Soulful Free Prose
|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.
|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.
|Posted on 12 November, 2014 at 15:15|
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.
|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
|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.
|Posted on 12 November, 2014 at 15:05|
Learning to Trust After Betrayal
Learning to trust after betrayal is a painful and difficult process for many, especially when the subversion of trust is compounded with a legacy of similar occurrences. Who among us has not in some way felt mislead, lied to or deceived by someone they loved? Such events make one question the probability of ever finding a person in who to completely trust.
The wounds reopened from previous attacks on our hope and the innocent belief in a safe person or soul friend fester. It seems for many not enough time or nurturing precedes the next bombardment of being let down. It is hard to believe in a true friend or love after years pass and the belief begins to seem naive and almost delusional. We begin perhaps to think ...this is life, life is loss and pain and in the same breath it becomes almost more depressing to come to this conclusion. So we wrestle, secretly hoping and then returning to self-chastisement for the folly of letting ourselves go back to this childhood myth of goodness and justice, fairness and truth. It is a challenge to reconcile the good real moments of human valor and virtue with the unpleasantness of our shadow selves, the side of us all capable of great selfishness and evil. So what protection is there from the truth that we are both blessed and cursed to be these split and segmented human beings? Why not angels? Why so dark at times? It is a purgatory of sentiment to trust, to fear, to hope, and to realize.
So how can we trust again when we know that there is no guarantee that we will not suffer yet another laceration upon the once pure innocent heart born with us and aged with us? We seasoned warriors of the heart; how the pain of betrayal and unrequited love does still sting with the memories we are still held captive by. Wounded warriors in the trenches of love, loss, life and learning walled away from attack, naked and vulnerable. Love, friendships, trust all become fearful concepts painful to hope for.
So, rather than focusing on trusting another person we must first trust from the core and return to a higher love, friendship and union. Trust in yourself, love yourself and even better if you can find it in your heart believe in a power greater than yourself and learn to trust in that. This is the primary and most sacred relationship. It is in this infallible union that men and women have been able to overcome great odds and betrayals by mankind but have been able to persevere and even love. One of the greatest teachers of love who ever walked the earth once said “forgive them they know not what they do” Great saints and sages steadfast in love of their maker have been able to extend peaceful compassion to even the darkest man. This is great power.
Compare this thought with those with which we began only moments ago in the inception of this treatise and see the vast energetic difference you feel within. To love, to have true love you must learn to love first and trust yourself. You must feel deep within your heart that no matter who hurts you, lies to you, or betrays you it cannot and can never tarnish nor take away the sacred bond you have with your true and higher self and with that which created all and exists beyond and before your existence.
When we can have the courage to love ourselves, and know we are loved beyond ourselves, this is a great transcendental key to transformation. In this way we need no longer lament past the pain or seek a person to free us from it. You are this very soul who is here to teach you about love, the part of you that is pure love that which exists in all things. With this as your soul foundation, why would you want for more?
Stay firm and hold fast to the true reality beyond the veil of this temporal and unsteady realm. Go beyond the lifetime of pain and see lifetimes of infinite love. When learning to trust again we must see that it is we who have fallen short of the measure of love we seek to fulfill. Our number one love and focus is not on some event or other person at all but rather on something much greater. When entangled in the mire of worldly confusion, you have subjected yourself to the distortion and not the other way around. Who has deceived who?
Awaken yourself to the great realization that trust and love begin within, deep within to the home of the great spark of life that created you.
|Posted on 12 November, 2014 at 15:05|
I am blessed an honored to be under the masterful teachings of Mr. 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 infact that has been there all along. This panacea is called mindfullness 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 realted ailements but to allow the pain to be felt but 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 exaspebates the issue and compounds the problem, often quickly followed by "knee jerk" programed reactions of fight or flight, i.e. self defense. To the outside world it may appear as provocation but to the suffereror 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 watchfullness. 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.
