"ONCE THERE lived a metalworker, a locksmith, who was unjustly accused of crimes and was sentenced to a deep, dark prison. After he had been there a while, his wife who loved him very much went to the King and beseeched him that she might at least give him a prayer rug so he could observe his five prostrations every day. The King considered that a lawful request, so he let the woman bring her husband a prayer rug. The prisoner was thankful to get the rug from his wife and every day he faithfully did his prostrations on the rug.
Much later, the man escaped from prison and when people asked him how he got out, he explained that after years of doing his prostrations and praying for deliverance from the prison, he began to see what was right in front of his nose. One day he suddenly saw that his wife had woven into the prayer rug the pattern of the lock that imprisoned him. Once he realized this and understood that all the information he needed to escape was already in his possession, he began to make friends with his guards. He also persuaded the guards that they all would have a better life if they cooperated and the escaped the prison together. They agreed since, although they were guards, they realized that were in prison, too. They also wished to escape, but they had no means to do so.
So the locksmith and his guards decided on the following plan: they would bring him pieces of metal, and he would fashion useful items from them to sell in the market place. Together they would amass resources for their escape, and from the strongest piece of metal they could acquire, the locksmith would fashion a key.
One night, when everything had been prepared, the locksmith and his guards unlocked the prison and walked out into the cool night where his wife was waiting from him. He left the prayer rug behind so that any other prisoner who was clever enough to read the pattern of the rug could also make his escape. Thus, the locksmith was reunited with his loving wife, his former guards became his friends, and everyone lived in harmony. Love and skillfulness prevailed."
This Sufi story as told by Idries Shah seems very applicable for where we are this month. It happens to be the holy month of Ramadan. The traditional pilgrimages have been cancelled and mosques are empty for the first time in history. People all around the world, regardless of where they stand in terms of faith, fortune or (relative) freedoms are forced inside for a bit longer. Yet we feel the collective chomping at the bit for release and getting back to. . . whatever it is that we believe we have to go back to. This month I'm feeling the call to linger longer in the liminal spaces and to listen more deeply to what has been unearthed in my own Soul during this time. It has been quite profound and I'm in no rush to try and explain or figure anything out. This has been an incredible opportunity for all of us to awaken and to clearly see that to be controlled by anything outside of ourselves is a form of imprisonment and to consciously choose to create a life that truly sets the Soul free requires a responsibility to do the necessary work. I'll be continuing to pray, to work and to make and offer the keys that serve my deepest truth.
Here is your proverbial prayer rug, dear one, may you recognize what sets you free.
On the Aries New Moon last month I shared an intention setting practice that I have been engaging with over the course of the last 4 years. The cycles of the moon reflect our own creative cycles. We can think of the breath cycle as mirroring the phases of the moon with the beginning of the inhale signifying the new moon, the building of the in-breath the waxing of the moon, top of the inhale as the "maxing" or full moon, and the exhale the waning moon which returns us to a new breath cycle.
While the new moon time is fertile ground for setting intentions and initiating our creative ideas, the full moon is a time of illumination and healing. During a full moon the sun and moon are in opposition to each other which potentially highlights where we might also be experiencing our own opposing, limiting, self-sabatoging tendencies. The sun as our "conscious" mind and the moon as our "unconscious" emotions are facing off, thus making it a lot easier for us to see what we might normally prefer to keep hidden from view. Statistics show greater incidences of crime and emergency room traffic during full moons. The word "lunacy" originates from this idea that people are a bit more unstable at the time of a full moon.
Become aware of how you are feeling in the days leading up to and on the full moon. Do you feel like you have more energy or less? Are there any emotional triggers that have become apparent? What are the underlying issues that they are amplifying? What is the quality of your mental state? Are your thoughts complementary to your higher self or magnifying ego or fear? I suggest making some notes about what you are experiencing to better help you work with the energy.
