certainly for you if you are reading this is that we feel it is wrong and still find ourselves subjected to bullying from those who are in the phases of their development where they are still seeking to satiate the weaker lusts and temptations of the flesh. So for many of us our challenge is to learn how to be assertive about what is not OK and what we do want and not be aggressive about it but rather come from a place of divine power where our no means no. If not we walk away. There is an art to doing this, a confidence and trust in self that is very advanced. I struggle with this myself in many ways, especially now in the dating world where I have confronted a number of very compelling arguments to why I should give away my power.

 

This week try to work on your NFW list (as described in the previous blog...No F´n way list) and really redefine what it is you want out of life. How you want to be treated by others and how you intend to treat those who just do not take no for an answer. There are some really good salesmen out there networking hard for their personal agendas but by staying true to yourself and tapping into your inner self and voice and choosing to trust that answer above the sales pitch no matter how compelling, you may have a chance. It takes work and practice, do not berate yourself is you fail a few times but this is a really powerful part of your spiritual ascension. In essence learning to heed the inner voice and honor yourself in a healthy way is one of our greatest challenges in the I want now world we live in. Good things take time and work, and this lesson is no stranger to this rule.

 

Good luck friends. I will be with you in the spirit valiantly trying to stay fixed and true to the path and not be lead astray by naysayers or critics. And remember we can own our power from a place of love and love does not mean being a proverbial doormat. Namaste.