The Tai Chi of life 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 transcent. Shift the energy to a light energy. In fact this is what the great masters in Asia have done for centruries. 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 dependant on concentration, stillness, faith and the breath. Slowing down and breathing stops the knee jerk reaction. Wait before acting. Patience, breath, stillness, non judgement. This is the meditation of peace this is the meditation called mindfullness.
Try it today if you feel uncomfortable for any reason and look at yourself through quiet open eyes and breath. Let it pass and you may indeed, like me learn something really cool. Something that you have known all along but have forgotten.
|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.
|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
|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
|Posted on 12 November, 2014 at 15:00|
In Times of Loss
We have all had loss in this lifetime. The pain of losing something important whether a person, a dream, a vision etc., can take the all the air out of your sails and bring any positive momentum to a screeching halt. The feeling of the feeling of pain is painful. It seems to hit at such a deep level, so much so that is seems strange and odd that within us there lies such a place that the essence of our existence is so much more than we can calibrate or calculate. Unspeakable feelings of loss and despair invade the hidden storehouses of the heart and leach away any hope.
The desire to shut the feelings out and push away the pain is paramount in the name of self preservation but it seems any methods are futile and running away only further delays healing and compounds the pain only deepening the void. The soul cries out to the universe and we are forced to confront the reality of the nature of our existence. We are not in the Garden of Eden and at this point all of our hopes seem dashed. To sit with the feelings is so hard. The hardest test as humans we can endure.
What are the stages of this experience what is the lesson from this hard teacher, reality. The petty problems seem so miniscule and we lament the times that we misused the moments where nothing truly horrible was actually happening. The times where petty luxury problems seemed so important. The inconsequential things that seemed to matter so much now vanish and their immaturity seems like a mocking reflection of the joke that we are, the clown we play when dressed in the mantle of our ego. Seductive superficiality and the time spent ruminating and obsessing on what now is a glaring reflection of our ingratitude and selfishness.
I look at myself in these times and it is hard not to feel anger and hatred at one’s own stupidity. Where is the compassion when feelings of rage and tears burn the skin as if made of poison? Reflections on a million times that rather than enjoying life I fabricated a problem, a problem of such insignificance that the feeling of shame now mingles with the sadness.
It is said that one must watch the emotions like clouds and not join in. That one must feel compassion and use this as the teacher but to do so in moments of true loss seems like vanity and the continued perpetuation of the same disease of blatant disregard for all things beautiful and lovely. The times where we rambled on about our own small little world and never listened to anyone, shunned silence and stillness to suck away the limelight and be the star in our own narcissistic drama. What we would give for a moment with that person again, how we would have done things differently. How plastic and contrived our little plans and ideas when reality strikes and we realize it never mattered. All that mattered is how we treat people, what we do to be selfless and just spread joy and love. How many conversations did I dominate without thinking of anyone else but myself and my next act in the play of life? The sadness when we realize this is not a game, there is no dress rehearsal and that life is now in this moment.
The loss of moments, moments ill spent a life misused as we put it off for another day. The long list of activities and social events for self gratification and so little time used for things of import and of real consequence.
Make this moment the moment where you live. Feel the moment be present. Life is a gift.
|Posted on 12 November, 2014 at 15:00|
The main problem people face when in relationships is finding the right person. It seems there is often a disconnect with what we are really looking for and who we decide to glum on to. In many cases there is an old pattern that is being played out and we wonder why the results are the same in the end. Essentially we choose unavailable people.
Unavailable people is a term often used to imply we select partners who have no real intention of committing to a real viable relationship. While this may be true in many ways, I have come to discover that the problem goes far deeper than that. What is essentially going on is that we as the seeker do not make a specific enough analysis of who we really are first as a person. This can result in a number of uncomfortable situations involving group activities and other unions, even employment where as time goes on we feel like a social pariah because we really dont fit in with the group we have selected. No dont take the first job they offer, or man etc. there is a reason for this. When finding the best fit are we really being true to what is actually something that will fit our character now. Often we seek what we hope for, and believe perhaps by choosing a partner who apparently has these traits that somehow we will mold ourselves to this pattern. This is a flawed methodology, one that can lead to great disillusionment and dismay.