This month we have a Super Full Moon in Libra on Tuesday April 7th. It will be the strongest, closest moon of the year! That means you may be feeling extra sensitive. As quarantine life wears on us all it may feel cruel to have this much happening at once. "Corona virus has ruined my life!" as my 11 year old daughter said when we had to cancel her birthday plans recently. Perhaps you're feeling a bit the same way. . . . When I asked her what else the virus has ruined she named several things from going to stores (or anywhere!), playing with friends and even going to school. Each day she continues to identify and name what she misses and she's afraid it will be a really long time before we're able to enjoy those things again. I get it. We're all experiencing this frustration and fear to some extent. Crisis has its way of pulling out the best and worst of us. As practitioners on the path of awakening let's be careful not to turn our pain into pathology by making ourselves "bad" or "wrong" for feeling all that we do. But let's not shy away from our vulnerability or fear either. We can use it for our continued healing and transformation.
I feel that the medicine for this moon is COMPASSION. Libra is ruled by Venus and points us to balance in partnerships--negotiating the dance between caring for ourselves and nurturing our relationships. How can we use what we discover in our self-reflection to serve the heart of another or others? When we are tempted to judge or be critical of another for how they (or we) are managing in crisis, let's instead practice being compassionate and remember that what we actually know about someone is minuscule in comparison to the reality of what they have lived and are currently living. Everyone is suffering on some level and when we can attend to our own suffering with loving-kindness we can, as Pema Chodron says, "recognize our shared humanity."
This is the time to turn toward whatever is surfacing and allow the illumination to lead you to letting go. A simple ritual of release is enough now. Nothing fancy or complicated. What is ready to be released, forgiven or healed? You don't have to dig deep--it's often in plain view at full moon time. Write it or speak it out loud and ask for the divine support to be provided to assist you in your process. Realize what a blessing it is to have access to the tools that you have been given. Continue to use them to nourish yourself, your loved ones and as a service to those who are suffering. Whatever you choose to heal at this time helps us all. This, too, is what it means to be a powerful creator. What we create or heal within us is our greatest service to humanity because healed people HEAL others.
I was moved by this prayer that Brene Brown shared and invite you to incorporate it into your ritual:
For those who are sick. For those who are bereaved and supporting the bereaved.
For those of us who are anxious and afraid.
For those of us feeling alone and isolated.
For the medical professionals and health care workers around the world.
For those who have jobs that put them at risk and can't afford to miss a day's work.
For those of us who are especially vulnerable to infection.
For those who are confined to home but not safe at home.
For the children who need the safety and care of school and those that serve them.
For the teachers who continue to foster connection and learning in new and challenging times.
For the scientists and researchers dedicating their lives to helping us--many of whom are under pressure and underfunded.
For our leaders. May they find the strength and courage to lead with their hearts.
For YOU and me--doing our very best.
Sending you many blessings as you journey with consciousness, courage and compassion.
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.
February is a leap year month and offers us the opportunity to take another step into the NEW creation that we are aligning with in 2020. One of the distinct challenges on the awakening journey is the "one step forward, two steps back" feeling that we experience as we are working to strengthen a new level of embodiment. It takes time to stabilize the next level and often the old wounds and triggers will appear in order to be metabolized more completely. This is natural part of the process and there will come a point when the new form will stabilize and feel much more natural.
This month I want to touch on the subject of emotional health because I see many people struggling with how to deal with their difficult feelings. There seems to be a belief perpetuated in some spiritual systems that being "awakened" or "evolved" means that you are no longer subject to strong emotions. In our transcendence we become unfeeling. This is simply not true. Actually, I see it as the same character wearing a different cloak: fear. Fear of facing the feeling and becoming overwhelmed. Fear of being weak. Fear of whatever is on the other side of fear. Fear of the unknown. It's one of the major factors in addiction, in general, and the root cause of the opioid crisis that we face as a nation, more specifically.
