I awoke and saw that life was service
I acted and behold service was joy.
Practice today was simply nice...calm, and soothing...just what I needed as always. I can never express enough how thankful I am to have such an amazing tool to fall back on. It is really the one thing that has changed the course of my life more than anything...to commit to this daily discipline. I am filled with gratitude to all of my extraordinary teachers as well...I often think of the 'pioneers' who ventured off to India knocking on Sri K. Pattabhi Jois's door to teach them this fascinating method of yoga practice. Back then yoga was not nearly as popular as it is now in the west...and it really takes alot of guts to go against the grain and discover something new even though not popular. So, I am thankful to those who shared this passion. It makes me wonder...would I be comfortable going outside my comfort zone...even though it is deemed unpopular but spoke to my heart? I dunno. But, part of me has that pioneering spirit...and I'm always like...what's next??? What more can I learn and discover?
With it being the last day of the year I have the tendency to be reflective. So many changes have taken place. Never would I have thought some of the things that have happened to me would have in 2007. And...I have learned the importance of being present. The everyday is the training ground for more learning...more acceptance and compassion...
I don't really do resolutions. But, there are three things I would like to focus on in 2008. I want to learn Spanish. Wouldn't that be nice?
Also...I would like to establish a consistent meditation practice. I've been lucky to have kept up my yoga practice without falling off the wagon...staying consistent, and diligent with showing up for the past seven years I have been doing Ashtanga. However, my meditation practice has not been so consistent...I've had times of consistency to then let everything fall off...to pick it up again...to fall off...to pick it up. Yeah. But, I think I'm ready to make it a bigger part of my life and routine. I mean...what else could I be doing...watching T.V.??? Watching another crazy reality show?? Please!! I'm down with the real reality. So I will meditate.
And lastly, I would like to find ways to be more of service. It is something I am looking into...and its an important thing for me at this time. Giving back.
I hope everyone has a fun and safe New Years celebration...and a blessed 2008.
~Transcending the Levels of Consciousness: The Stairway to Enlightenment,
by David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D.
I had the pleasure of practicing with several friends today. Which is a nice change of pace from my usual self-practice with me, my mat, and four walls...However, my body at first did not experience the same pleasure. Its amazing how one day I can move and breathe with little resistance and the next day everything feels a bit tighter...the mind a bit more rigid. But, its days like this that we can really learn to surrender and simply show up. I have found that is the most important part of the practice. It isn't necessarily what posture I'm on or what series I have mastered. Its the daily commitment I make and the aspect of letting go to the process. As we let go...naturally everything comes in due time...many times faster than expected.
I've been in a space of willingness and openness.
I feel very lucky to have the friends and acquaintances that I have. I could never say I have a 'best' friend because each one of them offer something different...and bring a varying color to my life...I feel very blessed to have all these different perspectives. I learn so much from them, and continue to. Oh...how it has helped me.
The last several weeks I have been experiencing an intense vulnerability which has been another scary place to sit in. But, it has been good. I used to think I had to prove that I was so strong, but exposing the soft parts of ourselves and shedding the walls doesn't mean a lack of strength...not in the least. This is another thing I have had to learn the hard way.
I don't have any crazy plans for New Year's. I think I'm gonna bring in the New Year quietly.
I've had several people randomly tell me that I'm gonna have a good year coming up. Strange. But, I like it. They must see something that I don't see as of yet. I'll take it though...definitely.
Once I said to God, "How do you teach us?"
And He replied,
playing chess with someone who
had infinite power and infinite knowledge
and wanted to make you a
master of the
where would all the chess
pieces be at every
Indeed, not only where he wanted them,
but where all were best for your
and that is every situation
~St. John of the Cross
Had a fairly intense practice...kept myself moving. I love the feeling when the body begins to tire and all that is left is taking the focus to movement of prana...and strong connection to the bandhas. I find when I get to this point that a magical alchemy begins and everything lines up perfectly and flows just so. That is how I know that this practice isn't just about the physical...other things happen...I love it...its sooooo cool. Just plug in and observe what develops. Sometimes I feel as if its not me doing the work...its almost like something else takes over as if in a trance...and all I have to do is enjoy the ride. How nice.
So...what does my heart say right now? Its says expand in every direction. Don't set limits. It says enjoy! Its says laugh and experience the joys of life. Its says to serve...and to love. I'm beginning to simplify...and realize what matters and what is most important.
There hasn't been much shifting and movement that has taken place on the external level for me. But, boy, all that has happened on the inside has been such a revelation. That is definitely where it all begins...it has to start there. Now, I can look out, and see everything with new eyes. Even though there is still much that is unknown...I'm finding that the unknown is becoming a more comfortable place for me.
Wow! This is huge...
The weight of arrogance is such
that no bird can fly
And the man who feels superior
to others, that man
the real dance when the soul takes God
into its arms and you both fall
onto your knees in
a blessed gratitude
~St. John of the Cross
Am I willing to take another risk? However, it doesn't quite feel like a risk...I have never...ever felt this way...
When it comes down to the simplest of things...What, I ask, is most important in life?
I remember a while back talking to one of my customers that I had established a fairly close bond with...yes...I was once a pharmaceutical sales rep...ugh...I'll leave the company nameless for the time being...anyway...we were talking one day and I was questioning so many things...and scaling things down to the most important simplest way I knew how at the time. And, I remember him telling me... "Laruga, be thankful you are coming to these conclusions at this point in your life...because you could be realizing these things at my age...
Why is it so hard for me to decide what I want. I mean, I know what I want but, am I afraid to be truly happy?
I talked to my brother today...he always has a way of keeping it real. He told me..."Laruga, it sounds like you already have your mind made up, but you just want someone to tell you what to do..." Ha! So true. Where's the trust? I need to trust myself...
