Quieting the Judgmental Mind
Diving into Peace Within
It has come to my attention as of late that a great deal of my lack of serenity and peace throughout my day is caused by the nagging qualities of the judging mind that seems to always have a comment or opinion. This constantly seeking and never settled mental energy seems to switch from a relentless categorization of details and a plethora of assumptions regarding the matter at hand, to a cacophony of petty dialogues about others to then a series of critiques and suppositions about the accuracy and methodology of my own actions and doings. Between the outer world and the lack of true depth in my own "apparent" inner world, it seems the mind is a buzz with chatter and vacillations, constantly in a state of frenzied distress and only lucky to enough sometime to stumble upon a few brief moments of peace. The real goal for me is to find a way to turn the tide, to change the flow, to still the circus of distractions and abuses. The judging mind ever finding fault or even falling into agreement but never in still acceptance is a tiring place of chaos. In the Bhagavad Gita and the east they speak of loosing desire for likes and dislikes, freedom from the contrasts of Maya and the illusion of the opposites that appear to create the structure of this outer world which seems so real. This veil of darkness and light is but a contorted picture.
The entrapment of likes and dislikes is the foreground for the judgmental mind. the mind trained to make assertions based on evidence. This evidence is but a construct of our conditioned reality and our vision when founded on the sense data processed through the judgmental mind is the handiwork of the ego. In a sense event the writing I am doing now, walks a fine line here meshed within the same categorizing, over thinking mind drowning in rationalizations and theory. So how to slow the runaway train of the shallow thinking mind is quite the trick when much of our existence is solely found here in this web of mental pathways leading to more mental pathways driving the self further from source and spirit. In the quest for truth the mind is lead further from it by this process.
So the process must shift in order to find stillness and peace. The rapidly speaking frenzied voice of judgement must be replaced with the loving still and simple voice of true reason, that which is the highest reason. It is the reason that questions little and does not seek to know. It is the mind that is present in the moment of bliss. Samadi the 8th limb on the fantastic path of Patanjali does not include a series of mental diatribes and verbose rhetoric. No, samadi is the state of bliss where all is perfect in its own perfection. Nothing needing to be analysed or improved, it is the state of total submission to what is. What is just is. The tree in the garden is a tree. It needs not be defined as this tree or that tree to be the tree that stands before you, so too then is the state of the pure un-defiled mind the pure Budhi mind that exists at its higher vibrational form. It is an energetic awareness one that is powerful in the nature of its unity to the present state of being. So this is the path of enlightenment. Despite all the Janja Yoga and the quest for learning and knowledge, the truest form of understanding arrives at the point of submission to the state of non questioning, non seeking and just being.
How to turn off the switch of the judgmental personality is like a meditation. Anyone who has seriously tried to undertake meditation knows that it is a practice that does not instantly avail itself, despite the good intention of submitting to the moment and being present. It may take years to learn to have 3 minutes of true meditative silence and peace. Often it begins with a great deal of pseudo peaceful mental guiding and this unfortunately is still the judging ego mind. It takes a bit of time to really make the shift and learn how to dive deep beyond the senseless mind chatter to the deep quiet stillness that lies deep within. Some use a form of sitting behind the mind and being the watcher, though this is a challenge as it can create a fragmentation in the connection to the higher self and may be more of a dissassociative mechanism than it is a way to finding genuine stillness. I personally try to dive deep within the self to a place of quiet, to find myself the real person the one beyond a lifetime of defense mechanisms and escapism that had been pushed deep inside and left quiet guarded behind the vaulted doors of a hardened heart. This however is another topic and discussion one of which will be discussed in a later article and at anther time. The still place of peace lies within, at the place of true presence. To reach this place of centering with the self at its true level beyond the masks, barricades and facade one must have the courage and endurance built up within to make the voyage inward. The way to dive deep to the quiet inner cave of stillness, the tabernacle of quietude and connection to the I Am that I Am is to swim and go beneath the storming soundtrack of the ego judging mind and seek the refuge in the sanctuary of the heart.
The breath is a great start, use it as the springboard for the dive to inner depth and ever new joy and bliss. The deep exhale is the grounding mechanism I use just as if I were literally diving down deep beneath the waters of the Sea of Cortez. In some ways having had a personal connection to the sea in my real physical life has been a great aid in the integration of this method. For those reading who do not have this connection to the sea you may try this also in a bathtub and by doing so you will soon discover what this method is, and how to integrate it into your regular daily affairs and activities. It is in essence a way of checking into the zone of real consciousness. A break, a breath, a reprieve from this maddening torture that we submit upon our own selves. Our own monkey mind is our own personal pet, psychological terror mechanism, to stimulate a jarring and disturbing walking on eggshell existence in our own space. So to dive beneath the noise and the daily personal commentator who is our constant spectator and judge is not just a happy much needed break but also the means by which you can allow for this side of your mind to eventually fade away. It is a momentary check in with self point where you can actually come to the place of the real game changer where you return up for air into the world of mankind and have some leverage and can reset your gauge and focus and walk in a state of true presence.
This is the way to flip the script, or the switch of the mind and jump into another reality the real reality where you are at peace and present and not going 500 miles a second in your head or in nowhere land as a friend likes to call it. No,... check in and return to reality. Hi....you have arrived at being really there with you. From this point you can begin with standard operating procedure for real enlightened living and make more clear and conscious decisions rather than being trapped in living in your biases and prejudices about what is right, wrong and acceptable. This is where you return to a real existence not dictated subconsciously to you through your life of conditioning. This is why small children are at another level of consciousness and see life in such a magical and different way. As we grow and develop and sharpen our knowledge about our contrasts, likes and dislikes etc we dull our real perspective and awareness and begin to default our view into a caged and contrived projection of what we think reality really is or worse go into the place of total judgment because everything around us isn't how it is supposed to be. The consequences of which are dire indeed, as many of us know first hand from the wreckage we have perhaps made in our relationships with others at times because we believe them to not be living as we believe they are supposed to be. The greatest delusion of our separation from each other, our attachment to what we believe people should be like and how the people we love are supposed to love and treat us. This is a great handicap in the pursuit of peace and joy, one thankfully that we can overcome with patience, the breath and the ability to shift our mindset with centering and stillness techniques such as the one I have described above. A moment of silence and stillness is all you need to learn to cultivate to turn the tides and move from the place of judgment to the place of acceptance. Namaste friends, good luck in your practice of peace and presence in reality. This is true serenity.
As one of my favorite sayings goes-
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and the wisdom to know the difference.
You can change your own inner dynamic with meditation and the breath that is the difference and patience will help you there. Be kind to yourself and others. xoxox
Cure for the Common Head
There is something truly healing and theraputic about going outside into the expanse of nature and grounding the jagged and frenzied city vibrations back into their holistic roots in the outdoors. Grounding or earthing as it is often called is a powerful medicine for the runaway mind syndrome so often developed in this fast paced planet. To decompress from the high energy levels and telecommunications frequencies that are so damaging to the ability to focus and think clearly one must return to the primal and basic connection to the soil and the sea, the mountains and the fresh air. No matter which delightful verdent pasture you select for your earthing experience you are sure to soon find a gentle repreave from the madness in your mind.
The mind so often cluttered with future focus or past nastalgia rarely present and still in the awareness of the now so often urged by Ekart Tole and other great philosophers and ancients such as the Taoists and Rishis. Yes, to center and connect to plug into the real biorhythems of nature herself. This is a truely magical and magnificent experience and a perfect panacea for the ills of our materialistic future focused need focused society. The true need and the one so often ignored is fresh air and sunshine. This dose of holistic medicine is free and readily available to all. Even those immeshed in the depths of a dismal city may find if they seek hard enough an open space or sunny corner whereby one can sit and take in the truth of life in a few moments of still reflection and awareness.
So why do we become so immersed in the fabricated dillusion of this society the internet and the cellular phones and the cyber space and synthetic sitcoms which give us a false sense of meaning and a vibrational hangover from our indulgences.. Yes just as the telephone poles need grounding and electrical poles need a strong connection to the earth we too as human beings would become very dangerous to not only ourselves due to burnout but also to others without a grounding influence on our lives.