For instance- if you are an artistic extrovert who has a flamboyant personality and a strange intellectual style of humor you may have difficulties pairing yourself with a introverted scientist who looks at the world through a cold analytical lens. If you have had a wild childhood and have found yourself to have outgrown it dont choose a partner who has been repressed their whole adolescents and is now seeking to express these latent sexual desires and deviances now in their mid life. Realistically this is not a match made in heaven.
For some reason we are doing this. It is odd but in all reality in the first few encounters the signs that we are in some way negotiating or compromising our ideals for a slightly different model may not bother you in the initial romantic stages of eros but give it some time and those little details may begin to wear on your patience.
The solution- Get out your dream board or vision board and really go to work on who you are now and then really identify where you want to go. Do some real soul searching first because taking the time now can save you heart ache and wasted time later in a relationship that really doesnt honor you. Ok..let me give a brief disclaimer for those who may be balking at this answer- all relationships teach us something and that is great but really do you really need to learn the hard way again? So get the vision board out. What are your interests, who are you, what do you want? Do you like artists, and intellectuals or do you just want a rich doctor or smart scientist so you can procreate a super child. Look ...there has to be alot more to it than that. Even if it sounds good on paper really delve into this so that you can find the ying to your yang?
By discovering who you are you can identify what you dont want. And definitely have a No Fucking Way List (as my dear friend TJ once told me). Dont ever negotiate the terms on your NFWL. I unfortunately had to learn this the hard way the other day and long story short looking back over it all...it was absolutely absurd to believe that this situation could have worked. You should not have to feel bad about who you are in a relationship, just find someone who is on the same page so you are not working so hard not stepping on eggshells. Life should flow and so should a relationship. Ok another disclaimer...given all relationships take work. But lets face it folks some relationships are just lost causes.
And please ladies dont get intimate on the first date. NOooooooo this ends in disaster. Find out who the person is before you jump into the sack. And for heavens sakes find out who you are first. Good things come to those who wait and STDS come to those who dont. lol.
So take this next few days to look in the mirror and be real about who you are. You shouldnt have to keep a mask on while dating someone. Be you and not a representative. If they dont like it...find someone who will. You are a great person you may just be with the wrong one.
|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.
|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.
|Posted on 12 November, 2014 at 14:55|
Patience is a tough skill to learn for some of the more fiery go getter type personalities such as myself. To compound matters we live in a world of instant gratification where there is a total disconnect with the actual process. We want results and we want them now. You get thirsty you go to the store and buy a drink, no more long walks to the stream with a pail or pumping the well for some water. For a bite to eat we are tormented when the kitchen takes more than 15 minutes to produce our food.
The result of this modernization is unfortunately a lack of patience with the process. This is exactly what yoga seeks to remedy. You see, in yoga it is the process and the moment and not so much a fixation with a result or a destination. The element of competition is not really an issue to consider, not even in terms of within oneself. So in essence the entire yogic practice is a bit backwards with regards to the world we are conditioned to live in today.
The process in yoga and meditation is the best part of it. Remember the old cliche.. it is not the destination but the journey. Learning to enjoy the process of getting somewhere rather than rushing along trying to get to the finish line. Need I throw in the Fable of the Tortise and the Hare.
We not only do this with our health, our lifes, our jobs but also with relationships and people. What can we get from this person, or what can they do for me. There is a tendency to rush our relationships along based on certain bench marks that we anticipate or expect, deadlines that must be enforced in the name of logic and efficiency. But how often are we really present. How many times have we fast forwarded the process to get the instant gratification or end result we want and then found ourselves unhappy and looking for another grass is greener on the other side senario to repeat the cycle again. Never being happy as we are always pushing for more.
So patience with the process is really not so much about forced breathing to remain calm while waiting in agony for the desired result we seek, but is about enjoying the time as it moves and being present during the process of achievement. It is connecting to the whole product rather than a disconnected piece of it. It is about the art of living. Living from beginning to end, fully rather than racing from goal to goal. It is enjoying the work and really putting love into the manifestation of our dreams. This my friends is patience with the process, which is really being happily present and ready to live. Like they say yesterday is history and tommorrow is a mystery but today is a gift that is why it is called the present.