Sooooo? What's the verdict?
I haven't got a clue...
When I think, think, and think some more...things become much more complicated somehow.
When I feel what is in my heart...it all comes down to the simplest of things...
Love is where its at...I feel I'm ready...
My soul is a candle that burned away the veil;
only the glorious duties of light I now have.
The sufferings I knew initiated me into God.
I am a holy confessor for men.
When I see their tears running across their cheeks
and falling into
what can I say to their great sorrow
that I too have
The soul is a candle that will burn away the darkness,
only the glorious duties of love we will have.
The sufferings I knew initiated me into God.
Only His glorious cares
I now have.
~St. John of the Cross
She caught me off guard when my soul said to me,
"Have we met?"
So surprised I was to hear her speak like that
She began to sing a tale: "There was once a hardworking man
who used to worry so much because he could
not feed and clothe his children and
wife the way he wanted.
There was a beautiful little chapel in the village
where the man lived and one day while
he was praying, an angel
The angel said, 'Follow me.' And he did out into an ancient forest.
'Now dig here,' the angel said. And the man felt strength in
his limbs he had not known since youth and with just
his bare hands he dug deep and found a
lost treasure, and his relationship
with the world changed."
Finding our soul's beauty does that--gives us
"Dig here," the angel said--
"in your soul,
~St. John of the Cross
He stepped out the door and I followed him.
"The second part, 'but find it everywhere,' refers to this shift. This is the miracle of enlightenment. When you seek peace where it is, within, then you find it everywhere, even in the world. When you seek peace where it is not, or outside, then it is nowhere to be found. When you find the peace within, you are able to see the truth..."
(excerpt from Emissary of Light, by James F. Twyman)
As this year begins to wind down...I feel something new emerging from the depths of my soul. Its time. Am I up for the challenge? I hope so. However, this time around it won't be me trying to make something happen or trying to control...I'm connecting to something larger than myself...where the true power is...
Moving forward I have been blessed with new insights and wisdom that have come my way by true grace. There is an excitement that comes when I feel that I am learning and I look forward to more growth and learning. Its all an amazing process...How the pieces of the puzzle start to fit together.
When I sit back and observe I am amazed at what has developed. To feel this love that I have felt...all I can say is that I'm left speechless and inspired beyond comprehension. What I'm feeling is incredible...I'm sincerely thankful to have witnessed and been a part of the only thing that is real and that is love...
There are seasons in the mind,
great currents, and winds move there,
the true yogi ties a rein to them; a power plant
Winter, spring, summer, fall: these are pages
in a book the advanced can turn to,
Order is a great benefit to the seeker,
otherwise living in one's house can become as
walking through a marketplace
where all the merchants keep shouting,
"You owe me."
That does not sound like
and who could accomplish anything
in all that
If you put your hands on this oar with me,
they will never harm another, and they will come to find
they hold everything you want.
If you put your hands on this oar with me, they would no longer
lift anything to your
mouth that might wound your precious land--
that sacred earth that is
If you put your soul against this oar with me,
the power that made the universe will enter your sinew
from a source not outside your limbs, but from a holy realm
that lives in us.
Exuberant is existence, time a husk.
When the moment cracks open, ecstasy leaps out and devours space;
love goes mad with the blessings, like my words give.
Why lay yourself on the torturer's rack of the past and future?
The mind that tries to shape tomorrow beyond its capacities
will find no rest.
Be kind to yourself, dear--to our innocent follies.
Forget any sounds or touch you knew that did not help you dance.
You will come to see that all evolves us.
If you put your heart against the earth with me, in serving
every creature, our Beloved will enter you from our sacred realm
and we will be, we will be
A good gauge of spiritual health is to write down
the three things you want most.
If they in any way differ,
you are in trouble.
I struggle with being deserving. I have run from it in subtle ways. I only allow someone in only so much. Sad...several days ago I almost wished he would call and tell me that he didn't want to come see me because as f#*@ed up as it sounds it all scares me to open myself up again...to open my heart to someone. However, in the short time that we met...He wouldn't stand for it...pushing me ever so gently to surrender. Also, just being an example of not holding back. I have met very few males that are so free and unabashed with their feelings...so honest about it. I've learned well.
Without thinking too much into the future...All I could ever want from him is to see his smile. I love that smile. And...to just wrap my arms around him...and embrace all that he is. What more could I want...I mean that's how it all started, that's when I knew for sure...was the first time we hugged...
So how did it all start? Well, we met in India...and somehow traveled on to Thailand together. And...some of the stuff we went through!! I can't even go into detail. But, through all of that we still managed to find the love...why would I ever doubt?
The words Guru, Swami, Super Swami, Master, Teacher, Murshid,
most of those sporting such a title are
The litmus test is:
hold them upside down over a cliff for a few hours.
If they don't wet their
maybe you found a real
"And what makes you think you don't deserve love? What ever happened that makes you hide from who you really are? Does it really even matter? There comes a point when nothing means anything and you fall flat on the ground and ask for help. You're tired of hiding. You've been defending yourself for so long that you can't hold your arms up anymore. You surrender. You just can't play the game anymore.
"And that's when it happens. Suddenly you open your eyes and see something incredible. Your own holiness and innocence are held out to you, shining in perfection..."
(excerpt from Emissary of Light, by James F. Twyman)
Its when I read things like this...and there have been moments where I have felt it...where I know in my heart everything will be...just as it should...and I'll be ok. As the walls start to crumble, that I have built...brick by brick...I must not judge it...however, there comes a time when the demolition must begin. And just when I think one wall is ready to come down...wow...I find there are others...Damn...this is hard work. Like my dear friend told me...sometimes we have to do things not because we want to, but because we have to...
