I wish I could introduce you into the energy of April with a warm, sweet, hush-toned welcome. But that wouldn’t serve the reality of what is moving through our lives at this time. The download that I received near the end of last year is that 2020 and the next few years to follow will serve as critical turning points in our collective awakening. The big picture isn’t doom and gloom though—it’s hope and possibility with a large dose of commitment and discipline to our personal agreements to serve our dharma (not the distractions or drama) everyday. There isn’t going back to “normal.” There is evolving into the next stage of our journey. That’s why this is the year for us to choose ascension. We are being invited to participate in the transforming of ourselves in order to birth the new planetary paradigm. I like the question Rev. Michael Beckwith asks us to consider when we are called to endure challenging times in our lives: if these circumstances weren’t going to change anytime soon, what within you would you need to develop or strengthen in order to adapt?
As this month begins I am remembering preparing for the birth of my first child almost 14 years ago now. I had a wonderful pregnancy and marveled everyday at the miracle of carrying another growing human being inside of me. Like most expectant mothers, I had a plan for how I wanted the birth process to unfold. I envisioned the birth as I hoped it would occur. I savored the time to create a space for him in our home, picked out tiny clothes and read all the books on how to transition into life with a newborn. It was a beautiful, blissful time. However, being pregnant, actually giving birth and then caring for a baby are all very different experiences.
Like all of us engaged with the creative process of life, I was subject to multiple circumstances that were out of my control. Just before the due date I was thrown a mighty curve ball that I caught in the best way I knew how at the time and made the decision to be induced a few days early. What ensued was a more than 24 hour ordeal that left me physically exhausted from laboring and pushing for so long. It became clear that my son’s life was in danger and a C-section would be necessary. I felt utterly defeated when faced with the reality of what I had to do. I would have continued to push for another day if it meant having my son naturally because it’s what I desperately wanted--that was my plan. Given the fact that his life was in danger, I complied with what needed to happen to deliver him safely to the world. Among the many other things that birth process gave me, it taught me that while we are responsible for what we create and nurture, ultimately we are called to surrender our agendas and plans for exactly how those creations are meant to actualize. There is a greater plan to which we are all subject. The humbling truth: just because I can carry life doesn’t mean I control it.
The awakening and full embodiment of our Soul into this human life is a birth process. It’s a gritty journey, not for the faint of heart. There are definite light filled expansive periods of bliss and joy. We will feel renewed and like we are “in love” even when there isn’t an object for that Love. We’ll experience our depth, power and beauty and the miraculous blessing of being alive. It seems as if everything is effortlessly unfolding as we step.
Then there are seasons of contraction and darkness marked by pain, confusion and questioning if anything is really happening at all. We’ll doubt ourselves, become overwhelmed by how much work there is still to do and be tempted to give up all hope. It will feel like we are dying because we hardly recognize ourselves anymore. It seems as if we are laboring without any sign of reward. But it’s through this process that we are re-born again and again so that we can become our most authentic selves. There is a wisdom and intelligence to the process that is not a part of our egoic control mechanisms. We labor and push until the time comes for us to surrender to forces greater than us.
April is my birth month and my birthday is also Earth Day. This has become a single day of the year where we consider our precious planet and how we care for our Mother. Some also celebrate Passover and Easter this month—symbolically a season of salvation, rebirth and resurrection of the Son/Sun. Along with a super full moon in Libra (the scales) and a new moon in Taurus (the Earth spirit), this month highlights and activates a more refined connection to and integration of matter and spirit, death and rebirth, self and other, stability and variability—balancing these aspects within and without.
What if we viewed EVERY DAY as our “birth”day and a day to honor our connection to the beauty of the Earth, the sacredness and sustainability of the natural world and renewal of our resources? What if we take the collective curve balls we are thrown and receive them with consciousness and care to do our part to midwife a new way of life? How can we be reborn and wear the Crown that we not only survived Corona, but have become a new creation through the ordeal?
This is a month for continuing your self loving and spiritual practices, caring closely for the few you aren’t meant to be distant from and listening more acutely for what matters most to you. Let us commit to going deeper within to get to the root of why we are here. It’s from this place that a new vision for a new earth is birthed.
I invite you to join me this month in this contemplative practice. Each day read the following passage by Rumi:
“THE ONE THING YOU MUST DO”
There is one thing in this world you must never forget to do. If you forget everything else and not this, there's nothing to worry about, but if you remember everything else and forget this, then you will have done nothing in your life.
It's as if a king has sent you to some country to do a task, and you perform a hundred other services, but not the one he sent you to do. So human being come to this world to do particular work. That work is the purpose, and each is specific to the person. If you don't do it, it's as though a priceless Indian sword were used to slice rotten meat. It's a golden bowl being used to cook turnips, when one filing from the bowl could buy a hundred suitable pots. It's like a knife of the finest tempering nailed into a wall to hang things on.