Being ascended, evolved or spiritual doesn't mean that we don't feel or have emotions across the wide spectrum. It's discovering how to feel and allow the emotion as energy (neither "good" or "bad") to simply move and be expressed freely and safely. It's about learning to relate to our emotions as pathways for becoming whole, conscious beings rather than clinging to the stories that the emotions are tied to. On the path of mastery we are learning to become the alchemist, the one who is able to transmute any energy into a higher octave. We use the lead of the emotions to create the pure gold of creative consciousness.
How can we begin to do this? Here are three simple steps to get you started when you feel either numb/disconnected or emotional/commotional:
Sacred space for your self-care. Make the time to check in and see if there are any emotions that need to be cleared. I make this a daily habit, just like brushing my teeth. Find a quiet place to journal, meditate or reflect to become aware of how you are feeling. Much of our emotional trauma can be directly related to the inner child spirit that we have abandoned. As we mature, the responsibility to parent ourselves is one of the first priorities on the healing journey. The inner child is not meant to run our businesses or households, or to be a lover or even a friend. The inner child is simply there to be loved, cherished and nurtured back to health and well-being. Feelings aren't meant to be fixed. They are meant to be felt.
Cultivate a stable center. The practice of yoga teaches us this invaluable skill of building strength and concentration while remaining flexible and relaxed. In order to experience the safety to feel your feelings fully you must first build a solid container in your body awareness. One of the ways you can do this is by bringing attention to the alignment of your spine and experiencing the very center of your body by visualizing a wide pillar or column of light from the base (the floor of your pelvis if you are sitting or your feet if you are standing) to your crown (the top of your head). Practice breathing long, slow, deep breaths up and down the length of your spine to begin to strengthen your connection to your stable center. Try making this a daily practice for at least 3 minutes.
Find your groove and move! Now activate your inner alchemist and ask: how does this emotion want to be expressed? Trust where and how the energy wants to move. Dance, cry, shake, curl up in a ball, go for a walk, laugh, whatever feels authentic. If you feel stuck, just begin to breathe deeply and allow for some sound to be expressed. Breath, movement and sound are keys to moving energy and transmuting them in any moment. You can't do it wrong! When you feel complete, take a few moments to place your hands on your heart and be still. Honor yourself and then be willing to let the charge of the emotion go. You can command: "I now willingly and gratefully release any and all attachments to this emotion. Thank you."
Having a committed daily practice is the most valuable thing you can do to support yourself in maintaining a connection to your meditative presence and authentic power. We don't just practice for what we experience on our mats or in the yoga studio, we accumulate time in our practice so that we can live the rest of our lives from a place of deep knowing that whatever comes our way, we will navigate it with Grace.
Here are a few of my offerings to support your journey this month:
Thank you for engaging in my work in any way. . . .
Many blessings as you transmute, transform and open to more of your potential everyday!
“There is only one reality, but there are many ways that reality can be interpreted.”
― Drunvalo Melchizedek
New Year's Blessings and Sacred Beginnings!
We have made it to a new decade, turning the page collectively and personally to allow for a fresh start. What significant and unique experiences would you most like to create this year? What seed desires of your heart will you nurture? All of our creations begin with a pure intention to align with the highest and best within us. When we cultivate an alignment of our personal will with Divine will, we experience the natural rhythm of the unfolding, organic intelligence contained within the intention.
As you contemplate your highest trajectories for this year, meditate on the Flower of Life, the sacred geometric pattern pictured above. Also known as the "Language of Silence" and the "Language of Light," this symbol has been found in many ancient civilizations and contains all languages, laws of physics and the 5 platonic building blocks that serve as the foundation of all creation (you can learn more here.) All of nature contains particular patterns of creation. Think of this pattern representing a fruit tree: the tree grows flowers which become fruit that contain seeds for future trees. . . the natural intelligence is encoded within the core of the creation. YOU contain the very same possibilities! Your Soul Self contains the genetic blueprint for your greatest fruition. The seeds simply require your conscious awakening to the potentialities that already exist for your personal growth and transformation. Begin to imagine, visualize and feel this expansion and expression of the Higher Self in your daily life.