On a day
when the wind is perfect,
the sail just needs to open and the world is full of beauty.
Today is such a
My eyes are like the sun that makes promises:
the promise of life
that it always
The living heart gives to us as does that luminous sphere,
both caress the earth with great
There is a breeze that can enter the soul.
This love I know plays a drum. Arms move around me;
who can contain their self before my beauty?
Peace is wonderful,
but ecstatic dance is more fun, and less narcissistic;
gregarious He makes our lips.
On a day when the wind is perfect,
the sail just needs to open
and the love starts.
Today is such
In my travels I spent time with a great yogi.
Once he said to me,
"Become so still you hear the blood flowing
through your veins."
One night as I sat in quiet,
I seemed on the verge of entering a world inside so vast
I know it is the source of
did the rose
ever open its heart
and give to this world all of its beauty?
It felt the encouragement of light against its being,
otherwise we all remain too
After some refection I find myself feeling as if I don't even know who I am anymore. Every identification I have ever known has slipped through my fingers all in the past year. Who I felt I knew turned into something else...paths I thought I would go down twisted and turned. Nothing is solid...I'm not sure if or when I will feel my feet fully planted on the floor. I've lost things I felt were most dear to my heart...and it is so true...life is impermanent.
I feel as if I have no answers or the right questions to ask...
I don't know where I'm going...its all wiiiiiide open...this shit is scary.
I feel so much...sometimes I feel like I feel too much. Why am I so sensitive? Sometimes it sucks. But, this wall I've built up is crumbling down...No more control.
What does this mean? God only knows. I'm tired of trying to figure any of it out. Because I don't know a damn thing. Can you say clueless?
Am I ready? Ready to face the truth?
And...then I read this excerpt in the book I'm reading...
"Isn't it curious that the very source of our liberation is the very thing over which we are fighting?"
(Love Without End, by Glenda Green)
Ahhhhhh...yes...I can relate to this...
Here is a relationship booster
that is guaranteed to
Every time your spouse or lover says something stupid
make your eyes light up as if you
just heard something
Been feeling a bit wired. Going to bed well past midnight...then up before dawn ready for practice without taking a nap during the day. I usually don't work this way. Not sure where this extra energy is coming from.
Uncovered more regarding my dream. I know some may say dreams are dreams...but, this was different and it brought with it something for me to know and realize. It is reminiscent of a dream I had over a year and half ago that had the same intensity...and there is a connection. That's all I'm going to say about it at this point...but I will say, its time for me to 'wake up' to something...
there is a temple, a shrine, a mosque, a church
where I kneel.
Prayer should bring us to an altar where no walls or names exist.
Is there not a region of love where the sovereignty is
where ecstasy gets poured into itself
where the wing is fully alive
but has no mind or
there is a temple, a shrine, a mosque,
that dissolve, that
So...in my dream I'm in a fenced in area for some reason, and there are a few others inside of no significance that I know of. Then...all of a sudden I see the biggest, most vividly colored snake of red, black and yellow, coiled out side the fence...And this massive snake is standing up like a cobra would...but this snake wasn't a cobra. Soon, it makes eye contact with me and my initial reaction is...Oh my God! I gotta get away from this thing. Then it starts to make its way inside the fence, and I sense as the snake makes eye contact with me that its coming right for me...determined. Intuitively, I know that like it or not it was coming in my direction. However, I am completely frightened beyond belief. As I try to get away...the creature keeps shifting, and I feel like I have no where to go as it closes in on me. Before I know it the snake leaps at me getting ready to bite for my upper back, behind the heart as I try to turn and get away...From there I about jump out of my skin and wake up!
I haven't had a dream like this in a long time...and it was strange because this morning I had an anxious feeling...like a heaviness. As I tried to get through my morning practice I made it about half way and just started crying...so many emotions flooded out. I mean, this doesn't happen to me all that often...tears during practice.
So...I'm left wondering...what does it all mean. But, again, sometimes I have a tendency to think too much about this stuff. I dunno. It has been an interesting time.
(excerpt from Love Without End, by Glenda Green)
This book I'm reading right now is blowing my mind in all the right ways. Actually, it is one out of 3 books I'm reading. I have a crazy habit of reading several books at a time. I like to have something on hand that is mystical in nature, along with a nonfiction, and a fiction...having a taste of all three categories quenches my thirst cerebrally. Anyways...its not very often that a book comes along that starts to change my life...or at least change my view on life. However...I must say somethings come along at just the right time when one is ready. Maybe I'm ready...maybe I'm not.
With my mind and heart expanding in every direction, and at the same time life starts to become more simple...I'm beginning feel a comfort that I haven't experienced before in many ways. Though it is important to remember that I could read a million books and have memorized them word for word...nevertheless, if I don't put into practice what resonates within my heart I will never really 'know'...However, with a simple shift within my heart...everything seems as it should be.
I've been experimenting with being open with possibilities with the my next phase of my life. I have found in the past that many times I have always been looking forward that I would miss precious moments in the present...its kind of exciting being in the unknown...not knowing what will come next or having everything mapped out for my future. Its not like I don't want to have a path. But, presently I am tuning into to something more real...and I feel like I'm being guided. Open...present...aware...these are qualities that I have been embracing at the moment...listening, watching, observing...this is so new for me...and I am really enjoying what is possible. Believe me I still have a vision. However, it is important to be clear first.