The importance of nature and our relationship to it cannot be understated nor ignored. For this reason I will leave you now to go outside on this the first day of spring and play in the vibrant and luxurious opulance of Gods creation.
The depth of feeling
through the gateway of the eyes
The eyes are the gateway to the soul and if you are lucky there exist a pair of eyes in whom you can see beyond the world and into the universe back into yourself. It is where the moment becomes the embodiment of all moments, where in one person you find yourself. This is the union of infinity and it is found in our connection with another.
Some of the deepest lessons in life come from others, the greatest love comes from the ability to recognize the universal oneness in another and in that other find yourself there. Is it this merging of two souls through the eyes in a moment of truth that holds not only the key to them, yourself, but to everything.
once the walls are down, and you can see the beautiful soul of another and when you let them see you...that is when one of the great awakenings can take place. The defenses have fallen away, the channel is clear and you are for once removed from the covering, the drapery that masks your soul. Soul naked you merge, from the eyes with another, if you are lucky.
Perhaps this is the true test, the test to see how much you can trust, the test to see how comfortable you are. Not just comfortable in your own skin but comfortable without it, soul naked. Gloriously naked two souls with open hearts and without fear.
I did not realize the amazing nature of this as it felt so natural, but then in this...the after thought it has stuck me as so miraculous and fantastic, as it is so rare to feel so free looking into the eyes of another.
How often we meet the eyes of another and turn away, look away and feel that feeling of being exposed or as if we are exposing another. How frightening it often is to hold the gaze with certain people. And yet,...there is such a thing, there are such moments, moements where you melt into the moment with another and become real. A person with whom you can connect, it is safe and free. What is this and why? How is it that this can be?
In the wake of this wonderful event, I can not help but wonder why it is so hard to do this with the rest of the world. Here is a great quest. To love all people with such freedom and innocence. What miracle and heavenly wonder would this be if I or you or anyone were able to be so completely in love with everyone in the whole world. Is this possible? To be able to just gaze into each persons eyes and feel so happy, feel like you are wrapped in a beautiful warm blanket, to feel like a summer day? What an amazing thing to feel so natural.
Natural and alive. What a fantastic thing and gift it is to be here, to have the chance to meet yourself in the eyes of another one day and realize we are one.
The Importance of Your Intention
Amanda Luisa Rodriguez Nagy
The key to the path of least resistance and finding the flow of life is in being able to tap into that which is authentic and pure. To get real, we are called to pierce what is known in India as the veil of Maya. The veil of Maya consists of the layers of static noise that distract us from the clarity and simplicity of the truth. Maya, is the monkey mind, and the ego chatter, the preoccupation with tangible temporal transitioning aspects of life. The truth is: that which is infinite and unchangeable. Truth is the constant at the heart of the evolving and transitioning aspects of human existence where as dillusion is in essence the body of physical reality, the sheath to our spirit (which is forever present.)
To get down to the core of the what is, the true authentic aspect of existence, is the goal of the yogi on the yogic path. To peel the layers of the onion of the ego self or personality ego (see...deconstructing the fortress of fear from last month) and get to the pure matter is the intention of the yogi. The pure matter is the creative force of life. The only way to connect to that which is eternal is to recognize that the power of the that which is and always has been, is within you.
Without being so bold as to define what this is for you, I will rather reference this in an open fashion for you the reader to decide for yourself how your own connection with the Great Mystery feels and what that looks like. It is not my concern that you shall resonate completely with my personal relationship with my view of the creator, however it is my hope that you will one day come to know that there is a powerful spark of that which created all of this around you within your own heart.
For those who may not feel comfortable quite yet with this as the center for all their intentions, I pose another possible option. Set whatever intention you like, but be mindful of having one. Really look at your motivations and what energy is driving your behavior and activities. This is the key to understanding a multitude of many great things, or rather knowing one great thing. Where you place your focus is where you go. Some have used this in interesting ways. Numerous seminars and trainings exist to manifest riches and large fortunes. It often involves vision boards and visualizing the goal and desire and thinking that it already belongs to you.....And this is a great method. This is meditation in many ways. But again, going deeper we need to look at the intention. Is it only to have a nice big house and a lovely car?
If this is the sole aspect and the depth of your intention you can be sure to expect and receive a temporal and fading outcome. An outcome that will leave you not only living in the future not at all in the present moment in the grass is greener mentality of non existence and illusion, every hungry and seeking and never being filled or finding that what can never truly fulfill. Is this not self defeating? Does this really fullfill what you were hoping for?
Deepen your intention and you will find yourself in a different place. What is deeper than the desire for the big house? Look at why you want this? There is something deeper perhaps still unarticulated that you desire. Is it happiness? Then if it is happiness, then what makes this thing called happiness in your heart? Here is the fun part...write a list of times you felt truly happy. Guess what. I am fairly certain that if you are even remotely concerned with your spiritual development you will notice that your list contains a majority if not an entirety of things that have nothing to do with the big house or any other monetary aspect at all. Mabey it is the beautiful wife or husband that you seek. Again break down the motivations to its core truth and you will realize you have been missing a major point and your vision clouded by the veil of Maya.
This is the dillusion, this is where all that glitters isnt gold folks. Hello.....we are buying into the pipe dream. Believing the infomercial of this world and not tapping into the real deal. The world is a great sales person, you give your money and sign on the dotted line all on emotion and the lure of the senses. It is so funny and we all do this, we all say the old cliches and retell the fables and relate and believe things like...money cant buy you love, or the path to hell is paved with good intentions and yet...there we go on a daily basis frolicking behind the pied piper.
Set your intention for your life. I was doing a reading for an old friend a truly special wonderful soul today and yet he has been caught in a bit of a identity crunch lately. We all are? And it is great. I saw in his cards the King of Pentacles that represents a man of wealth and riches, the King of Wands that is a honest, hardworking man of the earth and the knight of cups a true romantic and emotional intuitive youthful soul. They fell in one in the past (knight) and two in the present. One was the man he felt he needed to be according to this world and the dillusion of Maya ( a role he had been chasing with great passion) and the other was the authentic aspect of himself that he had been ignoring and had not remembered value in and the other was the young man who was neither of the two. The answer for him was to go back to the drawing board and get real about his authentic self. Somewhere in the midst of all the expectations, hopes, experience and his nature was the evolving aspect of who he was now and could be. However the mask to his true self was cloaked in heavy layers of this persona of the man of riches the world had sold him on the idea of needing to be.
I dont write this to criticize him, for his is a wonderful man. I use this as an example because we all have this same predicament. The key to finding your authentic self I believe is about getting real about intention. Looking at the big picture and then digging deep.
Get out a Piece of Paper
1. So look at the young girl or boy you were without getting stuck there write key words
2. write down the person you hope to be
3.look at who you really are (just the positive).
1.Ok. then look at the dreams you had when young and what you believed in. Write them
2. Look at the person you think you should be or would like to become again. Write it down. Pause .....let it sink in.
What is all of this about? Why do you want to become this? What is the intent and what does it mean for you to be and have these things?
Find that answer and now go back to who you were as a youth and your beliefs and the positive about who you are now. Here is where it gets good.
Contemplate this for a while.
Now try to boil it all down to a few key words and one primary intention.
------------------------ The answer you must find for yourself at the end of all this. But I truly believe that by doing this you will have a different idea of your direction or perhaps a stronger resolve for pursuing it. Set the intention and enjoy the journey too.
Manifest Destiny Within
Redefining Success in the Wild West
By Amanda Luisa Rodriguez
1. the 19th-century
doctrine or belief that the expansion of the US throughout the American
continents was both justified and inevitable
In today’s changing Westernized World there has been a
welcomed return to Eastern Ideas. In
essence we are approaching a major transformation but there are still lingering
aspects of our conditioning that linger on as the end of the Kali Yuga strains
to make its succession and give birth to the Aquarian New Age. What strongholds still remain to make our
charter across the Wild Western Frontier into the redefined ancient wisdom of
the East as we come full circle during this momentous transition?