My own intention for this year is to merge more fully with my Higher Self and actualize greater reserves of my creative potential to serve not only my own sacred unfolding, but to support the global awakening that is well underway. Gaia, our planet herself, has upgraded to higher vibrational frequencies in order to cultivate the conditions for this greater "Shift" that is occurring. Many people have felt this shift taking place in their own lives as we are called to do the big work of clearing old programs and belief structures from the subconscious mind. I have received the call very clearly that the time is NOW to think, speak, act and live in alignment with the heart center (the seed center) and embody the evolution as we are each intuitively guided. Learning, in this new way, looks less like reading or studying about someone else's ideas and much more about going direct to Source, Higher Self and downloading the information into our own consciousness. We are unlimited beings having a finite experience that is teaching us how to relate, create and feel FREE in this brief incarnation. The Flower of Life is also a symbol that represents interdependence. We are remembering the ancient wisdom ways of being in relationship to each other and the planet as we heal the patterns of co-dependence or emotional attachment as well as the belief that we must be fiercely independent and act without support. As we remember our connection to all of life, we recognize that even the smallest choices have an affect on the whole as we are part of a larger grid system and linked by our shared existence.
The energy this month is BIG. Have you felt the urges to do things in a completely different way? We are still energetically completing certain "contracts" or "agreements" between/within ourselves or others that may have served our growth up to this point but which now must be dissolved. These are agreements, stories or beliefs that would maintain a sense of security and safety at the expense of our Soul growth. Take some time to be very clear about what contracts you are closing (or negotiating the terms of) at this juncture. Write them down and then speak aloud your intention to dissolve them. What new agreements are you opening to now? What would best serve your heart's intentions? The days leading up to the Full Moon/Eclipse would be a wonderful time to do this practice and then consider joining me on Friday, January 10th at One Yoga and Fitness for this month's Gong Bath to release and complete the process.
January is all about creating the space to connect with what LIGHTS YOU UP by letting go of what weighs you down! Let yourself dance with the possibilities rather than limit yourself to anything too specific.
I remain committed to bringing forth my highest and best to serve all who want to engage with the process of healing, awakening and creating the most beautiful future for ourselves, our children, and the generations to come.
In addition to the Full Moon Flow and Gong bath I have some additional offerings to ignite your inner fire, initiate your creative process and support your healing:
Wishing you the most epic journey in 2020!
From my heart to yours--with LOVE✨
"You can't have anything that you're not willing to become in consciousness."
Powerful Creators! December is here. This final month of the year marks the end of many cycles and offers us the opportunity for an intentional threshold crossing into the beginning of a new decade. It's a very powerful gateway month (complete with the 12/12 portal, Winter Solstice and a solar eclipse on Christmas day!) to complete our projects, give thanks for the process that has unfolded, and celebrate the abundance and joy of the season.
We have been tested and challenged; forged and chiseled by the forces of Spirit and self this year. We have endured and are emerging with the opportunity to move into an entirely new level of consciousness. You have been actively participating in the creative journey this year and it's time to LIGHT LEAP into 2020. But not without doing your energetic housecleaning, setting a clear intention inspired by an elevated vision and more fully connecting to the commitment to your personal awakening. Remember: an intention is nothing more than the clear vision of a desired outcome. We have to become precisely what we most desire. Our feelings are magnetic and our thoughts are electric. We're all always perceiving, receiving and broadcasting something. As we become more conscious of our perceptions, thoughts and feelings, we can choose accordingly rather than react habitually. 2019 has been a year of preparation and now is the time to accelerate the awakening. . . if you so choose!
The invitation for 2020 is ASCENSION.