Practice this morning was a bit of a struggle. I felt tighter than usual...the volume of my mind was turned way up...not sure why. There was a point where I felt as if I just wanted to quit and stop practicing. However, I kept going...body strong...mind weak. Anyway...as I started to make my way through most of the second series...everything went calm in my mind and with relief this voice inside me simply said..."you're enough." Then I had an overwhelming sense of well-being rise up inside...that validated my being enough...through my acceptance and willingness to see this as truth. See...this is something I have always struggled with for as long as I can remember. Feeling as if I wasn't enough...for my relationships, for my position, my job, my status...whatever...you name it. Its exhausting feeling as if there is always something to be improved upon...never being satisfied with who I was at any given moment. What a drag. And, as I sat with this feeling of being enough...during practice it felt wonderful to let go of this old belief. Because when you hold on to beliefs that don't serve you they just keep playing out in your life...and quite frankly I 'm tiered of all that. When we start to tap in to who who really are it becomes evident that we are no better or no less than anyone else...and that is how we can start to genuinely connect with others...the piece of the puzzle that we have to bring is essential to the greater, larger whole...and that is our gift only we can bring forth if we allow it to happen...So, now that I'm doing my best to settle into this way of being...no striving...no reaching...no grasping...Just being fully present with who I am...that is enough!...and then I can tap into the gifts that will radiate from that place...How amazing!! I welcome it! As the layers start to peel away life seems to be more real...some how. From a place of truth and knowing there is a comfort that comes when we start to feel what we are really made of...
Laughter Came From Every Brick
Just these two words He spoke
changed my life,
What burden I thought I was to carry--
a crucifix, as did He.
Love once said to me, "I know a song,
would you like to hear it?"
And laughter came from every brick in the street
and from every pore
in the sky.
After a night of prayer, He
changed my life when He sang,
~St. Teresa of Avila
Love this picture. My boyfriend sent it to me and had me guess what it was...actually he gave me only 3 guesses. I didn't have a clue. So...what do you think it is??? I'll give you 3 guesses.
Had meditation group tonight. We meet about every three weeks. Its a group of yogis, body- workers and light seekers. Cool stuff. Many seem to feel a shift coming on...for those who are sensitive. I don't know if I am in touch with this, but I have been feeling a shift within myself...almost like it is really time for me to do 'the work' and release internal blocks that are getting in the way of my true potential. Seems to be an interesting time for many...
Had the pleasure of helping out a friend today around her house...getting ready for winter and the holidays. We always have great conversation and I am sincerely thankful for her positive energy. It feels nice to be able to talk to someone about things that matter in life. We really root each other on and congratulate each other when needed...its good to have soulful friends.
I'm so excited! I'm gonna see my boyfriend soon...finally! Its been almost two and half months...
I woke up today feeling...not so good...not so good at all. Couldn't even finish my practice this morning...joints ached... felt chills all day, like my bones were cold...and my head felt whoozy. So, I forced myself to take it easy. Which can be challenging for me...not sure if it was those mimosas I had yesterday. More and more I am finding that I am becoming more sensitive to things that are blow the standards of healthy...since most of the time I do my best to follow a healthy diet and lifestyle. Intuitively, I'm done with alcohol...and I don't even drink that often if at all...but I really feel like I'm done with it...
Strange day...went to a wedding and then a funeral. The wedding was a full on Catholic wedding with mass...lots of standing and sitting throughout. However, I really enjoyed the ceremony, it was beautiful and moving. If feels nice to see others happy, celebrating their love. When its my turn, I'm keeping it simple, simple...can you say elope. With it being an early wedding at the reception my friend and I took the liberty of drinking quite a few mimosas...ha! Good times...we hadn't caught up in a while...I hadn't laughed that much and for that long in quite a while. Laughter is one of the highest vibrations we can embrace.
Funeral was short and sweet...even though its sad to say goodbye...it feels good to celebrate a life...
Friday is my primary series day. Trying to keep with tradition...I like it. Experimenting with strongly connecting to the core central axis the body...while allowing the outer body to be super soft and supple...interesting...
Hung out with my dad tonight...we watched Peaceful Warrior...I really enjoyed the movie. There are many truths spoken in the film. Good stuff. The book is great too. I recommend it to anyone who has not read it yet. Check it out.
To live dangerously means to live life as if each moment is its own end. Each moment has its own intrinsic value.
And you are not afraid.
And you know death is there and you accept the fact that death is there, and you are not hiding against death.
In fact, you go and encounter death. You enjoy those moments of encountering death -- physically, psychologically, spiritually.
Enjoying those moments where you come directly in contact with death, where death becomes almost a reality, is what I mean when I say live dangerously.
Love brings you face to face with death.
Meditation brings you face to face with death.
Coming to a master is coming to your own death.
Facing somebody who has disappeared, is entering an abyss in which you can be lost, and you can become an anagamin.
Those who are courageous, they go headlong.
They search all opportunities of danger.
Their life philosophy is not that of insurance companies.
Their life philosophy is that of a mountain climber, a glider, a surfer.
And not only in the outside seas they surf; they surf in their innermost seas. And not only on the outside they climb Alps and Himalayas; they seek inner peaks.
But remember one thing -- never forget the art of risking, never never. Always remain capable of risking. And wherever you can find an opportunity to risk, never miss it, and you will never be a loser. Risk is the only guarantee for being truly alive.
When I read this piece by Osho it gave me chills...in a good way. Death is something I used to fear...and to some point I still do...because in truth there is an element of the unknown I must contend with. However, the deeper I delve into my yoga and meditation practices it becomes evident that we are so much more and that death is simply a transition of the soul...of our true essence. And, the experiences of love, light and gratitude is what we get to take with us...that is why it is so important to revel in these positive states of mind...and not get too caught up in the material...not to look badly upon it...but to know how to put all that stuff in its rightful place in comparison to the 'real stuff'...like love, connection, and compassion...and when we realize this...then we are truly living.