It all began with a noble notion: freedom and liberty from the rigid class
systems of the past. With the dream of
equality and a chance at a fresh start. The founding members of our Western Society in
the New World arrived with noble hopes of advancement and settled against great
odds to find a place for the disenfranchised.
Ironically, our manifest destiny displaced those native to the west and
a clash arose between great seats of power.
In essence this is the battle that is also being fought on the new land
The mind struggles to reconcile new ideologies on purpose and meaning with the hard judgments
of the personality ego and our long held and often unquestioned conditioning.
Imbedded within our psyche lingers within: the collective unconscious remembrance
of our roots in the east, our lineage and teachings from the West and a humanity beyond culture that is on a soul level a divine synthesis of the two. These karmic reminences along with the new school improvements and these inevitable changes in our evolution are our birthright as we scale the higherarchy of spirituality and strive
to reach closer to greater states of connection to source. And all this takes place with
the ongoing skirmishes between the still feuding factions within the mind
struggling for sovereignty over the new world /old world full circle understanding that exists
within the infinite aspects of the soul. So you see, we have the reenactment
of our past here within our very selves on a daily basis both in the finite fronteer and the unlimited expanse of all that is,was and will forever be. And as complex as all this is we must simultaneously take this with the
understanding that no battle or great work was done in a day.
So what shall be the face of the new system of government
within each of our selves? How to rule
the senses and win the battle that wages on as alluded to in the Bhagavad
Gita? For those unfamiliar with the
historical battle outlined therein we need not look further to our own
historical example found in the great time of the Wild West and Manifest
Destiny when our forefathers settled here to find a new life. In essence this is what we are endeavoring to
do in our own advancement in terms of spirituality and in the pursuit of
happiness. We continue to seek the same
things but it is time for the means to do so, to evolve and change with the
times. Change to the time which is timeless. Perhaps using a more yogic and
balanced approach. Merging the old and
new and the masculine and feminine, a blend and synthesis of opposites to end
the war within.
Perhaps the easiest way to begin this process is by
redefining success and taking a good look at the values that motivate and found
the perhaps antiquated and then again perhaps not antiquated enough idea of what
it means to be successful. In the legacy
that we have inherited there lay a great deal of honorable and wise assertions:
hard work, dedication, personal responsibility to manifest your own destiny
through your own efforts. This is great…but
the unfortunate twist is that these very ideals have morphed into a bottomless pit of greed and the
proverbial Need More Monster (you know the one that always is Needing More and
growing bigger every time he is fed).
Our notions of success have been based on an ever competitive and
growing world where there is always someone better, stronger etc. (according to
these standards) and now with the speed of technology it doesn’t take more than
a second to find this out. Perhaps in
the days when less souls roamed the earth ones competition was not so easy to
confront and did not exist in such volume and with this multitude. We have found ourselves amidst a turbulent
change, and oddly the majority of the this turbulence is inward as with all our
telecommunications it is more difficult than ever to collectively relate in the
: the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame: the correct or desired result of an attempt: someone or something that is successful : a person or thing that succeeds
Is this Success?
What does it mean in this changing world, now that we are all by default
beginning to realize something is amiss with the system in place? The system is breaking down, but people are struggling
both internally and externally to find a functional way of integrating the new
ideas. We all agree (for the most part)
that greed is bad and there is more to life than just money. One of the greatest proponents for this is
Master Card, and in this example lays the very irony and struggle that I speak
of. Money doesn’t matter and other
things do ….but use this card to pay for a priceless event and do it on credit
with money you actually don’t have. So
we are in essence doing this in a number of ways. Writing checks for momentary pleasures that
we can’t cash, or perhaps giving our money away to a bueaurcratic pseudo non
profit to feel better about helping the world without really getting our hands
dirty. You see, there is a disconnect
and in conquering the new wild west within yourself there needs to be a better
plan in place, a different system and a vastly different way of quantifying and
qualifying information and values.
Reconstructing the ideology of success will be tricky and I
believe this is one of our hardest tasks to implement, once the theoretical
component is conquered within your mind.
Its implementation must go back to the wild western value of hard work,
the Native Americans had that well figured out already and the settlers had
courage to face the unknown which is admirable as well. It is too easy to vilify one side and deify
the other; this too is part of the old mentality of competition and success
which needs to go out the window. As
full integration and balance must come in a harmony of both sides, but without a
replay of the Western Block and the nightmares of socialism and communism which
unfortunately some have defaulted to in the new age community as a go to
opposite choice for the evils of capitalism.
Again one side good the other bad, this is the Kali Yuga of confusion.
So I cannot provide in this short essay a solution to this
growing problem, only that it is something to look at and perhaps consider for
yourself. I feel that it is noteworthy
that there is a great deal of old patterning in our current new age forward
motion, and perhaps it is a great time …now especially that our government is
shut down to really re-evaluate everything and rather than go to war again
between sides find a evolved way of dealing with this interesting clash of
opposing sides both inside and out.
All in all to conclude this tangential discourse....Look within to see wher you place your value. Look to see where and in what direction you are moving in, and then perhaps intuit and consider the implications. So often we forget to build a foundation, so part of a successful driven life is getting clear about your values and what they mean. If we look at our legacy and world traditions as a human race or even deeper as all members of life then look at what sucess really is. What self actualization is and what it means to move forward. The conquering of the wild west was well intentioned, many actions in this life are wel intented but have lingering negative effects. The only constant is that there is a paradox between moving forward and finding true center beyond any vacillations. There is being and flowing. It is all an evolution and a change and a shift. As an indidual and as a culture we are in a period of movement and transition. What this means and looks like is in its infancy still. More shall be revealed with time, as yet again we face a great expansion into an unknown future.
Clearing Away the Wreckage of the Past
Spiritual House Cleaning and Karma
by Soul Girl Yoga
Karmic Debt, the need for some serious house cleaning. It is funny how we can be lulled into complacency when things seem like they are going well. It is not until the s$#%t hits the fan that you realize you left behind some unfinished business that did not seem pressing at the time. During this mini sabaticle, silly dramas and romances take center stage and the frivolous nature of our leisure time can begin to blur the lines of reality. Then it hits, hard knock reality and we realize ohhh that thing we put off has spiraled into a mini tornado.
Have you seen the movie from Walt Disney about the ants and the lazy grasshopper. The grasshopper was living it up, playing the fiddle, having a gay old time while the "boring" ants were working day in and day out. Come winter the grasshopper was singing a different tune freezing outside in the cold watching the ants relax in warm comfort. Well the same goes for our spiritual work and evolution.
You may be saying....that spiritual stuff is a bunch of hogwash and quite frankly these new agers are just aging trust fund babies or fried out x hippies who need to get real. While in some cases you may be right, spiritual house cleaning and clearing away the wreckage of the past is work no one can miss out on. This is your real life assignment and without working on old issues, behaviors, emotions you may find yourself in quite a pickle one day.
Harboring negative feelings about the past, old grudges, conditioned belief systems that you have lazily kept hold of, do you no good in this life. These are the key ingredients to a recipie for disaster, unhappiness, misery and discontent. Sure ignorance can serve as a safety blanket for a while but festering underneath are some old wounds that cant heal with that band aid on.
You cant fix big cuts with a bandage. Sometimes you need to get a little more proactive than that and really do some deep healing and dedicate some time to your recovery. The wham bam thank you mam style of conflict resolution never has positive lasting results, in fact not only does it defer the problem but it exacerbates it as well. So often we turn our inner self into a receptacle for issues we just cant face, and worse we often forget to empty the trash until it begins to smell. Perhaps at this point we get angry at others for not taking it out for us, or perhaps for not letting us know sooner.
No, friends this is not the easier softer way. Nor does it jive with the mindfulness we have been seeking. Mindfulness does not mean living in denial and letting real issues pile up while we float in samadi and spiritual etheira. We must create the clean, green environment we seek within our own souls. We must be the custodians of our own BS. We are the decorators of our inner home, so why are we stuffing it with things we deny exist or cluttering it with things we will get around to doing when we have more time.