Be present and meet life where it is actually happening, in the now. So you see it isnt hard to be patient because what we want is already here.
|Posted on 12 November, 2014 at 14:55|
Inspired again by my dear friend and beloved soul, I have taken to the study of the Kabbalah to understand the great and wondrous teachings of the Talmud and Jewish Wisdom. An interesting voyage into a new relationship with the holiest of holies. Prompted by the gap between our customs, my perspective being one of a Catholic born Christian and his being those of a fundamentalist and a Jew, I have at great lengths been moved to understand in more depth the complex nature of my friend.
In my attempt to balance the obvious differences between his earthy and watery nature (Hessed) with my overabundance of fire (Guvurah) and exuberance I found the Kabbalah which has been invaluable in the reconciliation of these opposite sides. In fact, the very nature of the Kabbalah is a complex and anciently configured system of universal balance and inner balance which has proved in this very short period of study to be a treasure of invaluable information. One such exercise is the Tif'Eret excercize.
"Upon entering the room walk to the right wall and feel the giving flow- Hessed. Allow yourself some time to experience this free flow again. Then walk to the left wall and feel yourself withdraw into your emotional cocoon.
As you walk to the middle of the room feel that balance of the fire and water elements, mending together the internal magnetic force and the external dynamic force blending them within.
bring to mind someone you admonished recently. Feel the fire of Guvurah but then go within to the place of Tif'Eret that the gentle warm balance between the two. Find a plausible reason for this persons misbehavior and then let that reason settle in your heart. Focus on the person in your mind and see yourself projecting this warmth as waves of compassion to subdue the egocentric hurt you felt. See the person experiencing your compassionate warmth. Allow a smile to arise on that person's face. Allow yourself an inner smile as well.
Now look into your spiritual heart. See the beauty of color- green like the fresh morning grass. The innocent beauty of the tender blades flowing into your being. Allow yourself to be nourished by the softness and the color."
Rachamin means compassion and is also associated with the Hebrew word for womb. Tif'Eret means beauty. Feel the union between these concepts and terms and allow the energy of Tif'Eret to move into the embrace of your heart. Compassion allows us to open our hearts to others who are different or who may have done us a wrong or perceived wrong. When a Holocaust survivor asked Gd if it was ok to love a stranger he replied " You make strangers, I don't". Thus the distance and separation we place between ourself and another is truly the response of fear based thinking and lack of true compassion.
So today allow for the lovely light of love and compassion to move through your heart and to anothers and allow this feeling to be your hearth and safe cocoon. Gestate in this womb of love and protection and know you are safe to share this beautiful energy with those around you.
Thank you Rabbi LAibl Wolf.
|Posted on 12 November, 2014 at 14:50|
I awoke this morning with a powerful dream to which I applied some Jungian Psychoanalysis and discovered a powerful and amazing realization. As of late I have been working on my own personal shift from old outworn archtypes from my teenage years and have been moving into higher levels of understanding my true self and authenticity while peeling away these outworn masks of yesterday.
These masks and limiting archtypes have been holding me back for some time. The identification of these archtypes and models of living has been at times difficult and challenging. The key to their discovery, which has only recently revealed itself to me is what I like to call the internal alarm. For me my internal alarm is part of my intuitive voice, also in older days known as your conscience. I have begun to realize that when it begins to sound, via discomfort, confusion, inner rebellion that something I am doing is not in tune with my true path and true self. For years I tried to shut this inner alarm off, relegating it to me being crazy and as some type of malady of sorts. The real craziness I have come to realize now, is not listening to this inner alarm.
This alarm is likened to a kettle on the back burner often on low. We get the message and push it away, then it begins to stew and slowly increase in power in the background of our subconcious, as we try to accomodate whatever violation of our boundaries that we try to rationalize in the meantime until the kettle begins to scream and we can no longer ignore this hidden or repressed discomfort. After some serious hard knock lessons in my life due to ignoring this voice and supressing my truth I have found through the subsequent painful lessons that yes....my intuitive voice was right. I should have listened to myself but in order to keep the status quo or to perpetuate the fantasy of what I wished would happen or hoped would happen, unfortunately ignored what was really going on.