I have been incredibly inspired by something...after doing a 40 day meditation and writing exercise...the right stuff came at the right time...but, really through this experience I have become settled enough to break open my heart and sit with what is 'real' and I'm finding where my true intelligence lies...and that is within my heart...Not!...with in the antics of the mind. And let me tell you...that has been an interesting nut to crack...especially this noggin of mine! But, I'm settling with it all...no need to have 'control'...this can be frightening, but it doesn't have to be...I'm finding its just so much easier to let go...Cause...yeah...part of me wants to disappear into the abyss...I wanna forget everything that has been centered around...me, me, me, me, me...that doesn't seem to matter anymore...somehow...I dunno...its strange...this shift that's taking place. I'm really not all that important...what's important is connecting to something much bigger than myself...
One more thing...I have to dedicate this post to Poshia...my best friend's cat who died today of a brain tumor. I swear, you were the coolest cat I have ever known...you have taught me how precious life really is...thank you...
So...the last several months I have spent much time alone...mostly out of choice. But, also from circumstance. Not sure if it is a good thing or bad, but it is what it is. However, in the last several weeks I have made some attempt to get myself out of hibernation. I just feel like I'm still cooking from my 5 month trip and there are things that I feel I still need to sit with...and if I were to hurry and distract myself...something would be missing...So...there has been alot of sitting...and being. And, I'll admit it has made me very uncomfortable at times. Because so much of our culture is about doing...for the sake of doing. Its almost like I'm getting in touch with a truer side of myself so when I start doing...I will be more conscious next go around...and not just doing for the sake of doing. A dear friend I met in India really had a beautiful way of explaining the concept of being...sitting back, connecting within first before acting, and sometimes the most important part of the process is not doing anything at all. Does that make sense? I dunno.
When I look back, I'll admit I have been very goal oriented. Look, I'm not saying its bad to have goals...its a good thing. But, where I went wrong is I thought every goal I achieved would bring some sort of peace, solace...happiness...and well...I have found that isn't always the case. Sounds like a bad case of attachment to results to me. Ha!
Recently, I was looking over some old photos of when I was a cheerleader at OSU...and I'm looking at this girl like wow...how did I have the energy? I mean...I was on the quest for perfection. My makeup was always perfect...I was a size 0 (and I still thought I was fat!! ugh!)...I wanted to be the best, almost at any cost...but sad thing about looking back...I don't think I nearly enjoyed all those moments as much as I should have, because I was always looking forward, not relishing what was right in front of me...its not like I'm stuck in the past with regret...but its interesting just to learn from it...and how painful it can still feel at times...I don't even know who that girl is anymore, but I have compassion for her, and she was only doing the best she could with what she knew.
How funny too! I'll never forget my first workshop with Tim Miller...he had us experimenting with several postures...and he looks at me and simply says...in his way..."goal-oriented"...I mean, I could've gotten pissed that he called me out...but...honestly I was like...shit!! He's got me figured out...there's no way of hiding it. Every time I spend time with him he always says something to me that's dead on...its almost spooky. I guess that's what happens when you reach a certain point of awareness as a teacher and student of yoga. Its amazing.
So...I'm trying this new way of being on for size. Now I know why I have felt such a connection to my practice. Its one of the few places where I can just be...without any expectations...its one of the few places I truly feel grace...but the challenge and the true purpose...is to allow that grace to filter into everyday life...I'm slowly learning...
At the heart of everything is a truth...so what is this truth?...well simple...its love...if love conquers all...then why don't we turn to it more often? If that is what we are in our most extraordinary simple form...why don't we trust it...Just a thought...I'm not talking about loving just our family, friends and significant others...I mean as a whole...what makes us feel like we are separate from one another? Again, I'm in one of these moods, pondering, wondering, questioning.
I'm a traveler at heart...its strange too because I love airports. I enjoy the vibe of feeling like I'm going somewhere and others are doing the same. Its that wanderlust in me that I know isn't going anywhere anytime soon...its in my blood...its in my soul. However, no matter where I run off too...or who I meet along the way...the most important journey...the most important place to connect to is with in. It doesn't necessarily take going off to distant exotic places to connect to something greater that in reality is felt deep with in one's heart and soul. That can be done anywhere...even in the most mundane of places. But, I have found that some places seem to have the environment of making that connection a bit easier than others. Sometimes that is just the way it is.
So...I'm breathing in my new life...and...I feel good about it...because its all about NOW...this moment...and being at peace with it. Isn't that what all this yoga practice is about anyway. All the hours put into it...to experience pure...unadulterated being!!! Ahhhhh...there is no other place I would rather be...
Truth...that is always a loaded word. Striking to the cord of things...eliminating bullshit, so to speak. The more I delve in...the more I am fascinated by it...and, sometimes it is something that we don't want to face. As of late I have had to come face to face with myself and own up to some things I don't like...and that is all part of it...part of the growth to look at the good, the bad and the ugly. I think about those in history who have had the courage to speak the truth and live it...and had utmost faith in the universal truths that are behind the whole matrix of life and the universe. But one thing I am having to discover is that it takes the utmost courage to live and connect to this way...and to have faith in it...So...Where am I going with this?? I don't even know. I'm at a strange point in my life right now where I feel as if I am questioning any and everything. It's been something else. Why? Why can't I just go on my merry little way and not have a care in the world. I dunno...something has stirred and I don't even know what to make of it. I have also come to find when discovering one's truth it can make others uncomfortable or may even make you an unpopular person in the short run. So... that must be where courage comes in...and where you have to set aside your ego...yeah...this post doesn't make much sense...but I'm learning some interesting lessons...