To vibe higher. To elevate our frequency. To realize the "unknown" as our true home. To activate the best within us. To up-level in the ways that are authentic for each of us. To make LOVE the strongest force in our minds, bodies, lives. For this to be possible, we have to open our hearts to this reality more completely. . .to invoke the help and support of our angels, guides, and brothers and sisters on the path. To BE and EMBODY our truth rather than just dream about it. Our mantra becomes "Thy will be done. Not 'mine.'" We are the leaders of our longings, responsible to serving the mission of living out our unique destiny. No one else can do it for you. This is your sacred work. Your original blessing.
To consciously choose the path of the higher self we will be called to make the clear choice to turn away from the world's opinions and accepted norms and toward our inner knowing for the answers and guidance we are seeking. This is a vital component in the greater shift that is taking place. We will be called to think very differently, to experience, express and show up in entirely new ways. That's because we are realizing more of our potential to create! While what we discover may feel natural and exciting on a deeper level, it can potentially cause others to judgement, fear, and rejection. That, in turn, may cause us to want to retreat, withhold, contract in fear and also judge. Every master that has gone before us has faced this challenge. They also paved a way for us to walk. This is why learning to hold a frequency of unconditional Love is a practice. It takes time to build our pranic (energetic) strength so that we can vibrate at the level of conscious joy regardless of outer approval or rejection.
This is what personal mastery is all about: learning to create and maintain a level of consciousness that is attuned to the truth of who we are and aligned with what we most desire to give life to and obtain outwardly. Many of us have proven to ourselves that we can survive and withstand our miseries and failures. Now is the time to open ourselves to the possibility of actually being the beautiful, brilliant, luminous, gifted, gracious, Gods and Goddesses that we are! It's time to stand in that power and take our rightful seat on the throne of the highest self. It's time to shine brighter and welcome our successes.
We can either travel at the snail speed of the discursive intellect that insists on rational understanding, compartmentalizing and polarizing our experience--making it fit into a box that looks similar to what we have already experienced in the past or we can choose to override that part of the conditioned mind and agree to agree to a much more intelligent operating system. Namely, one that is far more integrated and intuitive in its functioning and able to employ creativity in each moment. Just as choosing our frequency is a practice, so is this development of the meditative mind. Ultimately, we will be the most effective and congruent when we practice to build COHERENCE between the mind and heart.
These are all skills that you as a MASTER of the human/Divine co-creative experience of life and Self will be called to develop. Or not--it's up to you! As I've mentioned before, all of our physical manifestation work begins in the etheric or energetic realms. You might consider this as the "underground" or "unseen" work that we must do in order for the outer reality to align and unfold by design. Much of my own time is spent working in this way and I have found it to be a preferred method compared to a lot of "busy" work done outwardly without a connection to a deeper purpose. We have to be open to adjusted timelines for our creative process--acceleration doesn't always mean things happen quickly on the physical plane! There is no rush to this ascension process--it is happening in perfect time: NOW. Consistency is key. A little bit everyday will deliver you to the best outcomes.
Here are a few of my suggestions for working with the very powerful cosmic energies to upgrade this month and prepare for a positive start to the new year:
From my heart to yours, I offer thanks to everyone that has been a part of my own becoming this year--whether as a distant witness, an active participant, close friend, family member, fellow student or teacher. I look forward to continuing the conversation, expanding the vision, and creating new possibilities along with you in 2020.
May the Long Time Sun shine upon you,
All Love surround you,
And the pure Light within you,
Guide your way on. . . .
Thank you. Bless you. I love you.
The sound of life
can be heard in the trill
of the birds holding up the sky
In the cries of those tired
of living with so much pain
In the hushed whispers of those desperately
making love before the day begins again.
The scent of life
can be breathed through the window
left cracked open in the basement
Through the eyes of a stranger
who’s forgotten his original name
Through kneeling on wet earth
and bowing before a backyard garden.
The vision of life
mirrored in all the places
we dare to really see.
The touch of life
in precisely the ways
of dropping the armor
and walking like a free woman
in love with life itself.