The time is now. We cannot move forward, liberated and free when chained to our past and carrying a pile of junk. So what is there lurking in the cupboard of our mind and soul. What junk drawer in the back of our heart swarmed with nick knacks and old paperwork is carrying the key to our future success. Time to clean out the closets of your inner world and donate those old suits and layers to the universe to recycle into something new.
Its Karmic Cleaning time and it is long overdue. Now remember Rome was not built in a day, and big things can happen one day at a time. Namaste my dears!
Out with the Old and in with the New
Finding True Love
Sometimes we have to let go of people that we may love to find true love. If you love someone, they make you laugh and you enjoy their company but they are not ready for a comitted relationship based on trust and honor....you got to let them go.
Holding on to a person who is not willing nor able to love you fully back in return is a form of self sabatoge. You are essentially saying to the universe that I dont deserve a healthy and comitted relationship and this will do. Noooo.
To find true love you must be willing to sacrifice and never settle for less. While you may be saddened at the goodbyes of certain playmates and friends...this is necessary for the real prize to come to your door. You cant carry all your toys with you into marital bliss you need to let go and focus on the one that is worth bringing with you.
The master tool. The big picture. Is what you want here right now? If not...say goodbye. And when you have the power to do so you will be free to embrace that which you have been longing for. You need open arms for this. So let go of the baggage and be ready to accept with all you have within you that which you really want. Patience is a virtue. Ironically the delay in recieving this gift directly corrolates to your ability to release that which no longer serves you. Otherwise the universe will still think you are working on what you have.
People can be pacifiers but do you really want to be a baby forever. So if you have been holding on to a person as a crutch while secretly looking elsewhere....do everyone a favor and let them go free. Decide today if you really want love. If you do stay open and free to recieve it.
Today I said goodbye to one of my pacifiers in life....it was a dead end and we both knew it...I choose love today. I love myself enough to be free of what does not work or serve me and open myself to new possiblities in love.
Old Tapes We Play
Caught in the Negative Feedback Loop
By Soul Girl Yoga
So the cycle begins again, and ohhh how easily it is to fall subject to the same old trappings of yester year. The finger pointing, blame shifting and the back and forth game of who done it. Fighting fire with fire, relying on logic to win the day. But who is this imagined audience we speak to from our pulpit? We postulate and cross examine as if our battle is a mini trial and as if some imaginary judge will step out from the shadows and say.....sustained. The competition mentality run riot, the antics of the wounded ego and our pride. Who really wins when we play this old tape out. How many rounds must we go until no one wants to play anymore. Worse, when the players still try and perhaps even seek a reconciliation but are locked into an old script that can provide little more than a reprieve at best and leave behind the seeds for a future battle left buried awaiting time to grow into another frenzy.
Old tapes and our old methodology leave no room for improvement. This negative feedback loop is like a feud that lives on for generations ever harboring the sentiment that it is the other party that owes a sincere apology. It is this notion that once that other party changes their tune, then and only then will the song be different. This is the heart of the problem.
A problem that luckily yoga can solve. It takes a changing of the old patterns, it takes you to be the catalyst for change. Be the change you want to see in the world. That is it. The longer we wait for the world to change, or a person to change we will be without recourse. This unfortunately is beyond our control. So what is in our hands, what can we do to make a difference? We need to be the ones to make the shift. Shift the energy.
So a heated argument is taking place and you are back to playing the martyr role, valiantly defending some archaic position steeped in your own presupposed righteousness. This takes many shapes but at heart it is the same. We can try the old pity for them technique for emotional blackmail and use it as a silent method to prop up our defense of nobility and justice all the while feeling inside that we are being wronged. Or, perhaps we can lash out in what we may deem justifiable rage at this horrific abuse to our humanity. Whatever the form or manifestation of our triste, at the heart of any conflict we are party to, it is this, the perpetuation of our position of righteousness that keeps us bound to battle. So long as we cling to old roles and beliefs that fortify the- you are wrong and I am right mentality we will be locked into the same spin cycle of dispair and discord.
So how can we step out of this game? How can we with true intention leave the stage and the drama behind? It really is in a way, a performance if you look at it deeply a play we have made with a number of roles and lines that we follow that are written with no happy ending. That feeling that we and all of our words are being recorded in some great book that one day will serve as a testiment to our true virtue and expose once and for all the ridiculousness of the other person is a trap and ensnares us in our own misery. This hope that when we are recognized as hero and the other person villian comes inbeded in it a false notion that in the end one day we will win some strange prize is nonsense. This day will not come, and if for some strange twist of fate it were to transpire we would recieve with it the emptiness of our seperation from a person who could have under other circumstances proved to perhaps have been our friend.
Does this ring a bell?
Let it go. Yes, let it go. That is the answer. Let it go and return to peace. Come what may but refuse to be party to the monologue of your self defense. Drop the hot potatoes and let it cool off for a while.
The best remedy is to take a breath of fresh air. And while doing this and taking a walk, let go of your speech. You know the part where you replay the event a hundred times and think of the great moments you had in the verbal battles that ensued. Let go of the next round and the things you plan to say next. This is the feedback loop of negativity. This is the ball of fury and anger that grows as we allow it to pass back and forth, both with our foe and with ourselves. It is the same, we are the same. This is the mirror that has been placed before you to see the futility of the methods of conquest that we live by.
Surrender to win. Let go and free yourself of the notion of competition. This is yoga therapy for life. Breath and be. Live and let live.
Next time a familiar battle begins, be it in politics or love. Allow stillness, patience and tolerance to be your tools for greater understanding. Allow the breath and a temporary pause be the mechanism for your release as well as your captives. For in the battle for dominance we are both captives really. Free yourself and others from the bondage of unnecessary conflicts by letting go of the old way.....your way.
Take the highway to greater consciousness and greater depth of understanding.
the Fortress of Fear
When asked the other day
my personal opinion on the meaning of life, I without hesitation replied to
love and to learn to let the walls down. It is not for me the big picture
of my purpose that is so difficult but the process of living in the context of
it that is a bit of the challenge. On paper it looks great, and
theoretically it sounds rather simple. Live in the moment, forgive and
forget, let go and surrender to win. These catch phrases on the whole are
the general point of life but it is in the process of living that the subtle
nuances become rather tricky.
So how does one begin
this quest for true love and freedom from the bondage of self? How to be
comfortable in one’s own skin but on a true soul level and to be authentic and
no longer party to the inner fashion show of a thousand personas? Off
with the costumes not just in our wardrobes, though some may want to start
there, but also off with the roles we play and the personalities we believe
define our life.
What are these masks
for? Well quite simple...they are our fortress of fear, our armor against
the perceived attacks of this world. Essentially, the masks we wear keep
us in spiritual asylum. All these are facets of our fear and serve as the
founding belief that we are in some kind of battle against those who are out to
get us. For the naysayers...I will concede that yes there are some dark
forces to content with in this world and there are some harsh realities that we
will come to face. This I cannot deny. However, in the attempt to
protect ourselves from life we end not living it fully. In fear, we take
on conditioned methods of survival that we may or may not be aware of.
The act and the performance we use as a shield against pain keeps us bound
within, locked away inside our true nature remains hidden, without ever really
letting the true light within shine out.
This true light is the
light of our authentic self, not the self we feel we must be. Beyond the
skin, the neighborhood, the religion, the role we play, there exists the true
essence of the real self. Perhaps even the mask of artist or scientist,
these seemingly important qualifiers and definitions we ascribe to ourselves to
separate us or rather to distinguish us from our fellow man are the very walls
that prevent us from really connecting to other people, perhaps these roles
while helpful in some ways may be the very thing keeping us from knowing the
real person within. This western approach at self definition, at self
actualization based on the need to categorize and classify ourselves as
something special or different may in fact be the very walls that construct our
own fortresses of fear.
The truth be told, we
are all unique and different. Certainly we have different gifts and talents
that do make us our own snowflake in this universe. The key is to not
focus or attach too heavily on the differences, this becomes especially helpful
when working with the great lesson of compassion, though I will expound upon
that in a later article dedicated more to that point.