In the silence I have discovered something special. And, isn't it interesting how much of our culture teaches us to deviate from that. To be silent. Or, to just listen. Stopping for a moment to feel...instead of being numb. We do all we can to run away from the pain. Hey! I'm guilty of it. But I always remember something Tim Miller said in a workshop...something like...it takes a thorn to dig out a thorn...meaning, it can be painful to release something painful...but in the end, obviously, we are better for it. At this moment in time I'm getting in touch with my 'blocks'. You know, those pesky things that get in the way of our true nature. However, I'm taking a gentler approach to them this time around. Just observing them...trying not to resist them or push them away...looking at it...seeing them for what they really are...Not being part of my true being...and simply releasing them. Its so funny how they start to just bubble up in certain situations. And, thankfully I have been able to put most of them in check. But, the gentle approach seems to be working. I truly believe the more one resists the more things persists.
I have still been continuing with my daily practice on my own...totally on my own. I haven't taken any classes. I haven't felt the need. I enjoy the alchemy that happens when alone practicing. If one is open to it...magic has a way of stepping in. Because, it becomes something that has nothing to do with anyone else. Its just you. And, many times we run from ourselves. So even though it has been challenging at times...I see it as an adventure. An exploration into my own depth of being...tapping into a deep well of something...training the mind to stop. Wow, that has been a challenge. No running, no hiding...here I am!
P.S. Just launched my new online scrapbook, check it out.
"Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country."
I love the above quote...It has really rung true for me. Not only did I throw my dreams into space like a kite...but most of my money too! But, that's me. And, I have always been pretty resourceful. Open to trying new things...leaving caution to the wind. A dear friend I met in Mysore told me you can always make more money...but the experiences you create and live for are worth something. They are worth everything.
Now I know my life will never be the same...I'm not the same...the shift has taken place and has continued. I couldn't even fight it if I tried. This flower is slowly starting to bloom into something...in due time. I've made many new friends...and have really learned to appreciate the ones that I have. Its amazing. I've found love...unexpectedly, like a strong magnetic force that drew me in...in a way that feels like it was beyond my control. And yes, I fell in love with a country...India. When I go back...its gonna feel like coming home. Another home. It feels good to have several places that feel that way. That bring out a different part of yourself. It nice. Its all good. So...let's see what happens next...
"A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions."
~Oliver Wendell Holmes
I had mentioned earlier about heading down a new frontier. And, well...In reality I am heading down many new paths, in almost every avenue of my life. Its scary and exciting at the same time. However, I am thrilled about a new opportunity that came my way. For the past several months I have felt a calling to enter into writing. With no experience, and having nothing even being close to being published, besides my blog, I wasn't quite sure where to start on this venture...but when one is willing somehow doors seem to open up. I came across a gig where they were looking for a fashion writer. Well, anyone who knows me...knows I love fashion. So...I got in contact with the company and secured a meeting/interview. Well, they liked me and hired me...and I have already written my first article. It was so gratifying to submit my first written work. And, I actually got positive props for it. So...just today I got the dates...and I'll be going to New York Fashion Week in February writing on the 2008 Fall collections, then off to LA Fashion Week in March, and Miami Fashion week to cover the swim wear collections. I couldn't be more enthusiastic about this opportunity. I took a risk and went for it...The funny thing is...They want me to do camera work too. I wasn't expecting that, but I'm always game. Always. New horizons are the exhilarating parts of life...and I don't ever want to take my dreams for granted. I got my practice to ground me...and my dreams to stretch me as I high as I will go. Sky's the limit.
"We jump into it. We slide into it. We tiptoe into it. We move toward it however we can. We explore the reality and unpredictability of insecurity and pain, and we try not to push it away. If it takes years, if it takes lifetimes, we let it be as it is. At our own pace, without speed or aggression, we move down and down and down. With us move millions of others, our companions in awakening from fear."
(excerpt from When Things Fall Apart, by Pema Chodron)
The past it seems so far away
And I squeeze it so tight, I can't breathe
And every time I try to be
What someone has thought of me
So caught up, I wasn't able to achieve
But deep in my heart the answer it was in me
And I made up my mind to find my own destiny
I look at my environment
And wonder where the fire went
What happened to everything we used to be
I hear so many cry for help
Searching outside of themselves
Now I know His strength is within me
And I made up my mind to find my own destiny
And deep in my heart the answer it was in me
And I made up my mind to find my own destiny
(Miseducation of Lauryn Hill Lyrics)
This is a popular quote that many already know well...but it one of my favorites and it's always nice to have reminder...
Our deepest fear is no that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure about you. We are born to manifest the glory of God that is with in us, its in everyone. And as we lest our own light shine, we unconsciously give others the permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
I'm breaking into a whole new frontier...starting something new. I'll let the cat out of the bag a bit later...But, anyway...Before, I was feeling bad about starting over and having the sense of instability. But, I talked myself out of that real quick...because I'm gonna dare to live my dreams...and follow my passion...and before I could do that I had to let go of alot of junk...alot of stuff...and even though the ground is a bit shaky...I'm not gonna freak out. I'm gonna stay calm. I've been feeding my soul...practicing everyday, riding my bike, writing, meditating, eating healthy foods...just so I have a sense of clarity and focus, instead of feeding the fear, the worry, and anxiety with things that make all that worse. I've been given so many great tools, from friends, to confidants, to teachers, and masters. Now! Its time to put those tools to the test. All I need is focus and a big dose of faith...let's see where the chips may fall. Life is supposed be an adventure.