Most of us experience this in toxic relationships. We hear the voice, see the signs but rationalize that ohhh they are ok it is only a phase or tell ourselves I should not be so critical it will pass, and thus keep ourselves in a fantasy of what we hope or wish was happening or will happen as opposed to what is happening and what is going on. Thus we stay in the delusion and rationalize the situation to keep us stuck in it due to convenience or a false sense of duty intead of honoring our own divine intelligence and the voice of our intuition. In the end we always say, I knew it all along but if only I had listened.
So part of the shift is about taking the blinders off, stop forcing and be in reality. For me the shift towards wellness and true authenticity is about valuing myself and trusting my feelings and inner voice. If there is a storm brewing beneath the surface, rather than trying to stuff it or mind f%&$ the situation away we need to face it and with calm meditation step back and detatch from dillusion and illusion and go to the calm place within ourselves to take a sober look at what is really going on. If there is a state of panic or disease within it means we are doing something or allowing something that is contrary to what is real and true. At this point we must ask ourselves What is this I am feeling? Not relegate it as ohhh I am crazy or this is old stuff and my fault and I need to be more compassionate or open and let this go. No.....there is something that we must actually do to take steps to get back to the right track. To get into the flow. We must see what old behavior is getting in the way, and take this as an opportunity to look deeper and get real.
Old friends, old behaviors, old archtypes and ways of acting and being that no longer serve the place we are and want to go towards our authentic self are major causes of this inner vacillation. It is funny but in my dream this morning I was at my grandfathers house and it became invaded with uninvited guests who would not leave. Its interesting because how often does this happen in my waking life. I let things in that I know are not part of my new way of living but dont want to be judgemental or rude and then in my denial they begin to take over and I am no longer in control of my own world as I have given over my power and let other forces take control. So being in the shift and moving towards wholeness and the authentic self is about boundaries, listening to the voice and going with it. If it doesnt feel right it probably isnt right, so why try and convince yourself that it is. We need to show our inner self more respect and consideration If we dont we become overrun by people, situations and things that follow our own format of not being respectful or clear about how we would like to be treated. The longer we allow this the more overrun our life (our house) our mind becomes with these outside interlopers.
So what can be done about this....Being in the moment and listening. Thinking before acting, re-evaluate the archtypes of conduct that we have accepted by default or placed on ourselves as a mask and getting real about what really serves our best interests. As the old adage goes "We can not love anyone else unless we love ourselves first. We cannot honor anyone else unless we honor ourselves first. We can not expect to be respected and treated with respect if we are constantly ignoring our truth and placing it second." We set the tone for how others treat us.
So today ask yourself. Is my conduct really serving me? Do I want a healthy life and if so what am I doing to make that happen? If something feels uncomfortable, own it. Do something because no one is going to do it for you. You are the one who ultimately decides how your life will be and what people come into it.
Namaste Friends. Surround yourself with purity and you will be pure. Surround yourself with confusion and a carnival and you will be a clown. Sometimes we need to release old friends, old behaviors, old ways of thinking and doing things. This is what the shift is about, it is about releasing and about change. Do not be dismayed at these goodbyes for they are necessary for your growth. The old structure of self must be torn down in order for a new beautiful one to be taken place. Often times it is the very foundation upon which our ego and false self is built that must be removed. Welcome the new growth and be aware of the signs that something is not working. Use the litmus test of your inner voice to guide you. And remember what Jimini Cricket said.....always let your conscience be your guide.
|Posted on 12 November, 2014 at 14:45|
As part of my path to joy and peace, I have learned that the power of letting go and non attachment are key. In essence and theory it is an easy thing to do but it does take a bit of practice. Yes folks ...I am still human and I too am a work in progress. I still work on this. I work on it with the same dedication as I do my yoga Asana practice, meditation and breathing. It is a lifestyle choice and it does take effort.