The goal is to first
deconstruct the need to keep sequestered in our niches and comfort zones and
this can only happen by beginning to unravel the tangles of theses facades and
identities that we so cling to for self aggrandizement and clutch to, to
perpetuate the competition mentality that keeps us alone and essentially keeps
up from really ever really expressing the essence of who we are beyond our
accomplishments. This is a state of agitation where the next parcel of life
is greener and more desirable than being present, and a state of mind that
anxiously drives us from who we are within as our focus becomes who we appear
to be seen as from those outside ourselves. Granted, a state of
neutrality and complacency is not the method of being in the moment of which we
speak. What this disarmorment is about, is rather, slowly
dismantling the feudal estate of fear that we have barricaded our hearts
within, as we to live in an un-evolved state that is in essence our own personal
spiritual dark ages. Locked in the box of social stigmas and
expectations, shining only for our momentary accomplishments and titles but
remaining lost and always seeking, endlessly looking for the quick fix that
will last forever.
To let love in and let
your light shine, we need to tear the walls down and take the heavy curtains
off the windows of the soul. This takes place over a course of time and
does not need to occur all at once. The most important thing is to first
recognize that there is a heavy layer of protection disguised as our identity
that needs to be released. Our attachment to this role in this earth
plane is very limiting to the eternal nature of the soul within. Shedding
these layers is part of our metamorphosis into the butterfly of our free
spirit. Lovingly let the layers come off, shed the skin and bring out the new
life. We must stop over identifying with the former or contrived self and
carry it upon us as a heavy yoke. Drop the sack of rocks and chain mail
and run free in a state of primitive naturalism, become a free spirit and exude
the nature of who you are in a natural way.
It is funny but look
around and then at yourself. Are you wearing a costume, am I wearing a
costume? Who is there beneath the need for Respect, and need for
Adoration? Who is there that may be really happy to just be free and joy
filled. These large shoes we have been wearing are too hard to fill.
Walk barefoot in this life. Liberate the person within. The
spirit that existed with hope before years of conditioning about who you are
supposed to become clouded the truth about who you are.
Join me friends and take
a loving and compassionate look deep into your eyes and the eyes of others and
see beyond the illusion and the charade. Let’s tear down the Berlin wall
between us and our fellow man, and most importantly tear down the fortress of
fear that keeps us from seeing the true nature of ourselves.
Your Acre of Diamonds the Path to True Insight
Difficult People and Your Mirror Within
By Soul Girl Yoga
The concept of one´s personal acre of diamonds was shared with me in a fantastic immersion called Immersion in Love at the Soul of Yoga designed and lead by one of my great teachers Tom Kelly. The implications of this concept and its real life implication are beyond far reaching.
The person in your life who is your greatest button pusher, the most difficult to deal with and hardest to make peace with is your personal acre of diamonds. It is upon this valuable place that your greatest victory over the ego and self can take place. It is on this rocky soul that great luminosity of spirit can be born and harvested. It is in the reflection of these many diamonds and their multitude of facets and angles that our own reflection of Maya can be illuminated. In each vain attempt to blame this individual and for each fault upon which we can base a million valid arguments and justifications is the very place where our own deceit and fear is truly exposed.
The path of the yogi is a difficult path, it is laden with dragons of our own making which must be faced. Our acres of diamonds, our difficult people and situations are the battle ground upon which our necessary surrender to love must take place. Yes, this is a contrary notion, one of surrender over victory. Winning this ego-based fight over seeking amicable peace and love ... it is here where the true division between spirit and the finite, tangible, fading nature of this world collide. It is here where the sage upon the mountain of solitude ever in peace must test his spiritual mettle and truly live the teachings. This is where the mastery of life is forged. It is in this conflict, this heat, and this strife where we realize the futility of being caught in the spin cycle of blame and battle.
Easy it sounds in words and when looking at the big picture, but it is here where the forest may become lost in the trees and vice versa. This person is not the element from which to escape nor is it with them the battle must be fought. No, they are but mirrors to reflect back to us the nature of our own follies and mistakes in this life. Often that which we see in another, that we dislike, has a deep correlation to our own actions, actions often blanketed in ignorance. That is why it is so upsetting to see that which we so strive to conceal and ignore within ourselves. Yes, it is here in your acre of diamonds that self realization can occur. It is here where the God in others must be seen, it is here where the humanity in others and ourselves must be seen. It is not just them, but it is us all, all of us in our machinations and illusions. It is in these illusions where our need for defenses and blockades seperate us from the truth and our integrity as a soul.
It is the many faces of fear that we see and recognize, that which we ourselves despise when we catch ourselves falling subject to the same vices and misgivings. The answer my friends, lies in knowing that what we see in this so-called foe is really just another part of ourselves. It is here where compassion can become the bridge to connect the one heart and one mind of us all. From this first step across the bridge of compassion comes the courage to love, to forgive, to be present and to give up and surrender our control and judgments about what this person or situation needs to look like in order to satisfy the fabrications we have created in fear and have clung to as our armour in this supposed battle for survival.
The battle for survival which is in itself the defeat of love and all that that we each secretly desire, or even openly desire. It is in this war that we lose each one of us. For we are not meant to be at war, and the greatest feat of valor is not in winning and in the defeat of another but in the acceptance of another as we accept the truth that we are all here in the same boat and the awareness that we are meant really to be on the same team. A house divided cannot stand, and mansions made upon the sand are meant to fall into the sea.
Who is your acre of diamonds? See them now as they are ... your greatest teacher. If the answer or means to be in compassion and in love do not easily arise, and ... they probably will not, take the time to reflect upon this question. What is it in them that you must learn? Meditate upon this, it may take months, it may take years or it may happen in a moment. Your intention is seen by the universe but it is our actions, vigilance and resolve that make the difference. I was told once to pray for those who hurt you, bless those that curse you. Ironically however, hard as it is to do this, keep at it. Keep at it until one day you feel it in your heart. Fake it until you make it, and keep seeking. It is in this task that you will find peace. It is in this great practice that your acre of diamonds will no longer deplete you but will become the key to your greatest strength.
We are all just pieces of the same big puzzle, and each and every person in this world is a means to becoming whole. Mastery over this lesson is mastery over one of the greatest mysteries of the universe.
Thank you Master Tom Kelly for sharing the lesson of the Acre of Diamonds with me.
Inspired again by my dear friend and beloved soul, I have taken to the study of the Kabbalah to understand the great and wondrous teachings of the Talmud and Jewish Wisdom. An interesting voyage into a new relationship with the holiest of holies. Prompted by the gap between our customs, my perspective being one of a Catholic born Christian and his being those of a fundamentalist and a Jew, I have at great lengths been moved to understand in more depth the complex nature of my friend.
In my attempt to balance the obvious differences between his earthy and watery nature (Hessed) with my overabundance of fire (Guvurah) and exuberance I found the Kabbalah which has been invaluable in the reconciliation of these opposite sides. In fact, the very nature of the Kabbalah is a complex and anciently configured system of universal balance and inner balance which has proved in this very short period of study to be a treasure of invaluable information. One such exercise is the Tif'Eret excercize.
"Upon entering the room walk to the right wall and feel the giving flow- Hessed. Allow yourself some time to experience this free flow again. Then walk to the left wall and feel yourself withdraw into your emotional cocoon.
As you walk to the middle of the room feel that balance of the fire and water elements, mending together the internal magnetic force and the external dynamic force blending them within.
bring to mind someone you admonished recently. Feel the fire of Guvurah but then go within to the place of Tif'Eret that the gentle warm balance between the two. Find a plausible reason for this persons misbehavior and then let that reason settle in your heart. Focus on the person in your mind and see yourself projecting this warmth as waves of compassion to subdue the egocentric hurt you felt. See the person experiencing your compassionate warmth. Allow a smile to arise on that person's face. Allow yourself an inner smile as well.
Now look into your spiritual heart. See the beauty of color- green like the fresh morning grass. The innocent beauty of the tender blades flowing into your being. Allow yourself to be nourished by the softness and the color."