"And the day came, when the risk to remain in a tight bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
Getting back to the topic of yoga...I'm back to practicing on my own...no teacher...just me, my mat, and four walls...and sometimes a little space heater because the mornings can be a bit chilly in Columbus, Ohio. I miss having a teacher...having the guidance...the inspiration. But, something else definitely begins to manifest when practicing on one's own. It takes a different type of inner strength and tenacity that can be more challenging to maintain when making it to a class everyday. So...I'm welcoming this new routine of mine...and observing what it will bring. Most days I'm still getting up before dawn to practice. After my four months in Mysore I am a full fledged morning practitioner. Nothing starts the day of better. Nothing!! Who needs coffee when you got a two hour Ashtanga yoga session under your belt!
Also, I must say...my practice has taken on a whole new form and evolution. Its almost like something has integrated after practicing at AYRI. Its truly amazing. I heard some talk of this, but I truly didn't know what to make of it. Now, I feel it...now I know it...and its unexplainable. When the essence of the practice starts to develop with in one's self it all takes on a whole new meaning and wonder...and I am so deeply humbled by it I don't even know where to begin...
"It's just a ride and we can change it anytime we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings and money, a choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your door, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one."
"Generally speaking, we regard discomfort in any form as bad news. But for practitioners or spiritual warriors--people who have a certain hunger to know what is true--feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we're holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we'd rather collapse and back away. They're like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we're stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it's with us wherever we are."
(excerpt from When Things Fall Apart, by Pema Chodron)
It's funny...when you ask the universe, it always answers. And, sometimes I wish I could take it back because it gets to be pretty darn challenging. A while back I made mention that I wanted to face my every fear and stare it in the face. So...now I'm kicking myself...ha! Why in the world did I ask for that? I'm weird, I know...
In a culture where what you 'do' and what you 'have' are the priorities and a way of life I feel a bit of a misfit because I can't stomach that anymore. When I 'had' and was 'doing' I never felt truly authentic when working from the outside in. Yeah...I tried to play the game but I didn't play it very well. I'm not good at it. I've always been the irritating person who questions everything...well what about this?...and what about that? I bring up the shit that nobody wants to look at...and its gotten me in trouble one too many times. What's that quote again? Something about well behaved women never make history...maybe I'm on to something. But believe me I'm not into the rebel without a cause thing either. There has to be substance behind going against the status quo.
So...with all that being said...I honestly have no idea where this blog is going today...ha! I'm truly on the verge of starting over. Once again. I'm back to square one. I had a good friend of mine tell me that very few people have the chance to start over...so I should look at this as a good time in my life and embrace it. I'm doing the best I can. I'm trying to focus on the positive and feel my way through...working from the inside out...We'll see what happens.
"So the next time you encounter fear, consider yourself lucky. This is where the courage comes in. Usually we think that brave people have no fear. The truth is that they are intimate with fear."
(excerpt from When Things Fall Apart, by Pema Chodron)
A while back I was criticized by a former mentor of mine about how open I was in my blog during my trip to India. At first I was taken a back and started to question if maybe it isn't such a good idea to be so open and honest about one's personal experience and feelings. Especially on the wave of many emotions that evoke from such a deep and challenging practice...and the process that one goes through at AYRI.
But then...I wised up...and was like that's absolutely ridiculous...I'm not saying its for everyone to blog about personal experience, but I don't agree with what I was told...and right now I'm tried of 'fronts'...I don't feel the need to hide behind anything anymore. This is coming from someone who has always been very private and many times closed...and I'm proud of myself for letting go and letting loose and being honest about my fears and my doubts...and open to share my triumphs and breakthroughs.
There have been many times in my life where I felt I was alone in my experience and I would tuck it away acting as if it wasn't part of the fabric of my life. But that doesn't serve me anymore. Because when you peel the layers and come closer to your true self it doesn't matter. Why not be transparent? Why not be honest and stand in your truth? That's why I'm here. Isn't that why we're all here?...To shine and stand in the beauty of who we are with all our perfect imperfections. Without knowing and connecting to our truth...how can we be truly happy? I dunno...just a thought...
"When we think that something is going to bring us pleasure, we don't know what's really going to happen. When we think something is going to give us misery, we don't know. Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all. We try to do what we think is going to help. But we don't know. We never know if we're going to fall flat or sit up tall. When there's a big disappointment, we don't know if that's the end of the story. It may be just the beginning of a great adventure."
(excerpt from When Things Fall Apart, by Pema Chodron)
"...It's not a terrible thing that we feel fear when faced with the unknown. It is part of being alive, something we all share. We react against the possibility of loneliness, of death, of not having anything to hold on to. Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.
If we commit ourselves to staying right where we are, then our experience becomes very vivid. Things become very clear when there is nowhere to escape."
Yeah...I'm going through a transition in my life...and damn it!! Its challenging...its hard and part of me wants to just make everything I'm feeling go away. But, like someone once told me..."Laruga...just walk through it." Why can't it be easy? So...I'm doing my best to feel it...and damn it...walk through it.
I've never really been the type to overindulge in alcohol or experiment with drugs...I don't overeat...I love to shop...but I'm over that some how. I mean...when I came back from India somehow I got amnesia or something and was amazed at how many shoes I had...and I'm like what more could I want? So...there really is no escape for me and what I'm feeling...and in reality why run...There is nothing right now to distract me from that emptiness I feel...But! Its okay to feel empty, because I can fill it with some really good stuff. The real stuff...not the meaningless stuff that is just what it is...meaningless.
Its just strange...so many things were ripped open from my trip...so much just exploded inside of me and I feel fragmented somehow...like I'm scattered into a million pieces...and as painful as that is...I have to look at the positive side and take this opportunity to build and put myself together anew...because with growth...come the growing pains...and I have faith I'll be better for it. Because the old way of being, doing, having aren't serving me any longer...and I can't physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually back track...its not even possible. So...I must move forward as scary as it feels and is...