~Jenny Clarke 2019
The doors to the world of the wild Self are few but precious. If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door. If you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door. If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door. ~Clarissa Pinkola Estes
We are living in a time of great challenge, change and uncertainty. Overpopulation, climate change, and corporate controlled industry are just a few of the social and economic issues that we face today. Environmental activist Joanna Macy describes the essential adventure of our time as “the Great Turning,” marking a shift from the industrial growth society to a life-sustaining civilization. Macy declares:
“A revolution is underway because people are realizing that our needs can be met without destroying our world. We have the technical knowledge, the communication tools, and material resources to grow enough food, ensure clean air and water, and meet rational energy needs. Future generations, if there is a livable world for them, will look back at the epochal transition we are making to a life-sustaining society. And they may well call this the time of the Great Turning. It is happening now.”
We are part of this revolution and our contribution to the healing and transformation of the planet begins with our personal commitment to our own awakening. Sri T. Krishnamacharya described yoga as the process where the impossible becomes possible and the possible over a long period of time becomes easy. If we consider our human development, this process becomes clear—as babies it seems impossible that we will ever walk or run, adolescence and young adulthood highlight the challenge of finding our identity apart from our families of origin, and the tests of adulthood and aging are centered around generativity and continued growth rather than stagnation and regression. Each stage of life presents specific crises to aid in our transformation into fully actualized human beings. The word “crisis” comes from the Greek krisis and literally means “decision,” such as the time when an important decision must be made or as the turning point of a disease when an important change takes place, indicating either recovery or death. Crises in our lives are actually vital junctures or thresholds to be crossed that cultivate the conditions necessary for the impossible to become possible in our lives. Crisis is often the carrier pigeon of calling in our lives and ushers us into a new way of being or living. We cannot separate our adventures from our ordeals—they exist hand in hand to elicit deeper truths about ourselves and greater meaning for our lives. These challenges act as sacred portals initiating us into an entirely new life.
Ordeal as Opportunity
The Hero Journey is a motif that was developed by American scholar Joseph Campbell who studied stories from various cultures around the world to discover the one universal story that each myth contains. As a “monomyth,” or the one great story, it represents the archetypal journey of transformation that every person must undergo in order to become a whole human being. It is a cyclical journey where one is called away from the familiar, often through a significant challenge or difficulty that disrupts the status quo, into the wild terrain of the unconscious psyche. The hero encounters extreme difficulty (lifelong saboteurs, past traumas, etc.) and must face and slay the dragon (that which we most fear) in order to recover a lost treasure (our individual “bliss”). Returning to the very place from which we started--home--we must complete the journey by offering the jewel to the world. Each of our unique lives is the myth that we must live out to realize our full potential and bring forth our gifts in service of the greater good. In every adventure story the hero or heroine encounters an ordeal (or several) that test the limits of what (s)he thought possible.
In the movie The Wizard of Oz, for example, Dorothy is tested all along the way by the Wicked Witch of the West who uses all of her power to scare and divert Dorothy from her quest while seeking to destroy her ability to believe in herself. Dorothy’s greatest challenge occurs in the Witch’s castle when she is forced to choose whether to give up the magic red slippers or her precious Toto. The ordeal that ensues is when the Witch torches the Scarecrow and he begins to burn. In an effort to protect her friend, Dorothy douses the fire and accidentally wets the Wicked Witch who melts into a puddle on the floor. Eventually she is rewarded for her bravery and returns home to Kansas with the knowledge that what she was seeking, she had all along. The heroine had to experience the tests and trials in order to discover the gift—she had to encounter her own crucible challenge to make the impossible possible.