Rachamin means compassion and is also associated with the Hebrew word for womb. Tif'Eret means beauty. Feel the union between these concepts and terms and allow the energy of Tif'Eret to move into the embrace of your heart. Compassion allows us to open our hearts to others who are different or who may have done us a wrong or perceived wrong. When a Holocaust survivor asked Gd if it was ok to love a stranger he replied " You make strangers, I don't". Thus the distance and separation we place between ourself and another is truly the response of fear based thinking and lack of true compassion.
So today allow for the lovely light of love and compassion to move through your heart and to anothers and allow this feeling to be your hearth and safe cocoon. Gestate in this womb of love and protection and know you are safe to share this beautiful energy with those around you.
Thank you Rabbi LAibl Wolf.
Personal Boundaries and Your Path
In an attempt to please others we sometimes make the fatal mistake of not owning our own personal power and staying true to our self and our path. As women this is a common situation as we take the archetype of martyr and submit our own feelings in the misguided effort of trying to make other people comfortable often times before our own needs. The self sacrificing tendency is very harmful to our well being and while on the outside or even sometimes on the inside this appears to be the right thing to do, it is often very detrimental not only to our own selves and self esteem and value but also to the other party as we cosign a negative behavior in another person and take away their own power to do the right thing for themselves. It essence this is a self defeating behavior, one that results in both parties lacking respect for themselves.
When on a plane we hear the prompts for safety in case of a disaster. To most, this is a boring lecture that is always the same...but how many times have you considered the fact that the parent is instructed to place the mask on themselves first before they assist the child or any other individual. Likewise in my recent training on Psychological first aid the same concept of taking care of ones basic needs and health first are a prerequisite for the first responder. There is a reason for this, the same reason we are told that to find true love we must come as a complete individual rather than as a broken person looking for another to fill the void. There is a basic law of the universe inbedded in this entire strategy, and it is not a selfish motive but rather facilitates us to be at our greatest potential to be of service and aid to others. A mentally distressed individual cannot add a sense of calm and security to those around them, it takes a person who is grounded and centered to do so. You cannot give away what you do not have. So the goal is to have it.
Now, how does this tie into personal boundaries and your path? As a woman or man, employee or boss etc. we need to have a code by which we live. The spiritual path while different when taken from each culture or religious sect etc., regardless of subtle differences, have this concept in place. There are certain things that we should not allow in our lives, things that may be different from person to person but are important none the less. The challenge comes when we are seduced by peoples agendas and we in hopes of maintaining the status quo end up relegating our own personal status quo to some nether region of our selves ....into some dark closet within our hearts while we negotiate what we really know to be right. The classic example of which, and also motivation for this blog ..is when women are coerced or prodded to give up our sexuality even if it does not feel right. Granted it may feel right on one level but somewhere deep down inside we know that it is something special and very important, something best not cast before swine. Regardless of this many teenage girls and even women in the dating world today feel that this is something they must do, or something that after no becomes a tiresome word to the disrespectful suitor who interprets it as a yes we ourselves begin to feel bad about having to stand up for ourselves. The end result is never a good thing. For either party, though the pain is most felt on behalf of the woman who has given into this played out archetype of subservience and people pleasing.
Part of our path is owning our power. This does not have to be aggressive in a 80s type feminist warrior archetype way, but rather can come from a divine place of calmness and also of strength. We have a right to our bodies, to our boundaries and to our beliefs in what is permissible and what is not. This is a great test on the spiritual path. Knowing right from wrong by tapping into our true self, not regurgitating propaganda or rhetoric but by really getting in touch with ourselves and saying no this is not what serves me, and saying I am not going to participate in this. This is not just a lesson for women but also for men. Just think of Germany in WW11, how many people were on board with some majorly wicked and awful acts. The status quo, wanting to please others...this is deeply ingrained in our global culture, in humanity itself. Slavery was once legal but was it right. No. Some people did not feel it was but said nothing and went along with it, others who were much further behind on the spiritual path did not think twice and took it as right because it was supposedly right according to others and then there were those who just didn´t care if it was right or wrong but did it because it served their ego and need for power. So you see, this issue is very powerful and important as we grow along spiritual lines.
The hard part for many of us, and certainly for you if you are reading this is that we feel it is wrong and still find ourselves subjected to bullying from those who are in the phases of their development where they are still seeking to satiate the weaker lusts and temptations of the flesh. So for many of us our challenge is to learn how to be assertive about what is not OK and what we do want and not be aggressive about it but rather come from a place of divine power where our no means no. If not we walk away. There is an art to doing this, a confidence and trust in self that is very advanced. I struggle with this myself in many ways, especially now in the dating world where I have confronted a number of very compelling arguments to why I should give away my power.
This week try to work on your NFW list (as described in the previous blog...No F´n way list) and really redefine what it is you want out of life. How you want to be treated by others and how you intend to treat those who just do not take no for an answer. There are some really good salesmen out there networking hard for their personal agendas but by staying true to yourself and tapping into your inner self and voice and choosing to trust that answer above the sales pitch no matter how compelling, you may have a chance. It takes work and practice, do not berate yourself is you fail a few times but this is a really powerful part of your spiritual ascension. In essence learning to heed the inner voice and honor yourself in a healthy way is one of our greatest challenges in the I want now world we live in. Good things take time and work, and this lesson is no stranger to this rule.
Good luck friends. I will be with you in the spirit valiantly trying to stay fixed and true to the path and not be lead astray by naysayers or critics. And remember we can own our power from a place of love and love does not mean being a proverbial doormat. Namaste.
Finding the flow and tapping into the beauty of life. After a great deal of vacilation and struggle and a tremendous amount of sorrow and pain from forcing and pushing my way to the top, I by the blessing of God have found the flow. I am happy to be in my own skin.
As much as self will and my designs for life seem to be that of great import, I am yet again humbled and awed by the mastery of the greater universal plan and its unveiling in my life. It seems that just when I gave up and let go and gave it to my higher power. He gave me more than I could have hoped for or realized.
There is such a feeling of peace and joy to find the blessing of another kindred soul in this lifetime. If even only for a moment, how beautiful such a moment is when the distractions of the mind drop away and one can just rest in the peace of being in the moment fully present. To be safe enough with another to let the guard down. To be with family and friends and embrace their presence.
To be onself without the show or the costume, without the mask. There the soul naked and in its glory finally safely revealed to another. So beautiful and magical.
The flow. To be safe enough to go with the flow. To be true to oneself and thus be true to others. This is what life is. This is worth more than any treasure. This is the greatest treasure. I am blessed to have been present today. I am so grateful.
The main problem people face when in relationships is finding the right person. It seems there is often a disconnect with what we are really looking for and who we decide to glum on to. In many cases there is an old pattern that is being played out and we wonder why the results are the same in the end. Essentially we choose unavailable people.
Unavailable people is a term often used to imply we select partners who have no real intention of committing to a real viable relationship. While this may be true in many ways, I have come to discover that the problem goes far deeper than that. What is essentially going on is that we as the seeker do not make a specific enough analysis of who we really are first as a person. This can result in a number of uncomfortable situations involving group activities and other unions, even employment where as time goes on we feel like a social pariah because we really dont fit in with the group we have selected. No dont take the first job they offer, or man etc. there is a reason for this. When finding the best fit are we really being true to what is actually something that will fit our character now. Often we seek what we hope for, and believe perhaps by choosing a partner who apparently has these traits that somehow we will mold ourselves to this pattern. This is a flawed methodology, one that can lead to great disillusionment and dismay.
For instance- if you are an artistic extrovert who has a flamboyant personality and a strange intellectual style of humor you may have difficulties pairing yourself with a introverted scientist who looks at the world through a cold analytical lens. If you have had a wild childhood and have found yourself to have outgrown it dont choose a partner who has been repressed their whole adolescents and is now seeking to express these latent sexual desires and deviances now in their mid life. Realistically this is not a match made in heaven.
For some reason we are doing this. It is odd but in all reality in the first few encounters the signs that we are in some way negotiating or compromising our ideals for a slightly different model may not bother you in the initial romantic stages of eros but give it some time and those little details may begin to wear on your patience.