The natural tendency of a person in our society today is to clutch the things we love, and protect them. Ironically our protection and clutching are often the first thing that puts the very treasure we seek to possess in danger. Lao Tsu said this in his work when he said that once a man puts value on something that is when the thief comes to seek to take it. We rob ourselves of the free gifts of love, joy and peace by forcing them to be our slaves. In our fear of loss we already begin to loose.
So I have devised a meditation just to help with this problem of letting go. Imagine a beautiful bird. Imagine this bird free and happy soaring through the air. Then see this bird in a cage. The bird in the cage is sad, and while you have it to look at every day and can admire its magnificent colors up close...the bird slowly begins to fade. Lost is the free and beautiful bird that was gracing the air with its lovely color. Feel this...and realize that you must open the cage and allow this bird to fly. Let her fly and see the magic as it dances in the air. Feel the joy of being able to do this. Embrace the feeling of this energy.
Now think of the person or thing that you are holding on to. Imagine them in this cage and then release them and allow them to fly free.
That which is meant to be will be. We must not be the captors in this life but the liberators. Liberate yourself by liberating your need to control and have, to posses and dominate. Let that which you love be what you love. Free in its true power, beauty and pure essence.
You might be surprised that it comes back to you, and does so in a fantastic and wondrous way.
|Posted on 12 November, 2014 at 14:45|
To all those who come to yoga seeking the perfect body, ask yourself one question. Is this really the answer to your prayers? We live in a world today so fixated on our outward appearance and the way we are seen by others, but spend so little time and focus on how we actually feel about ourselves and the way we live. Why is this? Endless botox injections, plastic surgeries to make us feel worthy of love all in a hopless attempt to be accepted. As if our husbands and friends really care about us for this reason. Are we not really subconciously trying to prevent abandonment and betrayal by living in a state of constant competition with the world in hopes that we will be loved and safe. But is this really a means to safety and also, is this really a way towards better health and wellness.
So what is health and wellness? What is beauty and how do we find love? It is this that our attention really needs to turn towards. Health does not mean being on the cover of a magazine or being the most beautiful body on the beach. Sure, these things seem fantastic and we are indeed conditioned to believe that our ultimate security and sucess in this life is based upon these finite things. But here is the cunundrum, how can we expect and hope to be loved by things that do not last forever. We will die, that I can garantee you. Well, at least in the physical realm. You will age and get old and this is the way of life. Despite great advances in science and methods to temporarily hold back the hands of father time there is no escape to this. So then why do we waste such an inordinate amount of time on this the inconsequential and not how we treated others today or can I actually look in the mirror and like who I see (not because of what I look like in my body but because what I see looking back at me from within my eyes).
So what is this yoga thing all about. Ok, sure alot of people presuppose it is about being a skinny fit lady who can bend a hundred ways and look really hollier than thou and force you to want to only eat vegitables. Nooooooo! Yoga is about learning about your body, whatever kind of body you have. It is about 1st body conciousness, learning not to hurt your body, learning to love your body and be nice to yourself. Then it is about listening to your inner voice, what does it say. Do you shut it out.
For instance a friend asks you to do something you know you probably should not do, your inner voice says no this is not right and then in comes the mind to override this truth with a distortion or rationalization as to why doing this thing is possible and even a good idea. Then we do the deed and find ourselves in a state of self deprication and misery because of our lack of forethough or control. Endless times this occurs and often times on simple things like making a rude comment or mabey boasting a little too much about something. Essentially we trick ourselves enough to that we rarely hear or recognize this voice and it has a minor influence in our existance. And then, we wonder why we feel so bad all the time.
Then the next purpose or reason for yoga is about being more helpful to others. That is a whole new blog so I will stop here.
Look....while it is great to look beautiful dont confuse it with being happy. And for the record. No...yoga is not about looking hot in a bikini but it is about being healthy and living a fuller more complete life where you are in tune with yourself so that you can share your real self with others. Because guess what, people like authenticity despite what the TV and media make you think. Think about it. Which do you Perfer?