Just like Dorothy, our personal adventures come with their own ordeals. The antagonist may come in the form of an illness, a difficult relationship, the loss of a job, divorce, or death. Mid-life as well as other major transitions can initiate a crisis. In my own life marriage and motherhood have proven to be the ultimate ordeals! While also full of unexpected blessings, these relationships induce great challenge. Nothing can fully prepare us for the ordeals, yet the hidden beauty contained within them allows us to discover entirely new aspects of ourselves that would otherwise remain unknown. Our ordeals will ask something from us; we will have to give something up in order to gain the treasure. Using my own life as an example: the dismantling and of my 12 year marriage leading to divorce was an ordeal that still, almost two years later, I am metabolizing and healing. Going from partnership to single-hood has its many layers and levels of unraveling that confront me with issues around self-identity/worth and personal meaning/life purpose. Discovering a different balance in the home with co-parenting as the new reality is a bumpy ride at best. My continued commitment to be present for my children and develop professionally has presented me with the ultimate challenge that has called for both sacrifice and stepping up in ways I never thought possible. Learning when to let go and when to hang on is a daily and sometimes momentary practice. Our ordeals contain countless opportunities for self-discovery if we are willing to see the blessings in the challenges. It is in precisely the ways we think we cannot succeed, take another step forward, or in the temptation to lose all hope and fall into despair, that we have the distinct possibility of realizing our most hidden gifts and abilities. Navigating ordeals with grace and grit is what being human is all about!
Dorothy is not alone in her journey to Oz. Along the way she encounters those with whom she creates an alliance of friendship and mutual support: her dog Toto, Glinda The Good Witch, the Scarecrow, the Tin man and the Cowardly Lion.
The discovery of allies is an important part of the journey. Very often the particular adventures that we undertake will also include the helpers that will provide the aid we most need. Allies are distinctly different than someone we may consider more casually as a friend. Very specifically, allies are the ones that can really be in it with us. One of my teachers, Michael Mervosh, explains that an ally is someone who has been through similar trials and ordeals and yet “is able to have a differing perspective from our own, which we will need as we journey through life.” It is foolish to think that we can make the journey on our own. We need those who help us. Allies can come in the form of visible and invisible aid. Benevolent strangers that appear when we are most in need are our allies. Angels, ancestors and spirit guides can assist our walking from the other side. The natural world and all of its beauty can act as healer for us. Even animals can provide companionship and unconditional love when we are struggling. Our allies appear when we are in need; we must be open to receiving the help!
Useful Tips for Navigating Ordeals
When we are in the throes of an ordeal it can be very difficult to maintain our connection to center and the challenges can induce fear and self-doubt causing us to believe that there is something wrong with us that must be fixed. Do your best not to take your ordeals too personally—remember that they are part of the universal experience of being human—everyone experiences them! I encourage you to do your best to practice self-care in the following ways:
What seems “impossible” for you now? Rather than engaging your logical mind, answer this question more intuitively by practicing stream of consciousness writing for ten minutes or longer. Simply write the question at the top of your page and then commit to writing without stopping or censoring your words. Just let it flow and see what emerges.
Reflect back upon the span of your life. Revisit that which has been the “Supreme Ordeal” of your life's time, to date. What was it about the experience that made it feel like such an ordeal for you? What have you learned from this profound life experience that moved you closer toward your authentic self?
What is the most significant or meaningful adventure/ordeal in your present day life? What is it that makes it such an adventure or ordeal for you? As you reflect on your answers to the previous question, what opportunity do you see lying before you, for your unfolding future, from here?
Who are your allies? Who is able to be in it with you? What places or people feel supportive for you?
What kind of self-care do you most need now? Is there a particular practice that you would like to emphasize at this time?
We Are The Ones We Have Been Waiting For
As the Great Turning is underway and we are in the process of our own transformational growth process, we can call on the wisdom of those who have gone before us to help us find the way. The Native Americans considered the impact of their choices by the 7 generation principle: for every personal, governmental or corporate decision made, it was taken into account how it would affect the next seven generations into the future. A generation is thought to be 25 years—so that’s 175 years impact to consider. “Sustainability” for the indigenous people meant living in balance and harmony with the world around them. Mitakuye oyasin is the term used by the Lakota that means “we are all related to, and respect, everything in life.” Take to heart this message from the Hopi Elders as a timely reminder for you, who have been called on a sacred mission as artists, yogis, helpers, healers, and light bearers to make the impossible, possible through your commitment and courage to the realizing the essential teaching of the path—we are that which we are seeking; only ONE exists and we are the individual expressions of that Unity. We need not feel small and insignificant in the face of the world's problems. We are the ones we have been waiting for. . .