The solution- Get out your dream board or vision board and really go to work on who you are now and then really identify where you want to go. Do some real soul searching first because taking the time now can save you heart ache and wasted time later in a relationship that really doesnt honor you. Ok..let me give a brief disclaimer for those who may be balking at this answer- all relationships teach us something and that is great but really do you really need to learn the hard way again? So get the vision board out. What are your interests, who are you, what do you want? Do you like artists, and intellectuals or do you just want a rich doctor or smart scientist so you can procreate a super child. Look ...there has to be alot more to it than that. Even if it sounds good on paper really delve into this so that you can find the ying to your yang?
By discovering who you are you can identify what you dont want. And definitely have a No Fucking Way List (as my dear friend TJ once told me). Dont ever negotiate the terms on your NFWL. I unfortunately had to learn this the hard way the other day and long story short looking back over it all...it was absolutely absurd to believe that this situation could have worked. You should not have to feel bad about who you are in a relationship, just find someone who is on the same page so you are not working so hard not stepping on eggshells. Life should flow and so should a relationship. Ok another disclaimer...given all relationships take work. But lets face it folks some relationships are just lost causes.
And please ladies dont get intimate on the first date. NOooooooo this ends in disaster. Find out who the person is before you jump into the sack. And for heavens sakes find out who you are first. Good things come to those who wait and STDS come to those who dont. lol.
So take this next few days to look in the mirror and be real about who you are. You shouldnt have to keep a mask on while dating someone. Be you and not a representative. If they dont like it...find someone who will. You are a great person you may just be with the wrong one.
In Times of Loss
all had loss in this lifetime. The pain of losing something important
whether a person, a dream, a vision etc., can take the all the air out of
your sails and bring any positive momentum to a screeching halt. The
feeling of the feeling of pain is painful. It seems to hit at such a deep
level, so much so that is seems strange and odd that within us there lies such
a place that the essence of our existence is so much more than we can calibrate
or calculate. Unspeakable feelings of loss and despair invade the hidden
storehouses of the heart and leach away any hope.
to shut the feelings out and push away the pain is paramount in the name of
self preservation but it seems any methods are futile and running away only
further delays healing and compounds the pain only deepening the void.
The soul cries out to the universe and we are forced to confront the
reality of the nature of our existence. We are not in the Garden of Eden
and at this point all of our hopes seem dashed. To sit with the feelings
is so hard. The hardest test as humans we can endure.
the stages of this experience what is the lesson from this hard teacher,
reality. The petty problems seem so miniscule and we lament the times
that we misused the moments where nothing truly horrible was actually
happening. The times where petty luxury problems seemed so important.
The inconsequential things that seemed to matter so much now vanish and
their immaturity seems like a mocking reflection of the joke that we are, the
clown we play when dressed in the mantle of our ego. Seductive
superficiality and the time spent ruminating and obsessing on what now is a
glaring reflection of our ingratitude and selfishness.
I look at
myself in these times and it is hard not to feel anger and hatred at one’s own
stupidity. Where is the compassion when feelings of rage and tears burn
the skin as if made of poison? Reflections on a million times that rather
than enjoying life I fabricated a problem, a problem of such insignificance that
the feeling of shame now mingles with the sadness.
It is said
that one must watch the emotions like clouds and not join in. That one
must feel compassion and use this as the teacher but to do so in moments of
true loss seems like vanity and the continued perpetuation of the same disease
of blatant disregard for all things beautiful and lovely. The times where
we rambled on about our own small little world and never listened to anyone,
shunned silence and stillness to suck away the limelight and be the star in our
own narcissistic drama. What we would give for a moment with that person
again, how we would have done things differently. How plastic and
contrived our little plans and ideas when reality strikes and we realize it
never mattered. All that mattered is how we treat people, what we do to
be selfless and just spread joy and love. How many conversations did I
dominate without thinking of anyone else but myself and my next act in the play
of life? The sadness when we realize this is not a game, there is no
dress rehearsal and that life is now in this moment.
of moments, moments ill spent a life misused as we put it off for another day.
The long list of activities and social events for self gratification and
so little time used for things of import and of real consequence.
moment the moment where you live. Feel the moment be present. Life
is a gift.
An Attitude of Gratitude and the Key to Finding Your Dharma
For those in the yoga world familiar with the concept of your
Dharma, You may be still fervently searching for the answer to what your dharma
is. For those unfamiliar with this term I will go into a brief
description of what this means.
yogic teachings the word Dharma is essentially ones duty or place in the grand
scheme of things. Each thing has its own dharma or way of fitting into
the great order of life or existence as a whole. Many have taken the
eastern view on this concept and westernized it by combining this to the
Western notion of one’s purpose in this life. This along with the idea
that the creator (I like to keep this loose and allow for any variable for your
particular culture to fit in here as x would in an algebraic equation) has
chosen for each individual a particular purpose that is suited to the natural
or innate gifts or talents that you have received in this lifetime.
Combining this to the modern yogic lifestyle it moves to imply that each
person has been due to Karma (again you can keep this big picture and look at
this conceptually without being attached to the word or being made anxious by
it if you are of a different religion) or fate etc. been given in this lifetime
(whether it is the only one or many i.e. karma) certain skills that are
natural to a person, personality such as great with people or great with
numbers etc, and likewise certain handicaps or areas in which the person is not
naturally endowed or strong in. Ok, so you may feel a bit lost here and
wonder what does this have to do with this Dharma thing.
will tell you. Today I was speaking to a good friend who has been
pursuing this topic around the world, and has spent a considerable amount of
his fortune and time trying to find. This is not at all uncommon for some
and then again you may know a friend or relative who may not know anything
about the concept of Dharma but has since a young age known their mission in
this life and have since that time been on the fast track to doing just that.
Many doctors attest to this type of knowing. They wanted to help
people and be a doctor, never deviated and never regretted it. So why is
this so hard for many of us in this lifetime and so easy for others? What
is the answer and how can one who has no idea find the formula that worked for
those who have it so well figured out. Now, let me tell you that I myself
find that I have made many deviations on my personal path and journey but at
the core of it all I know I always had a knack for writing and philosophy and
loved demonstrating things in front of people. Now....did I think I would
be a yoga teacher and be writing this to you now....No...But here I am.
the first step in discovering your personal dharma is getting really real with
yourself. To do this the best way is through gratitude. Look around
in your life, look at yourself and get out your gratitude list. What are
you grateful for? Get the pen and paper out or say it out loud and really
see this. This is the best positive grounding technique to shut off the
negative block and shoo away the dark cloud above your head that is blocking
out the clarifying light from above. So, get real and get grateful.
Most of our complaints are based on lack of true vision and gratitude is
a great way to defog the mask and see what colorful fish and lovely things
get grateful you get clear. Now see what you are grateful for in your own
life, and in your own self. What are you good at? When this comes
from an attitude of gratitude you can be sure your ego that is not your amigo
is out of the way and you can really assess your assets. This is the key
to everything. Your natural abilities and strengths are a great place to
start. And here is the real kicker.
assessing your strengths, find gratitude in your weaknesses. You see,
your weaknesses are what help you grow stronger and learn new ways of living.
Without them you would probably never be challenged to get out of your
comfort zone and grow. In fact if it weren’t for my weaknesses I wouldn’t
have anything to write about. loll. So folks that is the tid bit
for the day. Meditate on this and I bet you get a lot closer to finding
your own Dharma.
grateful for you. Thanks for reading. xoxo
Expectations The Self Defeating Profecy....On Cognitive Dissonance and Limiting Beliefs
Our desire to force and control situations is often tied to
limited beliefs on how our goals and desires can be realized. When our secret agendas and expectations
cleverly hidden within the subconscious as inalienable rights or entitlements
are challenged we are often angry or sad.
A series of self defeating behaviors takes place as we go through the emotional
roller coaster of trying to manipulate and change the details of what is
happening by a series of tricks and methods that we believe are coming from a
place of determination and proactivity.
This is often a dangerous double edge sword that can leave in its wake
many negative feelings both internalized and expelled upon those closest to us.
These methods, those we use to try and bend the will of
others to fit our expectations and the hopes of our own desired outcomes are
very limiting and damaging in a number of ways.