On another note...I got word several days ago that my boyfriend was in a motor-bike accident in Thailand...Thank God he's gonna be okay...It all goes back to how precious life can be...and how to never take anyone for granted. Coming from someone who has been so open and honest about how he feels...no holding back...you've taught me that well...oh so well...that lesson...you can't forget those who touch you deeply...and its important to let them know...no matter how corny you think its gonna sound...And, for once its so funny how things work out...I got it...because its not the things that we do that we most regret...but the things that we don't do...And those tiny acts of kindness and service we can offer others...we don't need an audience to congratulate what we've done...because the eyes of the universe always know...and the internal rewards that come are bountiful. That's another great little lesson I've taken from from you...geesh...you're amazing...I'm moved by your awareness...I'm moved by your strength.
"If we do a little of one kind of practice and a little of another, the work we have done in one often doesn't continue to build as we change to the next. It is as if we were to dig many shallow wells instead of one deep one. In continually moving from one approach to another, we are never forced to face our own boredom, impatience, and fears. We are never brought face to face with ourselves. So we need to choose a way of practice that is deep and ancient and connected with our hearts, and then make a commitment to follow it as long as it takes to transform ourselves. This is the outward aspect of taking the one seat. Once we have made the outward choice among the many paths available and have begun a systematic practice, we often find ourselves assailed from within by doubts and fears, by all the feelings that we have never dared experience. Eventually all of the dammed-up pain of a lifetime will arise. Once we have chosen a practice, we must have the courage and the determination to stick with it and use it in the face of all our difficulties. This is the inward aspect of taking the one seat."
(excerpt from Path with Heart, by Jack Kornfield)
Some people work to become wealthy.
Others do the same and remain poor.
Marriage fills one with energy.
Another it drains.
Don't trust ways, they change.
A means flails about like a donkey's tail.
Always add the gratitude clause
To any sentence, if God wills, then go...
"Yoga is the union that occurs with the discovery of our true self and the knowledge of our true nature. Yoga is the union with that which is truth for the whole universe, and that union gives peace. Yoga is a way to understand our place within creation and guides us to act without harming others or causing pain to ourselves." ~Baba Hari Dass
I admit...I have been totally hiding out since coming back home...I'm not sure what it is exactly. For one thing, I've been getting my body back into balance...which four months in India did a good job with...but one month in Thailand almost undid all of it. I'm back to eating predominately raw foods and I couldn't feel better. Don't worry, I'm not gonna preach the wonders of a raw food diet...it just works for me...like magic...like nothing else.
Right now, I'm going through a pretty big transition...and I'm doing my best to absorb it all...that's probably why I haven't felt inclined to blog all that much. There are so many emotions running through me...I dunno...I've stopped searching for answers...I have faith they will come in time.
I miss my boyfriend who is still in Thailand at the moment...and he is truly something special...but I won't be blogging much about him because somethings need to be kept close to the heart...I miss India...but I know I'll be back...I miss the friends I made...but it was time to move on...
Its times like these that instead of running away or trying not to feel...I sit with it...and continue my daily practice...its like my best friend...that never fails me...is always truthful...and is always there...
The best-adjusted person in our society is the person who is not dead and not alive, just numb, a zombie. When you are dead you're not able to do the work of the society. When you are fully alive you are constantly saying "No" to many of the processes of society, the racism, the polluted environment, the nuclear threat, the arms race, drinking unsafe water and eating carcinogenic foods. Thus it is in the interests of our society to promote those things that take the edge off, keep us busy with our fixes, and keep us slightly numbed out and zombie-like. In this way our modern consumer society itself functions as an addict.
-Anne Wilson Schaef
To love fully and live well requires us to recognize finally that we do no possess or own anything--our homes, our cars, our loved ones, not even our own body. Spiritual joy and wisdom do not come through possession but rather through our capacity to open, to love more fully, and to move and be free in life. (A Path with Heart, by Jack Kornfield)
So...after rummaging through my storage unit I came across one of my favorite books...and I feel compelled to read it again...even though I have numerous pages flagged and marked...and yeah! I'm a big old sap...I'm not afraid to admit it...but I think that's why I've carried much pain in my life...because I do...I put my heart into everything I do...and sometimes I've been taken advantage of...and sometimes I've been taken for granted...but I don't regret...because at least I put my heart in soul into it...and I'll keep doing it...no matter if I get burned or not...because that's not the point...it goes back to my intention and as long as that is in alignment...who cares about the rest...
So...I'll be explaining later...But truly...Its time for me to get back to basics...Down to the bare bones. You know I never realized how wound up our culture was until I went to India...or even how wound up I was...or was it too much Starbucks?...Anyways, its been an interesting adjustment since being back and its almost been shocking to the system...everything just hasn't registered yet...but when it does...and my feet are yet again firmly planted on the ground...I'll be adding more of my thoughts...If you dare to go down that road with me...Ha! Brave souls...
Just one kiss on my lips
Was all it took to seal the future
Just one look from your eyes
Was like a certain kind of torture
Once upon a time
There was a boy
There was a girl
Just one touch from your hands
Was all it took to make me falter
Are we supposed to be together
We seal the destiny forever
Just one smile on your face
Was all it took to change my fortune
Just one word form your month
Was all I needed to be certain
Once upon a time
There was a boy
There was a girl
Hearts that intertwine
They lived in a different kind of world
Just one kiss
Just one touch
Just one look
Just one kiss
Just one touch
Just one look
Just one love
(by Madonna~from Confessions on a Dance Floor, 2005)