Message From the Hopi Elders:
You have been telling people that this is the Eleventh Hour, now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour. And there are things to be considered…
Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.
It is time to speak your truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for your leader.
Then he clasped his hands together, smiled, and said, “This could be a good time! There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly. Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water.
And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate. At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, least of all ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey come to a halt.
The time of the one wolf is over. Gather yourselves! Banish the word ’struggle’ from your attitude and your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.
We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.
--Hopi Elders' Prophecy, June 8, 2000
"Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake," said the poet Wallace Stevens. Or in my case, a month of my year spent walking, talking, sitting, swimming, reading, praying, practicing yoga, gathering and connecting with my family in this protected harbor of Lake Ontario. I consider it the center of the calendar year and, in many ways, the center of my evolving self.
For just a few weeks, it feels so wonderful to let go and leave behind everything of my normal day-to-day life and allow myself be restored and renewed by the natural world. It's one of the things I miss most when I'm in the throes of a busy school year and living in suburbia, spending much of my days parenting and working indoors. I have to take my nature time in small doses--a morning run through our every growing city, appreciating the few patches of green that still exist, visiting the local lakes that typify this "gem in the hills" and bask in my own partially visible backyard sunsets that offer unexpected beauty. Some days it's just about taking the time to look up at the sky mid-day as I get my mail and take a deep breath to recalibrate before I'm back inside.
The month of July has become the time of the year where my kids and I can enjoy being barefoot and bathing suited most of the day with no schedule to maintain and no pressure to be "on" in any strenuous way. However I have come to recognize the greatest opportunity is in gaining a deeper intimacy with the natural world. The first day we arrived at the lake, my daughter and I went for a walk and found two caterpillars that we transferred to our little butterfly sanctuary. My daughter named one "Faith" and I named the other "Destiny." We proceeded to spend the following couple of weeks witnessing the incredible transformation. We felt building excitement at each stage from caterpillar to chrysalis to first sight of wings. I was visibly more excited than my kids when the day finally arrived to watch Faith and Destiny take their final freedom flights.
Our time this year coincided with the solar and lunar eclipses. These powerful gateway periods invite us to become aware of endings and new beginnings in our lives. The energy tends to set the tone for the next six months. For the full moon eclipse I felt the call to use the lunar energy for ritual. I invited my mom, dad, brother and kids to participate. I suggested that we each meditate on a word or a few words that we want to focus on expanding in our lives now. What do we want to experience or express more fully in the coming months? I prayed and collected rocks from the lake and we each wrote our words on the rocks. We went to the edge of the lake together and tossed our intentions into the water. My kids spent the rest of our vacation attempting to dive for them like lost treasure. The only rock they found was Hope.
This year marked our fifth summer on the lake. I reflected on how much has changed in my life over that course of time. I've gone from married and mostly stay at home mom to divorced and feeling devastated and lost to being an empowered unpartnered woman, working hard to build my career, a single but peacefully co-parenting mama dedicated to being present for my kids. I have changed dramatically in the last five years as my own personal transformation has taken place. But the lake and its container of beauty and rest along with my amazing family have been a constant that I'm deeply grateful to have. That combination of nature and nurture have been the great healers for me. Every year my kids and I celebrate all that we have successfully navigated in the year that passed by doing a "family jump" off the dock together. It's a symbol not only of what we have lived through, but what we are living for: to continue to grow and learn together and to trust that when we leap the lake will always be there to receive us.
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