Sometimes this can lead to the complete abandonment of our goals and
desires as we quickly lose hope when our limited notions of how we believe this
situation should be played out doesn´t pan out as we would like. Succumbing to the subsequent negative
feelings that come from this perceived failure can make us wax and wane between
giving up and pushing forward in these precarious conflicts. We do the inner dance of yes I can or no I
cant and begin to sit on the fence mired in the anxiety over whether or not to
abandon the project or stay true to our intent.
But it is this ….what is our intention?
That is the secret clue to uncovering possible solutions to this
Ironically the conflict is often self generated by the
conditions we place on these events and goals.
By releasing these benchmarks of perceived success and going rather with
a more open minded organic flow many of our failures could have actually been
some of our greatest successes in life had we only opened up to the infinite possibilities
available. When we are able to give up
our small notions of what things should be they can bloom into something more
beautiful than we could have imagined when we let the universe do its work
while we give our positive support by setting the intention and staying true. Many times we will resort to seconding
guessing the entire purpose of it all as we begin to subject ourselves to the
feeling that this thing is unattainable and thus in a final ditch effort of
self preservation return to what we know and ditch the whole idea and call it
all in vain, only to conclude by telling ourselves it wasn’t that great or
worthwhile anyways. This is our way of
staying perpetually stuck in a negative spiral of depression as we no longer go
beyond the safety net of our experiences and become limited and stuck in what
we know and eventually in the mantra that it wasn’t worth it anyways so best
not try at all.
Take for instance the classic story of the fox and the
grapes by Aasop, often cited as a classic story of cognitive dissonance. Dissonance, the last resort in the self
defeating process of unrequited rigid expectations and the for lack of a better
word our own inner BS mechanism (Bull S$%t for those who were wondering) to
justify our continued failure.
The fox who longed for grapes, beholds with pain
clusters were too high to gain;
Grieved in his
heart he forced a careless smile,
And cried ,‘They’re
sharp and hardly worth my while
So my dears and of course you know
I write this mainly because this is my struggle for the day….What would you
rather have the same thing you have always had or something perhaps great and
new. Now…here is the way to get it. Set the intention a positive intention and
then ask for guidance and clarity from above as to how this may take
place. You see a great salesman once
told me that the No´s in life are not closed doors but opportunities to connect
with a greater truth. Find the problem
and make space for its resolution in your mind and soul by not giving up or in
to negative emotions. Now given, the end
result may be arrived at by a series of new and possibly exciting ways. As long as you are willing to try something new
and yes maybe a little scary there is a great chance for success. Of course for the faint of heart you can
remain in your misery and wonder why life and great things continue to pass you
by and you wallow in self pity and blame the rest of the world as you once
again try the self defeating prophecy of boxed in expectations and be stuck in
the caves with the rest of the cave men who were content with eating raw meet
and freezing at night. Its up to
you. Have the courage to think outside
the box and remember don’t give up, shift the way you see what is happening and
the impossible may very well become possible with a little letting go and
opening up. And to continue with my love
for clichés….Dont be afraid to think outside the box.
Inspired by my opposite, my strange friend and most
I am blessed and honored to be under the masterful teachings of Mr. James Fox, founder of the Prison Yoga Project, this weekend. His teachings and insight have begun to open within me a fantastic journey into a new state of peace otherwise unknown to me until now.
Plagued by old traumas and lingering effects and associations relating to these deep old festering wounds, finally, an answer. One, in fact, that has been there all along. This panacea is called mindfulness and meditation. The key with this method is to not suppress the feelings of pain, fear and grief that are old friends to the sufferer of PTSD, anxiety disorder, depression and other trauma-related ailments, but to allow the pain to be felt from a place of non-judgment and quiet acceptance. It is from this place of peaceful, unbiased observation that the emotions are not compacted into the spirit awaiting their untimely explosion or release, but rather are allowed to pass through like a wave.
If you ask any lifeguard or big wave surfer what they do when hit by a wave of tremendous force and power - the secret that they will share is, in fact, the same method I am speaking of. Indeed, for anyone with panic disorders, anger management issues, or the like, they can attest that the waves of seemingly uncontrollable emotions feel the same. Fighting and resisting this influence only exacerbates the issue and compounds the problem, often quickly followed by "knee jerk" programmed reactions of fight or flight, i.e., self defense. To the outside world it may appear as provocation, but, to the sufferer, it is a reaction, one that they often feel compelled to do without any method of control as a means of self preservation. So, the answer is to ride the wave from a place of less resistance. Some yogis have discussed this method as sitting behind the mind in a state of observation or watchfulness. From this place we can allow the wave to run its course while remaining calm and saving our energy for after it rolls over, often times saving us from greater peril much due to our own panicked vacillations.
As my dear friend Shiva Das and astrologer told me one day when looking at the vast extremes of my natal chart -- I must learn the Tai Chi of life and learn not to fight fire with fire, but rather transmute and transcend. Shift the energy to a light energy. In fact, this is what the great Masters in Asia have done for centuries. This movement of not only deflecting negative energy, fear, anxiety, etc. but actually moving it to a healthier place through this method. Riding the wave, observing the mind and emotions rather than fighting them from a state of non action. Let the wave move through while staying peaceful.
Use the breath. This entire process is highly dependent on concentration, stillness, faith and the breath. Slowing down and breathing stops the knee jerk reaction. Wait before acting. Patience, breath, stillness, non judgment. This is the meditation of peace, this is the meditation called mindfulness.
Try it today - if you feel uncomfortable for any reason, look at yourself through quiet open eyes and breathe. Let it pass and you may indeed, like me, learn something really cool. Something that you have known all along but have forgotten.
I am blessed an honored to be under the masterful teachings of Mr. Fox, founder of the Prison Yoga Project this weekend. His teachings and insight have begun to open within me a fantastic journey into a new state of peace otherwise unknown to me until now.
Plagued by old traumas and lingering effects and associations relating to these deep old festering wounds, finally an answer. One infact that has been there all along. This panacea is called mindfullness and meditation. The key with this method is to not suppress the feelings of pain, fear and grief that are old friends to the sufferer of PTSD,anxiety disorder, depression and other trauma realted ailements but to allow the pain to be felt but from a place of non judgment and quiet acceptance. It is from this place of peaceful, unbiased observation that the emotions are not compacted into the spirit awaiting their untimely explosion or release, but rather are allowed to pass through like a wave.
If you ask any lifeguard or big wave surfer what they do when hit by a wave of tremendous force and power the secret that they will share is in fact the same method I am speaking of. Indeed, for anyone with Panic Disorders, Anger Management issues or the like they can attest that the waves of seemingly uncontrollable emotions feel the same. Fighting and resisting this influence only exaspebates the issue and compounds the problem, often quickly followed by "knee jerk" programed reactions of fight or flight, i.e. self defense. To the outside world it may appear as provocation but to the suffereror it is a reaction one that they often feel compelled to do without any method of control as a means of self preservation. So, the answer is to ride the wave from a place of less resistance, some yogis have discussed this method as sitting behind the mind in a state of observation or watchfullness. From this place we can allow the wave to run its course while remaining calm and saving our energy for after it rolls over, often times saving us from greater peril much due to our own panicked vacillations.
The Tai Chi of life as my dear friend Shiva Das and astrologer told me one day when looking at the vast extremes of my natal chart. I must learn the tai chi of life and learn not to fight fire with fire but rather transmute and transcent. Shift the energy to a light energy. In fact this is what the great masters in Asia have done for centruries. This movement of not only deflecting negative energy, fear, anxiety etc. but actually moving it to a healthier place through this method. Riding the wave, observing the mind and emotions rather than fighting them from a state of non action. Let the wave move through while staying peaceful.
Use the breath. This entire process is highly dependant on concentration, stillness, faith and the breath. Slowing down and breathing stops the knee jerk reaction. Wait before acting. Patience, breath, stillness, non judgement. This is the meditation of peace this is the meditation called mindfullness.
Try it today if you feel uncomfortable for any reason and look at yourself through quiet open eyes and breath. Let it pass and you may indeed, like me learn something really cool. Something that you have known all along but have forgotten.