You say, "But look, I'm using the dagger. It's not lying idle." Do you hear how ludicrous that sounds? For a penny an iron nail could be bought to serve for that. You say, "But I spend my energies on lofty enterprises. I study jurisprudence and philosophy and logic and astronomy and medicine and the rest." But consider why you do those things. They are all branches of yourself.
Remember the deep root of your being, the presence of your lord. Give yourself to the one who already owns your breath and your moments. If you don't, you will be like the man who takes a precious dagger and hammers it into his kitchen wall for a peg to hold his dipper gourd. You'll be wasting valuable keenness and forgetting your dignity and purpose.”
Let it land in your heart, your body, your mind, your soul. Is there a word or a line that stands out for you? Write it down. Then walk with the inquiry: “What is the one thing I must do?” Simply allow for the question to lead you forward on your personal quest each day; each moment and commit to doing that one thing.
I am practicing and praying; laboring and loving alongside of you everyday. I remain creatively and consciously committed to the path as it presents itself and celebrate every chance I get to participate in the unpredictable play of being alive to see another year.
May you be given all that you need for your journey.
I love you. 💜
*On a logistical note: over the past several weeks I have been working to update my technology and educate myself on how to create and offer online classes. The learning curve has been tremendous but I am finding my way and will continue to share yoga practices, musings, and anything else I am inspired to offer to support your continued healing, growth and evolution. Find me on YouTube here
The energy moving into the beginning of March has us re-evaluating what we packed and had planned for this 2020 journey. I'm the kind of traveller that likes to think of everything I may need for the trip ahead and I'm great at considering every possible weather condition or dire circumstance that I may find myself in order to make sure I have a travel sized remedy to account for what may unfold. Needless to say, I usually (always) find myself packing way too much and over the years I have learned (am still learning!) to rely on and trust in just the essentials.
I am intrigued by those that embark on modern day pilgrimages like hiking the 500 mile Camino de Santiago from Southern France to Northern Spain. Also known as "The Way of St. James," this pilgrimage follows the steps of the Christian saint to arrive at the place where his remains are buried. I recently re-watched a documentary on the pilgrimage and was moved by how many of the pilgrims (who carry everything they need on their backs) quickly found that even they packed too much and had to lighten the load that they were carrying in order to continue the journey more comfortably. Isn't this so counter-cultural? We believe that we need more in order to be comfortable, satisfied and fulfilled. Most of us are traveling with way too much and wondering why we aren't enjoying the adventure!
This month we welcome in the beginning of Spring with the equinox on March 19th--a time of renewal as the days begin to grow lighter and longer. How much is really enough for you? What may be distracting or weighing you down now and can be released or recycled? What or whom qualifies as essentials for you? If you were to focus on one or two specific goals or intentions in this new season what would they be?
This month experiment with me by simplifying your life in order to maximize your precious energy so you can enjoy your life and focus on what you love!
This month's offerings at One Yoga and Fitness to support you in lightening up:
*Kundalini Yoga Mondays 10:30-11:45 am. This month's Kriya will focus on cultivating NAVAL POWER which not only effects your physical core strength but also activates your energetic will power, sense of worth and balanced self-esteem. The meditation I have chosen is to empower your CAN DO spirit as it "gets rid of the couldn't." Here's what Yogi Bhajan says about this meditation: "Do you remember when you wanted to come to class and you said "I couldn't"? Do you remember when you wanted to get up in the morning and be with your God and instead said "I couldn't"? Do you remember when you wanted to love and be with somebody and decided "I couldn't"? All the problems on this planet come from this "couldn't." It gives us a slip from our dharma, from our destiny. We need to make our will so clean, clear and positive that "couldn't" does not touch our shores."
*Full Moon Flow and Gong Bath: Sunday March 8th, 7:30-8:45 pm. We have a SUPER moon in Virgo and then Mercury will be going direct. Honor where you've been in this last month and prepare yourself for a new beginning. Spring and Aries season usher in a new astrological year.
*An Introduction to Kundalini Yoga: Saturday March 28th, 12-2 pm. Join me to learn more about the fundamentals of this ancient technology for transformation. We'll discuss the concept of "Kriya" and the specific uses of breath practices, mantra repetition, and mudras (hand gestures) to awaken the life force energy and balance the brain and body. For more information or to register go to One Yoga and Fitness.
Practice using the simple "feather" and "lead" technique when moving through your days. Notice the thoughts, choices, activities that feel heavy and those that offer more buoyancy and ease. Practice choosing according to what feels lighter and more spacious.
Wishing you a magical March that connects you to the rhythm of your heart's JOY.
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